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Guide to hotel loyalty programme changes

20 Apr 2020 by BusinessTraveller
Hilton Pilar Buenos Aires

The coronavirus pandemic is bringing the travel plans of millions of people around the world to a sudden halt.

While many hotel groups are changing their policies on cancellations and rebookings in response to the crisis, they are also relaxing the rules around status in their loyalty programmes.

This is what the major hotel groups have announced.

Accor

Accor Live Limitless (ALL) is sending out communications to members today (April 2, 2020).

Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond members

“We consider it a privilege to have you as a guest in our hotels and an honour to count you as one of our loyal members of ALL – Accor Live Limitless. We want to show our appreciation by crediting your account with 50% of the necessary Status points and Status nights required to maintain your elite status.

In addition,  Silver members will be credited with 1,000 Status points and 5 Status nights. Your points balance will reflect this once completed.

Gold members will be credited with 3,500 Status points and 15 Status nights.

Platinum members will be credited with 7,000 Status points and 30 Status nights.

Diamond members will be credited with 13,000 Status points.

Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond statuses will now expire in December 31, 2021, regardless of how many eligible nights a member completes in 2020.

Accor to credit loyalty members with 50 per cent of required status nights and points

Best Western

Best Western Rewards is letting all members maintain their current status through January 31, 2022, without having to fulfll the necessary qualifications.

BWR members who were downgraded by a tier at the end of 2019 will be levelled up to their previous tier and will be able to maintain that tier status through January 31, 2022.

Its reward points never expire.

Coronavirus: Best Western Rewards to maintain tier status of all members

Hilton

Hilton has announced a number of amendments to its Hilton Honors programme.

Members who were due to have their status downgraded on March 31, 2020 will receive an extension through until March 31, 2021. This applies to all tier levels – Diamond, Gold or Silver.

In addition members with existing Diamond, Gold or Silver status will see their benefits extended through until March 31, 2022, regardless of travel levels over the next 12 months.

The scheme is also pausing the expiration of any points scheduled to expire between now and December 31, 2020, and is extending the expiration of all Weekend Night Rewards which were unexpired as of March 11, as well as any new ones issued until August 30, through until August 31, 2021.

Hilton Honors extends status privileges and pauses points expiration

Hyatt

World of Hyatt benefits will be extended in the following ways for all members globally:

  • More time to use points: Hyatt has suspended the forfeiture of points through December 31, 2020. It makes the point that its “general policy is that points do not expire, but they will be forfeited if a member’s account is inactive for 24 months”.
  • More time to use earned awards: All unused Free Night, Suite Upgrade or Club Lounge Access awards with expiration dates between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will be extended to December 31, 2021. This includes existing awards and awards that may be earned throughout this year with a 2020 expiration date. The award extension will be generated by World of Hyatt – members do not need to take action. Awards that expired between March 1 and March 31, 2020 will be replaced with new awards on April 20, 2020. All other qualifying, unused awards will be updated by the 20th day of the month in which the award would have originally expired.
  • More time for elite members to enjoy their status and benefits: Status and benefits will be extended for all existing elite members without having to re-qualify. This means that whatever your status was as of March 31, 2020 – whether Discoverist, Explorist or Globalist – it will be automatically updated to reflect a February 28, 2022 expiration date. All elite tier extensions should be reflected in members’ accounts no later than April 15, 2020.

Intercontinental Hotels Group

IHG Rewards Club is reducing the Elite membership criteria required (in nights or points) this year by at least 25 per cent.

It also points out that points never expire for all members with Elite status (Gold, Platinum, Spire), and for Club members only after 12 months of inactivity. For all members with points due to expire from 1 April through to the end of the year, we are extending the expiration date of points to 31 December 2020. We’ll be contacting members with more information.

It has released the following guide (note that there are slightly different measures for guests in Greater China)

IHG Rewards

Marriott

The company emailed members of its Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programme on March 13.

It has paused points expiration until August 31, 2020, extended the expiration of suite night awards with an expiration date of December 31, 2020 by one year to December 31, 2021, and is giving anyone with an active Free Night Award (FNA) expiring in 2020 as part of their credit card benefit, annual choice benefit, promotions or travel package an extension to January 31, 2021.

Melia

Meliá says it will extend the current Meliá Rewards membership tier for one year for Platinum, Gold and Silver members whose tier review is scheduled for between March 1, 2020 (from February 1, 2020 for members from Greater China) and December 31, 2020.

The membership tier will remain unchanged even for those members who do not meet the minimum stays, nights or points requirement to remain in their tier. In consequence, for example, tier reviews that were due on March 1, 2020, will now be carried out on March 1, 2021.

Radisson

Radisson Rewards is suspending its point expiration policy for six months, effective March 1, 2020.

It is also extending elite status of for members through February 2022, for those that would have expired February 2021.

Meanwhile, e-certs earned using the Radisson Reward Visa card that are scheduled to expire between March 1 and July 31, 2020 can now be redeemed through June 30, 2021.

Read more here. 

Taj Hotels and Resorts

Taj InnerCircle loyalty programme members have seen their Tier Status and validity of Points extended untill 28 February 2021

Wyndham

Wyndham is continuing to update its policies worldwide by relaxing cancellation policies, extending current Wyndham Rewards Member Levels (status) for all members globally until the end of 2021 and delaying points expiration until September 30, 2020.

Read more here. 

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