With travel pared back and road warriors spending more time in their own lounge rooms than the hotel club lounge, the potential to earn or retain hotel loyalty status is also diminishing.
In recognition of this, many hotel chains are offering various status extension to remain in the good graces of their guests. We've pulled together this list to help get your future hotel status squared away, and will update it with the latest information as it becomes available.
Accor's new ALL program is another that has held firm with giving out status extensions for all. While members residing within Greater China get the 12 months extension, similar to Marriott and IHG, Accor is giving everyone else a 50% credit of the elite nights and points needed to maintain the current status level.
For new non-flexible bookings created after 1 March, Accor will allow modifications without penalties. There are also region-specific waivers, such as free cancellations on any Asia-Pacific stays before 30 April 2020. Click here for all the details.
Best Western Rewards
Effective immediately, Best Western Hotel members will get a status extension to 31 January 2022, without lifting a finger. Even those members who had a downgrade of status 'at the end of 2019' will see their previous tier reinstated and extended to 31 Jan 2022.
Read the status extension policy here.
Hilton is leading the way in being proactive, with all members set to receive a 12 or 24-month status extension. This is a particularly generous offer given that even members who didn't retain status in 2019 (before the whole coronavirus pandemic was a thing), are getting one-year extensions.
Additionally, all points expiry are being paused until the end of the year, and a flexible cancellation/re-booking policy is being applied, even on 'Advance Purchase' non-refundable rates.
IHG will now extend existing Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Spire Elite membership tiers to expire at the end of January 2021.
There is also the opportunity to earn a higher tier status with lowered requirements across the board. For example, prospective Spire Elite members would need to stay 55 Qualifying Nights this calendar year instead of 75.
All cancellation fees are waived at IHG properties globally, for stays between 9 March and 30 April 2020. IHG's travel advisory policies are here.
All Marriott Bonvoy elite levels – Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador – will now retain their tiers and perks earned across last year all the way through to February 2022. This extended year of status will also count towards your Bonvoy lifetime status.
The expiration date of Bonvoy points will also be pushed back to February 2021 – and even then, your points will expire only if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months.
Free Night Awards will be extended to January 31 2021, while Suite Night Awards (one of the ‘choice benefit’ options available to Bonvoy status members) will be extended to December 31, 2021.
If you've already got a Marriott reservation on your calendar – perhaps for a previously planned business trip, conference or a well-earned getaway – this can be cancelled without change "up to 24 hours prior to arrival, as long as the change or cancellation is made by June 30, 2020." That policy includes reservations with pre-paid rates, which are typically the most restrictive type of booking.
The latest program updates can be viewed here.
Travellers through Asia, Europe and parts of the Americas may be familiar with the Meliá chain of hotels, although it's yet to set foot in Australia.
All Meliá Rewards Silver, Gold and Platinum members with a review date between 1 March (1 February for Greater China members) and 31 December 2020 will automatically get a 12 months extension to their next review date.
Meliá will also offer 100% flexibility to postpone bookings made before March 2, for stays until 31 May 2020. New bookings made from March 2 to April 30 will be covered by a free cancellation policy up to 24 hours before the check-in date.
Read the status extension and booking waiver policy here.
For all current Silver, Gold and Platinum cardholders whose membership was due to expire in February 2021, Radisson is extending this by another year to February 2022.
The chain is also suspending its points expiration policy for six months from March. For those with e-certs from a Radisson Rewards Visa card, this is also being extended to 30 June 2021. Read more about Radisson Rewards' extension here.
Shangri-La Golden Circle
Jade and Diamond members will have their tier status extended until 31 Dec 2021, while maintaining all benefits in the meantime. A cancellation fee waiver is also in place for bookings up to 30 April 2020, including Advance Purchase reservations and bookings made through other channels.
Read the status extension and booking waiver policy here.
World of Hyatt
Hyatt is extending the status of all existing elite members for up to two years, based on their status as of March 31, 2020.
If you were a Discoverist, Explorist or Globalist at the end of March, that's what you will continue to be through February 28, 2022. "All elite tier extensions should be reflected in members’ accounts no later than April 15, 2020," Hyatt says.
In addition, "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."
Finally, World of Hyatt is "suspending the forfeiture of points through December 31, 2020."
Read more here.
Have you been notified of a status extension by another hotel chain? Let us know below and we'll add it in.