With the coronavirus seemingly settled in for a long stay, Marriott is adding a full year to the status of its Bonvoy members.
All 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.
"Like many of you, frequent travel is a way of life for me and most of the Marriott team," reflects Marriott International President and CEO, Arne Sorenson. "It is the way we connect, get inspired and evolve our business every day."
"While it is the right thing to do, it’s been hard not to be able to travel. We know that when you get back in the air and on the road, your points and status will be important to you."
Marriott joins a growing roster of hotels groups and loyalty programs – among them Accor ALL, Hilton Honors, Shangri-La Golden Circle and World of Hyatt – which are pushing out the expiry date of elite status, points and other program-specific perks.
It's been predicted that travel patterns won't reach pre-2020 levels until 2023, based on when COVID-19 is declared as being "under control", although experts predict that the business travel market – which is the core of hotel loyalty schemes – will be back in force by 2022.