With all of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, travel companies have to adapt their policies to fit the times.  Here are how the leading hotel loyalty programs are providing flexibility to their best customers. As the situation is fluid, to say the least, this post will be updated as changes arise.

Last update September 18, 2020 2:00 p.m. EST.

Hotels

Bonvoy Rewards

  • Elite Status Earnings: Marriott Bonvoy™ Members who earned Elite Status in 2019 will receive a one-time deposit of 50% of their tier’s annual Elite Night Credit requirement, e.g. those Members who achieved Platinum Elite status in 2019 would receive 25 Elite Night Credits in their Account by the end of July. In addition, these Elite Night Credits will count towards achieving the 2020 Annual Choice Benefit, as well as achieving Lifetime Elite Status.
  • Elite Status Extension: Since Members already received an extension of their earned Elite Status through February 2022, the Elite Night Credit deposit helps Members get to the next tier faster. 
  • Ambassador Status Gifts Platinum Status to a Friend: Members who earned Ambassador Elite Status in 2019 and achieve 100 Elite Night Credits in 2020 are eligible to gift Platinum Elite Status to one individual, e.g. friend or family member. This Platinum status will continue through February 2022. These current Ambassador Members will not be required to achieve the US$20,000 qualifying stay spend to be eligible, just the 100 Elite Night Credits. This includes the one-time deposit of 50% of their tier’s annual Elite Night Credit requirement (50 Elite Night Credits), which means current Ambassador Elite Members only need 50 more Elite Night Credits this year to receive this benefit.
  • Points Expiration: Members who have been inactive for at least 24 months and have Points expiring prior to February 1, 2021 will have their Points expiration date automatically extended to February 1, 2021.
  • Suite Night Awards: Elite Members who have Suite Night Awards (earned in 2019 as part of the 50- and 75-Night Annual Choice Benefit) with an expiration date of December 31, 2020 will be extended to December 31, 2021.
  • Free Night Awards: Members with active Free Night Awards (as part of a credit card benefit, Annual Choice Benefit, Promotion or Travel Package) with an expiration starting March 1, 2020 will be extended through January 31, 2021. 

Bonvoy Full Policy

Hilton Honors

  • 2019 Status Extension. All members whose 2019 status was scheduled to be downgraded on March 31, 2020—whether it’s Diamond, Gold or Silver—will automatically receive an extension through March 31, 2021.
  • 2020 Status Extension. We are extending your 2020 member status through March 31, 2022. This means you will continue to enjoy all the Diamond, Gold or Silver benefits you have access to today for the next 24 months.
  • Points Extension. We will pause the expiration of all Points scheduled to expire between now and December 31, 2020.
  • Status Nights Extension:  All nights you earn this year from stays between January 1 through December 31, 2020, will automatically be carried over to the 2021 calendar year and count towards your 2021-2023 Tier Status. Note that this update will be reflected in your account by the end of this year.

For Hilton Honors American Express Co-brand Card Holders in the U.S.:

  • Hilton is extending the expiration date of all unexpired Weekend Night Rewards as of March 11, 2020 to August 31, 2021.
  • All Weekend Night Rewards issued before August 30, 2020 will be extended to expire August 31, 2021.
  • Unexpired and new Free Weekend Night Rewards issued through December 31, 2020 can now be used any night of the week (not just on weekends). And new Free Weekend Night Rewards issued from May 1 through December 31, 2020 will now be valid for 24 months (rather than 12 months) from the date of issuance. There are no blackout dates for booking and they can be used at more than 6,200 hotels worldwide.

Hilton Honors Full Policy

IHG Rewards

  • All members’ program status earned in 2019 will be extended through January 2022.
  • For Spire Elite members this includes the Choice benefit of 25,000 bonus points or gifting of Platinum Elite status to someone each year.
  • IHG Rewards is reducing the Elite membership criteria required (nights or points) this year by 25% or more. 
IHG Rewards chart modified for COVID
PHOTO VIA IHG REWARDS

Image via IHG Rewards

  • IHG is extending the expiration date of anniversary certificates that are set to expire in 2020. Certificates expiring from 1 March 2020 can now be used through 31 December 2020. 
  • Certificates issued in 2020 will have an 18-month redemption time period. 
  • In addition, Intercontinental Ambassador status and free weekend night certificates have been extended by six months.  

IHG Rewards Full Policy

World of Hyatt

  • Hyatt has sweetened the pot for points users, with a 15% rebate for general members and a 25% rebate for World of Hyatt Credit cardholders on points redeemed for stays through January 24, 2021. Registration required by December 1, 2020.  The promotion also includes free parking for award stays, which could add up to big savings.
  • 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.
  • Hyatt is postponing the introduction of Off-peak and Peak point redemption (originally planned for March 22, 2020) until 2021. This means that free-night redemptions will continue to be at standard rates for the rest of this year.

World of Hyatt Full Policy

Airlines

Air Canada Aeroplan

  • Whatever Altitude status you currently hold in 2020, we will automatically extend through the end of 2021. Should you reach a higher status before the end of this year, you’ll enjoy it upon qualification and through 2021 as well. 
  • When you and those closest to you take to the skies once again, we want you to be able to share your special privileges. If you have already achieved Altitude status for next year, or if you do so by the end of 2020, you can gift that status to a friend or loved one.
  • You will now have 18 months to keep your account active – six months longer than before.

Aeroplan Full Policy

American Airlines

American Airlines is recognizing the loyalty of AAdvantage® members by extending their elite status amid reduced travel related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Changes include:

  • Extending elite status for AAdvantage members until Jan. 31, 2022.
  • Reducing elite status qualifications for 2020.
  • Extending Admirals Club® memberships purchased from American for 6 months.*
  • Introducing up to $400 special credits for future travel on American Airlines Vacations packages for elite members.**
  • Every dollar spent on an eligible AAdvantage co-branded credit card through the end of 2020 will count for one mile toward Million Miler℠ status.

American Airlines Full Policy

British Airways Avios

  • BA is lowering Tier Point thresholds by 25% for all Members.
  • BA is adding 12 months extra onto your Executive Club membership. All members will benefit, starting with those who have a Tier Point collection end date of July 2020, through to June 2021.

Avios Full Policy

Delta Air Lines

  • Medallion Members will be able to enjoy their current Status through 2021.
  • All Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) from 2020 are being rolled over to 2021 to qualify for 2022 Medallion Status.
  • Delta Sky Club Individual and Executive membershipswith an expiration of March 1, 2020, or later will receive six additional months of Delta Sky Club access beyond their expiration date.
  • Delta SkyMiles Gold Card Members with a $100 Delta flight credit will get a six-month extension beyond their current expiration date.
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card Members with Companion Certificates with an original expiration date between March 1 and June 30, 2020, can use them when they book and fly by Dec. 31, 2020, and those that expire between July 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, will receive an additional six months beyond the current expiration date.
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve CardMembers with Companion Certificates with an original expiration date between March 1 and June 30, 2020, can use them when they book and fly by Dec. 31, 2020, and those that expire between July 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, will receive an additional six months beyond the current expiration date.
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve CardMembers will also get a six-month extension to use their Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes beyond their current expiration date.
  • Upgrade Certificates or $200 Travel Voucherswith an original expiration date between March 1 and June 30, 2020, are extended – now, they can be booked and flown by Dec. 31, 2020. And, SkyMiles Members with Upgrade Certificates or $200 Travel Vouchers that expire after June 30, 2020, will receive an additional six months beyond the current expiration date.
  • SkyMiles Selectmembers will receive a six-month extension to the Priority Boarding benefit and any unused drink vouchers.
  • SkyMiles Members enrolled in a challenge or promotion to earn Medallion Status, such as the Status Match Challenge, Reclaim My Status or a promotion offered through their employer, can restart that promotion when they are ready to travel again.

Delta Air Lines Full Policy

Flying Blue

  • Flying Blue will maintain all Flying Blue Elite members with a qualification period ending between March 2020 and February 2021 for another 12 months.
  • Flying Blue will prevent all Miles from expiring between now and the end of 2020 for all Explorer members.

Flying Blue Full Policy

JetBlue

  • All current Mosaic members will have their travel perks extended through the end of 2021. This applies to all Mosaic members with status set to expire on 12/31/20.

 JetBlue has reduced Mosaic requirements by 50% for this year:

  • 7,500 Mosaic qualifying points (vs. the usual 15,000 points)
  • 6,000 Mosaic qualifying points and 15 segments (vs. the usual 12,000 points and 30 segments)
  • Mosaic customers will continue to receive an award of 15,000 bonus TrueBlue points upon qualification.
  • If you are a Mosaic member, here’s a chance to pay it forward by giving the gift of Mosaic to someone who deserves a little TLC on their next vacation. The recipient will enjoy Mosaic travel perks from 6/15/20–6/15/21.

JetBlue full policy

LATAM

LATAM has extended status validity for all LATAM Pass elite members through March 2022.

Qantas

Qantas Frequent Flyer status will automatically be extended for 12 months, as of March 2020.

Qantas Full Policy

Qatar Airways

Qatar is extending or giving back status to all members with status set to expire before Jan 31, 2021. The status will be extended for an additional year.

Qatar Airways Full Policy

Southwest Airlines

  • For Companion Pass holders, who earned Companion Pass benefits through December 31, 2020, Southwest is extending your current Companion Pass benefits through June 30, 2021.
  • For A-List and A-List Preferred Members who earned A-List or A-List Preferred status through December 31, 2020 and not through any type of promotion, Southwest extending your current earned status through December 31, 2021
  • Southwest is making it easier for Rapid Rewards Members to earn tier status and Companion Pass this year by giving everyone 15,000 tier qualifying points (TQPs), 10 qualifying one-way flight segments toward tier status, 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points (CPQPs), and 25 qualifying one-way flight segments toward Companion Pass. This added boost will accelerate your progress toward achieving tier status and Companion Pass in 2020.
  • Southwest will prevent all Miles from expiring between now and the end of 2020 for all Explorer members. As always, Miles of Elite members are valid for life.
  • For Members enrolled in a promotion granting promotional A-List status or challenging a Member to extend promotional A-List status such as Status Match, Tier Challenge, Tier Experience, or a Corporate Status Challenge and who met the flight requirements by the promotion end date, Southwest is extending your current promotional status through December 31, 2021.
  • However, for Members enrolled in any of the above promotions and who to date have not met the flight requirements, Southwest is extending the deadline to meet the promotion’s flight requirements to October 30, 2020.

Southwest Airlines Full Policy

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines is extending statuses for six months beyond current expiration date.

United Airlines

  •  If you have current 2020 Premier status, it will be extended to January 31, 2022. At a minimum, you will enjoy the same published status next year that you have today, up to Premier 1K®.
  • For the 2021 status year, United is reducing thresholds for Premier qualification by 50% for each status level, to make reaching an even higher tier easier. You’ll still need a minimum of four flight segments on United or United Express®.
  • Six-month extension of any PlusPoints set to expire on or before January 31, 2021
  • United is doubling PQP for United℠ Explorer Cards and quadrupling PQP for the United Club cards.
  • United is extending purchased United Club℠ memberships and purchased subscriptions for Economy Plus®, United Wi-Fi℠ and checked bags by six months.

United Full Policy

Virgin Atlantic

  • Virgin Atlantic will be extending the status of all Silver and Gold Flying Club members by 6 months.
  • Members who have earned companion rewards, Clubhouse access or upgrades through the Virgin Atlantic Reward and Reward+ Credit Card, or the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard will have the validity of the voucher extended by six months.
  • Gold members who have earned a companion reward for renewing Gold status, Clubhouse passes for the 1500 tier point reward or the 2000 tier point upgrade reward will have these rewards extended by six months. 

Virgin Atlantic Full Policy

Forbes

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