Marriott extends elite status, among other updates

New updates on status extensions and other accommodations in Marriott’s latest COVID-19 update.

The Flight Brothers: JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa Lobby

Adding to the growing list of airline and hotel announcements, Marriott announced this morning that they would be extending Elite Status for members who earned status in 2019, in addition to a few other updates.

Read the full announcement here.

Status and rewards updates

Today’s release included the following details for Bonvoy members:

  • Status Extension: Any status earned in 2019 will be extended to February 2022.
  • Points Expiration: Points expiration will be paused until February 2021. At that time, your points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months.
  • Suite Night Awards (SNA): SNAs will be extended from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
  • Free Night Award (FNA): FNAs expiring in 2020 will be able to use it through January 31, 2021. (with exception of members in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan — who’s FNAs will be extended 12 months into 2021 from the date of expiration).

Overall, I think these changes are exactly what most people expected. It isn’t surprising that Marriott was the last to wake up, behind the announcements from Hilton and Hyatt last week.

Bonvoy Elite Status historically has gone through end of February each year, so nothing stands out as particularly surprising here. I think the extension window on FNAs is not nearly long enough, however. If you have FNAs expiring later in 2020, this extension only gives you a couple extra months.

Pictured: Entrance at the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

Change and cancellation policies

Marriott also noted the following free change and cancellation policies for new and existing reservations prior to June 30, 2020:

Existing reservations

Reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, can be changed or cancelled up to 24 hours prior to arrival. Any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences.

New reservations

The same will apply for new reservations, including pre-paid rates, between March 13 and June 30, 2020, as long as changes or cancellations are done 24 hours before the scheduled arrival date.

Bottom line

While Marriott lagged well behind the curve for this announcement, it’s great to see that they did step up. I think most people will feel that the extensions make sense and were quite expected — although I think the short SNA extension is going to disappointing news for folks with Bonvoy credit cards. Perhaps not too disappointing, however, for folks who are benefiting from the recent policy change that allows cardholders of both a Personal and Business Bonvoy card to get 30 Elite Night Credits instead of 15.

We aren’t feeling too Bonvoyed today.

What do you make of Marriott’s announcement?

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