Rebook your IHG and Hilton rooms NOW – both chains will refund cheaper ‘Advance Purchase’ rates

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Both IHG Rewards Club and Hilton Honors have made positive announcements about removing the restrictions on Advance Purchase bookings.

This means there are unintended consequences:

if you have a Hilton or IHG hotel booking made at the Best Flexible rate, it makes sense to cancel it and rebook a cheaper Advance Purchase rate – because the Advance Purchase rate is now fully refundable!

if you have a Hilton or IHG hotel booking made at the Advance Purchase rate, you should check it – you could save money by cancelling and rebooking it if rates have fallen

Before you do this – because I don’t want to take the blame if anything goes wrong! – please carefully read:

the IHG policy on refunding Advance Purchase bookings here

the Hilton policy on refunding Advance Purchase bookings here

IHG coronavirus cancellation policy

What is the new IHG policy on refunding Advance Purchase rooms?

IHG has said that it will waive cancellation fees on Advance Purchase bookings for stays up to 30th April.

The rule applies to both new and existing bookings.

Positively, IHG has said that this policy will also apply if you booked via an online travel agent such as Expedia or Booking.com.  However, you will need to contact the agent to discuss your cancellation rather than choosing the online cancellation option, as this is likely to trigger the existing ‘no refund’ rules.

If you have an existing IHG booking before 30th April at a flexible rate, or where the rate has fallen sharply since you booked an Advance Purchase rate, I recommend cancelling and rebooking at an Advance Purchase rate.

Please double-check the official IHG travel advisory notice, which is here, before taking action.

IHG is also reducing the elite status criteria for 2021

IHG Rewards Club is lowering the criteria for earning or renewing your status for 2021.

Take a look at this chart (click here to see the original):

IHG revised elite status criteria

Spire Elite is cut from 75,000 base points to 55,000 base points, or from 75 nights to 55 nights.

Hilton policy on refunding Advance Purchase rooms

What is the new Hilton policy on refunding Advance Purchase rooms?

Hilton has said that it will waive cancellation fees on EXISTING Advance Purchase bookings for stays up to 30th April.

For NEW bookings, the wording implies that Advance Purchase bookings made by 30th April for ANY future date will be fully refundable.

The only requirement is that you cancel 24 hours before arrival.

Hilton has NOT said if this policy applies to bookings made via other channels such as Expedia.

If you have an existing Hilton booking at a flexible rate, or where the rate has fallen sharply since you booked an Advance Purchase rate, I recommend cancelling and rebooking at an Advance Purchase rate.

Please double-check the official Hilton travel advisory notice, which is here, before taking action.

Hilton has also said that it is working on a policy to deal with status expiry although it is not yet finalised.  In the interim, all points expiry will be curtailed until 31st May.

Remember that Hilton is still offering a status match – this HFP article explains how.

Before you ask, there is no similar news yet from Marriott.  The only waiver on offer is only valid to 31st March and only covers the following countries: Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, French Polynesia, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, Italy.  You can find out more on marriott.com.

Coronavirus: Czech Republic bans travellers from the UK (plus 14 other countries) from Saturday for 30 days
British Airways agrees to pay for customers stuck in Italy to reach non-Italian airports

Click here to join the 15,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
AMEX Gold 20,000 bonus points
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. I don’t understand what the big problem is with rebooking a hotel. Many other chains (hotels.com is one) price match any competitor up to the day before arrival. The likes of Hilton should be looking to match these sorts of price guarantees from the rubbish 24 hours only that you get to price match. Especially for Gold/Diamonds.
    The money is better in your pocket than theirs!

  2. Anyone know what Shangri-LA’s policy is. Booked and pre-paid for 3 rooms in Abu Dhabi for a week in April.

    Also, BA have changed our LBA-LHR flight to the day after our LHR-ABU Dhabi flight departs….
    So we have the option to cancel but my question is, how long does this option last?

    Thanks for help!

  3. Just saved $200 on a booking at the end of april.

  4. Arthur says:

    Requested a cancellation and refund on a pre-paid Hilton rate and advised it will take 7-10 working days to credit the amount back to me. 24hrs after making the cancellation it is still showing as a non-cancellable booking on the Hilton app and it is for this coming Tuesday. A normal cancellation on a flexible rate shows online correctly within minutes.

    • Crafty says:

      Yes, that does worry me too, but we have gone through the correct channels as advised. Keep a record of the date and time of the phone call. You may also be able to message the hotel to advise them.

  5. Marriott also offering similar arrangement.

    “For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival,* as long as the change or cancellation is made by April 30, 2020”

    https://marriott-re-2019ncovc.com/

  6. Colin JE says:

    On a linked note can anyone advise on the best way to use an IHG free night certificate? I’ve got one coming from my IHG c/card apparently, though it still isn’t showing on my account a month after my c/card anniversary.

    According to the IHG site you have to book free nights individually, but I want to use it for one night of a two night stay. Trouble is, if I book the nights separately each of them is about £20 more than if I book it as a two night stay. Does this sound right?

  7. SANDRA ROSE says:

    When will IHG extend the advance booking refund for UK ? We have bookings for June but have been told ( we are elderly) that we must lockdown for 12 weeks . Will they refund under these circumstances??

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.