Big hotel news from Hilton – all Hilton Honors status downgrades reversed, and your existing status extended

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Hilton Honors has just launched a very impressive response to the coronavirus crisis.  The company has really stepped up to the plate here and put down a marker.  It will be VERY interesting to see how Marriott, IHG and Hyatt respond.

What is Hilton doing about your status due to coronavirus?

Here is the one I didn’t expect:

If your status was due to be downgraded on 31st March 2020 (as mine was – I was due to drop from Diamond) you receive an automatic extension to 31st March 2021.

This is really very generous.  After all, people who did not requalify due to lack of nights in 2019 did not do so because of coronavirus.  The only real loss has been the inability to use my status during February and March 2020.

Given that Marriott Bonvoy has just dropped me from Titanium Elite to Gold Elite, I can see Hilton getting more of my business later this year.

Hilton Honors status extension coronavirus

If you earned status during 2019, you will keep it until 31st March 2022

If you have status now due to your stays last year, you don’t need to worry about requalifying before the end of 2020.  Your status is locked in until 31st March 2022.

This is a smart move.  People who did make an effort to requalify last year won’t feel let down by the fact that people like me have been gifted an additional year regardless.

There are two other announcements:

All points expiry has been paused until 31st December 2020

This isn’t really a big deal, since it was incredibly easy to avoid expiry anyway.  This article explains how to stop your Hilton Honors points expiring.

For US credit card holders, all free night awards earned by 30th August 2020 will be extended to 31st August 2021.

Hilton Honors status extension coronavirus

What are the Hilton rebooking rules due to coronavirus?

Hilton has also extended its coronavirus rebooking policy:

ALL bookings at Hilton hotels, even non-refundable ones, for stays up to 30th June can be changed or cancelled up to one day before arrival

All NEW reservations you make between today (25th March) and 30th June 2020 for ANY future arrival date can be changed or cancelled at no charge, up to one day before arrival

For clarity, this means that there is no reason not to book a cheaper Advanced Purchase room whenever you are booking a Hilton property up to 30th June, for any future date.

If you cannot make the change you need online, you can submit a request via this page of the Hilton website.  This only applies to bookings made directly – if you used a non-Hilton website or a travel agent to book you will need to speak to them.

Taken overall, I don’t think anyone could have expected more from Hilton.  Let’s hope that we see some similar moves from other chains.  With Hilton refusing to drop status for anyone it will put pressure on the other brands to act.

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Comments

  1. How do we cancel an advance purchase stay made via Hilton for a refund? Do we have to call or email them, or do we get a refund if we just go ahead and cancel online or via the app?

    • Brighton Belle says:

      On every case I emailed the hotel direct with the confirmation number. But you need to monitor if the refund turns up. I had 10 post refunds within 5 days of cancelling but 2 bookings are still not refunded after 8 days. Hilton Croydon never replied to my email I so cancelled by phone at Hilton UK customer service 08457466677. The funds still haven’t turned up and since Hilton are being so good about cancellations and refunds I’m content to let them work through the tsunami.

      • Thanks, I’ll see if I can find the emails for the hotels in question and go via that route in the first instance.

    • Spursdebs says:

      I did the same, emailed Conrad Tokyo direct and asked them , no problem refunded on to card within two days great customer service. Now my status has been extended even tho it was lowly silver I appreciate that every little helps.

  2. How do you validate your status expiry date?

  3. Diamond till 2022.
    Fantastic news Hilton

  4. Secret Squirrel says:

    Just received the email direct. Welcome news as due to be downgraded.

  5. Neil Donoghue says:

    Absolute game changer! I squeezed 42 stays in last year and was already up to 16 for 2020. It’s time like these, you learn which companies appreciate your business and which don’t.

  6. What if Gold obtained from Amex Platinum and I cancel in due course; when will Gold status expire? No one at Hilton could historically give me an expiry date when asked (and Amex T&Cs appear to suggest it is lost at the time of card cancellation, despite this site advising that they will be held until they ‘expire naturally’). If they aren’t lost immediately, is there a date I still need to hold the card on to keep Gold until end Mar 2022 (i.e. is this method of obtaining status also given an extension?)

    In addition are Hilton (like IHG) adjusting the number of nights required in 2020 to qualify for Diamond status? I was hoping to do that and then cancel Amex Platinum, but it looks like I may not achieve 60 nights this year now, which is a shame.

    • You remain gold for thd remainder of the year that you qualify via platiinum and all of the next year through to 31 March. For example if you took out Platinum next month and triggered the status then you would be gold through 31 March 2022.

  7. Harry T says:

    Very stupid question – where does it say in the Hilton app or on their website when your status expires?

    Bravo, Hilton – I’m impressed.

    • Harry T says:

      And presumably those of us who hold Gold due to Amex Platinum will receive this status extension too, even if we cancel Plat?

      • Yes. Even under normal circumstances you stay gold when cancelling platinum.

  8. Thank you Hilton! My HH Diamond status is now extended for another year! 🙂

    My IHG Spire status was, on the whole, pretty pointless already, in comparison, now it’s totally laking!

    Are you going to step up to the plate IHG?!

  9. Game changer – would definitely be more loyal even if I have to pay up a bit more. This is so good and ethical of them

  10. John W says:

    Well Done Hilton ! Will for sure be placing more business in their direction !

  11. Clear. Uncomplicated. Very helpful gesture.

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