Marriott Bonvoy has announced how it intends to deal with Marriott Bonvoy elite status for next year.
Whilst the company admits that the fine print needs to be worked out, the following announcement was made today in a blog post from the Marriott International CEO:
“I also want to take a moment to address our Marriott Bonvoy members. Like many of you, frequent travel is a way of life for me and most of the Marriott team. 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.
Status Extension: We want you to be able to enjoy the status that you earned in 2019. With that in mind, the status you earned in 2019 will be extended to February 2022.
Points Expiration: To provide you ample time to redeem points, the expiration of points 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.
As the days unfold, we will continue to monitor and evolve our program requirements as necessary.”
It has already been announced via the main Marriott coronavirus advisory page that
Suite Night Awards for status members will be extended by 12 months, to 31st December 2021
Free Night Awards, whether from the Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card, annual choice benefit, promotions or a travel package will be extended to 31st January 2021
Marriott Bonvoy has decided that 2020 never existed
This is a very simple solution to Marriott’s problem.
Very simply, whatever status you have in Marriott Bonvoy today, you will have next year.
Of course, there is a problem ….
For a lot of people, including myself, the status they have in Marriott Bonvoy today is not the status they were expecting to have.
As we covered recently, Marriott Bonvoy has not implemented a soft landing on existing members. Members who did not requalify and thought that they would only drop one level in 2020 have been dropped multiple levels.
This is despite the fact that the Marriott website implied, for three months, that they would not drop at all. Drops were then done three weeks later than expected, leading to further confusion.
Some questions remain unanswered
We don’t yet know what will happen to people who do not currently have Marriott Bonvoy elite status or want to improve it. Will they be offered a reduced target in 2020 to reflect months of no travel? We don’t know. I’m sure it will come clear in time.
This is a good move though
I don’t want to be too critical. This is a good move by Marriott Bonvoy and almost as good as the coronavirus status extension Hilton Honors announced the other day.
IHG Rewards Club now remains the weak link, offering nothing more than a small reduction in the status points needed to requalify for next year. It is going to have a pretty small elite tier in 2021 if it doesn’t move soon.
If you want information on the Marriott coronavirus cancellation policies, they are in our coronavirus cancellation and refund master thread here, covering BA, Virgin Atlantic, easyJet, IHG, Hilton and Marriott.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (January 2022)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)