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Hilton, Marriott, Accor and Hyatt change their coronavirus hotel refund and rebooking policies

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The key hotel chains are extending their coronavirus flexible booking policies.

These policies were first introduced a few months ago with many due to expire at the end of June. We are now seeing a lot of these being extended to include the Summer as travel remains subdued.

Here are the latest changes:

Hilton coronavirus rebooking policy

Hilton coronavirus refund, change and status policies

Hilton has extended its flexible booking policy by two months, from 30th June to 31st August.

Read the Hilton COVID-19 travel advisory here. Here is a summary of the updated position:

All existing bookings are fully refundable, for cash, on stays until 31st August, irrespective of the original room rules.

New bookings made until 31st August will be fully refundable irrespective of how far in the future your stay occurs.

Hilton Honors status:  Hilton is automatically extending member status for an additional year, to 31st March 2022.  In addition, any member who was due to lose status on 1st April has had it extended to 31st March 2021.

Points expiry has been put on pause until 31st December 2020.

Marriott coronavirus rebooking and refund policy

Marriott coronavirus refund, change and status policies

Marriott has been a little less generous and has only updated its policy until 5th July 2020, which covers just five additional days.  The only logical reason to do so is to extend cover over the 4th July holiday weekend in the US.  It is clearly a lot less useful for everyone else!

Read the Marriott COVID-19 travel advisory here.

All existing bookings are changeable or cancellable for no charge up to 24 hours before arrival until 5th July 2020.  For clarity, this includes bookings for stays AFTER 5th July but the cancellation or change must be made before 5th July.

Hotels are allowed to refuse to honour this policy if your stay is “with special event restrictions or peak demand weeks”

New bookings made before 5th July, for stays at any point in the future, will be changeable (any rate difference is payable) or cancellable free of charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival.

Design Hotels and Homes & Villas by Marriott are excluded from these policies.

Marriott Bonvoy status:  Status earned in 2019 will be extended until February 2022.  It has paused points expiration until February 2021 and extended the expiration of suite night awards by one year to December 2021.

Free night awards from credit cards, annual choice benefit, promotions or travel packages due to expire in 2020 have been extended until 31st January 2021.

Hyatt coronavirus refund and rebooking policy

Hyatt coronavirus refund, change and status policies

Hyatt has extended its flexible booking policy to 31st July 2020.

Read the Hyatt COVID-19 travel advisory here.

All new and existing bookings made by 1st July 2020 are fully refundable until 31st July 2021, irrespective of the original room rules.  The only exception are bookings after 1st April at Destination Residences or Special Event Rates, which are subject to rules disclosed at time of booking.

Hotels are allowed to refuse to honour this policy if your stay is during “some high-demand periods (e.g., holidays or special events).”

World of Hyatt status: points expiry has been paused until 31st December 2020 whilst status has been extended by two years from 31st March 2020 until 28th February 2022. Unused awards such as Free Night, Suite Upgrade or Club Lounge Access awards have been extended until the end of 2021.

Accor coronavirus rebooking and refund policy

Accor coronavirus refund, change and status policies

Accor is slightly more complicated and has introduced different policies for different countries. Currently, its travel advisory applies to stays on or before 30th June 2020.

Read the Accor COVID-19 travel advisory here.

All non-refundable bookings for stays by 30th June can be moved to a later date or swapped for a credit voucher for use at the same hotel, the validity of which depends on the country. Most vouchers appear to have 18 months validity.

Accor ALL status: points expiry has been paused until 15th December 2020 whilst status has been extended for two years, from the end of 2019 until 31st December 2021. All Suite Night Upgrades and similar awards have been extended by 12 months.

IHG coronavirus policy

IHG coronavirus refund, change and status policies

IHG has yet to update its travel advisory. Here is the existing guidance for reference.

Read the IHG COVID-19 travel advisory here.

All existing bookings made by 6th April for stays until 30th June 2020 have had their cancellation fees waived.  There is NO cancellation or change policy for bookings beyond 30th June 2020.

However a new discounted ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ rate has been introduced that allows free cancellation up to 24 hours before arrival.  You can no longer book prepaid rooms.

‘Best Flexible Rates’ now have free cancellation until 6pm on the day of arrival.

IHG Rewards Club status: IHG Rewards Club status has automatically been extended by 12 months, carrying over until early 2022.

IHG Rewards Club elite status points requirements for 2021 have been reduced by 25% for all members.

Spire Elite members will receive an additional ‘choice benefit’ of 25,000 points or Platinum Elite status for a friend although this has not appeared yet and the call centre is denying that it will happen despite the website stating the opposite.

Credit card free night vouchers expiring after 1st March 2020 have been extended until 31st December.  All certificates earned in 2020 will be valid for 18 months.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (42)

  • Nick M says:

    I have a couple of points bookings in July (Staybridge Suites for an event which has been cancelled and a speculative Langley booking before they changed the number of points needed)…

    It is highly unlikely that I’ll actually make either stay… is there any benefit to waiting until nearer the time to cancel? Are IHG/Marriott doing anything other than just refunding the points?

    For the Langley, I don’t think I’ve paid as yet – is there likely to be any luck changing the date and keeping the number of points required?

    • Rhys says:

      I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that Anna was in the same boat as you regarding a Langley booking, and the hotel got in touch and offered to move the booking to another date and retain the same points required

      • Rob says:

        The Langley would NOT allow me to move a booking without paying additional points. Ended up cancelling because there was no point retaining it at the higher rate for a random future date.

    • Anna says:

      Nick – I had a 2 night stay at the Langley booked for last month at the old points rate. I asked to move it to August and they did it with no questions. They were really great about it, didn’t even mention the number of points.

      • Nick M says:

        Thank you all… will have a think about some potential alternatives and try giving them a call.

        Anna – had you already paid for the stay?

        • Anna says:

          The points had been taken from my account, yes. They pro-actively emailed me asking if I wanted to change the date, it was a reservations supervisor called Manuel. I may have just got lucky, but I did have a restaurant booking for my original stay and had told them it was my birthday so I planned to book spa treatments, don’t know if that had anything to do with it!

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      If you haven’t paid then since the points advance changes aren’t you on the hook for the new total anyway?

  • J says:

    The Hilton form seems to be offering a refund or free night certificate – I had thought these were just for the US?

    • Rob says:

      I thought it was just for US hotels …?

      • Bob says:

        I had an advance booking for a Garden Inn in Brussels in April. Have applied for a free night certificate which is being processed. First agent I spoke to said not eligible but another put the request through. Waiting for it to be put in the account, valid for all brands as well!

        • J says:

          Interesting. I have a €150 a night booking – probably worth taking a free night certificate if I can get it!

  • 1nfrequent says:

    I cancelled the Crowne Plaza JFK back in April but still haven’t had the refund. Chased the hotel and got an email confirming the stay was cancelled but they went silent when I asked about the refund. I know IHG say to allow 90 days for refunds to be processed but it’s very frustrating. Every other hotel I booked had the refunds issued and processed within 30 days. Even BA and AA had the flights refunded within 21 days.

    1F

  • Roy says:

    I never understood why all these things were due to expire in the summer.

    Did the executives in these companies really think there was a cat-in-hell’s chance that COVID-19 would be over by now? Are these CxO-class people with telephone-number salaries really that dumb? Actually, I expect many of them are….

  • signol says:

    Rather annoyingly I’ve got an exEU from Dublin in July, which I’ll cancel (avios booking) but I’ve got a €300+ Crowne Plaza booking as well – which per the current policy is “use or lose”. As BA have already cancelled the LHR-DUB leg, I’m wondering when I’ll know if I can refund this – even a voucher would be acceptable now!