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 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 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, 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 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 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.
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 Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.
Want to buy hotel points? There are currently special offers running with Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 5th March), Radisson Rewards (50% bonus to 31st January) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 23rd February)