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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.

World of Hyatt

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.


Hotel offers update – August 2022:

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?

  • Hilton Honors is offering an 80% to 100% bonus when you buy points by 18th September 2022. The annual limit is doubled to 160,000 points plus your bonus. You can buy here.
  • Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 25% bonus when you buy points by 15th September 2022. You can buy here.

Comments (42)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Josh says:

    Are you sure about Hyatt award extensions? My TSUs are still showing 2/21 expiry.

    • Rhys says:

      It’s all there on their advisory page! Check the link if you don’t believe us 🙂

      • Josh says:

        Your article says “Unused awards such as Free Night, Suite Upgrade or Club Lounge Access awards have been extended until the end of 2021.” That’s not what the advisory says: “All unused Free Night, Suite Upgrade or Club Lounge Access awards with expiration dates between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will be extended to December 31, 2021.”

  • Oliver says:

    Any news on whether BA is planning to further extend status and/or reduce Miles needed for status renewal?

    • BJ says:

      Many of us think that BA are going the other way and using the situation to reduce their number of elites.

      • Andrew says:

        The days of chasing tier points are over I think as even those with status are likely to be denied access to lounges due to social distancing with priority given to ticketed passengers in that cabin. I still think it’s odd that BA offered a lower threshold for a quarter of members but not the other three-quarters, when all of us have been equally impacted. Either offer to all or no one.

    • Rob says:

      No news

  • BJ says:

    IHG: Prepaid rates were showing when I searched last night but I didn’t follow any through to see if they were bookable. I had been under the impression that the book now pay later rates were a temporary measure to replace prepaid rates in current situation. These were shown too but but these were much higher than the prepaid rates, at least for the hotels I looked at. In some cases the differences were up to 40% more which is substantially greater than difference I would have expected between prepaid and BFR in normal times.

    Hilto: some surprises for me here too. Advance rates on hotels I am very familiar with pricing for were often 20-40% higher than I would expect to pay. I hope we will see the usual summer sale from Hilton soon and I hope that it will have genuine deals.

    Not sure what is going on in these two cases or if it is typical. I was searching late October so I am not sure if that will be half term in England. Searched London a week or two ago and saw some good, but not amazing, pricing there from both Hilton and IHG. With lots of good deals around in Europe and Asia it is a bit disappointing that we are not seeing more here too. We need more like Park Plaza.

    • Spursdebs says:

      Hilton pricing all over the place, well in the one hotel I’ve been tracking in Ras al Khaimah I booked fully flex rate at AED 14,153
      I’ve seen it go as high AED 25,000 for same week same room. I’m also waiting for a sale. Currently at AED 19,000 approx.

      • BJ says:

        They had some great sales last year which was unusual for Hilton IME. Hopefully they will be back soon, just seems odd to me that they are not aggressively trying to encourage future bookings at this time. Perhaps they are just being sensitive to the situation and waiting until it settles further.

        • Spursdebs says:

          I found my receipt for last year yesterday in the 30% off sale …. I’m crossing fingers for that again!

          • meta says:

            Check Amex Travel FHR rate too. They had some great fully refundable rates for Ras in March.

    • ChrisC says:

      With IHG it depends on the destination and the dates of stay if they are offering prepaid / unrefundable rates or not.

      Toss in some variation between the brands and it’s best to double check what you are booking and not just assume you’ll be covered by any sort of goodwill going forward.

      • Steve says:

        Agree wholeheartedly with ChrisC’s comment. Their main page says they’ve removed all non flexible booking options. Muggins here took them at their word and booked a prepaid rate presuming it’d be cancellable. Turns out hotel (in Florida) are holding me to the non flexible nature. I’m about to escalate the issue to get my refund, or hope ING extend their policy like Hilton have.

  • Vin says:

    Our flights to Japan in the end of June have been cancelled by BA. We had a non-refundable night booked at the Tokyo Mercure Ginza using a combination of points and cash. The Accor website states –
    ‘Guest who planned to stay in one of our hotels prior to and inclusive of June 30th, 2020 may modify their reservation for a later date without any modification fees subject to availability and applicable rates and conditions) or request a credit voucher for the full amount of the booking value for use at a future date at the same hotel.’
    Neither of the 2 options were suitable so I ‘did nothing’. Got an email directly from the hotel stating they had cancelled my booking on account of Covid-19 and they would refund the cash element directly. When I queried ‘what of the points used?’ I received a confirmation back that they would be credited back into my account (still waiting).
    Perhaps individual hotels are responding differently or depends on whether the hotel cancels or the client ?

    • BJ says:

      This is a good result given the official Accor policy. Since you are only asking about the points I assume you already got the cash. I would keep contacting both the hotel and Accor every week until your points come back. Try to get a date off them by which point you can expect them and if they are not there by then start contacting them more frequently. I hope the hotel comes through on this for you as according CS can be soul destroying.

  • Andrew says:

    The IHG Spire Choice Benefit backtracking is a bit irritating – it was over a month ago they announced it, with accounts being extended straight away but as you say, no sign of the choice benefit and IHG staff are denying knowledge of it. Do you have friends at IHG you can ask about it Rob?

    • ChrisC says:

      It took my Spire a good couple of weeks to be extended.

      It didn’t happen overnight – see numerous comments on here asking when it would happen and if other people had been extended.

      Same with Ambassador status.

    • Rob says:

      Not who haven’t been furloughed.

    • Rachel R says:

      I called them and insisted that they award the points. They did it after a bit of arguing.

  • Andrew says:

    Is the rule for Hilton points that they don’t expire if the account stays active? So if I need to cancel an award booking I will get the points back and then they are valid until end of next year?

    • BJ says:

      Honors points expire in 12 months but it is so easy to keep them alive. If you’re really stuck at any time just buy 1000.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, and the act of refunding should count as activity.

  • E says:

    Marriott isn’t quite as straightforward according to reports on Flyertalk (becoming a Marriott speciality not to be straightforward…).

    Their policy includes an asterisk and then the following ‘important information’ which says “Some exclusions may apply. May exclude periods with special event restrictions or peak demand weeks. Please refer to the property’s Rate Details for applicable terms or exceptions, if any, when booking or changing reservations.”

    It’s hard to determine what the ‘peak demand’ weeks might be and reports of difficulties in getting reservations cancelled include hotels in Greece and Berlin.

    I’m sticking with Hilton for now as the Marriott policy is too unclear for me to risk arguing about their policy in place at the time of booking if I have to cancel later on.

    • Rhys says:

      Absolutely, which is why we added the line “Hotels are allowed to refuse to honour this policy if your stay is “with special event restrictions or peak demand weeks”!

      • E says:

        I know, but just think it’s not even that clear which hotels will refuse to honour it due to peak demand when a booking is made. Most of the hotels I’ve looked at don’t say anything different regarding cancellations from their usual policy. So it looks as though ‘peak demand weeks’ could be very arbitrary.

  • Aaron Wells says:

    Trying to keep up with all the loyalty clubs for hotels and airlines is becoming a full-time job! Hopefully, we will begin to see some semblance of normality and with that some decent prices.

    I have a trip to Japan in October booked (Avios) and I don’t want to waste Hilton points if I can get a great deal.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      It is a full time job – it is literally Rob’s (and Rhys’s) full time job!

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