Marriott Bonvoy Extends Expiration Policies, Increases Flexibility Again, and More
Several revised adjustments to policies of the Marriott Bonvoy frequent guest loyalty program were released earlier this week to provide maximum flexibility and value to members due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — including the extension of the expiration date of points and the reduction of the qualification requirements for earning elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Extends Expiration Policies, Increases Flexibility Again, and More
Before the details of the new program adjustment policies for 2020 and 2021 are outlined, know that you can donate your Marriott Bonvoy points to relief organizations that are active in responses to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic around the world — including the American Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross, and Red Crescent Societies; World Central Kitchen; and the World Health Organizations COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund — through the Giving Platform of Marriott Bonvoy.
Extension of Elite Level Status
All members whose elite status was scheduled to be downgraded in 2020 and 2021 will automatically be extended through Tuesday, February 1, 2022 — which means that you will continue to enjoy all the Ambassador, Titanium, Platinum, Gold or Silver elite status level benefits to which you have access today for the next 15 months.
Extension of Expiration of Points
All Marriott Bonvoy points will be paused until Sunday, August 1, 2021 — and no points will expire until at least then, no matter when they were earned. At that time, your points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months.
Extension of Free Night Awards
Effective as of Friday, December 11, 2020, Marriott Bonvoy members who currently have a Free Night Award that had — or has — either an original expiration date in 2020 or which will expire prior to Saturday, July 31, 2021 as part of their co-brand credit card benefit, annual choice benefit, promotions, or travel package will be able to redeem it through Sunday, August 1, 2021.
Free Night Awards with an original expiration date prior to 2020 will not be eligible for the additional extension. You do not need to take any action, as the system will automatically update your membership account with these extensions on Friday, December 11, 2020.
Extension of Suite Night Awards
Members who have earned elite level status and have Suite Night Awards — which were earned in 2019 as part of the 50-Night Annual Choice Benefit and 75-Night Annual Choice Benefit — with an expiration date of Thursday, December 31, 2020 will be extended to Friday, December 31, 2021.
50 Percent Elite Night Credits Benefit Being Offered This Year
In July 2020 — as a member of the Marriott Bonvoy frequent guest loyalty program — you were given a head start toward earning elite level status this year by depositing 50 percent of the Elite Night Credits into your membership account based on the elite status tier you earned for 2019.
Marriott Bonvoy members who earned elite status in 2019 will receive a one-time deposit of 50 percent of the annual Elite Night Credit requirement of their elite status tiers — for example, members who achieved Platinum Elite level status in 2019 would receive 25 Elite Night Credits in their membership accounts by the end of July. Since members already received an extension of their earned elite level status through February of 2022, the Elite Night Credit deposit helps members get to the next elite tier faster. In addition, these Elite Night Credits will count towards achieving the 2020 Annual Choice Benefit — as well as achieving Lifetime Elite Status.
Marriott Bonvoy members who did not earn elite level status in 2019 will not receive a one-time deposit of 50 percent of the annual Elite Night Credit requirement of their elite status tiers.
The 50 percent Elite Night Credits is based on the elite status tier which you earned in 2019. It is not based on the elite status tier which you achieved in 2020.
Both the deposit of 50 percent Elite Night Credits and remaining requirements needed to achieve the next elite tier status in 2020 are based on the 2019 earned elite status tier as follows:
|Elite Level Status
||Elite Night Credits
||Requirements in 2020 For Next Elite Status Tier
||38||62 Elite Credit Nights and $20,000.00 in Qualifying Stay Spend in 2020 to achieve Ambassador Elite Level Status|
||25||50 Elite Credit Nights to achieve Titanium Elite Level Status|
||13||37 Elite Credit Nights to achieve Platinum Elite Level Status|
||5||20 Elite Credit Nights to achieve Gold Elite Level Status|
||Not Applicable||10 Elite Credit Nights to achieve Silver Elite Level Status|
For example, if you earned Gold elite level status in 2019 and already received an extension of the Gold elite level status to February of 2022, you will need 50 Elite Night Credits by Thursday, December 31, 2020 in order to achieve the next tier up of Platinum Elite in 2020 to enjoy through February of 2022. You will receive 13 Elite Night Credits — that is, 50 percent of the 25 Elite Night Credits normally needed to requalify for Gold elite level status — which means that you will only need 37 Elite Night Credits to achieve Platinum Elite level status this year.
Recognizing the challenges to travel this year due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, the 50 percent Elite Night Credits helps you achieve the next elite status tier faster. The deposit of the 50 percent Elite Nights Credits is in addition to any Elite Night Credit you may have already earned this year. Overall, the extra Elite Night Credits gives you more opportunity to achieve the next elite status tier before the end of the year, which can then be enjoyed through February of 2022. Click here to learn more about the benefits at each elite status tier.
The system has automatically deposited the 50 percent Elite Night Credits into your membership account based on your earned elite status level in 2019. You will see them listed as Promotional Nights.
Gifting Platinum Elite Level Status by Members Who Earned Ambassador Elite Level Status
Members who earned Ambassador elite level status in 2019 and achieves 100 Elite Night Credits in 2020 are eligible to gift Platinum elite level status to one individual — for example, a friend or family member. This Platinum elite level status will continue through February of 2022. Current members who earned Ambassador elite level status will not be required to achieve the $20,000.00 qualifying stay spend to be eligible — just the 100 Elite Night Credits, which includes the one-time deposit of 50 percent of the annual Elite Night Credit requirement or 50 Elite Night Credits of the elite level tier which they earned, which means current Ambassador Elite Members only need 50 more Elite Night Credits this year to receive this benefit.
If you earned Ambassador elite level status in 2020, you are not eligible for this benefit.
This is an exclusive opportunity offered for this year only to members who earned Ambassador elite level status in 2019. E-mail invitations began to be sent towards the end of July of 2020 to those who are eligible and will continue through Thursday, December 31, 2020 as current members who earned Ambassador elite level status become eligible for this benefit.
If you are not already a member of the Marriott Bonvoy frequent guest loyalty program, you can join as a member now at no charge.
As an incentive for members to return to staying at its portfolio of 30 brands of greater than 7,000 hotel and resort properties worldwide after having travel halted due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, updates had already implemented to the Marriott Bonvoy frequent guest loyalty program back in June of 2020 — including lowering the rate of redeeming points at many hotel and resort properties; and extra credits are being given towards qualification for elite level status.
While most of the revised adjustments to policies of the Marriott Bonvoy frequent guest loyalty program is good news, two items stand out to me that I believe should have been revised as well — but perhaps I am asking for too much:
- The expiration date of all Free Night Awards — regardless of when they were issued — should have been extended to Sunday, August 1, 2021 or later, and not just those which will be issued in 2021.
- The flexible change policy and cancellation policy should have been extended as well, as only individual reservations which were booked prior to Thursday, December 31, 2020 are eligible for free changes or cancellation up to 24 hours before the day of arrival.
All photographs ©2015, ©2016, and ©2017 by Brian Cohen.