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In the end, Marriott had no choice. Hilton jumped first, then Radisson and Hyatt did the same. With most of their major competitors extending elite status by a year, Marriott Bonvoy finally did the same. This means that all Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium members will have their existing level of elite status extended throughout 2021 until February 2022.
If you are an infrequent guest with Marriott, you might be more concerned about the expiry of your points. This will be paused until February 2021 and your points would expire if you haven’t been active in the prior 24 months. (i.e. since February 2019)
What About my Annual Gift Choice Benefits?
When members reach 50 nights in a calendar year, they are entitled to choose between:
- five Suite Night Awards
- a $100 gift to charity
- gifting Silver status to a friend
- five elite night credits (only valid during that same calendar year – i.e. to get to Titanium)
At 75 nights, Titanium members are entitled to choose between:
- five more Suite Night Awards
- A free night at any Category 1-5 hotel
- a $100 gift to charity
- gifting Gold status to a friend
- five elite night credits (only valid during that same calendar year – i.e. to get to Ambassador)
If you have any EXISTING Suite Night Awards or Free Night Certificates – due to expire on 31 December, 2020 – those should be extended until 31 December, 2021.
However, you will not receive any additional gifts unless you manage to stay 50 or 75 nights during 2020.
Will This Added Year of Status Count for Lifetime Status Purposes?
Why not? 😀 😉
I don’t think anybody knows or Marriott has thought that far ahead, but historically completing a Platinum fast track has added to your year count, as has a year where you simply received Gold/Platinum status as a result of a soft landing. So we might get lucky and receive an additional Platinum year, essentially for free. 🙂
The Bottom Line
IHG’s response now looks embarrassingly weak – I would expect IHG Rewards Club to come around to extending status by a year as well. But judging by social media, Hilton are taking the kudos for being generous, whilst Marriott are still receiving flak for begrudgingly extending status.
Will this matter in a year’s time? For many of us, I’m sure we don’t care whether we stay at a specific hotel chain, as long as we can get back to travelling!