Hilton just became the first major chain to extend elite status and points expiration
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We are living in unprecedented times and, as a result, loyalty programs are allowing unprecedented flexibility.
In response to COVID-19, Hilton Honors on Wednesday, March 25, became the first of the major hotel loyalty programs to announce generous extensions and policies for travelers around the world.
Extending elite status
First, Hilton announced that people who had earned Hilton Honors elite status in 2019 that was scheduled to be downgraded on March 31, 2020, will automatically receive an extension of that elite status through March 31, 2021. This is valid at all status levels.
Additionally, the elite status a Hilton Honors member earned for 2020 will now be extended until March 31, 2022. Yes, you read that correctly: Your 2020 elite benefits will be valid for 24 months, until 2022.
Points and Weekend Night Reward extensions
Normally, Hilton Honors points expire after 12 months with no activity. Hilton had already paused point expirations through May 31, 2020, but that date has now been pushed back to the end of the year on Dec. 31, 2020.
Those valuable Hilton weekend award night certificates you can get with various Hilton cobranded credit cards, such as the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, have also been given extended expiration dates. Any unexpired Hilton Weekend Night Rewards available for use as of March 11, 2020, and all new ones issued through Aug. 30, 2020, will be valid until Aug. 31, 2021.
Flexible cancellation and rebooking policies
If you have an existing Hilton reservation (regardless of when you booked) that was made on a “noncancelable” or “advance purchase” rate for arrival on or before June 30, 2020, those reservations can now be changed or canceled at no charge until 24 hours before your scheduled arrival day.
Any new Hilton reservations that you book from now until June 30, 2020, for any future arrival date (including nonrefundable rates), can be changed or canceled until 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date.
If you made your hotel booking directly with Hilton (either on its website, app or call center) you should be able to make changes through the help center, or contact Hilton for assistance. If you booked through a third-party site, such as Expedia or Hotels.com, you’ll need to go through that site for assistance.
In addition to offering generous elite status, points and reward night extensions, Hilton also announced the brand would provide housing for first responders and health care workers. Plus, Hilton Honors members can donate points to support select organizations, and Hilton is pledging financial assistance to help those affected by the novel coronavirus.
At TPG, we appreciate Hilton Honors taking the lead and making this time easier on travelers in terms of refunds, changes, and points and status extensions.
Featured image courtesy of Dorde/Getty Images
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