Marriott adjusts cancellation policy, pauses Bonvoy point expiration over coronavirus outbreak

Mar 13, 2020

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that cancellations must be made at least 24 hours prior to arrival to qualify for a refund.

Marriott Bonvoy has joined Hilton and other hotel companies in offering increased flexibility to those considering canceling travel plans due to the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International, sent an email to all Marriott Bonvoy members on March 13 that details the changes to the company’s cancellation policies and the Marriott Bonvoy program.

Marriott will now allow all existing prepaid reservations to be canceled without penalty through April 30, 2020. Changes must be made at least 24 hours prior to the guest’s scheduled arrival, but all existing reservations — regardless of the date — can be canceled for free through the end of next month.

Additionally, all new reservations made between March 13 and April 30, 2020, can be changed or canceled for free at least 24 hours prior to the guest’s scheduled arrival date. According to the email, this applies to all Marriott stays regardless of location.

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Marriott pauses points expiration and extends validity of certificates

Further, the email also notes that Marriott has paused Marriott Bonvoy point expiration until August 31, 2020 for all members. So if you have points that are set to expire between now and the end of August, you can rest assured that they will be valid until at least the end of August.

Marriott Bonvoy members with Suite Night Awards (SNAs) expiring on Dec. 31, 2020 will have their certificates extended until Dec. 31, 2021. These certificates are earned when a member reaches Marrriott Bonvoy Platinum elite status, with more certificates being awarded upon hitting other stay milestones.

Related: What is Marriott elite status worth?

Finally, members with Free Night Award certificates earned through Marriott credit cards, as an annual Choice Benefit, or through another promotion will be able to redeem certificates through Jan. 31, 2021 if the certificate is set to expire in 2020.

Marriott Bonvoy elite status expiration will not be extended at this time, but the company will continue to assess this as the coronavirus outbreak evolves.

Bottom line

All in all, this is great news from Marriott Bonvoy. With all the uncertainty related to the coronavirus and its continuing spread, it’s nice to see hotel companies and airlines offer increased flexibility for guests.

Featured photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

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