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Marriott Bonvoy acted relatively quickly when, as far back as 13 March, it announced that it would be extending the expiration date of suite night awards and the free night awards that come with various Marriott co-branded credit cards, but it wasn’t until 8 April that Bonvoy joined the party and followed Hilton, Hyatt, and Radisson in extending all elite statuses into 2022.
Now some of these changes are appearing in Bonvoy member accounts.
My status extension is pretty meaningless as I’m fortunate enough to have Lifetime Status with Marriott Bonvoy…but I’m sure there will be quite a few people pleased to see the expiration year next to their elite status read 2022 instead of 2021.
The extensions to the expiration dates on Marriott’s Suite Night awards are probably the biggest bonus Marriott has thrown my way this year as I don’t really have much need of them in 2020 but I almost certainly will in 2021 (assuming the world hasn’t ended by then!).
The way things are going, I’ll still probably manage to hit 50 elite nights with Marriott this year which will earn me 5 suite night awards but, with little chance of me going much further, those were set to be the only upgrades I have for 2021. That would have left me short of upgrades for a 10-night trip I’m planning to take with Joanna in 2021.
Luckily, the extension to the suite night award expiration dates solved that issue for me quite nicely 🙂
As things stand I don’t have any unused free night certificates from either of my Bonvoy co-branded credit cards so I can’t confirm if these are showing up in member accounts with an expiration date extended to 31 January 2021…but I’m assuming that is the case (if someone could let me know in the comments that would be very helpful – thanks).
The one small fly in the Bonvoy ointment is that Marriott has only confirmed that it is extending the expiration dates for free night certificates (or any other certificates) with a 2020 expiration date so, depending on when travel becomes possible again, I may only be left with a relatively small window of opportunity to use my Ritz-Carlton Club Level Upgrade certificates that expire in March 2021.
To be clear: At this point in time I have no issue with Marriott not extending the validity of these certificates as we’re months away from their validity being an issue – I just hope that as we lose more months of prospective travel in 2020 the hotelier decides to consider adding a few months to these certificate expirations too.
While it’s always good to hear loyalty programs announcing good news it’s always even better to see that good news materialize so I’m pleased to see these updates in my Bonvoy account.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see if Marriott comes up with any innovative promotions to encourage guests to stay at its properties once we’re allowed to travel again (perhaps bonus elite nights on stays in 2020 or reduced elite thresholds for 2020?) or to encourage guests to put more spending on their Marriott co-branded credit cards (as Hyatt has just done).
Bonvoy isn’t exactly known for positive innovations so I’m keeping my expectations low but it’s fun to speculate nonetheless.