Hilton Honors is traditionally very generous with their elite status and free night awards. It’s easy to get even top-tier status with certain credit cards, and between my wife and I we rack up four free weekend night awards each year that are good at almost any hotel.
With the current uncertainty in the travel industry, it’s good to see that Hilton is taking a similarly generous approach to extending the validity of status, free night awards, and points when their customers aren’t able to travel as much as usual. Hilton contacted me yesterday with more information about these changes.
Elite Status Extension
All members whose 2019 status was scheduled to be downgraded on March 31, 2020 (because that individual failed to reach the requirements) will instead be able to keep their original status. That original status will be extended through March 31, 2021.
If you did renew your status in 2019 for the 2020 program year, that status will be extended through March 31, 2022. You can essentially go all of 2020 without traveling at all and still enjoy your Silver, Gold, or Diamond status next year. Of course, hopefully we get back to normal sooner than that!
It’s usually pretty easy to keep your points from expiring. Any earning or redemption activity (such as with a credit card) will count. But just in case Hilton Honors will be pausing all points expiration until December 31, 2020.
Weekend Night Awards Extension
Various Hilton Honors credit cards issued by American Express earn free weekend night awards, either automatically with the payment of the card’s annual fee or later after reaching a certain spending threshold. Any unredeemed night awards that were still valid as of March 11, 2020, have been extended through August 31, 2021. Any new awards issued will also have their expiration date extended through August 31.
This is great news, and it’s nice to see that Hilton is being so accommodating in helping their best customers get back into the swing of travel without losing any of their perks. Don’t forget you can continue to enjoy flexible change and cancellation policies on new and existing bookings.
Anything already booked with a scheduled arrival on or before June 30, 2020, can be changed or cancelled for no charge even if it’s an “Advanced Purchase” booking. New reservations booked between now and June 30, even for later arrivals, can also be changed or cancelled. Just be sure to contact Hilton no less than 24 hours before your scheduled arrival day. Also check out the Hilton Honors website for more details on these policies.