Following similar announcements made by Hilton, Hyatt, and other major hoteliers, Marriott shared news today that it is extending all members’ existing elite status for another year. Whatever status you earned through activity in 2019 will now expire in February 2022 instead of the usual expiration date of February 2021. (Check out our guide to the Marriott Bonvoy program.)
Any Suite Night Awards (SNAs) already issued will have their expiration date extended one year from December 31, 2020, to December 31, 2021. In addition, anyone who has a Free Night Award (FNA) issued as part of a promotion or through a credit card benefit will see that extended. FNAs that would otherwise expire in 2020 will now be extended to January 31, 2021.
Marriott will also be suspending the expiration of any points you may have earned. Normally points expire after 24 months without account activity, meaning earning or redeeming at least one point. All expiration has been paused until February 2021, but you could still see your points expire after that if you don’t use this grace period to resume activity.
This is great news for someone like me who wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep earning with Marriott. Although I did get Platinum status for this year, I have missed my Hyatt Globalist status and was making a move back to that program. At least this way I’ll get another year to compare them and make up my mind.
In addition, Marriott has already made a small but unannounced tweak to their policy on earning credit toward status with their credit cards. Several of their co-branded credit cards with Chase and American Express earn credit toward elite status. For example, both the personal Amex Bonvoy Brilliant and the Amex Bonvoy Business cards earn 15 nights elite credit. Last year you could only get 15 nights total — tough luck if you had both cards. But now you can get a total of 30 nights if you have both a personal and a business card (not if you have two personal cards or two business cards).
I cancelled my Amex Bonvoy Business card because there didn’t seem to be much value in holding onto it. Now I might go back and apply again even without a sign-up bonus. At least I don’t have to make that decision until next year.
Personally, I’m still waiting to see some news on what Marriott will do to encourage guests to travel again, and how any stays this year will count toward earning status at an accelerated rate, or perhaps be rolled over to the next program year.