Hilton has come out with new accommodations for prepaid reservations, points expiration, free weekend night certificates and elite status. With customers largely not staying at hotels, Hilton is going to hang onto elites, extending everyone’s status. They’re extending the validity of everyone’s points and any credit card free weekend night certificates. And they’re extending flexible cancellation of prepaid hotel bookings by two months through the end of June.
Hilton Is Extending Status Now
Loyalty programs have been pausing on the question about what to do with elite status, knowing that something has to be done. In an ideal world they’d love to use status to encourage stays later in the year, and granting status extensions may make it easier to switch to another chain when customers are traveling again.
At the same time no one wants to chase away their best customers. Hilton, whose status has largely been the easiest to obtain out of large chains (and whose status is a bit less valuable than Hyatt’s and Marriott’s in my long-held view). So it’s not really surprising to see Hilton move first.
- No status downgrades. People with 2019 status keep their status for 2020. (“All members whose 2019 status was scheduled to be downgraded on March 31, 2020—whether it’s Diamond, Gold or Silver—will automatically receive an extension through March 31, 2021”)
- Status extended for 2021. Members with 2020 status will keep their status for 2021, with that status expiring March 31, 2022.
Reservation Flexibility Extended Out To June 30
All Hilton non-refundable bookings had been made flexible through April 30. That has now been extended for arrivals through June 30, 2020, allowing changes or cancellation at no charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival. (Standard 72 hour cancellation rules are waived as well.)
My guess is that bookings over the summer will become an issue too but it’s good to see HIlton extending flexibility out an additional couple of months at this time, and honoring refunds even as hotels are struggling. Several airlines could take a lesson.
No Points Expiration This Year
Hilton will not expire points in 2020. Normally Hilton points expire without activity in an account every 12 months. You’ll have until the end of the year to generate points activity to avoid losing any points in your account.