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Covid-19: Airlines and hotels extend elite status for select members

Several airlines frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programmes have announced membership extensions for affected members. Here are the details.

LAST UPDATED: 29 April 2020

With Covid-19 entering now heading into its fifth month soon and seeing no signs of easing, global travel has taken a severe beating. Airlines have made drastic cuts to their capacity, while hotels are reporting all-time low occupancy rates.

Moreover, China now makes up one of the most significant group of members that any airline or hotel will want, so I will imagine any loyalty programme manager will want to ensure that this group returns to the fold once the crisis is over.

Several programmes have announced expiry extensions for their elite members, almost most of them are targeted at members in Greater China. See below for details.

Frequent flyer programmes:
Singapore Airlines
Cathay Pacific
Qantas Frequent Flyer

Hotel loyalty programmes:
Marriott Bonvoy (Updated)
Hilton Honors
World of Hyatt
IHG Rewards Club
Accor Live Limitless
Global Hotel Alliance DISCOVERY (New)

Singapore Airlines

[Updated] Singapore Airlines have announced a one-year extension for all KrisFlyer Elite Silver, Elite Gold, PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club membership which are expiring anytime this year till Feb 2021.

If you have already earned enough elite miles to renew your membership, note that you won’t get another free year (e.g. if your membership was going to expire in May 2020, and you have earned the pre-requisite 50,000 miles for Elite Gold for your next membership year of Jun 2020 to May 2021, you won’t get another free year till 2022).

Note that despite the one-year extension, your accrued elite miles and PPS value will still reset on your anniversary month, so you will have to earn them again in the new year.

All rewards (Elite Gold, PPS Rewards) that are expiring between July and Dec 2020 will also be extended until 31 Mar 2021.

Cathay Pacific

In an email sent to all members, Cathay Pacific informed Marco Polo Club members (separate from Asia Miles) of an extra Club Points credit given to every member, regardless of residency. It’s interesting that Cathay Pacific is not giving an automatic status extension, but instead be given three allotments of Club Points instead for the months of Feb, Mar and Apr 2020.

The number of club points given to each member for month differs by status, as follow:

  • Green: 10 club points
  • Silver: 30 club points
  • Gold: 65 club points
  • Diamond: 140 club points

All points will be credited by the end of each month. For those whose status expires in Feb, the points will be credited by end of Fen and the remaining points will be credited by the end of the subsequent months, depending on the new status qualified for.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

As Qantas grounds 90% of its international flights over the next two months, frequent flyers will be relieved to hear that Qantas will be extending all current elite members’ status for another year.

Qantas will provide a 12-month extension on your current membership tier for all current Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members, starting with members whose membership year ends in March. Those with statuses expiring in March 2020 would have them extended till March 2021, with the last batch of members whose statuses originally expiring in Feb 2021 now extended till Feb 2022.

Email confirming extension of QFF status

Marriott Bonvoy

Updated 29 Apr: Marriott Bonvoy announced on 8 Apr that it will (finally) be extending status earned in 2019 by 12 months.

The status will normally expire in Feb 2021, but it will now expire in Feb 2022 instead, giving you an extra year. This will apply at all elite levels (i.e. Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium, Ambassador). The extended year of status will count towards lifetime status in the Bonvoy program.

All points will not expire before Feb 2021, after which if it will only expire if there was no activity in the past 24 months (i.e. since 1 Mar 2019).

Suite Night Awards will be have their validity extended until end 2021, while any free night awards expiring in 2020 will be extended until Jan 2021.

Early in January, Marriott Bonvoy announced its extension policies on their Chinese social media platform WeChat on 22 Feb 2020. Members residing in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as of 1 Feb 2020 will be given the following extensions:

  • Members who qualified for elite status in 2019 will have their status expire by 28 Feb 2022 instead of 28 Feb 2021.
  • Any associated rewards or privileges with status will also be extended to expire 31 Dec 2021, instead of 31 Dec 2020.
  • All points will not expire before 28 Feb 2021. From 28 Feb 2021, normal expiry rules will apply.

Read the Chinese article here. For an English translation, refer to Loyalty Lobby’s article here.

Hilton Honors

Hilton Honors announced their provisions through their Chinese social media platform WeChat on 19 Feb 2020.

Members whose residential address is listed in Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong or Taiwan as of 19 Feb 2020 will be given effectively a year’s extension on their status.

For those whose status was going to be downgraded on 31 Mar 2020 will have it extended through Mar 2021. Those that qualified in 2019 will have it until Mar 2022.

World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt will extend the status of all members in Asia Pacific for a year.

Qualifying World of Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist members with status expiring on 28 Feb 2020 will now be extended all the way to 28 Feb 2022, rather than a previously announced 28 Feb 2021.

All Suite Upgrade Awards, Club Access Awards and Free Night Awards that are expiring in 2020 for qualifying members will also be extended through 31 Dec 2021.

What is even better is that World of Hyatt is also working to evaluate tier and benefit extensions for members outside of Asia Pacific, but travels frequently to the Asia Pacific region. More information will be shared with qualifying members as it becomes available.

More details here.

IHG Rewards Club

IHG Rewards Club has announced an extension for its elite members. Members with status, and who are residing in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan as of 17 Feb 2020 will be extended by a year. Points expiry will also be extended by at least a year.

For those who have purchased the InterContinental Ambassador membership between 1 Jan and 30 Jun 2019, the membership validity and free weekend night voucher expiry has been pushed back by six months.

Accor Live Limitless

Accor announced 27 Feb 2020 status extensions for all members residing in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

All members with status expiring Dec 2020 will be extended through Dec 2021, while points expiring between 1 Feb 2020 and 31 Jan 2021 will be ‘halted’.

Platinum and Diamond members with suite upgrade vouchers will have their validity extended until Dec 2021.

GHA DISCOVERY

In an email sent by Pan Pacific Hotel Group last week, the hotel will be extending the status of all Platinum and Black members until 31 December 2021.

This appears to apply to all DISCOVERY members, regardless of which hotel chain they signed up with.

Specifically for Pan Pacific members, members will be able to enjoy savings of up to 25% across all participating restaurants and bars at properties under the Pan Pacific Hotels Group from 1 Jun 2020.

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