Marriott Bonvoy has made an announcement that might come as a relief to COVID- impacted members who have been unable or unwilling to travel during the pandemic.
Free Night Awards
If you have any free night awards due to expire in 2021, you have been given until January 3rd, 2022 to redeem them. This includes:
- Travel Package hotel certificates
- Annual Choice benefit (a Category 1-5 hotel)
- Co-branded credit card free night certificates
- Other individual promotions, including the free night for new members
There is one very notable and large exception. Any Free Night Awards that were due to expire in 2019 or earlier, and have already been extended… these will not receive an additional extension.
The expiration of points will be paused until March 31, 2022.
Points usually expire after 24 months of inactivity. So it’s worth making very clear that you don’t have 24 months after March 31, 2022. Instead… your points will still expire on that date if you have not had any account activity since March 31, 2020. (unfortunately that might apply to a large number of members)
Luckily it is easy to remain active, even without a hotel stay planned. You could convert the minimum number of American Express Membership Rewards points. Or you could merely buy 1,000 points during the next discount promotion.
The Bottom Line
It would be unforgivably cruel for a hotel chain to expire your points in the middle of a pandemic. So these changes make total sense. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that Marriott has not been terribly generous. In particular you are still expected to use those free night awards before the end of 2021, even if you have no desire to travel just yet…