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Across the hotel universe we’re seeing a slow roll out of more favorable cancellation policies and elite status extension/re-qualification due to Covid-19. I would say Hyatt has done best by customers, then Hilton, and both Marriott and IHG had been lagging. IHG sent out emails with a link to their updated cancellation and elite terms and conditions. On the positive…if you have an IHG award night expiring this year, it’ll be extended until 12/31/2020. Let’s take a look at what IHG is doing in response to Covid-19
If you’re like me and your IHG Credit Card anniversary night is expiring soon. You’ve got more time.
Anniversary night certificates earned through IHG Rewards Club credit cards (USA & UK):
- We are extending the expiration date of anniversary certificates that are set to expire in 2020. Certificates expiring from March 1, 2020 can now be used through December 31, 2020.
- Certificates issued in 2020 will have an 18-month redemption time period.
- We will be reaching out to cardmembers directly with more information.
Here is a look at my my anniversary night which is expected to expire in June. It’ll now be good until the end of the year. Hyatt extended their award nights into 2022 so it’s nice to have a few more months, but they haven’t been as generous. I’ll also receive another one that will be good for 18 months which is great. I’ll more than likely look to double these up and combine it with a free weekend night certificate from IHG Ambassador. 4 nights for the price of one.
No word on elite status extension. However…points and nights needed to qualify have dropped by roughly 25%
Hilton and Hyatt both extended the status you have entering this year through 2022. Mega. Marriott hasn’t said what they’re going to do, and oddly enough, IHG lowered their qualifications by roughly 25%, but didn’t extend. That’s a head scratcher, really. This seems like a good opportunity to extend status, lower requirements, and even introduce new benefits that would match top tier and mid tier status in other brands…nope, didn’t happen.
Cancellations become more favorable, but miss the bar set by Hyatt
Hyatt basically said that any reservation new or existing, booked via their website or app, up June 30th, even made into the future could be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to check-in. That’s how it’s done folks. IHG…as seen below is saying if you have an existing reservation, up to June 30th, can pretty much be cancelled and they will do their best to refund. If you want to book a new reservation for the rest of the year, and you book that reservation by September 30th,
For Existing Bookings:
- Existing bookings (bookings made through April 6, 2020) at all IHG hotels* can be changed or cancelled for stays up to June 30, 2020, noting that:
- Hotels are subject to local law in the market in which they operate. Therefore, government legislation and regulations may supersede this policy in specific circumstances. (including the type and timing of the refund).
- If you cancel a rate which required a deposit or payment in advance, we will do everything we can to process your refund as quickly as possible. Refunds (which may be vouchers where required by local law) may take up to 90 days for hotels to process from the date of cancellation. Reservations may be changed without a fee but may result in different pricing.
- Exclusions may apply for time periods with special event restrictions or peak demand weeks.
- Bookings via a third-party: For bookings made through an online booking platform (e.g. Booking.com, Expedia) or third-party travel professionals, please contact them directly – we have advised these companies of our cancellation policy and you should refer to their terms and conditions.
- Groups & Meetings Bookings: We will work with customers to manage any changes needed to Group & Meeting bookings on a case by case basis. Our hotels are actively supporting groups and meetings organizers to address the needs of each group, including moving event dates to another time, in line with terms and conditions of that booking. Please contact the hotel the booking was made with to discuss further.
*Cancellation fees for existing and new domestic bookings at all IHG hotels in Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and the Taiwan region will be waived for stays up to April 30, 2020
For New Bookings:
We want to help you plan and book any future travel with confidence. So, we have several ways to support guests to amend travel plans as necessary:
- Book Now, Pay Later: This new rate offers flexibility and savings. With no deposit required and cancellations possible up to 24 hours before your stay for direct bookings, travel planning is commitment free. Guests benefit from 5% or more off our Best Flexible Rate for bookings made up to September 3, 2020 for stays until December 30, 2020 (excluding Greater China).
- Best Flexible Rate: This rate offers maximum flexibility to change or cancel your reservation. For direct bookings this rate can be fully changeable or refundable up to 6pm (local hotel time) on the day of arrival (dependent on the hotels’ individual house policy).
- IHG Rewards Club Members Rates: Additional savings are available for IHG Rewards Club members on these Book Now, Pay Later and Best Flexible rates.
- IHG Rewards Club nights: You can change or cancel these bookings with no penalty prior to the time period set by the hotel.
- We have removed our more restrictive (pre-paid/non-refundable) Advance Purchase rate from sale until later in the year (excluding Greater China)
- These rates, and others, have their own terms and conditions. Please refer to specific rate information when booking for further details – including cancellation terms. Changing the date on any reservations may result in different pricing.
It’s great to have some extra time to use credit card anniversary night certificates, but when compared to both Hyatt and Hilton I’d say they missed the bar. Regarding new reservations…you’ll be protected until the end of the year, but the biggest disappointment was elite status. I think IHG offers some of the worst status benefits and this could have been a great opportunity to not only extend status through 2021, but aso roll out some added benefits.
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