Choice Hotels Suspends Points Expiration, Provides Flexible Cancellation Policies

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Update: Choice has extended the dates for booking with waived cancellation fees. This post has been updated to reflect the changes through May 21, 2020.

While COVID-19 continues to create chaos in the travel world, Choice Hotels has announced policy changes to help out travelers. The new policy changes focus on helping customers adjust their travel plans and pause worries about points expiration. However, there haven't been any adjustments yet to earning or maintaining elite status.

Waiving Cancellation Fees

If you have an existing individual reservation made directly with Choice Hotels at one of their properties, you can change or cancel with no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. You can cancel or make changes on the Choice Hotels website before June 30, 2020.

Unfortunately, reservations made through an online travel agent or other third parties aren't eligible for refunds or changes directly with Choice Hotels. Travelers will need to contact the booking agent that they used to get information on their specific reservation.

Flexibility For New Reservations

Planning a future trip? Choice Hotels is offering flexibility on new individual reservations made directly with Choice Hotels “for a limited time.” If you need to, you'll be able to make changes or cancel those new reservations anytime up to 24 hours prior to your arrival.

Pause on Points Expiration

If you are a Choice Privilege member with points due to expire soon, you can breathe easy until at least December 31, 2020. While not as long of an extension as other hotel brands are giving, it's still a nice cushion of up to two months.

If you need account activity to prevent your points from expiring, you might consider generating some account activity with the no-annual-fee Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card. By making a purchase on this card, you'll generate “qualifying activity”. With qualifying activity at least every 18 months, your Choice Privilege points won't expire.

Elite Status

Choice Hotels has not yet announced flexibility for those hoping to earn or maintain elite status. The company has said this is something they are looking at so we will keep an eye on future announcements. Now that Hilton Hotels announced that it will be providing status extensions, we hope that Choice Hotels (and others) will follow.

Our Take

These Choice Hotels policy changes help provide travelers with flexibility and some peace of mind during these challenging times. It's nice to see them putting the customer first when it comes to reservations and points. We also like the forward-looking policies that allow travelers to keep thinking about future plans without worrying. Hopefully, we can all start traveling again soon!

For information on how other hotel chains are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, check out:

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Comments

  • Every brand should be doing this. The most disappointing so far, to me, is IHG and their poor response to this epidemic.

  • ron_vaughn@hotmail.com says:

    That noise you here? Dominos falling. This will be the new norm until the end of the year as everyone adjusts. The world is in flux, and the travel industry is at the apex of the change, both victim and enabler of the pandemic. I’m not casting stones, just saying what’s real.

    • If we’re going to highlight the travel industry as an enabler of the pandemic – and that certainly is the reality – we also have to include ourselves, the travelers. They’re only the supply. We’re the demand. The airlines are the metal. We’re the host.

  • So glad to see them taking these steps to waive cancellation fees and extend points expirations!

  • I think MORE flexible arrangements will come soon.

  • Wow this is quite nice for me, as I have a non-refundable reservation I made some time ago and can’t stay there due to the current situation.

  • The expiration date should be pushed back by 12 months simply.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    It’s nice to see a company put customers first. Ive seen a few other examples of this… Hopefully it will catch on with other corporations and companies.

  • After this is all over, I hope you do a summary showing which companies did the right thing and which ones didn’t. That way we know where to spend our money when we have a choice. Thanks!

  • Kudos to Choice for this friendly and forward thinking policy. I would definitely want to have these provisions in place if I were in a position to make future hotel bookings right now. Any chain that doesn’t match this flexibility is going to lose business in the future.

  • This is great to know! I haven’t gotten an email yet from Choice nor gone to their website yet. I do wonder what they will do about elite status. Not all are going the same route. I like that hotels are giving flexible choices on new reservations made in a certain time. These are mostly for biz travelers, I think. I know that even though I want to go somewhere this summer, I’m not making any reservations yet. I wonder what other travelers are doing.

  • Their policy it seems similar to the policy of Marriott.

  • Good that the point rules change! My brother already expire them in May and this is good to maintain customer loyalty. Now to hope that they have a good sales promotion for points to buy !! To wait! Now take care of yourself and stay home!

  • The truth is that the flexibility they do is fine but it seems very early to me. It should be until June 30 minimum since it is not known when this pandemic will end.

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