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Update: Great news! Marriott further extended Free Night Award validity through January 3, 2022. This post is being retained as is for reference.
It's official. Marriott just announced that it's extending Free Night Awards by another six months. Now, members with Free Night Awards expiring anytime during 2020 or before July 31, 2021 can use them anytime through August 1, 2021. Even better, Marriott is delaying all point expirations until August 1, 2021.
Marriott Free Night Award Extension
- In April 2020, Marriott extended the expiration date for all Free Night Awards expiring in 2020 to January 31, 2021.
- Now, all awards set to expire in 2020 or before July 31, 2021 will now expire on August 1, 2021.
- This extension applies to awards earned via co-branded credit cards, annual choice benefits, promotions, and travel packages.
- Free Night Awards with an original expiration date prior to 2020 are not eligible for this extension.
- Marriott will implement the extension automatically on December 11, 2020.
Bonvoy Points Expiration Extension
- Marriott Bonvoy points typically expire after 24 months without qualifying account activity.
- In early April, Marriott paused point expirations through August 2020.
- Later that same month, Marriott further paused points expirations through February 2021.
- Now, Marriott has yet again extended the pause through August 1, 2021.
- At this point, you'll need to have qualifying activity in your Bonvoy account within 24 months to keep your points.
This is great news for Marriott loyalists. Now, members who have Free Night Awards collecting dust in their account can let out a sigh of relief knowing that they still have time to use them. I think this extension was totally necessary given the slower-than-expected return to travel we've experienced since the original announcement in April. (Is it just me, or does April seem like years ago?)
Equally comforting is the extended pause on points expiration. If you ask me, I think point expiration policies are antiquated, designed solely to wipe outstanding liabilities off the books. That said, at least Marriott's second extension gives loyalty members another few months to generate activity.
If the deadline rolls around and you still don't have any qualifying activity, consider donating a few points to a charity. That allows you to extend the validity of your points while also aiding a worthy cause. Conversely, you could consider applying for a Marriott Bonvoy credit card, which will generate qualifying activity every time you make a purchase.
If you need ideas for great places to use your Marriott free night awards, check out our post devoted to using them.
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