Marriott Extends Free Night Awards Another 6 Months, Extends Points Expiration Pause

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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 extends free night awards and points expiration pause

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

Final Thoughts

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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Comments

  • Avatar

    I’ve always found Marriott to have the best hotel award program and have been a member for ~20 years. I especially appreciate their wide range of properties, from clean and safe “economy” sites (which are what I favor), to the high-end sites. Although I would love for all hotel and airline programs to eliminate expiration dates, this extension from Marriott is very welcome and appreciated. Thanks, from a loyal customer.

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    Pleased with the (expected) extension but not quite long enough imo. Friends have reported back saying that Marriott hotels are very clean and they felt safe during their stays though.

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    Let’s see what happen to travel packages I requested on 2018 with expiration 2019 and then converted to a new travel package with expiration 2020.
    This travel package is now expiring on January 2021.
    The rules are not 100% clear.
    The new travel package had an expiration date of 2020. The will took into account this one or the expiration date of the old certificate?

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    There is a typo on the first paragraph, it should be 2021 and not 2020.

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    I really think Marriott should do away with the point expiration policy once and for all. It is totally impractical; the pandemic has made it abundantly clear.

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    The news is both welcoming and worrisome. I feel conflicted.

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    But I just wonder when will that new expiration show up in our account?

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    CHARLES S COLEMAN says:

    I just checked the free night awards I have and those my wife has (we both have Marriott Bonvoy Boundless VISA cards and the expiration dates of our free nights have not changed. I have three award nights that expire 3.8 months, 3.1 months and 9.2 months and my wife two that expire in 3.1 and 5.4 months. I just updated my accounts tonight and do not see that they have been extended through August 1 2021.
    Is MArriott updating these automatically or does one have to call and ask about them?

    • Avatar

      The change isn’t effective until December 11, so you won’t see changes to your certificate expiration dates until then.

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    Andy Jeffery says:

    As a Marriott/SPG loyalist, I applaud them. They will continue to get my business