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Rewards Canada's COVID-19 Resources Posted on March 16, 2020
Last Updated: March 26, 2020

 

Welcome to Rewards Canada'a COVID-19 Resource Page with tips, news and links to the latest updates from airline, hotels, loyalty programs and mroe.

Tips:

If you have flights or other travel booked that you want to change or cancel we recommend waiting until 72 hours prior to travel to do so as all the providers phone lines are inundated with calls. Also, if you wait it is entirely possible the airline or hotel may cancel your travel at which point you could be entitled to a complete refund of all monies paid however as airlines are bleeding through their cash reserves they will most likely only offer credits. Some airlines like Air Transat have extended that credit period to 24 months. UPDATE: Canadian Transport Agency states airlines can provide vouchers instead of refunds

If you need to book a hotel stay for essential travel, be safe and book a refundable rate with that hotel chain. Typically these are the best flexible rate, best flexible member rate or AAA/CAA rates. These will allow you to cancel anywhere from day of to three days before your stay depending on the hotel chain. Be sure you read the room rate details and policies before you book.

Government of Canada

Rewards Canada articles:


Shifting your loyalty program strategy to help during these trying and tough financial times


In light of what's going on in the world should you shift to a cash back credit card instead of a travel card? Why not a card that has both?

 

Latest info and direct links to airline, hotel and other provider COVID-19 pages

Canadian airlines & loyalty programs

Click in the company name to be taken to that providers website which will have the latest info and more details on how to change your flights

  • Aeroplan
    - No charge to cancel any Aeroplan award flight ticket if you cancel by March 31 - it appears the term 'for travel to April 30' has been removed and you now cancel any Aeroplan award ticket.
    - Pausing expiration of miles due to inactivity until May 14

  • Air Canada
    Majority of International and U.S. flights to be gradually suspended by March 31. Read more here.
    - Flights booked until March 31 can be cancelled with no fee - a travel credit will be issued that needs to be used by March 31, 2021
    - Flights booked until March 31 can be changed once with no fee - travel must be completed by March 31, 2021

  • Air Canada Altitude
    - All Altitude members have been provided with additional eUpgrade Credits, valid until May 31, 2021

  • AIR MILES
    - Flights for travel until April 30 can be changed or cancelled once with no fee
    - All other travel can be changed without fees at this time

  • Air North
    - Flights booked before March 4 for travel until April 15 can be changed or cancelled for a credit once with no fee - credits must be used for travel completed by December 15, 2020
    - Extending the travel period for all unused segments on 2019 Aurora Air Passes in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. This extension gives passengers further flexibility in their travel plans. Extensions have been automatically applied to all remaining travel segments and come at no cost to Air Pass holders. This goodwill policy will replace the original travel period end-date of 30 April 2020, and allow passengers to travel as late as 30 June 2020.

  • Air Transat
    Transat will be gradually suspending all flights and have stopped sales on most travel outside of Canada until April 30
    Click here for a list of cancelled flights and passenger re-routing flights
    - If you were unable to travel due to the cancellation of your flight, you will receive a credit for future travel to be used within 24 months of your original travel dates.
    - Flights booked before March 4 for travel until April 30 can be changed once with no fee - travel must completed by December 31, 2020
    - Flights booked after March 4 until March 31 can be changed once with no fee - travel must be completed within 12 months of your originally scheduled travel

  • Canadian North
    Limited flight schedule being maintained - please see the PDF here
    Canadian North will maintain minimum passenger service levels for every community within their network but shift focus on cargo flights as of March 18.
    - If your travel occurs before April 30th 2020 you may modify or cancel your reservation without a fee, regardless of fare type. For non-refundable fares, the refund will be issued as a travel credit voucher that will be valid for one year from date of issue.

  • Flair Airlines
    - Flights booked before March 1 for travel until April 30 can be changed once with no fee
    - Flights booked between March 1 and 31 can be changed once with no fee - travel must be completed within one year

  • Pacific Coastal Airlines
    Pacific Coastal is suspending all flights between March 25th and May 2nd.
    - Customers traveling between March 14 and March 24, 2020 may rebook their reservation for travel through December 31, 2020 inclusive without penalty (applicable fare difference may apply). For cancellations, flight value will be held as a travel credit that can be applied towards a future flight with Pacific Coastal Airlines (credit is name transferable). Travel credit will be available for travel completed within one year from the date of original purchase.

  • Porter Airlines
    Porter is suspending all flights between March 20th and May 31st.
    - Change and cancellation fees are being waived for all flights
    - Flights booked before or by March 31 can be changed with no fee for travel within the next 12 months

  • RBC Rewards
    - If you booked travel with RBC Rewards and are traveling up until April 30th, 2020, and would like to cancel, please email RBCRush@service.rbcrewards.com
    - If you booked travel with RBC Rewards and are travelling on or after May 1st, 2020, and would like to cancel, please do not call or email at this time. In the coming days, we will provide additional guidance for travel booked after May 1st, 2020. This will allow RBC to focus on immediate travellers that need to return home and cancellation requests for the next 30-45 days.

  • Sunwing
    Sunwing is suspending all southbound flights between March 17th and April 9th.
    - Customers are eligible to receive a full cash refund or a future travel credit. Customers who opt for a travel credit will receive an additional $100 per person to be used towards a future booking
    - Travel April 10th to April 30th: Customers may cancel and receive a future travel credit in the value of the original package price paid. This credit can be redeemed against future travel for departures up to and including March 31st, 2021.

  • Swoop
    ALL INTERNATIONAL AND TRANSBORDER FLIGHTS WILL BE SUSPENDED AS OF MARCH 22, 2020
    - Travellers booked on flights between Canada and the United States, Mexico and Jamaica, scheduled to operate from March 14 - May 31, 2020, have been contacted directly by email with instructions on how to cancel for Swoop Credit. Canadians still in the United States, Mexico and Jamaica after Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. will be contacted regarding repatriation flights
    - If you have an existing reservation with us and you need to make a change due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, you can add ModiFly to your reservation for free (including Swoop Getaways bookings) through Manage my Booking. ModiFly must be added to your booking more than 7 days before departure.

  • WestJet
    Modified domestic schedule for flights until April 20 has been published. Click here to view
    ALL INTERNATIONAL AND TRANSBORDER FLIGHTS WILL BE SUSPENDED AS OF MARCH 22, 2020

    - Flights booked before March 3 for travel until April 30 can be changed or cancelled once with no fee - value of cancelled flights will be returned as a credit to your Travel Bank
    - Flight refunds will be returned as a future travel credit in the form of a Travel Bank, valid for 24 months. Vacation refunds will be returned as WestJet dollars, valid for 24 months. We are not processing refunds to original form of payment at this time.
    - Flights booked between March 3 and 31 can be changed once with no fee

    WestJet Rewards
    - Providing elite status extensions and upgrades for those who were set to lose status in March, April and May
    - Providing extensions on companion vouchers and Milestone awards that were due to expire in March, April or May

U.S. airlines

  • Alaska Airlines
    - Flights booked before February 26 for travel until May 31 can be changed once with no fee - travel must completed by February 28, 2021
    - Flights booked February 27 - April 30 for travel until February 28, 2021 can be changed once with no fee - ttravel must completed by February 28, 2021

  • American Airlines
    - Flights booked before March 1 for travel until April 30 can be changed once with no fee
    - Flights booked between March 1 until March 31 for travel until January 30, 2021 can be changed once with no fee

  • Delta Airlines
    - Flights for travel until April 30 can be changed once with no fee - travel must completed by December 31, 2020
    - Flights booked between in March can be changed with no fee - travel must completed by February 28, 2021

  • United Airlines
    - Flights booked on or before March 2 for travel until April 30 can be changed once with no fee
    - Flights booked between March 3 until March 31 for travel can be changed with no fee for the next 12 months

International airlines

  • Aer Lingus
    Aer Lingus is continuing to operate their Toronto-Dublin flights albeit with a reduced schedule..
    - Flights booked for travel until May 31 can be changed with no fee. Or you can receive a voucher for the full value of your flight (including taxes and charges), plus an extra 10%. The voucher is valid 5 years from date of issue

  • ANA All Nippon Airlines
    ANA will continue flying to Vancouver with 3 flights per week from March 29 to April 24
    - Tickets issued by March 19 for travel until April 30 can be changed or cancelled for a refund with no fee

    ANA Mileage Club
    Extending the expiration date of miles to March 31, 2021 for all mileage that was set to expire between March 31, 2020 and February 28, 2021.

  • Austrian Airlines
    Austrian has cancelled all flights from March 18 to March 28 including their flights to Canada
    - Passengers on flights planned within the next 48 hours and cancelled in response to the current situation will be automatically rebooked
    - Flights booked before March 12 for travel until April 30 can be changed once with no fee - travel must completed by December 31, 2020

  • Avianca
    Avianca has cancelled all international flights until April 30 including their flights to Canada
    - For tickets with a flight date until April 30, 2020, you will have the option to change your itinerary without penalty.
    - For tickets with a flight date after April 30, 2020, you will have the option to change your itinerary without penalty for tickets purchased between March 4 and 31, 2020

  • British Airways
    - Flights already booked before March 3 for travel until May 31 can be changed once with no fee. Must travel within 12 months of original departure date
    - Flights booked between March 3 and May 31 can be changed once with no fee - travel must completed by December 31, 2020

  • Brussels Airlines
    Brussels Airlines has cancelled all flights from March 21 to April 19 including their flights to Montreal that were set to start on March 29
    - Flights booked before March 12 for travel until April 30 can be changed once with no fee - travel must completed by December 31, 2020

  • Cathay Pacific
    Cathay Pacific is still flying to Canada with limited flights out of Vancouver and Toronto
    - Flights booked before March 17 for travel until May 31 can be cancelled or changed with no fee - travel must completed by December 10, 2020

  • Emirates Airlines
    Emirates Airlines will continue flying to Toronto until at least March 31
    - Flights booked before March 31 can be cancelled for a Travel voucher for ticket value with a validity of 12 months from date of issue.
    - Customers with flight bookings for travel on or before 30 June 2020 can rebook their flights to any Emirates destination within the same region without a rebooking fee or paying any fare difference.

    Emirates Skywards
    Skywards Silver, Gold or Platinum member, can retain membership status with just 80% of the travel requirements for that particular tier. Elite members will also enjoy 20% more Tier Miles on trips until 30 June.

  • Japan Airlines
    Japan Airlines has cancelled flights to Canada until March 28, 2020
    - Flights booked before March 6 for travel until April can be cancelled or changed with no fee - travel must completed within 1 year and 30 days

  • KLM
    KLM has released their latest flight schedule and they will continue to operate 3 flights per week to Calgary and Toronto from March 29 to May 3. All other Canadian cities have been suspended.
    - Flights booked for travel until May 31 can be cancelled or changed with no fee. The have options for rebooking or a travel voucher that must be used within 1 year

  • LOT Polish Airlines
    LOT has cancelled all flights until March 28 including their flights to Toronto
    - For travel until March 28 (if booked before March 13) postpone your trips within 3 weeks period after March 29 at no extra cost for new travel dates between March 29 and April 19, 2020. To postpone your trips for later dates than April 19, 2020 you can choose dates from April 20, 2020 to May 31, 2020 or October 17, 2020 to December 13, 2020 or get a refund in form of a voucher or get a full refund for your tickets
    - Individual bookings made before March 31st, with flights scheduled to happen between March 12 and April 24, 2020. You can now change your travel date for free to flights by December 31, 2020

  • Lufthansa
    Lufthansa is continuing flights to Canada with 3x weekly service to Montreal until April 19 (Source Routesonline)
    -For tickets booked by March 31 with travel until May 31. If you hold a ticket for a cancelled or an existing Lufthansa Group flight, you can keep the ticket without having to commit to a new flight date right away. Existing bookings will initially be cancelled, but the ticket and ticket value will remain unchanged and can be extended to a new departure date up to and including 31 December 2020. You can also rebook to another destination. The new flight must be booked until 31 August 2020. In addition we offer you for every rebooked ticket a discount of 50€ on the ticket price. Of course rebooking fees will still not be charged, regardless of which fare was booked. Should the rebooked fare be more expensive due to a change of destination (e.g. rebooking from short-haul to long-haul), change of class of travel or similar, an additional payment may be necessary despite the discount.

  • Qatar Airways
    Qatar Airways is still flying to Canada with limited flights out of Montreal
    - Passengers travelling with Qatar Airways up to 30 June 2020 can change their travel plans free of charge by altering their booking dates or opting to receive a travel voucher up to three days prior to departure

    Qatar Airways Privilege Club
    - Extending or giving back tier status, ending before 31 January 2021

  • Turkish Airlines
    Turkish Airlines will suspend Canadian flights from March 24 to April 17
    - For flights booked up to March 20 for travel until December 31 can be changed at no fee or changed to an open ticket that can be used for future travel

  • Virgin Atlantic
    - Flights booked before March 11 for travel until May 31 can be cancelled or changed with no fee - travel must completed by April 30, 2021
    - Flights booked between March 12 and March 31 for travel until November 30 can be changed with no fee - travel must completed by April 30, 2021

    Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
    - Extending status of all Silver and Gold Flying Club members by 6 months
    - Companion, upgrade or Clubhouse vouchers are being extended by 6 months

Hotels

Click in the company name to be taken to that providers website which will have the latest info and more details on how to change or cancle your stays

  • Accor Hotels
    - Guests who booked a non-flexible rate with Accor prior to today and are scheduled to arrive prior to April 30, 2020, may modify their reservation for future travel through April 30, 2021 without penalty by contacting the hotel directly
    - For hotels in Europe and the United Kingdom: Guests who booked a non-flexible rate with Accor for travel between March 17, 2020 and April 1, 2020, may cancel their reservation and be refunded without penalty.
    - For hotels in Australia, Cambodia, Greater China (including mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan, China), Fiji, French Polynesia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, The Philippines and Vietnam: Guests scheduled to arrive prior to April 30, 2020 may cancel their reservation and be refunded without penalty.
    - For hotel in the Middle East and Africa: Guests scheduled to arrive prior to April 30, 2020 may cancel their reservation and be refunded without penalty.

  • Best Western
    - Best Western does not have a policy in place at this time. Cancellations/waivers are up to each individual hotel (Source: Money.com)

    Best Western Rewards
    - Members globally will maintain their current status through January 31, 2022 without needing to fulfill the necessary qualifications. In addition, BWR® members who suffered a downgrade at the end of 2019, as a result of restricted travel, will be leveled-up to their previous tier and will maintain that status through January 31, 2022 without needing the necessary qualification.

  • Coast Hotels
    - Will accept cancellation of both group and individual bookings, for stays between March 12 – June 30, 2020 that were booked prior to March 12. In cases where a booking has been prepaid, or a deposit has been accepted for a group booking, the deposit will be held as a credit for one calendar year – to be applied to a future booking or function. The calendar year associated with credit will align with the cancellation date.

    Coast Rewards
    - Paused points expiration until June 30, 2020

  • Choice Hotels
    - Existing individual reservations, including reservations with non-cancellable, pre-paid rates made directly with Choice Hotels are allowed changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival as long as the change or cancellation is made by April 30, 2020.
    - New individual reservations directly with Choice Hotels between today and April 30, 2020, we will allow those reservations to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before a guest's scheduled arrival date.

    Choice Privileges
    - Paused points expiration until May 31, 2020

  • Hilton Hotels
    - Existing Reservations. All reservations – even those described as non-cancellable (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are scheduled for arrival before June 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.
    - New Reservations. Any reservation you make – even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are booked between today and June 30, 2020 for any future arrival date, can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.

    Hilton Honors
    - 2019 Status Extension. All members whose 2019 status was scheduled to be downgraded on March 31, 2020—whether it’s Diamond, Gold or Silver—will automatically receive an extension through March 31, 2021.
    - 2020 Status Extension. We are extending your 2020 member status through March 31, 2022. This means you will continue to enjoy all the Diamond, Gold or Silver benefits you have access to today for the next 24 months.
    - Pausing the expiration of all points scheduled to expire between now and Dec 31, 2020

  • Hyatt Hotels
    - All existing reservations made before March 13, 2020 that are for arrivals between March 14 and April 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations.
    - Any reservation you make between March 13, 2020, and April 30, 2020 – for any future arrival date – can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations.
    - All Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations made directly with Hyatt on or before March 8, 2020 for arrivals before June 30, 2020. Guests holding these fully prepaid reservations who have decided not to travel may still opt, at least 24 hours before their stay, to receive 10,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points compensation in lieu of both their stay.

    World of Hyatt
    - Suspending the forfeiture of points through May 31, 2020
    - Postponing the introduction of Off-peak and Peak point redemption (originally planned for March 22, 2020) until 2021
    - Postponing annual hotel award category changes (originally planned for March 22, 2020) until 2021, with the exception of five hotels still shifting award categories on March 22, 2020.

  • Langham Hotels
    - Provide a full refund (and waiving all related fees) on cancellations for direct individual bookings for stays up to and including 30 April, 2020.

  • IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
    - Waiving cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all IHG hotels globally for stays until April 30, 2020

    IHG Rewards Club
    - Reducing the Elite membership criteria required (nights or points) this year by 25% or more

  • Marriott Hotels
    - Existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival, as long as the change or cancellation is made by April 30, 2020.
    - New reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates, between today and April 30, 2020, we will allow the reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date

    Marriott Bonvoy
    - Suspending points expiry until August 31, 2020
    - Suite Night Awards expiring December 31, 2020 will not expire until December 31, 2021
    - Free Night Awards with expiration from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 will be extended to January 31, 2021. These are the ones from credit cards, annual benefits, travel packages, etc.

  • Preferred Hotel Group
    - No published Coronavirus policy

    Preferred Hotel Group iPrefer
    - All I Prefer Elite Members globally will maintain their status through June 30, 2021, regardless of their travel activity this year
    - Preferred Hotels & Resorts is extending the points expiration date for all I Prefer Members globally through the end of August 2020. Therefore, any points you have in your account that were set to expire in the coming months will be available to redeem towards an I Prefer Rewards Certificate until August 31

  • Radisson Hotels
    - Free modifications or free cancellations for all existing and new reservations (in all countries and all RHG hotels worldwide) for stays until April 30, 2020 - - For reservations with stays after April 30, 2020, normal cancellation policy applies

    Radisson Rewards
    - Extending point expiration policy by 6 months, effective March 1, 2020
    - Extendin elite status of members through February 2022, for those that would have expired February 2021

  • Sandman Hotels
    - Pre-paid, non-refundable reservations up until May 31, 2020 will have the cancellation policy waived and full refunds provided.
    - Pre-paid, non-refundable reservations beyond June 1, 2020 that are cancelled will have a full credit for a future booking until December 31, 2021.



Other important links

Lounges

  • Air Canada Lounges
    - The following facilities are temporarily closed:
    All Maple Leaf Lounges at Toronto-Pearson (YYZ) Maple Leaf Lounges at Ottawa (YOW), St-John’s (YYT), Regina (YQR) and Saskatoon (YXE)
    Air Canada Café at Toronto-Pearson (YYZ)
    Air Canada Signature Suite at Toronto-Pearson (YYZ)
    London-Heathrow Arrivals Lounge (LHR)
    Lounges that remain open are offering an adjusted menu with prepackaged snacks, and staff assisted service for all beverages.

  • American Express Centurion Lounges
    - All lounges will be closing temporarily as of Saturday March 21, 2020 (Source One Mile at a Time)

  • Escape Lounges
    - Click the link above to see which lounges globally are closed or have adjusted operating hours

  • Plaza Premium Lounges
    - Click the link above to see which lounges globally are closed or have adjusted operating hours. The following lounges in Canada are closed:
    Edmonton: US Transborder Departures, near Gate 88
    Toronto: International Departures, Terminal 3, AT Level, via Gate C32
    Toronto: WellBeing, US Transborder, Terminal 3 (near Gate A10)
    Vancouver: Level 3, Domestic Departures, Pier C, near Gate C29

Retail Loyalty Programs

  • Starbucks Rewards
    They will delay the expiration of all Stars scheduled to expire between now and June 1, 2020

Car Rentals

  • Avis
    - If you need to change a reservation, you can do so without incurring any change fees.
    - To travel with complete flexibility, choose “Pay Later” when making a reservation on Avis.com, and you may cancel or modify your reservation any time with no additional fees incurred.

  • Budget
    - If you need to change a reservation, you can do so without incurring any change fees.
    - To travel with complete flexibility, choose “Pay Later” when making a reservation on Avis.com, and you may cancel or modify your reservation any time with no additional fees incurred.
  • Hertz
    Waiving the Young Renter fee for all renters ages 18-24

  • Thrifty
    Customers with pre-paid rentals booked directly with Thrifty prior to March 13th can cancel their reservation for no fee and transfer their balance for use toward a future booking to be used within 24 months

 

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