An overview of what’s changed with Marriott elite status benefits and how to earn valuable hotel perks with Marriott faster.
If you’re considering pledging your loyalty to a hotel program, the newly minted Marriott Bonvoy program should be at the top of your list. The combined program offers valuable hotel perks anyone could benefit from. Thanks to new credit card options, it’s also easier than ever to earn elite status.
Just picking up the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card will grant you Silver elite status and benefits, which include priority late checkout, a dedicated reservation line, free internet access, exclusive member rates and more. You’ll also get 10 percent bonus points on paid stays, which can help you climb the elite status tiers even faster.
There are several ways to gain elite status with Marriott Rewards – including some that don’t require paid stays, and your status is good through the end of the calendar year beyond the year you earned it. You can even earn lifetime status with enough paid stays.
A great introduction to Marriott Rewards
Why should you get it?
With 6 points per dollar on Marriott hotel purchases, 2 points per dollar on other purchases and a free night certificate on your card anniversary, you can easily score a few free hotel nights with the card in the first year.
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Here’s an overview of the tiers:
Marriott Rewards elite status tiers
|Silver Elite||Gold Elite||Platinum Elite||Titanium Elite||Ambassador Elite|
|How to qualify||How to qualify||How to qualify||How to qualify|
|How to qualify|
Same benefits as Silver status, plus:
Same benefits as Gold status, plus:
Same benefits as Platinum Elite status, plus:
You can also earn elite status for life with the new program. Lifetime elite status tiers are as follows:
|Lifetime Silver Elite||250 lifetime nights + 5 years of elite status|
|Lifetime Gold Elite||400 lifetime nights + 7 years Gold elite status or higher|
|Lifetime Platinum Elite||600 lifetime nights + 10 years Platinum elite status or higher|
What’s new with Marriott elite benefits?While the Marriott Rewards program remains lucrative, the merger of the Marriott, Ritz Carlton and Starwood Preferred Guest programs brought plenty of changes. Some notable changes and upgrades to be aware of include:
- Unified benefits – Marriott, Ritz-Carton and SPG members are now classified under the same status tiers with the same list of benefits.
- Merged accounts – You can merge your Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and SPG accounts to create a single login. If you have paid stays in more than one program, you may also be able to reach a higher level of elite status in the newly combined program.
- Previous Marriott Gold members earn more perks – Marriott Gold members in the old program now have Platinum Elite status. This means having access to a higher bonus earning rate (50 percent) as well as other perks, such as suite night awards.
- Use your benefits at more hotels than ever – The merger of the three programs means you can enjoy elite status benefits with more than 7,000 hotels across 30 different hotel brands.
- Automatic Gold status through credit cards – Marriott now allows you to qualify for automatic Gold status through membership with the Ritz Carlton Rewards card and the new Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury card. You can also qualify for Gold status by meeting a $30,000 spend threshold on the Starwood Preferred Guest personal and business cards, or a $35,000 spend threshold on the Marriott Premier Plus personal and business cards.
Is earning status with the new Marriott Rewards program worth it?
If you plan to spend a lot of time in hotels this year and want to build loyalty, then, yes, pursuing elite status with the new Marriott Bonvoy program is likely worth it. This is especially true given the upgraded co-branded credit cards available that can help you earn status quickly. Here’s a summary of some of the most valuable perks you can look forward to:
- Suite upgrades – Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite all receive enhanced room upgrades based on availability, including upgrades to a suite.
- Welcome gifts – Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite all receive a welcome gift in the form of points, a breakfast offering or an amenity. These benefits can vary by hotel.
- Ultimate Reservations Guarantee – Marriott guarantees all its elite members’ reservations. Guests may also be compensated in cash or points if their reservation cannot be honored.
- Guaranteed room type – Marriott guarantees Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members their preferred room type and may offer compensation if they cannot honor some room requests based on availability.
- Guaranteed lounge access – Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members are guaranteed lounge access at participating Marriott properties.
- Choice Benefits – Platinum Elite members receive a Choice Benefit of either five Suite Night Awards or a gift after 50 qualifying nights. Titanium Elites receive an additional Choice Benefit after 75 qualifying nights.
- Members-only rates and free internet – Elite members qualify for members-only rates and complimentary enhanced internet access.
- Points bonus – Elite members earn more points for paid hotel stays: 10 percent for Silver Elite, 25 percent for Gold Elite, 50 percent for Platinum Elite and 75 percent for Titanium Elite members.
- Late checkout – Elite members can receive a late checkout time based on availability.
Shortcuts to elite status
If you want to score elite status with the new Marriott Bonvoy program without having to meet the onerous stay requirements, you can expedite your rise to elite status with a handful of strategies:
- Sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card to earn Silver Elite status. You can also earn Gold Elite status with these cards after spending $35,000 or more in eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year.
- Pick up the new Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. In doing so, you’ll receive complimentary Gold Elite Status with the ability to earn Platinum Elite Status after spending $75,000 on the card in a calendar year.
- Get the The Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. Both cards give you instant Gold status in the new Marriott Rewards program.
- If you are a Gold member or higher in the United MileagePlus program, you can get automatic Gold status in the Marriott program by linking your Marriott account to your MileagePlus account.
- Look for status match programs. Both Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest offered status match with other loyalty programs in the past, but it’s yet to be seen if the new program will. Look for opportunities after the new program has had time to set up completely in 2019.
The Marriott Bonvoy program has maintained many of the benefits of the previous program and has done a better turn by offering new avenues for its members to earn Gold status and higher. This is good news because, while Silver status with Marriott has historically been (and continues to be) a little light on perks, the higher levels of Marriott status offer truly valuable benefits, including free room upgrades. Thanks to the updated Marriott and Starwood credit cards, you can get access to higher-level Marriott perks without having to spend a couple months in a hotel.