Elite status benefits with the new Marriott Rewards program

The updated Marriott Rewards program offers a faster track to status through credit card membership

Marriott elite status benefits

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If you’re considering pledging your loyalty to a hotel program, the newly minted Marriott Rewards 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 Rewards Premier Plus 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.

Here’s an overview of the tiers:

Marriott Rewards elite status tiers

Silver Elite Gold Elite Platinum Elite Platinum Premier Elite Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador

How to qualify

  • 10 nights/year
  • Marriott Rewards Premier Plus or Starwood Preferred Guest personal or business card membership 

How to qualify

  • 25 nights/year
  • Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card membership
  • Starwood Preferred Guest personal or business card membership with $30,000 annual spending
  • Marriott Premier Plus personal or business card membership with $35,000 annual spending

How to qualify

  • 50 nights/year
  • Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card membership with $75,000 annual spending

How to qualify

  • 75  nights/year

 

How to qualify

  • 100K+ nights per year plus $20,000 in annual qualifying spend

 

Base-point rate

11 points/dollar

Base-point rate

12.5 points/dollar

Base-point rate

15 points/dollar

Base-point rate

17.5 points/dollar

Base-point rate

17.5 points/dollar

Benefits

  • Complimentary in-room internet access
  • Member rates
  • Mobile check-in services
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
  • Late checkout
  • Dedicated reservations line

Benefits

Same benefits as Silver status, plus:

  • Welcome gift
  • Complimentary room upgrades

Benefits

Same benefits as Gold status, plus:

  • Select suite upgrades
  • Lounge access
  • Guaranteed room type
  • Annual Choice Benefit
  • 48-hour guarantee

Benefits

Same benefits as Platinum Elite status, plus:

  • Annual Choice Benefit
  • 48-hour guarantee

Benefits

  • Complimentary in-room internet access
  • Member rates
  • Mobile check-in services
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
  • Late Checkout (4pm)
  • Dedicated reservations line
  • Welcome gift
  • Complimentary room upgrade, including select suites
  • Lounge access
  • Guaranteed room type
  • 48-hour guarantee
  • Ambassador service
  • Your24

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 6,700 hotels across 29 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 Rewards 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, Platinum Premier Elite, and Platinum Premier Elite members with Ambassador all receive enhanced room upgrades based on availability, including upgrades to a suite.
  • Welcome gifts – Platinum Elite, Platinum Premier Elite, and Platinum Premier Elite members with Ambassador 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 Platinum Premier 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 Platinum Premier 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. Platinum Premier 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 Platinum Premier 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 Rewards program without having to meet the onerous stay requirements, you can expedite your rise to elite status with a handful of strategies:

Bottom line

The updated Marriott Rewards 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.

A great introduction to Marriott Rewards

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card

Why should you get it?

With 2 free night certificates for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, 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.

More things to know: 

 

  • 2 free night awards if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
  • 6 points per dollar at Marriott hotels
  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases
  • Free award night each year on your account anniversary (worth up to 35,000 points)
  • Automatic Silver Elite status

 

 

See Related: What are Marriott points worth?, Which Marriott credit card is the best for you?, How to earn the most Marriott points, Best ways to redeem Marriott points, Transferring Marriott points


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Updated: 12-18-2018