Start the Year With 30 Marriott Elite Night Credits

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One of the best benefits of holding a Marriott Bonvoy credit card recently got even better. In April 2020, Marriott updated the terms and conditions for its co-branded credit cards. Now, cardholders can receive up to 30 Marriott elite night credits per year just for holding Marriott credit cards!

Photo of The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort courtesy of the hotel

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

Over the years, Marriott has offered a dizzying array of co-branded cards. And its current portfolio can be a little tricky to figure out. Currently, there are four Bonvoy credit cards available to new applicants:

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms Apply)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Annual Fee$450
Welcome Offer Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 6X points on purchases at Marriott Properties
  • 3X points at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X points on all other eligible purchases

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
AmexBonvoyBiz
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Annual Fee$125
Welcome Offer Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Terms apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Pay no annual fee with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase®!
  • Earn up to 14X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Card.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite Status. Restrictions apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
  • 3X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains)
  • 1X point on all other purchases

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 3 Free Nights after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening + 10X total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores within 6 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!
  • Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
  • 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

One of the main benefits of each of these cards is that—as the primary cardholder—you'll receive 15 elite night credits annually towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status. This is enough to earn Silver Elite status and leave you just 10 elite nights from Gold Elite status.

Historically, cardholders have been limited to 15 nights a year—regardless of how many Bonvoy credit cards they held. But now, the policy is much better.

New Policy

Starting March 31, 2020, Marriott Bonvoy cardholders can receive up to 30 Elite Nights per year: 15 nights for having a consumer card and 15 nights for having a business card. This distinction is important to note. You won't earn the additional 15 nights if you have two personal cards or two business cards.

Both Chase and Amex have updated their terms to reflect the new policy. You can see the updated policy appear under the terms and conditions on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card or Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card cards:

“To be eligible to receive the 15 Elite Night Credits with this Card, you must be the Basic Card Member, and you must have an active Marriott Bonvoy Member Account linked to your Card Account. A maximum of 15 Elite Night Credits will be provided per Marriott Bonvoy Member Account, unless you have both an open small business Marriott Bonvoy Card account and an open consumer Marriott Bonvoy Card account; then, you may receive a combined maximum of 30 Elite Night Credits (15 per Card account). This benefit is not exclusive to Credit Cards offered by American Express.”

And also the Bonvoy cards issued by Chase:

“A maximum of 15 Elite Night Credits will be awarded through this benefit per Marriott Bonvoy Member Account even if the Member has more than one credit card linked to their Marriott Bonvoy Member Account, unless you have both a small business Marriott Bonvoy credit card account and a consumer Marriott Bonvoy credit card account; then you may receive a combined maximum of 30 Elite Night Credits (15 per credit card account).” 

Easier Elite Status

While complimentary Silver Elite status is…well…better than nothing, Bonvoy members don't really see significant value until they've reached the higher status levels—particularly Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite. With this updated policy, if you have both a personal and business Bonvoy credit card, you'll start the year with 30 Elite Night credits on your account. That's automatic Gold Elite status. You'll only need to stay 20 nights in a year to reach Platinum Elite! That's not much of a challenge and worth it to gain benefits like suite upgrades, guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout, and lounge access.

Cardholders who currently have a personal and business Bonvoy credit card should see 30 elite nights post to their account early in the year. Since the Bonvoy status year typically runs through the end of February, you should see the changes around March 1 of each year. For example, AwardWallet's JT Genter starts each year just 20 nights shy of qualifying for Platinum Elite status. That's thanks to his Marriott Bonvoy Business Card and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card cards:

Other Considerations

Before you go rushing out to apply for Bonvoy cards, there are a couple of things you may want to consider.

First, you can receive complimentary Marriott Gold Status (as well as Hilton Gold Status and a ton of other benefits) simply by holding The Platinum Card® from American Express. So, if you can't see yourself staying the additional nights necessary for anything more than Gold Status, applying for the Amex Platinum could be a simpler means to that end.

Second, Chase and Amex have A LOT of restrictions on Marriott credit card welcome offers. The restrictions are so complex that we've published a dedicated post to help folks decipher them. Needless to say, before applying for a new Marriott credit card, be sure to confirm that you're eligible for the welcome offers.

Final Thoughts

Marriott has increased from 15 to 30 the maximum number of elite night credits members can receive from holding Bonvoy credit cards. This moves the annual starting point for Bonvoy members with one consumer card and one business card to 30 elite nights—only 20 nights short of Platinum Elite status.

Before this change, we relied on the other benefits and welcome offers to justify having more than one Bonvoy card. Now, for some people, the compounding benefit of elite nights could be reason enough alone. Assuming you travel often enough to benefit from Bonvoy elite status, starting only 20 nights shy of Platinum Elite makes it much easier to elevate your experience. Plus, you'll have 2 free night certificates from your credit cards, so at least 2 of those 20 nights you need will be free.

Do you think it's worth holding multiple Bonvoy credit cards for Marriott elite status?

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees)

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Comments

  • Happy New Year – I hold both the Bonvoy Brilliant card and the Bonvoy Premier Plus Business and find that I only have 15 nights and not 30.
    So, this policy might have ended.

    • The T&C still reflect that you can get 30 Elite Night Credits by holding both a personal and business card. And, 30 ENC have already posted to my account. That said, it usually takes a few days for them to post. So, I’d recommend reaching out to Marriott in a few days if they don’t show up.

  • So if I get Amex Platinum (= Bonvoy gold) + Bonvoy personal card (15 nights) + Bonvoy biz card (15 nights), would I then get 55 nights and Bonvoy Platinum status!?

    Or Amex Platinum only gives Gold status but not the elite qualifying 25 nights?

  • BigFlyer413 says:

    I currently hold a Amex Marriott Bonvoy card (the former SPG card), which comes with 15 elite night credits posted on my card anniversary (every April). Amex sent me an offer to upgrade to the Bonvoy Brilliant card mentioning 15 elite night credits as part of the various offerings that come with the card.

    Since this is another consumer card and I have received 15 nights this year, I assume I would not receive another 15 elite night credits by upgrading? Would I get them on the card anniversary – which would be April 2022 (and thus not qualify for this year)? Or could I actually get them this year?

    • I’m pretty confident that you’d only get 15 elite nights (per year) for having a personal card. I’m guessing that it’s coded on Marriott’s side that if you have a personal card +15 on the elite nights – with no way to double up.