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One of the best benefits of holding a Marriott Bonvoy credit card is now 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 from holding Marriott credit cards!
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:
- You'll receive complimentary Marriott Gold Elite status, plus you receive Marriott Platinum Elite status after spending $75,000 on the card in a calendar year
- A Free Night Award every year after your account anniversary, up to the value of 50,000 Marriott points
- Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
- $300 in statement credits each year for eligible purchases at participating Marriott hotels.
- TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry fee credit
- 6x Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- 3x points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
- 2x points on all other eligible purchases
- Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- 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.
- 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 a participating hotel. 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 purchases
- Limited Time Offer! Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card from CHASE® with no annual fee!
- Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
- 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
- Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
- Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
- 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 if they held more than one Bonvoy credit card—but the new policy is much improved.
Marriott Bonvoy cardholders can now 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:
“A maximum of 15 Elite Night Credits will be provided per Marriott Bonvoy Member Account, unless you have both a small business Marriott Bonvoy Card account and a 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 good, Bonvoy members don't start seeing significant value until they've reached the higher status levels—particularly Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite. With this policy change, if you have both a personal and business Bonvoy credit card, you now only need to stay 20 nights 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 that currently have a personal and business Bonvoy credit card should already see 30 elite nights posted to their account. For example, AwardWallet's JT Genter now finds himself just ten nights from qualifying for Platinum Elite status, thanks to his Marriott Bonvoy Business Card and The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card cards:
Before you go rushing out to apply for Bonvoy cards, there are a couple of things you may want to consider. For one, you can receive complimentary Marriott Gold Status—as well as Hilton Gold Status and a ton of other benefits—merely by being a The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmember.
So, if you can't see yourself staying the additional nights necessary for anything more than Gold Status, then applying for the Amex Platinum would be a simpler means to that end.
The other thing to consider is that Chase is currently offering elevated sign-up bonuses of up to 100,000-points on the consumer Bonvoy cards. Right now, is the ideal time to apply if you want to maximize your earnings.
Travel companies everywhere are doing their best to tighten their finances and retain customer loyalty through this period of uneasiness. With TSA reporting record low numbers of people traveling, we've witnessed several major hotel groups offering temporary measures to counter the loss of business. Recently, we've seen Hilton extending elite status, Choice Hotels suspending point expiration, and Hyatt make several traveler-friendly policy changes as responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While these other companies offer short-term fixes, Marriott has come out with what appears to be a long-term, positive policy change for their credit cardholders. While it may be unexpected, it's certainly welcome.
H/T: Frequent Miler
For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees)
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