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 Bonus Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels. 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

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
AmexBonvoyBiz
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Annual Fee$125
Welcome Bonus Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 of 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 of 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 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

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your 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.
  • 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

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card!
  • Earn 75,000 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 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:

“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…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 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 starting to post to their account. For example, AwardWallet's JT Genter now finds himself just 20 nights from qualifying for Platinum Elite status in 2021—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 bonus.

Final Thoughts

Marriott has increased the maximum number of elite night credits members can receive from holding Bonvoy credit cards from 15 to 30. 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 bonuses 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.

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

  • Avatar

    Per the fine print:
    “The 15 Elite Night Credits will be credited to your Marriott Bonvoy™ Member Account within 60 days upon opening your Card Account. On or before March 1 of each subsequent calendar year, the 15 Elite Night Credits will be credited to your Marriott Bonvoy Member Account operated by Marriott International, Inc., in accordance with Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions, as long as your Card Account is open as of December 31 of the prior calendar year.”

    Does that mean it’s too late to get the 15 elite night credit for 2021? If I got the card in 2021, would I only get the elite night credit in 2022?

    • Avatar

      It’s not too late! Multiple readers were successfully able to open Marriott credit card accounts in late 2020 to get the credit for 2020 (and 2021 and going forward).

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    Hoping to get my hands on the business card in the near future. Not sure if they would accept a sole proprietorship though.

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    They’re also giving half of last year’s status nights too – so I will instantly have Platinum again! Yay!

  • Avatar

    Maybe its me but it looks like all the hotels are trying to get people to use creditcard get miles/points and when next year travel starts to grow again and everybody is traveling again they will devalue those miles/points you saved.

  • Avatar

    I’ve got 15 nights credits from my Amex card but I suspect they won’t be helpful for my 2021 status as I don’t have any plan to travel again soon.

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    Great idea to hold both cards and get the 30 nights if you’re going for that platinum elite status- makes more sense in non pandemic times.

  • Avatar

    I wonder with Marriott it would be more useful to have credit cards to give status than earning it through nights. I think I would try to get Hyatt status more, especially since they are getting more hotels. Marriott would be tied with Hilton for second. I’d really have to look at both and see how elites are treated and how often they are able to use their benefits.

  • Avatar

    While it is a good thing making it easier to qualify for elite status, getting gold status on Bonvoy is not worth anything. So you still have to stay 20 nights in order to get an elite status that matters. If you are planning on that, then I say go for it.

  • Avatar

    This is welcome news. I have a personal card (legacy) as well as business (recent ~ 2018) and I opened a new account for it. I’ve been on the fence about merging the accounts. I believe the time to do that is now.

  • Avatar

    It is interesting that AMEX offers BOTH Marriott and Hilton reward cards.

  • Avatar

    I will soon have Hyatt Globalist status and I plan to continue with Hyatt to reach 60 nights and the accompanying Milestone Benefits. I’m not sure the opportunity cost of also trying for then holding Platinum status is worthwhile. It certainly wouldn’t hurt when there’s no Hyatt or an inferior property, but Gold should be suitable. Convince me I’m wrong 🙂

  • Avatar

    Great incentive alongside the head start from Marriott this year

  • Avatar

    In response to J. Genter’s comment regarding the 15 night elite nights given to amex canada marriott bonvoy cardholders, irrespective of holding both business and personal cards;

    What would the rationale be behind this discriminatory business practice. Sign up bonuses and promos may differ between the U.S.A. and Canada, but this issue is different.

    Amex clearly changed the rules in the U.S., but chose otherwise in Canada. The answer they gave me was essentially no answer at all, reminiscent of ” it is what it is “.

    This arbitrary, callous and indifferent attitude taken by amex Canada, is incomprehensible.

    Can someone in the audience explain this issue with more insight , please.

    with many thanks !

  • Avatar

    I reside in Canada, holding both Amex Canada business and personal Bonvoy Marriott cards. I was under the impression that I would get 30 elite nights, but I was informed by the Amex customer service rep, that I would only receive 15 nights! He read the fineprint confirming his assertion. I am skeptical. Are the rules different in Canada. Can Amex discriminate between cardholders residing in Canada vs the USA? Thanks for you help.

    • Avatar

      Unfortunately, it seems that the agent is right. The terms on the Canadian version of Marriott BonvoyTM American Express® Card state:
      “You will receive a maximum of 15 Elite Night Credits per calendar year even if you have more than one Marriott Bonvoy Consumer or Small Business credit card account or have more than one Marriott Bonvoy program account.”
      https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/en/marriott-credit-card/

  • Avatar

    I currently have the amex bonvoy brilliant for some time now, and got my 15 elite nights for this year. Question is if I sign up for the amex bonvoy business card before year end, do I get the 15 nights from that card this year or next year, or both? If I recall correctly, when I signed up for my bonvoy brilliant card, I got the 15 nights in the same year that I signed up for the card, which surprised me. I believe they are credited within 60 days, but there are not 60 days left this year, so if I get the card now, will it be a waste in the sense that I wont get those additional 15 nights this year? When I had other chase Marriott cards, it was always on the anniversary date the following year.

    • Avatar

      My wife signed up for the Amex Bonvoy Business card this summer and her 15 elite nights posted within days of new card approval. So, you can count on the 15 Elite Nights posting to your account by the end of the year if you apply now.
      Also, note that the Amex Bonvoy Business card is currently offering complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year (February 1, 2021-January 31, 2022) as part of the welcome bonus: https://awardwallet.com/blog/increased-marriott-card-offers/

      • Avatar

        @JT, thanks for the update on that, I guess I am going to apply todayl. I am going to be exactly 10 nights short this year for titanium, so this will cover me and get me to 80 nights. Hopefully the nights come through quickly like your experience because amex chat said 60 days, but Ill take your word over there’s. I will follow up with my results, thanks again!

        • Avatar

          Great way to push you up to Titanium! Please do let me know how quickly the nights post.

          • Avatar

            @JT, well, looks like you were right, the 15 nights for the bonvoy business card posted in 3 days after approval for me, have 80 nights clocked in for this year, looks like another year of titanium. Appreciate the help bud!

          • Avatar

            Awesome! Thanks for letting me know that it’s still working! And congrats 🙂

  • Avatar

    Sorry—rookie question, but is status expirable on a calendar basis (ie 12/31) or is it annual from when it was earned (or some combination, like airlines)? In other words, are these types of promotions better taken advantage of earlier in the year or just whenever they pop up?

    • Avatar

      In this case, the good news is that the credit card free night credits are granted each year. But generally, elite status is earned based on activity in a calendar year (e.g. 1/1/2020-12/31/2020) and then the elite status is good from the date earned (e.g. 9/15/2020) through a certain date a couple of years later (e.g. 2/28/2022). For example, Marriott elite status expires at the end of February.

      As Marriott explains it: “Such Member will hold his/her Elite membership for a minimum of a full calendar year. For example, if a Member is given the Silver Elite status benefit during the 2019 Eligible Status Year, the Member will become a Silver Elite member for the remainder of 2019, all of 2020, and January and February of 2021.”

  • Avatar

    Great way to get 30 free nights a year and easily have Gold and an easy path to Platinum. Plus two free nights a year – one from each card.

  • Avatar

    Awesome offer, If i can get 30 elite night, i can keep my Platinum member this year. Even if seems not easy to be have travel at Marriott hotel this year. but it’s can be help me get Lifetime platinum member more close to.

  • Avatar
    Lillian Dikovitsky says:

    Yeah I made Marriott Platinum Elite!

  • Avatar

    Doubling the elite nights and granting partial credit for last year’s status really helped. Though the last time I stayed in a hotel was in January… hope it all goes back soon

  • Avatar

    To the poster that said “I don’t think many people are looking at travel cards right now.”: Everyone’s situation is different. I am traveling as much or more than before due to my job in healthcare. I have opened one travel card since the start of this pandemic and I would open more if I could. I really appreciate the bump towards a higher status that having both cards has given me. I’ll make Titanium status for the first time this year. The only reason I won’t make ambassador is that the spend is really high!

  • Avatar

    At least it makes sense to now keep a persona/business card for more than just the free nights — which typically work out at least OK for me.

  • Avatar
    Steven William Van Meter says:

    I hope the trend of suspending points expiration windows continues indefinitely. I quit going to Hilton forever, because their points expired, they send way too much spam and they didn’t have free WiFi.

  • Avatar

    The important thing is if the situation will allow them to offer/honor these kind of rewards.

  • Avatar

    Appreciate the additional free nights that come with the cards. Appreciate even more when they double. Makes the LT status seem so much closer.

  • Avatar

    @Harvey – Yes, in an email communication certs expiring this year are now valid thru 01/31/21. However, for reservations made with FNCs and cancelled due to COVID, it seems Reps are able to change validity dates to 1 year from the date of cancellation. In my experience: res was cancelled 3/30/20; cert redeposited to my Marriott account with new expiry date of 03/30/2021.

  • Avatar

    If we are looking towards the long-term, this nightmare will be over some day and rewards travel will be back, So let’s pack in the newly offered freebies now.

  • Avatar
    Harvey Kwan says:

    Will they extend the expiration for the free night awards?

  • Avatar

    While this is a welcome change, gold status on Marriott is not worth much. If you are going to stay an additional 20 nights, then this is a good strategy to get to a higher elite status.

  • Avatar

    Was strongly considering cancelling the Amex Biz Bonvoy, but with this change and now getting 15 personal + 15 business that might make the difference with the higher fee now so free night plus 15 night credit for $125, plus ancillary benefits of biz Amex offers, etc.

  • Avatar

    would those 30 nights count towards lifetime status?

    • Avatar

      @Elaine – Unless something has changed recently, yes, all the credits one receives from one’s card count toward Marriott lifetime status.

  • Avatar

    It would also be really nice to allow those that still have the legacy SPG Amex to apply for the Chase Boundless.

    • Avatar

      What has actually happened to the legacy SPG AMEX card product?

      • Avatar

        It was transitioned to the AMEX Marriott Bonvoy card. It is not open to new applications. The mid-range AMEX Bonvoy product is now the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless. Chase has the no annual fee and mid-tier cards and AMEX has the premium and business cards.

  • Avatar

    So the 2 x 15 qualifying nights from two cards linked to the same Marriott number can be pooled?

  • Avatar

    Would the hotels offer massive bonuses when the nightmare from hell is finally behind us?

    • Avatar

      That’s one of those questions, like so many today, with such uncertainty. Will they be in any financial position to offer massive bonuses / discounts? We all certainly hope so, for a number of reasons.

  • Avatar

    So the free card, $95 card, and $450 all give 15 elite night credits? It sounds like the free card is the power card in the Marriott portfolio. They really should take a look at Hilton and what their lineup offers.

  • Avatar

    I have to commend Marriott for making this move. This is probably a positive change in a long time. Especially given the COVID-19 situation, this will likely help a lot of people and more importantly help Marriott get back some loyalty.

  • Avatar

    I don’t think many people are looking at travel cards right now.

    • Avatar

      This is more about informing people that have the cards so they’re aware of the impact on elite status in a year where normal stays will be hard to come by.