Get up to 30 Marriott Elite Night Credits Annually Through Bonvoy Credit Cards

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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!

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
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.
  • 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

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
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 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.
  • 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 Limited Time Offer! Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 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

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card!
  • 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.

New Policy

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:

Screenshot of Marriott elite status page showing 30 elite nights earned through "Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card"

Other Considerations

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.

Final Thoughts

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)

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

  • 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?

    • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lillian Dikovitsky says:

    Yeah I made Marriott Platinum Elite!

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • @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.

  • 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.

  • Harvey Kwan says:

    Will they extend the expiration for the free night awards?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • would those 30 nights count towards lifetime status?

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

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

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

      • 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.

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

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

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    • 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.