Marriott Will No Longer Give 10 Elite Night Credits For 1st Meeting

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Marriott recently announced a change to its terms regarding how members earn Elite Night Credits for meetings. Let's just say it's not good! Marriott will no longer provide 10 Elite Night Credits for holding your first meeting each year.

A few weeks ago, I read an article from Gary Leff that probably sent chills down many people's spine: Is Marriott Eliminating The Meetings Trick For Elite Qualifying Nights? Well, guess what? It's official!

Marriott Bonvoy's Terms & Conditions now state:

5.3.d. Elite Night Credit. Members who hold Qualifying Events at Participating Properties receive one (1) Elite Night Credit for every twenty (20) room nights booked and actualized, up to a maximum of twenty (20) Elite Night Credits per contract. The earning of ten (10) Elite Night Credits per calendar year for the first Qualifying Event will end on December 31, 2019.

The ability to hold a meeting was important for those looking to earn status because it provided a method to reduce the number of stays required to attain various levels of elite status.

Setting up meetings used to earn Elite Night Credits
Setting up meetings used to earn Elite Night Credits

How Meetings Could Help You Earn Elite Night Credits (In the Past)

Prior to August 2018, you could earn an unlimited amount of Elite Night Credits via meetings. Booking multiple meetings would earn 10 Elite Night credits for each one held. That means that holding five meetings would have earned 50 Elite Night Credits. That would have qualified a member for mid/upper-tier Platinum level status in today's program.

10 Elite Nights could be rewarding
10 Elite Nights could be rewarding

Earning Elite Night Credits for Status

That all changed with the merger of the Marriott Rewards, SPG, and Ritz Carlton Rewards programs, but they still allowed you to earn 10 Elite Night Credits per year for holding your first meeting. If you hold one of the Marriott co-brand cards from Chase or American Express, you automatically receive 15 Elite Night Credits (ENCs), and if you hold both a business and personal Marriott card you receive 30 ENCs (15 from each card). That's enough to earn Gold Elite Status without ever having stayed a single night at a Marriott property.

Six Marriott Bonvoy Member Status Levels
Six Marriott Bonvoy Member Status Levels

Why This Matters

Not everyone cares about hotel status, but if extra perks, free breakfasts, upgraded free Wi-Fi, and room upgrades matter to you, it just got a bit harder to earn.

Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status Benefits
Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status Benefits

In the past, members could locate a property to hold a meeting, and it would be possible to book for less than $100. Considering it is often challenging to find a place to stay for under $100 to earn ONE Elite Night Credit, earning TEN for the same or less was quite a steal. I was able to book one for just under $66 this year, and it helped push me over the hump to earn Platinum Elite Status. Does this change impact your Marriott elite status plans for 2020?

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Comments

  • I don’t have an issue with Marriott eliminating this loophole.

  • This was such a good way to pad those numbers. Sad to see it go away.

  • That’s a pitty! 🙁

  • I guess people were able to game this benefit to their advantage, but I wasn’t aware of the trick, so this doesn’t affect me. Actually, it doesn’t affect me because I focus my elite earning on Hyatt, because I get far greater value from that program. Nevertheless, it’s always sad to see perks taken away. Happy travels otherwise.

  • Really disappointed by this change

  • It’s the right thing to do. Make it fair for everyone.

  • Wow and they had to make this change at the end of the year when many people already have meetings booked for 2020……

  • Such a shame. Just as I discovered it.

  • I wish that I had been able to take advantage of the perks, but I do not work in a industry that requires meetings at all.

  • Did not know about this! I can see Marriott losing quite a few meetings. I think some won’t care if they like holding meetings every year, etc. at a certain hotel.

    As I read through the post, I can see why people would do this! That was amazing loophole. Wish I could have taken advantage of it.

    I had been thinking about getting a Choice hotel number and found out some stays through Expedia did count towards a certain amount of points. That was interesting to find out. I wonder what else I have been missing out on not reading all the rules with other hotels.

  • If this change takes effect tomorrow, they should have given warning months ago.

  • Kudos to Marriott to finally close the loophole.

  • I had 40 nights till the middle of December when I finally had a Marriott customer service supervisor agree that I was missing my elite award (for 10 night credit) due having 4 different meetings booked at Marriott properties during 2019.

    She was very kind and give it 10 night credit. However I woke up this morning any my 10 nights were deleted. Interestingly it still says underneath the 40 nights this year in 25 nights remaining for titanium status.

    I called and have a case number but still very frustrated. Any suggestions? Greatly appreciate advice.

  • This is a shame – I hope this isn’t the start of more changes to come 🙁

  • I always discover these tricks too late, as well!

  • This really is a shame

  • This is another example of devaluation of points and awards. Sadly, companies are free to do this whenever they like so it is important to use points as quickly as possible. Award Wallet helps by letting you know when awards are set to expire. Could they also inform you when you’ve met a minimum threshold that you set?

  • Ian Snyder says:

    So bummed. I was hoping to use this to at least hit Gold this year, if not have a shot at Platinum through award stays.

  • On the fence about this one if they feel that there are too many Platinum and above members. Let’s see what they have up their sleeves after this though.

  • This is a bit sneaky that they snuck this into the terms and conditions without telling their members in advance

    Booking made prior to the end of 2019 should qualify

  • Sad to see it go 🙁

  • Sad to see this loop hole close.

  • That is no good!

  • This is too bad…

  • Yes, it was a loophole but I think they should have modified it with some other incentive instead of simply eliminating it.

  • No issues with them eliminating this and tying it to booking actual rooms.

  • Well, this was a nice little perk when they had it. But no big loss for me.

  • Figured this was something that would go by the wayside sooner rather than later.

  • Not ideal, now requires a lot more rooms etc in order to get credits.

  • Juan Ignacio says:

    Bad new 🙁 fortunately my work make me able to take (aa)dvantage of the perks. Time to look for a new partner hotel.

  • Clearly, this represents a large loss for a small number of people.
    However, loyalty programs that disproportionately reward for travel not directly attributable to the account holder unfairly disadvantage the majority of its members.

  • Actually I didn’t know about this feature!

  • Another disappointment with Marriott 😢

  • I wish Marriott would focus on several other problems with Bonvoy…

  • Although disappointing , these facts are normal in this market. Once seen as a loophole, it’s expected to end.

  • Honestly this is a disappointing move.
    This was helpful especially for business travelers outside of the US who do not have access to the elite night credit from Marriott credit card

  • Marriott seems to have a strategy of trying to drive people away since the merger of Marriott rewards with Starwood. Everything seems to be being devalued. I suspect Hilton (who currently have a few bonus promos on) will continue to poach their customers.

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