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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.
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.
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). Ten more ENCs for holding a meeting or event would give you 25 credits. That's enough to earn Gold Elite Status without ever having stayed a single night at a Marriott property.
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.
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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