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Ever wondered what happens when you don't re-qualify for a certain tier of elite status? Depending on which program you're working with, you may fall one (or more) levels down. However, some companies, like Marriott Bonvoy, can offer what's called a “soft landing. Marriott has just announced its policy for 2024 soft landings, so let's take a look at the details.
Marriott's 2024 Soft Landing Policy
When you earn elite status, it's usually valid for the remainder of the year in which you earned it and the following year. After that, you'll have to re-qualify for your status in order to retain the benefits for ensuing years. What happens when you fail to meet qualification levels? This depends. Many companies, such as airlines, will only allow you to move forward with the status that you've actually earned.
Others, like Marriott, give you a soft landing. This means they'll drop you down just one status level — even if you haven't met the qualifications for it. The wording in Marriott's response to this question isn't abundantly clear, saying you will be “downgraded” if you don't re-qualify for your status this year. However, the “downgrade” means moving down one level, which is better than if the answer had been “you will get the status you earned.”
This isn't always guaranteed, so it's good news that Marriott is maintaining a soft landing policy for 2024. This is especially pertinent to top-tier elites whose travel has waned. For example, a Titanium Elite member who fails to requalify in 2023 will only drop down to Platinum Elite status in 2024. This is true even if they have no stays at all in 2023.
Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status Levels
There are six levels of elite status within the Marriott program:
- Member: 0–9 nights per year
- Silver: 10–24 nights per year
- Gold: 25–49 nights per year
- Platinum: 50–74 nights per year
- Titanium: 75+ nights per year
- Ambassador: 100+ nights per year, plus $23,000 in annual spending
The varying levels of elite status will offer you benefits such like checkout, room upgrades, free breakfast, early check-in, and additional bonus points. Accordingly, the more nights you accumulate, the more benefits you'll receive.
Earning Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status
Soft landings are great and all, especially if you've been a top-tier Marriott Bonvoy member in the past. However, Marriott elite status is ridiculously easy to earn, mostly because there are plenty of credit cards that'll give you status as a cardholder:
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: Silver Elite status
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card: Silver Elite status
- Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card: Gold Elite status
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Gold Elite status
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Gold Elite status
- Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card: Gold Elite status
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card: Platinum Elite status
Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
The Bottom Line
It's always good news when a company announces a policy that is customer-friendly. In Marriott's case, this is the continuation of its soft landing policy, where Marriott Bonvoy elites will only drop a single tier level in a year. That's even if they don't meet any re-qualification requirements.
Will this soft landing policy help you? Let us know in the comments.
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