The Complete Guide To Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status

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Earning elite status within a hotel rewards program is designed to motivate loyalty to a single hotel chain. In return, the brands that fall under that loyalty umbrella reward members with elite level perks and additional bonus points on spending.

To qualify for elite status, members are issued elite night credits for qualifying stays and as a benefit of holding select co-brand credit cards. There are also a handful of premium rewards cards that offer hotel elite status simply for holding the card and paying the annual fee.

Elite night credits are tallied over a calendar year, from January 1 through to December 31. Once you’ve attained an elite status level, you get to enjoy the perks for the remainder of the year you earn the status, and for the whole of the next year.

Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status Tiers & Benefits

Marriott’s new rewards program has expanded to include five elite tiers plus a basic membership level. The required nights to achieve elite status have changed during the recent program shakeup, as have the perks received at each status level.

marriott-elite-benefits-table

Notable changes to elite status include the lack of complimentary breakfast for Gold Elite members, and members no longer have the ability to qualify for elite status via stays with Marriott only nights. Neither change affects members who qualify via nights, only those that qualify on stays, acquired status as a credit card perk or gained status via a status match.

Elite Status Tiers

marriott-elite-tiers-overview

Basic Member: 0-9 nights/year

Benefits:

  • Complimentary In-Room Internet Access
  • Member Rates
  • Mobile Check-In/Services

Silver Elite: 10-24 nights/year

Benefits:

Basic Member benefits plus:

  • 10% Points Bonus
  • Dedicated Elite Reservation Line
  • Priority Late Checkout (Not Guaranteed)
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee

marriott-ultimate-reservation-guarantee

Gold Elite: 25-49 nights/year

Benefits:

Silver Elite benefits plus:

  • 25% Bonus Points on Stays
  • 2pm Priority Late Checkout (Based on Availability)
  • Enhanced In-Room Internet
  • Gold Welcome Gift (Points – Varies by Brand)
  • Enhanced Room Upgrade (Based on Availability)

Platinum Elite: 50-74 nights/year

Benefits:

Gold Elite benefits plus:

  • 50% Bonus Points on Stays
  • 4pm Priority Late Checkout
  • In Hotel Welcome Gift (Choice of Points, Breakfast Offering, or Amenity – Varies by Brand)
  • Enhanced Room Upgrade Including Select Suites (Based on Availability)
  • Lounge Access
  • Guaranteed Room Type
  • Annual Choice Benefit (5x Suite Night Awards or Gift Option – Awarded with 50 qualifying nights)

Titanium Elite: 75-99 nights/year

Benefits:

Platinum Elite benefits plus:

  • 75% Bonus Points on Stays
  • Additional Choice Benefit (5 Suite Night Awards or Gift Option – Awarded with 75 qualifying nights)
  • 48-Hour Guarantee

Ambassador Elite (100 Nights + $20K Qualifying Spend): 100+ nights/year

Benefits:

Titanium Elite benefits plus:

  • Ambassador Service
  • Your24™

Alongside the new elite status tiers, Marriott released a table displaying the new Platinum and above welcome gifts, broken up by brand. With so many brands represented in the table, it makes for heavy reading. Making the welcome gift so complicated is a sure-fire recipe for misunderstandings and frustrated guests in our books, and without printing the chart or keeping the link handy, I can’t see many members remembering all the different combos on this list.

Marriott-Platinum-Welcome-Gift-Options

Lifetime Status Requirements

Leading up to the merger with SPG, there were plenty of elite members in both Marriott and SPG waiting anxiously to hear how lifetime status was going to pan out. For those close to achieving lifetime status, would it be easier or harder to get? Would Marriott count years spent as an SPG elite in addition to years as a Marriott elite? If you had elite status in both programs, how would they calculate your lifetime status count?

The good news is that Marriott really came to the party with lifetime elite status, looking after members with elite status from both loyalty programs.

  • If you previously achieved Lifetime Elite status in SPG or Rewards, you will have that Lifetime Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy
  • When you combine SPG and Rewards accounts, Marriott will combine your lifetime activity across both toward Lifetime Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy
  • If you’ve achieved Elite status in both Rewards and SPG in a single year, it will count as two years toward Lifetime status
  • Starting January 1, 2019, Elite status will be achieved on nights not stays.
  • Members who reached 750 nights and 10 years at Platinum by December 31, 2018, were grandfathered into Lifetime Titanium Elite status. In addition, members that achieved Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Platinum under the legacy requirements by year-end were also be grandfathered into Lifetime Titanium Elite status
  • Beginning in 2019, qualification into Lifetime Titanium Elite status and above will not be available

Lifetime Elite Status with Marriott Bonvoy requires:

  • Lifetime Silver Elite – 250 Lifetime Nights + 5 Years Elite Status
  • Lifetime Gold Elite – 400 Lifetime Nights + 7 Years Gold Elite Status or Higher
  • Lifetime Platinum Elite – 600 Lifetime Nights + 10 Years Platinum Elite Status

marriott-lifetime-status

Earn Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status & Elite Night Credits via Credit Cards

An easy way of obtaining elite status, or reducing the number of nights required for elite status, is acquiring one of the Marriott Bonvoy co-brand credit cards or a premium card like The Platinum Card® from American Express. Unlike the Marriott Rewards program of old, you can no longer stack elite night credits received with co-brand credit cards. Marriott has capped the total night credits members can receive at 15 across all your cards, even if you hold multiple cards that award 15 free night credits.

Co-brand cards:

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 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

Amex cards:

Final Thoughts

Following the merger of Marriott and SPG, earning elite status in the new Marriott Bonvoy program can gain you elite benefits and additional bonus points at over 6,700 hotels worldwide. The reshuffle of benefits for Gold and Platinum members will leave those that qualify for status via credit card without a free breakfast, and if you rely on the ability to qualify for status on stays rather than nights, the new qualification requirements will make it much harder to attain your desired status in the coming years.

The co-brand Marriott cards still offer the easiest method of qualifying for lower elite tiers, but the new 15-night-cap on elite night credits makes it harder to leverage credit cards to achieve Platinum Elite and above.

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 Complete Guide To Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status
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Comments

  • $80,000 is quite a bit of money. How long is the time period that you based your spend on?

  • Just wondering. I’m already Lifetime Platinum with 3,500,00 and as of today now 1000 nights.

    Does achieving 1000 nights get anything extra? Hard to believe I’ve spent nearly 3 years in a hotel room.

  • Joseph Appleby says:

    The so-called enhanced Marriott Elite loyalty programs beginning in June 2018 may in Marriott’s mind be an improvement but removing access to the lounge and eliminating free breakfast for Elite Gold and Platinum members can only be an improvement in Marriott’s bottom line and certainly in no way an improvement for the Elite Member.

  • Jakob Hessing says:

    I have been a SPG member since 2003. i have had 1891 nights in 11 years as a platinum member how much money did i spent on that?
    And i don’t see any advantage compared to before the merger. Maybe someone can point out something!
    They promote a dedicated elite reservation line??? I called and nobody where able to give me a number for Europe. So i have to call the regular number and wait for 2-3 min before i can talk to someone…

  • Hi there,

    i have a really stupid and easy question:

    How long do you keep your status?

    I started the Marriot Rewrds Programm in March 2018 and will get to 75 nights by end of November.

    How long will i keep my platin status?

    Couldnt find the answer to this question anywhere.

    Thanks in advance

  • Hi,
    I am currently a Lifetime Gold Member. To achieve Platinum I need 40 more nights. Is it worth it to chase the Lifetime Platinum status. With either staus the what happens to the lounge/breakfast access with lifetime elite status?
    Thanksin advance

    • You’ll need Platinum for breakfast. Gold won’t get it anymore.

      Personally, I’d probably push to try to get Lifetime Platinum as long as you think you’ll receive value from it in the future.

  • I received my e- certificate for a free night stay at a category 4 hotel. What do you need to do to qualify for a category 5 hotel?

  • It seems odd that as a AMEX Platinum card holder you would not receive the 15 elite nights credit for Marriott. Already a Marriott Platinum Elite member so the Gold Elite status is not a perk. I’d have to drop down to a SPG branded card to get a perk.
    Anyone seen any clarification as to if AMEX Palatinum card holders get the 15 elite nights as well?

  • CECE CAMARA says:

    I am lifetime plat and also plat premier for 2019.
    Headed to Mexico city -looking at either LosAlcabos (Luxury Collection) or St. Regis.
    Find I may be able to book for less at a 3rd party site.
    Will my plat premier benefits be honored?
    As a lifetime Plat I don’t see that I need the night credit any longer as I will likely never get to the 75 needed for the extra perk choice…and if I understand it right-that is all I lose by booking 3rd party? Well, that and the 5th night free I guess, if and when it applies.

    BTW-that5th night free is not working online for paid stays-although it comes up on the point stay. Just another Marriott broken issue or is it really only good for point stays?

    • Any time you travel, at any of the big hotel companies, if you book on something like Expedia, you arrive as an Expedia guest, not a Bonvoy guest. Therefore, the only recognized status would be the status you hold with Expedia.

      The company that you book through, is the membership your reservation is focused on.

  • Joseph Valentine Dworak says:

    Howie – do you know when in January Marriott will start notifying people who made Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite? I just hit 800+ nights and 12 years Platinum on Marriott so I should qualify? Thanks –

  • Hello,
    I just made gold lifetime member with 659 nights / 8 years.
    I’d like to get to lifetime platinum of course.
    Two questions –

    I had 144 nights 2018, of course none of them rolled over and was platinum premiere elite.
    How long does that status last? Is it calendar year?

    I would need 2 more years at platinum elite or higher. Does that mean, i have “earn” platinum status for 2 more years or however years i was a platinum status?

    • Hey Ethan, sorry to say I don’t know for sure. Hopefully, someone else can help out here in the comments. Otherwise, I’d recommend double checking with Marriott before planning 2019 stays.

  • Hi,

    Can Non US resident apply for the those Marriot credit card ?

    If yes, how useful do you think it will be ?

    Thanks.

  • For these credit cards, do you have to spend the dollar minimum to also get the 15 free elite nights or is that just for the automatic gold status? If I earn platinum using the 15 elite nights, would that year counts towards my lifetime years? I just need to more years to earn platinum for life since I’m already lifetime gold.

    • No, you get the 15 nights just for holding the card and paying the annual fee each year. And yes, if those 15 nights help you make Platinum status, that year of status will still count towards your lifetime status count.

      • I have the marriott Bonvoy card and then get the 15 nights. However, if I get the ritz card, will I also get complimentary 15 nights, for the a total of 30 nights credited towards status each year?

  • Aaron Greene says:

    Here is a stupid question for you guys. If I am Lifetime Gold, does that mean I just need 25 nights to get to Platinum the following years? Or would I still need to spend 75 nights per year in order to reach platinum?

    • Cece Camara says:

      Aaron – you will need the full number of nights to get to Platinum (or any level) in any one year.
      Lifetime Gold does not count in your night tally for the year.

  • Hi everyone, so I’m about to choose my annual benefit and as I’m reading through the description, I must say I’m confused because the benefit sounds weak.
    – 5 suit night award: is this just a free upgrade? Sounds weak because we’re already eligible for the free upgrade at platinum level.

    – 5 Elite night Credit: I thought this was 5 FREE nights. The more I read into it I’m getting the idea that it’s not the case. So what is it?

    Thanks

    • Cecelia Camara says:

      Hi Ginna, Sad to confirm your suspicions. The 5 suite nights are a guaranteed in advance suite upgrade (unlike the when you check in and they are hopefully available perk). But eve3n these “guaranteed” suite upgrades do not confirm until several nights before your stay.
      And again, sad to confirm, the 5 night elite credit is just that – credit for staying 5 nights towards your next year total nights (without staying the 5 nights).
      In my opinion, it is not worth jumping through hoops to get to 75 nights for these meager additional perks either.

  • SPG: 975 nights; 9 years $ spent were way beyond Marriott requirement for lifetime platinum. I guess I missed being grandfathered by duration (1 year)? Thanks

  • How yo know if my stay has qualifying nights to progress towards platinum, am a gold elite
    Am at Sheraton these days

  • Robert D Davis says:

    As an SPG lifetime gold member and and Hilton Diamond for life I will just not be staying at Marriott properties any longer. Don’t know if Marriott purposely chose to downgrade SPG members but I have a choice in where I stay an I chose to stay at Hilton properties.

  • I have Gold Elite now through Amex Platinum. If I get the new Bonvoy card that offers 15 elite nights. Does that mean I will just need 10 nights to reach Platinum Elite?

  • George Cross says:

    I am a Gold Elite, as the owner of an enrolled Marriott Timeshare Week, having a value of 3075 Points. If my Points value was more than 4000 I would be upgraded to Platinum. However, I also own 4 Starwood Vistana Weeks, and despite that program being taken over by Marriott, I am allowed no Credits towards a Higher Elite Status. I can see no fairness or logic in this. Do you know if Marriott are proposing to eliminate this inequality?

  • I just got off the phone with American Express to ask them how long it will take for my platinum status to begin after I have spent the $75,000. I will be cutting it close with a trip that is coming up. They told me that their infor says 12-16 WEEKS! Has anyone earned status through the $75k spend that can tell me if this is what is happening in practice? If I have to wait 3-4 months this will really impact a couple of family trips that I have coming up. Would appreciate if anyone could let me know if they really had to wait this long. Thanks!

  • Hi (maybe again)….I don’t think my first post posted.

    I just learned the same thing…that is truly crazy! If you spent that last dollar in December they are stealing 1/3 of your year you should be Platinum!

    Anyway, have you learned anything more about this delay? Any workarounds? We, too, will be traveling and I want it ASAP.

    Also, to be clear, once you reach that spend level in 2019, I assume the status extends through all of 2020. Correct?

    Final question, do you get all of the benefits that you get if you earn it through nights stayed? Or do they eliminate some of those since you earned it the easy way?

    Thanks and good luck!!

    • Sorry but I don’t check this very often. I was told it would be 12-16 weeks, but in reality it was less than a week, so all was well and I achieved Platinum with plenty of time to spare. I just wish I hadn’t frontloaded all of my spending on my Bonvoy card. I find Chase points to be more valuable since the merger. Best of luck!

  • I am a 5 Star Elite owner at Vistana (5+) weeks of ownership). I had heard a rumor that the ownership may qualify for Titanium Elite status. Does anyone know the answer?

  • Bradley Crooks says:

    I kept the old Chase Marriott Visa because we received a one night credit for every $3k spent. I was originally told that the 15 night maximum didn’t apply to this grandfathered card.

    I’m at 554 nights and 10 years plat, so I’m hoping that I can get more credit card nights to make Lifetime Platinum

  • Hi,
    so i will be staying at a westin for about 90-95 days, i have been a member of spg for the past 7 years or so, did the update to Bonvoy. my questions are
    1. upon checkout will i be qualified automatically for the titanium elite status?
    2. will the night count for the lifetime status?

    • Hey Nemer, you can qualify for Tintanium Elite with 75 nights, so 90 would qualify. Paid nights should qualify for lifetime status. Both questions are answered in this post. 🙂

  • I also didn’t bite at all the offers they kept sending to upgrade the Marriott Visa. The ability to earn nights via CC spend is too good to lose.

  • I used the $75K CC spend using Bonvoy Brilliant to get Platinum status. Is it possible to spend my way to Titanium Elite status? If yes, how much more?

    • Unfortunately, you can’t get to Titanium Elite with additional spend.

    • Just curious, when you do the 75k spend, do you get nights added to your lifetime count that equals platinum, for example does 50 nights show up in your account when you hit the spend? I’m curious because by next year I’ll be 8 years platinum, but not sure if next year will have me traveling as much. If I do the spend, i still need additional lifetime nights to go toward lifetime platinum to reach 600. Hope this makes sense, thanks

  • I have 43 nights right now and will not be staying at a Marriott again this year. If I get the Chase card with 15 elite nights bonus will that give me 58 for this year and Platinum status?

    • Did you end up doing this and getting these nights for 2019? In reading the terms it looks like the 15 nights may not apply until the following year? I am also a few nights short and looking to close the gap for Platinum status.

      Terms I am referring to:To be eligible to receive the 15 Elite Night credits with this Card, you must be the primary cardmember, your Card Account must be open as of December 31 of the prior year, and you must have an active Marriott Bonvoy member account linked to your credit card account.

  • Before SPG merged into Marriott Bonvoy, the resort fee was always waived as I was a Platinum member. Now with Marriott Bonvoy I am a Titanium Elite and I was wondering is the resort fee still waived?

  • Will be staying at a Marriott hotel for 60 days. I was told I would become a Platinum Elite during my stay. Can anyone tell me how soon after I’ve hit the 50 day mark will my status be active?

  • Bonvoy has a “challenge” plan for Gold and Platinum Elites in 2019, heard if they will have the same in 2020? Many thanks.

  • Do you receive credits for nights toward status when paying with points? Have 32 nights, will be using points to stay 6 nights later this month will I increase to 38? Have a qualifying credit card for 15 night credut. Trying to hit 50 to keep my platium elite again for 2020.

    • Yes your award nights count toward status. I wouldn’t be platinum if they didn’t allow that as I use points almost exclusively and rarely pay for a room. Good luck!

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