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Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status: How to Earn It and How Much It's Worth

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

How to earn Bonvoy status

The launch of Marriott Bonvoy hasn't gone by without controversy. Plenty of formerly loyal members have announced they're jumping ship to hop on board other programs, like Hilton Honors or World of Hyatt. Others, however, are in it for the long haul.

Marriott Bonvoy is undoubtedly experiencing growing pains, but elite status with Marriott is still worth a look. Here's everything you need to know about Marriott Bonvoy elite status, how to earn it and what it's worth.

What is Marriott Bonvoy?

After Marriott International purchased Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016, it created Bonvoy as a simplified loyalty rewards program that unites Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards program. It's the largest hotel chain in the world.

Marriott Bonvoy brands

Now that Marriott is officially the largest hotel chain in the world, there are quite a few brands under its name. Marriott Bonvoy now includes 30 brands and a few collections of independent hotels. These brands are broken up into five categories: luxury, premium, select, longer stays and collections.

Luxury hotels:

  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • St. Regis
  • JW Marriott
  • The Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • The Luxury Collection
  • W Hotels
  • Edition

Premium hotels:

  • Marriott Hotels
  • Sheraton
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Delta Hotels
  • Le Méridien
  • Westin
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • Gaylord Hotels

Select hotels:

  • Courtyard Hotels
  • Four Points
  • SpringHill Suites
  • Protea Hotels
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites
  • AC Hotels
  • Aloft Hotels
  • Moxy Hotels

Longer stays hotels:

  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Residence Inn
  • TownePlace Suites
  • Element
  • Homes & Villas by Marriott International

Collections hotels:

  • Autograph Collection Hotels
  • Design Hotels
  • Tribute Portfolio

How to join Marriott Bonvoy

Join Marriott Bonvoy
Screenshots in this article taken from the Marriott Bonvoy website, August 2019

Marriott Bonvoy is free to join, and the sign-up process takes just minutes. You can join through the Marriott homepage under "Sign In" and "Join Now" or at the top right corner at "Sign In or Join." You'll be asked to provide your name, postal code, email address and a password.

Once you're logged in, you'll be able to see your account activity and upcoming trips and track your progress toward elite status.

Bonvoy membership website

You'll also be able to make reservations at the lowest available rate through your Marriott Bonvoy account. Doing so will ensure you get credit toward elite status for your stay, but if you end up reserving through a third party, just be sure to include your Marriott Bonvoy member number on the reservation.

Combining former SPG and Marriott Rewards accounts in Marriott Bonvoy

If you have another Marriott Rewards account that didn't combine with your new Marriott Bonvoy account, or a former SPG account, you can combine those rewards easily by logging in to your Marriott Bonvoy account and clicking the "Profile" tab. From there, you'll want to scroll down and click "Combine My Former SPG & Rewards Accounts."

Merge accounts under Marriott Bonvoy

From there, you'll need to have the username or member number and password handy for both accounts, and both accounts must belong to you. Once you've submitted this information, you should see the rewards from your previous account in your new Marriott Bonvoy account within one week.

Marriott Bonvoy membership tiers, benefits and how to earn elite status

The Marriott Bonvoy program has six different membership tiers. These include Member, Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite. As you move up in status, you'll gain access to additional benefits and perks. In order to qualify for a higher tier, you must earn a certain number of elite night credits.

What are elite night credits?

Marriott Bonvoy determines your member status using elite night credits. The most common way to earn elite night credits is by staying with a Marriott brand hotel, and you'll typically earn one elite night credit for each night you stay. You earn elite night credits on both paid and award stays. It's also possible to earn elite night credits with select credit cards, which we'll explain later. Finally, you can earn elite night credits with Marriott Bonvoy Events by planning meetings and events that are hosted at Marriott properties.

How do you earn Marriott Bonvoy elite status?

All Marriott Bonvoy members begin with Member status and then progress to elite status after accumulating enough elite night credits, as shown in the table below.

StatusElite night credits required
Member0 to 9 per year
Silver Elite10 to 24 per year
Gold Elite25 to 49 per year
Platinum Elite50 to 74 per year
Titanium Elite75 to 99 per year
Ambassador Elite100+ per year and $20,000 annual spend

Each year, you will need to earn your status again in order to maintain it the following year. When you achieve a status level, you keep that status for the remainder of the year as well as the following year.

Benefits of Marriott Bonvoy

Becoming a Marriott Bonvoy member gets you a handful of benefits right off the bat. As you move up in status, you'll gain access to valuable perks such as free breakfast, room upgrades and lounge access. Here are the benefits you'll get at each Marriott Bonvoy tier.

Benefits chart

Marriott Bonvoy Member status benefits

Stay 0–9 nights per year

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Exclusive member rates
  • Mobile check-in

Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status benefits

Stay 10–24 nights per year

  • All Member benefits
  • 10% bonus points on stays
  • Priority late checkout (based on availability)
  • Elite reservation line
  • Ultimate reservation guarantee

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status benefits

Stay 25–49 nights per year

  • All Silver Elite benefits
  • 25% bonus points on stays
  • Priority late checkout until 2 p.m. (based on availability)
  • Welcome gift of 250 to 500 points
  • Enhanced room upgrade (based on availability)

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status benefits

Stay 50–74 nights per year

  • All Gold Elite benefits
  • 50% bonus points on stays
  • Priority late checkout until 4 p.m. (based on availability)
  • Welcome gift of points, complimentary breakfast or an amenity
  • Enhanced room upgrade, including select suites (based on availability)
  • Annual gift choice of five suite night awards, give the gift of Silver Elite status, 40% off your favorite mattress, five elite night credits, or a $100 charity donation
  • Lounge access

Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status benefits

Stay 75–99 nights per year

  • All Platinum Elite benefits
  • 75% bonus points on stays
  • Additional annual gift choice of five suite night awards, give the gift of Silver Elite status, 40% off your favorite mattress, five elite night credits, or a $100 charity donation
  • 48-hour room guarantee

Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite status benefits

Stay 100+ nights per year and spend at least $20,000

  • All Titanium Elite benefits
  • Ambassador service personal assistant with every stay
  • Your24, which allows you to choose your own 24-hour check-in and checkout time

Ultimate reservation guarantee

Marriott's ultimate reservation guarantee is offered to Silver Elite members and higher. It's a promise that if the hotel you reserve can't host you, Marriott will pay for your stay at a nearby hotel and compensate you for the inconvenience.

As with any benefit, there's fine print involved. In order to qualify for compensation, you must be turned away when you arrive at the property to check in. If the hotel calls you in advance to let you know they can't confirm your reservation, you won't qualify for this benefit. Also, some brands don't participate in this benefit. The table below details the compensation you're entitled to under Marriott's ultimate reservation guarantee.

BrandCompensation
Edition, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Autograph Collection Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Gaylord Hotels$200 and 90,000 points
Courtyard Hotels, Four Points, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites, AC Hotels, Aloft Hotels, Moxy Hotels, Residence Inn, TownPlace Suites, Element$100 (and 90,000 points for Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members)
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis$200 (and 140,000 points for Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members)

Welcome gift

Gold Elite members get a welcome gift of points, and the amount varies by hotel brand as outlined below.

Hotel brandWelcome gift for Gold Elite
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Edition, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Delta Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Autograph Collection Hotels, Design Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Gaylord Hotels500 points
Courtyard, Four Points, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites, AC Hotels, Aloft Hotels, Moxy Hotels, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element250 points

Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members will have the choice of receiving a welcome gift of points, complimentary breakfast or an amenity, depending on availability. The table below details the welcome gift offered to Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elite members by various properties.

Hotel brandWelcome gift for Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elite
Marriott Hotels, JW Marriott, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Gaylord Hotels1,000 points or $10 food and beverage credit per stay (resorts also offer complimentary breakfast for you and another guest)
St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Tribute Portfolio 1,000 points, complimentary breakfast each day for you and a guest, or an amenity The Ritz-Carlton, Edition, Marriott Vacation Club, Design Hotels1,000 points
Courtyard Hotels, AC Hotels, Moxy Hotels500 points or $10 food and beverage credit per day for a member and one guest
SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites500 points or food and beverage item
Four Points, Aloft Hotels500 points, complimentary breakfast each day for you and a guest, or an amenity
Protea Hotels500 points or complimentary breakfast each day for you and a guest
Element500 points or an amenity

Annual choice benefit

Marriott gives members a benefit of their choice each year once they hit 50 qualifying nights and another when they hit 75 qualifying nights. This means most Platinum Elite members will get one annual choice benefit each year while Titanium and Ambassador Elite members will get two.

Annual choice benefit options after 50 nightsSecond annual choice benefit options after 75 nights
Five suite night awardsFive suite night awards
40% off Marriott Retail mattress and box spring40% off Marriott Retail mattress and box spring
$100 donation to UNICEF$100 donation to UNICEF
Gift Silver Elite status to one personGift Gold Elite status to one person
Five elite night creditsFive elite night credits
One free night award (up to 40,000 points)

Suite night awards

While elite status makes you eligible for room upgrades, often including suites, there's no way to confirm you'll receive an upgrade on any given reservation. You'll just have to show up and cross your fingers. Suite night awards are one-night room upgrades that can be confirmed ahead of time and allow you to upgrade to a standard suite. If a hotel is unable to confirm suite availability, your suite night award will be returned to you for use during another stay.

Ambassador service

Ambassador Elite status comes with your own personal assistant for every stay. This personal "concierge" can help you book stays, request upgrades and find things to do in your area of travel. Actual reports of the helpfulness of ambassadors vary. Some people report having an ambassador who automatically requests upgrades for them and checks in with them regularly to see if they need assistance, while others report almost never hearing from their ambassador and often not receiving a response to their emails.

Your24 benefit

With this benefit, Ambassador Elite members can choose their own check-in and checkout times within a 24-hour time period. For example, you can choose to check in as early as 7 a.m. as long as you also check out by 7 a.m. On the other hand, if you don't want to check out until 7 p.m., you can do so as long as you checked in after 7 a.m. In practice, this benefit is reported as inconsistent at best. Check-in and checkout times have to be approved before arrival, and they're often rejected due to availability or other exclusions. You also need to request your check-in and checkout times with your ambassador, who will then contact the hotel on your behalf, but many guests say they get no response.

How much are Marriott points worth?

Marriott points are worth just less than 1 cent each (0.98 cent) when redeemed for a standard hotel reservation. It is possible to get slightly more value by redeeming through Marriott's Points + Cash option, which gets you 1.04 cents per point, or for one of Marriott's PointSavers hotels, which gets you 1.0 cent per point. It's also possible to redeem Marriott points for gift cards and merchandise, but points are worth just 0.2 cent to 0.3 cent per point for these rewards.

How much is Marriott Bonvoy elite status worth?

The value of any rewards program will ultimately come down to the user. Members who travel more often, spend more and stay at high-end properties will get more value. However, in an attempt to make this valuation a little less subjective, we'll operate under the following assumptions:

  • You redeem your points for hotel reservations, which gets you an average value of 0.98 cent to 1.04 cents per point depending on how you redeem. For the sake of simplicity, we'll assume a value of 1 cent per point.
  • You complete just enough elite night credits to qualify for each tier.
  • On average, your stays consist of 2.5 nights. This means Silver Elite members complete four stays per year, Gold Elite members complete 10 stays per year and so on.
  • You spend an average of $150 per night, with the exception of Ambassador Elite, which requires $20,000 in annual spend.

We'll also use the following values for the main benefits associated with Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

Value of welcome gift: $3.75/stay for Gold; $25/stay for Platinum, Titanium & Ambassador

This benefit's value depends on the property and your status. Gold Elite members will get either 250 points or 500 points, depending on the property, so we'll estimate an average value per stay of $3.75, right in the middle.

For Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elite members, this benefit gets a little hairy, as you can see from the table below. Marriott isn't consistent with which hotels offer free breakfast, and some properties also offer the option of a $10 food and beverage credit, but depending on the brand, you might get $10 per stay for just you, or you might get $10 per day for you and another $10 per day for a guest. Assuming you split your time equally across various properties and have a guest with you half of the time, we estimate that this benefit is worth $25 per stay on average.

Welcome gift value for Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elite members

BrandsWelcome gift optionsYou choose…You get…
Element, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownPlace Suites500 points per stay or amenity (breakfast is free for all)500 points$5/stay
The Ritz-Carlton, Edition, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Design Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection Hotels, Gaylord Hotels, Renaissance Hotels (nonresorts)1,000 points per stay or one $10 food and beverage credit per stay (complimentary breakfast is only an option at resort properties)Either$10/stay
St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Tribute Portfolio1,000 points per stay or free breakfast for you and one guest each dayFree breakfast$10–20/day
Courtyard, AC Hotels, Moxy Hotels500 points per stay or a $10 daily food and beverage credit for you and one guestFood and beverage credit$10–20/day
Protea Hotels, Four Points, Aloft Hotels500 points per stay or free breakfast for you and one guest each dayFree breakfast$10–20/day

Value of late checkout: $10 to $200

Late checkout provides a marginal value for travelers who want to sleep in or get some extra work done. This benefit is often granted, but most travelers will only take advantage of it every once in a while. We'll value it at $10 for Silver Elite members, who get late checkout but without a published checkout time, and $40 for Gold Elite members, who get a 2 p.m. late checkout. Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elite members all get a 4 p.m. late checkout, so we'll value it at $100 for Platinum, $150 for Titanium and $200 for Ambassador due to frequency of use.

Value of room upgrades: $15 to $30/night

Room upgrades seem to be slightly more common with the Marriott Bonvoy program than with Hilton Honors, but members aren't getting suite upgrades like they used to with the old SPG program. An upgrade to a room with a view or a room on a concierge floor could be worth anywhere from $20 to $50, while a suite upgrade at a luxury property could be worth upward of $100. We'll assume you get upgraded around 25% of the time, with a handful of the upgrades being suites.

Gold Elite members don't qualify for suite upgrades, so we'll give them a value of $15 per night. Platinum Elite members qualify for suite upgrades, but The Ritz-Carlton is excluded, so we'll value the benefit for them at $25 per night. Finally, Titanium and Ambassador Elite members qualify for suite upgrades at all properties, including The Ritz-Carlton, so we'll value the benefit for them at $30 per night.

Value of lounge access: $150 to $300

The value of lounge access varies widely, given that only select properties have lounges, and even among those properties, lounge quality is variable. In most U.S. hotels with lounges, you'll get a few hors d'oeuvres during certain hours and nonalcoholic beverages. On the other hand, international Marriott properties, particularly in Asia, are known for having excellent lounges that often offer full dinners and complimentary alcoholic beverages. A number of lounges also close on the weekends. We'll place the value for this benefit at $150 for Platinum Elite, $225 for Titanium Elite and $300 for Ambassador Elite.

Value of annual choice benefit: $250

Depending on what you choose as your choice benefit, you can easily get $250 out of this perk. If you need a new mattress, the 40% off discount can save you well above $500. However, most people opt for the five suite night awards, which we value at $50 each. The free night is another popular choice for Titanium and Ambassador Elite members, and given that you can use it on hotels of up to 40,000 points, you could probably get up to $400 in value.

Value of ambassador service: $0

After the merger, what was formerly SPG's ambassador service now seems to be more of a hollow perk under Marriott Bonvoy. The company may need some time to hire and train a larger ambassador staff now that it has a much larger portfolio of hotels and far more elite members. For the time being, members report receiving generic or untimely responses from their ambassadors and having better luck with their queries by simply contacting the hotel directly, which is something any guest can do. We aren't going to attribute any value to the ambassador service for now.

Value of Your24 benefit: $50

We don't give much value to the Your24 benefit either, as it doesn't seem to be functioning as intended. In the past, guests could take advantage of this benefit through the app, but now members have to go through their ambassador to request check-in and checkout times. Most report being declined or never receiving a response.

Silver Elite value: $25

  • 10% bonus points on stays: $15
  • Priority late checkout: $10

Gold Elite value: $545

  • 25% bonus points on stays: $92
  • Priority late checkout until 2 p.m.: $40
  • Welcome gift: $38
  • Enhanced room upgrade: $375

Platinum Elite value: $2,618

  • 50% bonus points on stays: $368
  • Priority late checkout until 4 p.m.: $100
  • Welcome gift: $500
  • Enhanced room upgrade, including select suites: $1,250
  • Annual gift choice: $250
  • Lounge access: $150

Titanium Elite value: $4,702

  • 75% bonus points on stays: $827
  • Priority late checkout until 4 p.m.: $150
  • Welcome gift: $750
  • Enhanced room upgrade, including select suites: $2,250
  • Annual gift choice: $250
  • Lounge access: $225
  • Additional annual gift choice: $250

Ambassador Elite value: $6,520

  • 75% bonus points on stays: $1,470
  • Priority late checkout until 4 p.m.: $200
  • Welcome gift: $1,000
  • Enhanced room upgrade, including select suites: $3,000
  • Annual gift choice: $250
  • Lounge access: $300
  • Additional annual gift choice: $250
  • Ambassador service $0
  • Your24: $50

Credit cards that give you Marriott Bonvoy elite status

In addition to earning elite status through stays, you can earn it automatically by opening certain credit cards. A number of different Marriott co-branded credit cards and a couple of premium travel credit cards offer Marriott elite status as one of their perks.

On Chase's Secure Website

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website
Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Introducing the New Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card from CHASE® with no annual fee!
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains) and 1X point on all other purchases.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
  • Introducing the New Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card from CHASE® with no annual fee!
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains) and 1X point on all other purchases.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

This is a good basic credit card to get if you want to start earning more with Marriott but don't stay with them enough to justify an annual fee. The sign-up bonus is generous for a free rewards card.

On Chase's Secure Website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • An additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 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.
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • An additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 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.
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The free night award offered by this card, which can be used on hotels that cost up to 35,000 points, is enough to recoup the annual fee. That, plus the sign-up bonus, rewards rate and path to Gold Elite status, make this a good credit card for people who prefer Marriott hotels.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • 6X points on purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide
  • 3X points on U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X points on all other purchases
  • Get up to $100 in property credit per stay when you use your Card and a special rate code to book stays of two or more nights at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® properties
  • $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
  • Annual free night award (redemption level at or under 50,000 points) at participating hotels every year after your Card account anniversary
  • Priority Pass membership
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 6X points on purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide
  • 3X points on U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X points on all other purchases
  • Get up to $100 in property credit per stay when you use your Card and a special rate code to book stays of two or more nights at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® properties
  • $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
  • Annual free night award (redemption level at or under 50,000 points) at participating hotels every year after your Card account anniversary
  • Priority Pass membership
  • No foreign transaction fees
Annual Fee
$450
Regular APR
17.99% - 26.99% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

This premium credit card comes with a steep annual fee, so it might not be worth it for the casual Marriott traveler. However, if you stay in Marriott hotels regularly, you should be able to cancel out most of the annual fee using the Marriott Bonvoy annual statement credit. Your free night award will make up for the rest, and the rewards rate, path to Platinum Elite status and 15 elite night credits will make it easier for you to enjoy extra perks during your stays.

On American Express' Secure Website

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

On American Express' Secure Website
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.
  • 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.
Annual Fee
$125
Regular APR
17.74% - 26.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good, Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

This credit card offers a great value for business owners. You'll get a higher rewards rate than the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card at a much lower annual fee. You'll also get the chance to earn a second free night award. The card only comes with Silver Elite status but does offer a path to Gold.

On American Express' Secure Website

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On American Express' Secure Website
Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 3 months
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Annual Fee
$550
Regular APR
N/A
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good, Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The Platinum Card is a favorite among frequent travelers for its large airport lounge collection and flexible Membership Rewards points. You'll get Gold status with both Marriott and Hilton, and in general, this card is far more versatile for folks who aren't loyal to one hotel chain.

Marriott Bonvoy status challenge

Marriott doesn't do status matching like some other hotel loyalty programs. However, it does offer regular status challenges that allow you to fast-track your progress toward elite status for the remainder of the year, with the goal of enticing you to change your loyalty over to Marriott for the following year.

Previous status challenges include the ability to achieve Platinum Elite status by completing 16 paid nights in 90 days. You can find out about current Marriott Bonvoy status challenges by contacting Marriott Bonvoy at 1-800-627-7468 or filling out their contact form online.

Marriott Bonvoy lifetime status

Marriott Bonvoy gives its most loyal members the opportunity to earn elite status for life. You can earn Silver Elite, Gold Elite or Platinum Elite lifetime status, but the requirements aren't easy to meet.

Marriott lifetime status

You can earn Lifetime Silver Elite status by completing 250 lifetime nights with Marriott and holding any elite status for at least five years. To earn Lifetime Gold Elite status, you'll need to complete 400 lifetime nights and hold Gold Elite status or higher for at least seven years. Finally, Lifetime Platinum Elite is reserved for members who have stayed 600 lifetime nights and been a Platinum Elite member for at least 10 years.

You don't need to hold elite status for consecutive years. The years in which you achieved a status are the only ones that count, though. While Marriott did offer the chance to qualify for Lifetime Titanium Elite status during the merger with Starwood, it's not on offer anymore.

Final thoughts

While Gold status is a valuable sweet spot in the Hilton Honors program, Marriott Bonvoy shines at the Platinum Elite level. Titanium Elite also offers significant value. Unfortunately, the leap from Titanium Elite to Ambassador Elite requires serious commitment and offers almost no additional benefit. Marriott needs to add some extra perks to Ambassador to make that level worth the significant spending requirements.

It's more difficult to achieve elite status with Marriott Bonvoy than with Hilton Honors. You can essentially "buy" Hilton's highest status level with a credit card, but the highest status level you can automatically achieve with Marriott via credit cards is Gold Elite. Many consider this to be an advantage of the Marriott Bonvoy program, because when everyone is an elite member, no one is truly an elite member.

The process of merging the SPG and Marriott rewards programs hasn't always gone smoothly for Marriott Bonvoy, and while this new rewards program aims for simplicity, Marriott Bonvoy is highly inconsistent with its benefits across various hotel brands. The biggest complaint most members seem to have is that Marriott Bonvoy hotels don't always offer the benefits guests expect to receive. If Marriott addresses the concerns members have been voicing, the Marriott Bonvoy program has the potential to be one of the best hotel rewards programs out there.

Comments and Questions

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).