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With its purchase of Starwood Hotels in 2016, Marriott firmly established itself as one of the world’s largest hotel companies. With more than 7,000 hotels in 131 countries and territories, Marriott seems to be everywhere. And if you want to enhance your stay at these Marriott hotels, you’ll want to learn about Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Here’s what you need to know about Marriott Bonvoy elite status, how to earn elite status and what each elite tier is worth.
Marriott Bonvoy levels
There are five status levels to Marriott Bonvoy elite status:
10 to 24 nights per year
|Gold Elite||25 to 49 nights per year|
|Platinum Elite||50 to 74 nights per year|
|Titanium Elite||75 to 99 nights per year|
|Ambassador Elite||100+ nights and $14,000+ in annual spend per year (for 2021 only. In 2022, the spend requirement will return to $20,000)|
Marriott Silver Elite
How to earn it: 10 elite night credits in a year — automatically earned as a primary cardmember of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Points earned: 11 points per dollar (after 10% elite bonus) at most Marriott properties
Key benefits: Late checkout (based on availability), Ultimate Reservation guarantee
Marriott Silver Elite status is earning by getting just 10 elite nights in a year. All Marriott co-branded credit cards currently available to new cardholders offer 15 elite night credits — that means you’ll get (at least) Silver Elite status as a primary cardmember.
As the entry-level status, Marriott Silver Elite doesn’t offer many benefits. However, 10% bonus points and late checkout (when available) is better than nothing.
Marriott Gold Elite
How to earn it: 25 elite night credits in a year — automatically earned as a primary cardmember of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card or as a cardmember of The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (enrollment required); or earned by spending $35,000 in purchases in a year on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Points earned: 12.5 points per dollar (after 25% elite bonus) at most Marriott properties
Key benefits: Enhanced room upgrades, 2 p.m. late checkout (based on availability), welcome bonus points
Marriott Gold Elite is earned once you reach 25 elite nights in a year, have it granted as a benefit of some premium American Express-issued credit cards or achieve it by spending $35,000 in a year on select Marriott credit cards.
The available perks are a big step-up from Silver Elite, but Gold Elite benefits are still subject to limitations. Gold Elite members get room upgrades (but not to suites), 2 p.m. late checkout (still based on availability), a welcome gift (but only up to 500 points) and a 25% points bonus on stays.
Marriott Platinum Elite
How to earn it: 50 elite night credits in a year — or by spending $75,000 in purchases in a year on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Points earned: 15 points per dollar (after 50% elite bonus) at most Marriott properties
Key benefits: Lounge access, room upgrades (including suites), 4 p.m. late checkout, Annual Gift Choice
Marriott Platinum Elite is earned after 50 elite nights or by spending $75,000 in a year on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card — and this is the level where the Marriott elite benefits really get good.
Platinum Elite members get room upgrades (including suites), lounge access, 4 p.m. guaranteed late checkout and their choice of welcome amenity (including breakfast at many brands). Plus, Platinum Elite members also get an Annual Gift Choice between five Suite Night Awards, five elite night credits, gifting Silver Elite status or other options. All of these perks really make Platinum Elite status worth shooting for.
Marriott Titanium Elite
How to earn it: 75 elite night credits in a year
Points earned: 17.5 points per dollar (after 75% elite bonus) at most Marriott properties
Key benefits: Additional Annual Choice Benefit and United Premier Silver elite status
Marriott Bonvoy members earn Titanium Elite after 75 elite nights. And while these elite nights can be fast-tracked through the elite night credits awarded as a Marriott credit cardholder (more about that below), Titanium Elite status is going to require many nights spent in Marriott hotels.
In addition to all of the perks of Platinum Elite status, Titanium Elite members get an additional Annual Choice Benefit from a list of expanded options. As part of Marriott’s RewardsPlus partnership with United, Titanium Elite members also receive complimentary United Premium Silver elite status. Titanium Elite members also get a guaranteed room at any hotel as long as they book by at least 3 p.m. 48 hours before arrival.
Marriott Ambassador Elite
How to earn it: 100 elite night credits plus $14,000 in qualifying spending in a year (for 2021 only — in 2022, the spend requirement will return to $20,000)
Points earned: 17.5 points per dollar (after 75% elite bonus) at most Marriott properties
Key benefits: Ambassador Service and Your24
Marriott’s Ambassador Elite status is the only level that requires Bonvoy members to reach a spending threshold, as well as one for nights. In addition to achieving 100 elite nights, Bonvoy members need to spend at least $14,000 in qualifying spending to earn Ambassador Elite for 2021.
In addition to all of the perks of Titanium Elite status, Ambassador Elite members also receive Ambassador Service and Your24. Ambassador Service advertises "personal assistance with your stays — anytime, anywhere," while Your24 allows Ambassador Elites to stay at a hotel up to 24 hours after check-in.
Marriott awarding elite night credits to its 2020 members for 2021
Marriott elite members who couldn’t take advantage of their elite status benefits in 2020 should find some consolation in the latest promotion from Marriott: Marriott is automatically awarding 50% of the required elite night credits to earn the next level of status in 2021 to its members who had status in 2020. Elite nights will be awarded as follows:
- Silver members — five elite nights
- Gold members — 13 elite nights
- Platinum members — 25 elite nights
- Titanium members — 38 elite nights
- Ambassador members — 50 elite nights
This is in addition to any nights you earn through your spending with Marriott or as a Marriott credit card member.
Marriott Bonvoy benefits
As you can see above, there are quite a few types of benefits that Marriott Bonvoy members can receive. Each of these benefits has conditions, restrictions and other aspects to keep in mind. So, let’s take a closer look at these benefits, as well as each one's limitations.
Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
Marriott's Ultimate Reservation Guarantee is offered to Silver Elite members and higher, and this means Marriott will pay for your stay at a nearby hotel and compensate you for the inconvenience if the hotel you reserved can't host you. But, as with any benefit, there’s plenty of fine print involved.
In order to qualify for compensation, the property must be open and operational for the benefit to apply. That means the reservations guarantee isn’t valid if a hotel closes, even temporarily.
In addition, the terms also note that the member must be "relocated from the property upon arrival" to qualify. Presumably, this means you won’t qualify for compensation if the hotel relocates you in advance of your arrival.
The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis limit the guarantee to only Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members. Meanwhile, other brands — Design Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club and Vistana properties — don’t participate in the Ultimate Reservations Guarantee at all.
The table below details the compensation you're entitled to under Marriott's ultimate reservation guarantee.
|EDITION, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Gaylord Hotels||$200, plus 90,000 points|
|Courtyard, Four Points, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels, Fairfield, AC Hotels, Aloft, Moxy, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element||$100, plus 90,000 points (for Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members)|
|The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis [only applies to Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite Members]||$200, plus 140,000 points|
Gold Elite members and those with higher status receive a welcome gift at check-in. However, the choice of welcome gifts will vary by hotel brand and elite level. Gold Elite members get a welcome gift of either 250 or 500 points, depending on the hotel brand:
Welcome 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, Design Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Gaylord Hotels, Homes & Villas by Marriott International. Vistana properties only offer the Elite Welcome Gift benefit to non-Vistana Owner members.||500 points per stay|
|Courtyard, Four Points, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels, Fairfield, AC Hotels, Aloft, Moxy, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element||250 points per stay|
Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members have the choice of receiving a welcome gift of points, complimentary breakfast or an amenity. However, the exact choices depend on the brand. The table below details the welcome gift offered by Marriott brand. Note that the welcome gift may vary in regions outside the United States, Canada and Europe.
Welcome Gift for Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elites
|JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels (non-resorts)||1,000 points or $10 food and beverage credit per stay|
|JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels (resorts)||1,000 points or breakfast in the restaurant per night of stay for member and one guest|
|Gaylord Hotels||1,000 points or $10 food and beverage credit per stay|
|St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Tribute Portfolio||1,000 points, amenity or breakfast in the restaurant per night of stay for member and one guest|
|The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Design Hotels, Homes & Villas by Marriott International.
Vistana properties provide Elite Welcome Gift only to Members who are not Vistana Owners using their ownership interest.
|1,000 points per stay|
|Courtyard||Properties without a lounge: 500 points or $10 food and beverage credit per stay
Properties with a lounge: 500 points and breakfast in the lounge. If the lounge is closed, breakfast in the restaurant for member and one guest
|AC Hotels, Moxy Hotels||500 points or $10 food and beverage credit per night of stay for member and one guest|
|SpringHill Suites, Fairfield, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites||500 points or food and beverage item per stay|
|Four Points, Aloft||500 points, amenity or breakfast in the restaurant per night of stay for member and one guest|
|Protea Hotels||500 points or breakfast in the restaurant per night of stay for member and one guest|
|Element||500 points or amenity per stay|
If an elite welcome gift isn’t offered, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members are entitled to compensation based on the brand:
Compensation in USD
|JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, Gaylord Hotels, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Tribute Portfolio||$100|
|Courtyard, AC Hotels, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, Four Points, Protea Hotels||$50|
|Moxy Hotels, Fairfield, TownePlace Suites, Aloft, Element||$25|
|The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Design Hotels, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, Vistana||N/A (points is the only welcome gift option)|
Gold Elite members and higher status elites receive complimentary room upgrades, based on elite level and room availability at check-in.
Gold Elite members are eligible to get upgraded to enhanced rooms. These include rooms with better views, on higher floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities or even rooms on Executive Floors. Still, Gold Elite members aren’t eligible to get suite upgrades.
Platinum Elite members and above are eligible to get a complimentary upgrade to the best available room — including suites — for the length of their stay. Notably, however, at Ritz-Carlton properties, Platinum Elites aren’t eligible for upgrades and rooms with direct club access are excluded.
Room upgrades aren’t available to any elites at Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Aloft, Element and Vistana properties.
Marriott Club lounge access
Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members get "guaranteed lounge access" at JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, as well as at Courtyard properties with a lounge outside the United States and Canada (about 29% of Marriott properties participate in this).
If a lounge is closed — or a property from a participating brand doesn’t have a lounge or approved alternative — the hotel may have to provide an alternative based on the chart below:
Alternative Lounge Offer
|JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels (resorts excluded)||Daily continental breakfast in the restaurant for member and one guest. Member can choose to receive 750 points per stay instead.|
|Courtyard (outside the United States and Canada, with lounge)||Breakfast in restaurant|
|Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin||No alternative offered when lounge is closed|
There are currently 20 properties located in the U.S. that do not provide breakfast in the restaurant in the event that the lounge is closed. Instead, these properties offer elites 1,000 points. The current list of hotels that have this exception can be found in the Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions.
Guaranteed Room Type
Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members are "guaranteed priority for your requested type of room" at participating brands. However, Marriott’s terms and conditions make it rather unclear what exactly is covered by this benefit.
Here’s what is known: Only Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members have guaranteed priority for their requested type of bed. Outside the United States, Canada and Europe, smoking preference is also given priority, but only "based on availability."
Not surprisingly, there are many limitations to this "guarantee." This guarantee isn’t available at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Edition, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Design Hotels and Vistana properties. Platinum Elite and higher status members that make a same-day reservation aren’t eligible. In addition, special requests — the terms and conditions mention "pillow, room location, extra bed [and] crib requests" as examples — aren’t included in this guarantee.
Compensation for failure to meet this abstract guarantee depends on the hotel brand:
Compensation in USD
|The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Gaylord Hotels||$100|
|AC Hotels, Courtyard, Four Points, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels, Residence Inn||$50|
|Fairfield, Aloft, Moxy Hotels, TownePlace Suites, Element||$25|
Annual choice benefit
Marriott gives Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members a benefit of their choice each year. One choice benefit is earned upon reaching 50 elite nights and another is earned if you reach 75 elite nights. This means Platinum Elite members will get one Annual Choice Benefit each year and Titanium and Ambassador Elite members get a total of two benefits.
The list of choices is similar between the two levels. However, the 75-night Annual Choice Benefit adds the option of a Free Night Award, and members can gift Gold Elite status instead of Silver Elite status.
Platinum Elite 50-night Annual Choice Benefit options
Titanium Elite 75-night additional Annual Choice Benefit options
|Five Suite Nights Awards||Five Suite Night Awards|
|40% off a Marriott mattress and box spring||40% off a Marriott mattress and box spring|
|$100 charity donation to the ME to WE Foundation||$100 charity donation to the ME to WE Foundation|
|Gift Silver Elite status to another member||Gift Gold Elite status to another member|
|Five elite night credits||Five elite night credits|
|One Free Night Award (up to 40,000 points)|
For most Platinum Elite members, the five Suite Night Awards is going to be the most valuable choice. As discussed in this post, Silver Elite status is easily achieved through a Marriott credit card, and it’s not especially valuable. If you really love a particular Marriott brand’s bedding, you could opt for the 40% discount to buy one of your own through Marriott Retail Brands.
Note that the elite night credits option is applied to the year in which status was earned. So, the only time where it makes sense to choose five elite night credits is when you’ll otherwise end up with 70 to 74 elite nights for a year. In this case, adding five elite night credits will boost you to Titanium Elite status. That earns you better perks, such as an additional Annual Choice Benefit.
The choice at 75 nights is a bit tougher. Instead of Silver Elite status, you can give Gold Elite status, which could make sense in some cases. However, the five Suite Night Awards or one Free Night Award at a property costing up to 40,000 points is likely to be much more valuable. The elite night credit option only makes sense when you have at least 95 nights and enough spending to earn Ambassador Elite status.
Bonvoy Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members get a guaranteed room at most Marriott properties through the 48-hour Guaranteed Availability benefit. As long as a reservation is requested at least 48 hours prior to 3 p.m. on the date of arrival, these elite members can book a room at the prevailing rate (though Free Night Award, promotional and discount rates can’t be used).
It would seem that this benefit would really come in handy to get a room during the Super Bowl, New Year’s Eve or another major event. However, it’s exactly these types of situations that are excluded from this guarantee. The terms and conditions note that the "Forty-eight (48) Hour Guaranteed Availability may not be available on certain limited dates (e.g., special events)." This isn’t further defined, so it’s possible that hotels could easily work their way out of this.
In addition, this benefit isn’t available at resort hotels, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Design Hotels and Vistana properties.
Ambassador Elite status comes with Ambassador Service, advertised as "personal assistance with your stays — anytime, anywhere." Prior to 2020, Ambassador Elite members received a dedicated personal assistant to help with booking stays, requesting upgrades and other special requests.
However, Marriott has laid off many ambassadors in two rounds of layoffs in 2020. Particularly since these changes, Ambassador Elites have reported minimal to nonexistent service.
With this benefit, Ambassador Elite members can choose their own check-in and checkout times, which guarantees Ambassador Elite members 24 hours at a property. 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. Or, if you don't want to check out until 7 p.m., you can do so as long as your confirmed check-in time is after 7 p.m.
In practice, this benefit is reported as inconsistent at best. Check-in and checkout times have to be approved before arrival. To do this, Ambassador Elites need to request specific check-in and checkout times with their ambassador at least two days prior to arrival. Ambassador Elites say these requests are often rejected due to availability or other exclusions, or they may just never get a response.
How to become a Marriott member
Marriott Bonvoy is free to join, and the sign-up process takes just minutes. You can join through the Marriott homepage by clicking "Join Now" in the middle of the homepage or by clicking "Sign In or Join" at the top right corner of any page. You'll be asked to provide your name, country/region, zip code and email address, then set and confirm a password.
Marriott often runs new member bonuses. For example, travelers can enroll in the Marriott Bonvoy program through this link to earn a Free Night Award after completing two paid stays in a certain period of time. Alternatively, new members can enroll through this link to earn 2,500 bonus points after your first stay.
Once you're logged in, you'll be able to see your Marriott account activity and upcoming trips and track your progress toward elite status.
You can also make reservations at the lowest available rate through your Marriott Bonvoy account. Doing so will ensure that you get credit toward elite status for your stay.
If you reserve a stay through a third party, or make a booking through tour operators, online travel channels or other third-parties elite benefits, it is considered a Non-Qualifying Rate. These rates won’t earn points, elite night credits or grant elite benefits.
Track your elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy app. Marriott Bonvoy members can book and manage reservations, register for promotions, track progress toward elite status and more on the go by using Marriott’s app.
How to get Marriott status
To earn Marriott Bonvoy elite status, members need to achieve a certain number of elite night credits. An elite night credit is simply a credit toward the nights required for Marriott Bonvoy elite status. elite night credits can be earned through staying at Marriott hotels, by being a Marriott credit cardholder or by hosting a qualifying event.
In order for a stay at a Marriott hotel to count toward elite status, it must be a Qualifying Night. To count as a Qualifying Night, the member must book a stay directly through Marriott, stay in the room themself and pay for the room directly, unless the stay is billed to the member’s company.
Generally, a Qualifying Night yields an elite night credit. However, stays at ExecuStay and Marriott Executive Apartments only earn one elite night credit for every three Qualifying Nights.
elite night credits required
|Member||0 to 9 per year|
|Silver Elite||10 to 24 per year|
|Gold Elite||25 to 49 per year|
|Platinum Elite||50 to 74 per year|
|Titanium Elite||75 to 99 per year|
|Ambassador Elite||100+ per year and $20,000 annual spend|
Fast tracks to higher levels of Marriott status
The standard way of earning Marriott elite status is through hotel stays, but there are several ways to fast track your way to Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
The easiest way to fast track Marriott status is through Marriott co-branded cards. All Marriott credit cards currently available to new cardholders offer at least Silver Elite status and 15 elite night credits toward earning higher elite status. Alternatively, you can get Marriott Gold Elite status as a benefit of certain premium American Express credit cards. Note, enrollment is required to earn status.
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card||Silver Elite status through 15 elite night credits||$0|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card||Silver Elite status. Spend $35,000 in a calendar year to earn Gold Elite status. 15 elite night credits toward higher status.||$95|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card||Silver Elite status. Spend $35,000 in a calendar year to earn Gold Elite status. 15 elite night credits toward higher status.||$125|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card||Gold Elite status. Spend $75,000 in a calendar year to earn Platinum Elite status. 15 elite night credits toward higher status.||$450 See rates and fees|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Gold Elite status||$695 See rates and fees|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Gold Elite status||$595|
Bonvoy members can now earn 15 elite night credits through personal Marriott credit cards, as well as through business Marriott credit cards (notably, there’s only one business card available at this time, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card)
This means that small business owners can get both the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card and a personal Marriott credit card to earn 30 elite night credits just through credit cards — enough for Gold Elite status without even spending a night in a Marriott hotel. Then, they would only need to earn just 20 more nights to reach the lucrative Platinum Elite status.
Marriott status match and challenge
If you have elite status with another hotel brand, check to see if Marriott is offering an elite status match and challenge. With a status match, you could receive Bonvoy elite status equivalent to elite status you may have at another hotel brand. By enrolling in a status match, you can get Marriott Bonvoy elite status immediately with an opportunity to keep that elite status by completing a required number of nights in a set time period.
For example, under a recent promotion (currently paused until March 31), Bonvoy base, Silver and Gold Elite members could challenge for either Gold Elite or Platinum Elite status. To maintain Gold Elite status through February 2022, members would need to complete five eligible paid nights in 90 days. The Platinum Elite status challenge required 15 eligible paid nights in 90 days to keep the status through February 2022.
Elite status gifting
There are only two ways that a Bonvoy member can gift elite status, and both involve Annual Choice Benefits. Upon reaching Platinum Elite status, a Bonvoy member can use their Annual Choice Benefit to gift Silver Elite status to another member. Upon achieving Titanium Elite status, a member can use their Annual Choice Benefit to gift Gold Elite status.
With that said, members can only choose one Annual Choice Benefit at each of these levels, and the other options are generally much more valuable.
If you choose to gift elite status, the gifted elite status level will be valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it’s gifted plus a full calendar year plus two months of the following year. So, if you gift another member elite status in January 2021, that member will maintain elite status through February 2023.
Some large companies partner with Marriott to offer elite status to their employees. For example, Microsoft employees can enroll through this link to receive Silver Elite status. The same offer is available for IBM employees.
If you work at a large company, it’s worth checking with your travel department to see if your company has a partnership with Marriott.
Upon reaching certain milestones, Marriott Bonvoy elite members can earn lifetime elite status. But, there’s no fast-tracking to lifetime elite status — in addition to needing to earn a certain number of qualifying nights, members will need to have maintained elite status for a certain number of years to be eligible for lifetime elite status:
- Lifetime Silver Elite: 250 Qualifying Nights + five years as Silver Elite or higher
- Lifetime Gold Elite: 400 Qualifying Nights + seven years as Gold Elite or higher
- Lifetime Platinum Elite: 600 Qualifying Nights + 10 Years as Platinum Elite or higher
Marriott only helps you keep track of one of these metrics, lifetime elite nights. To check your progress, log in to your Bonvoy account and browse to your Activity page. Under the "Nights Earned" section in the top right corner, click the "Details" link. A pop-up window will show the number of elite nights earned toward elite status this year and toward Lifetime Status.
How much is Marriott status worth?
Marriott elite status is worth between $22 and $6,000 — depending on the status level. Of course, the value of any rewards program will ultimately come down to how often travelers use the elite benefits. 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 objective, we'll use the following assumptions:
- You redeem your points for hotel reservations, which gets you an average value of around 0.5 cents.
- You complete just enough elite night credits to qualify for each tier. That means 10 nights for Silver Elites, 25 nights for Gold Elites, 50 nights for Platinum Elites, 75 nights for Titanium Elites and 100 nights for Ambassador Elites.
- On average, your stays consist of two and a half 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. However, since Ambassador Elite requires $20,000 in annual spending, we’ll assume $200 per night for this tier.
Silver Elite value: $18
|Gold Elite value: $481|
|Platinum Elite value: $2,288|
|Titanium Elite value: $4,072|
|Ambassador Elite value: $5,300|
Here’s how we’ve come up with these values:
10% to 75% bonus points on stays: $8 to $750
One of the most valuable — but often overlooked — benefits of Marriott elite status are the bonus points that you earn as an elite. Let’s show you the calculations on how we value this benefit:
Silver Elite members earn a 10% points bonus on stays. Using our assumptions of 10 nights and an average of $150 per night, we calculate an average Silver Elite member would spend $1,500 in a year. Marriott Bonvoy members earn a base of 10 points per dollar at most properties, or 15,000 base points on $1,500 of spending. That means the 10% Silver Elite bonus equates to 1,500 bonus points. At 0.5 cents per point, that’s only around $8 worth of points.
We calculate that a Gold Elite would spend a total of $3,750 (25 nights at $150 per night) and earn 37,500 base points. The 25% elite bonus yields 9,375 bonus points (around $47 in value). A 50-night Platinum Elite would spend around $7,500 (50 nights at $150 per night) for a base earnings of 75,000 points. The 50% elite bonus of 37,500 bonus points is worth around $188.
Assuming 75 nights at $150 per night, a Titanium Elite would spend around $11,250 per year and earn a base of 112,500 points. The 75% elite bonus would yield 84,375 bonus points, for a value of $422.
Ambassador Elite members also earn a 75% elite bonus. However, a member needs to spend at least $20,000 to earn Ambassador Elite status — that spending earns 200,000 base points. The 75% elite bonus tacks on another 150,000 bonus points, worth $750.
Value of bonus
Value of late checkout: $10 to $200
Late checkout can provide some value for travelers who want to sleep in or get some extra work done. This benefit is often granted, but most travelers may only take advantage of it every once in a while.
We'll value this perk at $10 for Silver Elite members (who get late checkout based on availability) and $40 for Gold Elite members (who get a 2 p.m. late checkout based on availability).
Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elite members all get a guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout. This perk could really come in handy and could save you from needing to rent a workspace or day room before a night flight. Still, we will assign a conservative value of $5 per stay — that’s $100 for Platinum, $150 for Titanium and $200 for Ambassador based on our assumptions.
Value of welcome gift: $2/stay for Gold; $25/stay for Platinum, Titanium and 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 brand, so let’s average that to 375 points per stay. Assuming 10 stays and 0.5 cents per point value for Marriott points, that’s around $19 worth of points for the year.
For Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elite members, this benefit gets a little more difficult to calculate. The welcome gift for these elite members varies widely based on the brand and location of the hotel. You might get complimentary breakfast for yourself and a guest. Or, you might just get a $10 food and beverage credit.
Averaging it all out, we estimate that this benefit is worth $25 per stay. However, if you often travel with a guest and stay at brands that offer full breakfast, you may get much more value from this benefit.
Value of room upgrades: $15 to $25/night
While some hotel rewards programs are inconsistent in granting upgrades to their elite members, Marriott’s room upgrades are typically not a frustration of the program. As long as there’s a better room available, most Marriott hotels seem happy to upgrade elites.
However, the value of these upgrades is going to be rather personal. After all, would you pay $25 more per night for a room with a better view? If not, the upgrade wouldn’t really be worth that much to you.
For the sake of this valuation, we will estimate a value of $15 per night for Gold Elite members, as these members aren’t eligible for suite upgrades. Platinum Elite members qualify for suite upgrades, but Ritz-Carlton properties are excluded, so we’ll value the benefit for them at $20 per night. Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members qualify for suite upgrades at most properties, so we'll value the benefit at $25 per night for these levels.
Value of lounge access: $250 to $500
The value of lounge access varies widely — after all, only certain properties have lounges. Platinum Elites and higher are eligible to get lounge access at JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Autograph Collection and Renaissance Hotels. Currently, there are just over 2,000 hotels in these brands; after excluding resort properties, roughly a quarter of Marriott’s properties have a lounge that elites have access to.
Even among the properties that have lounges, the lounge quality can be variable. Some will offer hot breakfast, evening appetizers and sometimes even free alcoholic drinks. Others may only offer fruits, packaged items and sodas.
Taken together, let’s assume a value of $20 per night at properties with a lounge and 25% of nights spent at these properties. That’s $5 per night, placing the value for this benefit at $250 for Platinum Elite, $375 for Titanium Elite and $500 for Ambassador Elite.
Which Bonvoy hotels have lounges?
Marriott offers M Club lounges in more than 100 hotels around the world, with the bulk located in the U.S. Here's a quick overview of the locations:
United States: 77 M Club lounges
Canada: Six M Club lounges
Europe: 12 M Club lounges
Asia: 6 M Club lounges
Value of annual choice benefit: $200-$500 (or more)
Depending on what you choose as your choice benefit, you can easily get at least $250 from this perk. Most Platinum Elite members opt for the five Suite Night Awards, which we value at $50 each. The Free Night Award is a popular choice for Titanium Elite members. Since it can be used toward a night costing up to 40,000 points, you could potentially get up to $200 in value. And the 40% discount on a new mattress and box springs could save you well over $500.
Value of ambassador service: $50
We interviewed a few Ambassador Elite members for this story — none place any value on the ambassador service that they’ve received in the past year. One Ambassador Elite noted that he’s "wasted a lot of it dealing with the very underwhelming Ambassador service." Another noted that his ambassador "is always MIA [missing in action]" when needed.
Other 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. Still, since there’s a chance that an ambassador may come through on a request or two, we will assign a token value of $50 for ambassador service.
Value of Your24 benefit: $50
This is a great benefit in theory — however, we don't give much value to the Your24 benefit in practice. Ambassador Elite members have to go through their ambassador to request check-in and checkout times. Many Ambassador Elites report being declined, or never even receiving a response. This lack of Ambassador service means many Ambassador Elites aren’t able to utilize this benefit as advertised.
Is Marriott status worth it?
Marriott Bonvoy elite status can be very valuable, or not valuable at all — it all depends on your travel style and how you utilize Marriott elite perks. If, for example, you mostly stay at Marriott’s extended stay hotels, elite status will help you earn bonus points. But, benefits like room upgrades, lounge access and perks like Suite Night Awards aren’t going to provide much value.
However, by utilizing elite benefits, elite members can certainly rack up value. Platinum Elite perks like 4 p.m. late checkout may help save you from having to book a day room before a late flight, while complimentary breakfast and lounge access may save you from having to buy a meal or two each day.
When does Marriott status reset?
Marriott elite status is earned based on a calendar year. If you failed to requalify for elite status, your current elite status is only valid through the end of February of the following year.
How long does Marriott status last?
Marriott elite status is generally valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it’s earned, plus the following calendar year and another two months in that next year. That means if you earn Marriott status in July 2021, that elite status will be valid through the end of February 2023.
Do point nights count toward Marriott status?
Marriott award nights paid for with points count toward earning Marriott Bonvoy elite status the same as if you paid cash for the night. However, the stay won’t count as a qualifying stay for achieving promotions.
Do Marriott rewards nights count toward elite status?
Marriott Free Night Award stays count toward elite night credits required for Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Does Marriott status match?
Marriott will sometimes offer a status match and challenge to travelers that hold elite status with other hotel brands. Check this webpage to see if a Marriott status match is currently available.
Can you buy Marriott Platinum status?
You cannot buy any Marriott elite status. However, you can get a shortcut to many Marriott Bonvoy elite status levels through being a Marriott co-branded credit cardholder. By holding both a personal and a business Marriott credit card, you could earn 30 elite night credits toward the 50 nights required for Platinum Elite status.
For rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express have been independently collected by ValuePenguin and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.