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Basic Guide to Marriott Bonvoy Status

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If you know anything about me, it’s that I am a giant Marriott Bonvoy fan.  I have traveled all over the world and stayed at Bonvoy properties on five different continents. One of the things that helped make my experience so great, is carrying high Marriott Bonvoy status for years. Easily some of my favorite benefits include free breakfast and lounge access, which at some properties means free food all day!

In this Basic Guide:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Program Introduction
  • Marriott Bonvoy Status Levels
    • Member
    • Silver
    • Gold
    • Platinum
    • Titanium
    • Ambassador
  •  Best Marriott Bonvoy Status Perks
    • 5th Night Free
    • Complimentary Breakfast
    • Executive Lounge Access
    • Suite Night Awards
  • How to Earn Bonvoy Status without Staying at a Hotel

What is the Marriott Bonvoy Program?

Photo courtesy of Marriott.com

The Marriott Bonvoy program is a loyalty program designed to help travelers earn credit for stays, through Bonvoy points. When I traveled sparingly, I rarely used to sign up for each individual program that I was staying at. Gone are those days, and I make sure to sign up for every loyalty program I can get my hands on.

Within these loyalty programs, even the most basic of benefits generally include free WiFi, and resort fee waivers etc.

Basic Pro Tip ~ There are many ways to earn Bonvoy Points outside of just pure hotel stays. Learn the ins and outs of earning in our Basic Guide to Earning Marriott Bonvoy Points!

Marriott Bonvoy Status Levels

There are SIX levels of the Marriott Bonvoy Status: Member, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elite All new account holders will automatically be ‘Members’.

Below we break down each status level and the applicable perks

Marriott Bonvoy Member – 0 to 9 Nights

Courtesy of Marriott.com

As mentioned, nothing special here, but WIFI charges can absolutely add up quickly. Don’t forget that booking through a 3rd party site will not entitle you to these benefits, however.

  • Free WiFi
  • 10 Points Per Dollar
  • Mobile Check-In and Key

Marriott Bonvoy Silver Status – 10 Nights / Year

Photo courtesy of Marriott.com

Marriott Silver Elite status is earned by getting just 10 elite nights in a year. Without much effort at all, just by carrying a Marriott Co-branded card you already carry silver status! Marriott Silver Elite doesn’t offer many benefits, in comparison to higher but the few they do offer are better than not signing up at all.

Silver Elite members get all of the benefits below plus the Member benefits of:

  • Free WiFi.
  • Mobile check-in and mobile key.

Plus:

  • 10% Points Bonus
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
  • Elite Reservation Line
  • Late Check-Out

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Status – 25 Nights

Photo courtesy of Marriott.com

Bonvoy Gold Status comes with an additional four benefits including the Silver and Member benefits listed above.

Gold Elite members enjoy the benefits below plus the Silver benefits of:

  • Late checkout (2:00 when available)
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee.
  • Mobile check-in and mobile key.
  • Elite reservation line.

In addition to these, Gold Members get:

  • 25% Points Bonus
  • Welcome Amenity of Points
  • Upgraded Internet
  • Room Upgrades (When Available)

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Status – 50 Nights

Photo courtesy of Marriott.com

While Platinum status with Marriott is only mid-tier, it is definitely nothing to ignore. At this level, you automatically qualify for two of the most important benefits when considering a hotel in free breakfast and lounge access. Along with this, there are a variety of nice benefits.

Platinum members receive the below benefits plus the Gold benefits of:

  • Enhanced internet.
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee.
  • Mobile check-in and mobile key.
  • Elite reservation line

In addition to these, Platinum Members get:

  • 50% Points Bonus
  • 4 PM Guaranteed Late Checkout
  • Welcome Amenity
  • Suite Upgrades (When Available)

Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Status – 75 Nights

Photo courtesy of Marriott.com

Titanium Elite is a sweet spot in the status chart of Marriott as it offers almost all of the benefits of the top-level (Ambassador) but is far more obtainable at only 75 nights and no spending requirement.

Titanium members receive the below benefits plus the Platinum benefits of:

  • Guaranteed room type
  • Lounge access
  • Room upgrades
  • Welcome amenity
  • 4 pm late checkout
  • 48-hour room guarantee 
  • Enhanced internet
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
  • Mobile check-in and mobile key
  • Elite reservation line

In addition to these, Titanium Members get:

  • 75% Points Bonus
  • 48 Hour Room Guarantee
  • Suite Upgrades at Ritz Carlton
  • United Airlines Silver Premier Status
  • Annual Choice Benefit

Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Status – 100 Nights + $20,000 in Spending

Photo courtesy of Marriott.com

The Ambassador Elite is the final and top-tier status that you can earn on Marriott. With the Ambassador status comes a night requirement of 100 nights a year. This is also the only status that comes with a spending requirement, of $20,000 a year in addition to the 100 nights. In 2021, this level is reduced to $14,000 to help offset less travel.

A footnote for anyone attempting to earn status in 2021 is that the biggest feature of this status in the personalized ambassador service has been suspended due to reduced staff.

Ambassadors receive the below benefits plus the Titanium benefits of:

  • 75% points bonus
  • Guaranteed room type
  • Lounge access
  • Room upgrades including at Ritz Carlton properties
  • United Airlines Premier Status
  • Welcome Amenity
  • 4 pm late checkout
  • Enhanced internet
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
  • Mobile check-in and mobile key
  • Elite reservation line

In addition to these, Ambassador Members get:

  • Personalized Ambassador Service (This has been supsended through the end of 2021)
  • Your24

Annual Choice Benefit

The annual choice is a benefit earned at both the Platinum and the Titanium level (50 and 75 nights respectively) This is a small ticket of appreciation given by Bonvoy at these levels. The below chart details the gifts you can choose.

Photo courtesy of Valuepenguin.com

Lifetime Marriott Elite Status

If you want to never have to worry about obtaining status again, these are the thresholds you need to meet to keep the respective status for life. In addition to earning lifetime status your points also never expire! This is a pretty tough goal for a Basic Traveler who doesn’t stay much during the year, but if you travel for business quite a bit this is very obtainable, especially with promotions and extra elite night credits.

Silver Elite  250 Lifetime Nights and 5 years of Marriott Elite Status.

Gold Elite  400 Lifetime Nights and 7 years of Marriott Gold Elite Status or higher.

Platinum Elite  600 Lifetime Nights and 10 years of Marriott Platinum Elite Status or higher.

Best Perks from the Marriott Bonvoy Program  

1) Free 5th Night when using Points

You may think that using points has limitations, but not with Marriott. In fact, unlike cash booking you get BONUS value out of this.

If you book four consecutive nights with Marriott Bonvoy points, then this entitles you to a free fifth night! This also helps bring your average cost down per night, providing extra value.

Quick example:

60,000 / for 4 Nights is 15,000 points a night

60,000 / for 5 Nights is only 12,500 per night!

5th night Free is the ultimate hack when staying in all inclusives, like the Al Maha Resort in Dubai!

2) Complimentary Breakfast (Gold and above)

The free breakfast perk has saved me a ton of money over the years. Even if you are an early riser or have to catch a flight the hotels will typically pack a bag for you. At some of the higher end resorts, breakfast can be an astounding $40 or more per person. Having this bonus perk helps the savings really add up over the years and adds ton of convenience to your morning instead of having to forge for food.

Complimentary Breakfast at the JW Marriott Venice

3) Executive / Concierge Lounge Access (Platinum and above)

When it isn’t COVID times, one of the things I look forward to the most with Marriott status is the lounge access. Typically, when I’m looking for an extended stay with extra value, I look to properties that have great lounges. The JW Marriott properties for example can have food and drink spreads that can basically substitute a free dinner. Although the point of traveling is not to stay in the hotel the whole time, it’s nice to have this extra benefit.

Lounge Access at the Renaissance Harbor Hong Kong

4) Suite Night Awards

As a mid-tier or above with status, you are entitled to free upgrades if available. You have the opportunity to earn what are called ‘Suite Night Awards’ as a gift once you hit platinum. (You can choose these in your Annual Choice Benefit.) The basic premise of these is, you would book your room, and then request one of the upgraded rooms or suites from a pre-selected list. Once your stay is 5 days away, these start being considered for an upgrade. I have had a mixed experience on these as I generally get great upgrades. However, if I am celebrating a special occasion and want a guarantee at a tough property, I will use these suite night awards. When there was a fairly sold-out property at the JW Marriott in Venice, I locked in three nights in one of their villas using this strategy.

I used a SNA at the JW Marriott Hotel in Venice, to book a great Villa!

How to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Status without Staying at a Hotel

The easiest way to earn status in my opinion is via the Chase or Amex Co-branded credit cards. Each of the four different options provides at least Silver Status and above, in the form of 15 elite night credits per year of having the card open.

95,000
Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points
after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.

$650 annual fee (Rates & Fees)

95,000
Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points
after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.

$650 annual fee (Rates & Fees)

3 Free Night
Awards valued up to 50,000 points each
after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

$95 Annual Fee

3 Free Night
Awards valued up to 50,000 points each
after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

$95 Annual Fee

30,000
Marriott Bonvoy® Bonus Points
after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

$0 Annual Fee

30,000
Marriott Bonvoy® Bonus Points
after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

$0 Annual Fee

Basic Breakdown

Of course, everyone is going to have their own opinion about using a major chain when travelling. Some people prefer Airbnb, or boutique hotels. Personally, all the THOUSANDS of extra value that Marriott has provided me over the years has been at times priceless. If you have the opportunity to get status, especially with the reduced requirements this year I highly recommend it!

Let us know! Do you have a favorite part of the Marriott Bonvoy program? 

I’d love to hear in the comments below or over in our 7,300+ Member Basic Travel Facebook Group!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

The comments section below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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