When it comes to earning elite status with an airline or hotel, the number one strategy is to be intentional with your bookings. Often times, elite status is directly tied to how much you use that brand, so planning in advance and consolidating stays with a specific brand will put you in a strong position to achieve elite status. However, in addition to straight earn, you may also be able to take advantage of certain promotions throughout the year that will fast-track your way to elite status.
After staying just 39 nights at a Marriott property in 2022, I earned 108 Elite Night Credits.
Marriott Bonvoy Status
Each program varies a bit, but Marriott offers six levels of annual membership for their elite status program as follows:
• Member (to begin)
• Silver Elite (after 10 nights)
• Gold Elite (after 25 nights)
• Platinum Elite (after 50 nights)
• Titanium Elite (after 75 nights)
• Ambassador Elite (after 100 nights and $20,000 in qualifying spend)
In addition, Marriott offers members the chance to choose an additional benefit after reaching Platinum and Titanium statuses:
After earning Platinum Elite at 50 nights (choose from):
• Get Suite Night Awards (five) to redeem for upgrades to select premium rooms or suites.
• Save 40% on a bed from your favorite hotel brand.
• Gift Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status to a family member or friend.
• Support children through UNICEF: Donate US$100.
• Support the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund: Donate US$100.
• Support World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Donate US$100.
• Add Elite Night Credits (five) to get you closer to higher Elite status and enhanced benefits in 2022.
After earning Titanium Elite at 75 nights (choose from):
• One Free Night Award with a redemption value of up to 40,000 points.
• Gift Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status to a family member or friend.
Credit Card Promotions
In addition to the qualifications above, Marriott and other brands will occasionally offer elite qualifying credits with certain credit cards. For instance, card holders of either the Personal Marriott Card or Business Marriott Card earn 15 Elite Night Credits on January 1st each year. Because I hold both, I begin each year with (2×15) 30 Elite Night Credits each January.
The marketing team will also develop “challenges” or “promotions” that incentivize you to stay with the brand. This year for instance, Marriott offered a promotion that allowed travelers to earn 1,000 bonus points and one bonus Elite Night Credit for each night stayed between March 1st and May 4th. During this time, I stayed 39 nights and therefore earned 39,000 bonus points and a total of 78 elite nights.
By staying 39 actual nights at a Marriott property in 2022, I earned 108 Elite Night Credits, five Suite Night Upgrades, a Free Night Award and Titanium Elite Status through December 2023!
Here’s how that broke down:
• Personal Marriott Bonvoy AMEX = 15 Elite Night Credits
• Business Marriott Bonvoy AMEX = 15 Elite Night Credits
• 39 nights stayed = 39 Elite Night Credits
• 2022 Special Promotion = 39 Elite Night Credits
• 50 Elite Night Credits = 5 Suite Night Upgrades
• 75 Elite Night Credits = Free Night Award