As we approach the end of the year, some of us are looking at our elite status situation and realizing that we haven’t yet met our goals. If you were hoping to reach high level elite status with Marriott, please take a look at our recently re-published post: 12 Shortcuts to Marriott Platinum Elite status (2019 edition). In this post, we’ll drill into one of the 12 shortcuts: get 10 elite nights by booking a meeting. Did you know that you can book Marriott meetings online? Prior to reading this post from Loyalty Lobby, I didn’t know.
Elite Status Overview
The sweet spot elite status, in my opinion, is Platinum Elite. This will get you the vast majority of the best benefits: 4pm late checkout, 50% point bonus, welcome gift, free breakfast at most properties, and lounge access. And, when you earn 50 elite nights you also get a Choice Benefit, such as 5 Suite Night Awards.
Marriott Meeting = 10 Elite Nights
Elite nights are usually earned from actual hotel stays (both paid and award stays count). However, as pointed out in our shortcuts to elite status post, there are many other ways to earn nights. One of those ways is to book a meeting. Once per calendar year, you can earn 10 elite nights by holding a meeting at a Marriott hotel. Of course, you don’t need a real meeting to make this happen. You could book a meeting room just for yourself.
I have friends who have negotiated meeting rates as low as $60 or $70 for an hour in a meeting room. That’s great, but if you’re not interested in calling around and negotiating, you can find rates online as low as $100 for half a day.
Whether you book online or off-line, make sure to avoid properties that don’t participate. Marriott’s website lists the following:
*The following brands do not participate in Marriott Bonvoy™ Events: Marriott Executive Apartments®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, Design Hotels™, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, and Vistana properties.
Click here for Marriott’s Meetings and Events page.
This is an affiliate link. I think we’ll earn a small commission if you book a meeting this way. Thanks!
Step 1: Search for meetings near you (or someplace that you’ll visit)
Important: Make sure to enter 0 guest rooms otherwise the system will not let you book a single day meeting:
Step 2: Look for $200 prices
Depending on where you search, you may see several pages of results. Many results do not display prices. Keep scrolling and paging until you find a convenient option for $200. If you don’t find this option, you can try a different location.
Step 3: Reduce price to $100
Click “Book Now” and then alter the time-window to four hours or less. You should then see the estimated cost drop to $100.
Watch our for high fees
With all bookings you will also have to pay taxes, fees and potentially service charges. I sent an inquiry to the Auburn Hills property shown above to find out about these fees. I was told that I would be charged a 24% service charge and 6% in taxes. That means that this $100 booking would end up costing $130. That’s nuts. My guess is that it should be possible to negotiate a lower service charge if you explain that you don’t need any service at all. You’re happy to use the meeting room as-is with no setup and you don’t want any food or drinks brought to the room.
I don’t need any extra nights this year (I already have enough for Titanium status), but I figured that this could be helpful for those who are short 10 nights or less. Keep in mind that you may be able to do this cheaper by calling around, but make sure that the meeting salesperson agrees in writing that you’ll get 10 elite nights for booking the meeting. If you book online, I don’t believe it’s necessary to question this since that benefit is written directly on the Marriott website:
I booked a meeting at SpringHill suite and didn’t get the elite night
I’m planning to do a platinum challenge, Are the 10 elite qualifying nights credited properly to the challenge?
No. Elite challenges require you to stay the nights in hotels. You can’t apply a meeting towards those requirements.
HEADS UP. I tried this strategy and booked a meeting directly through the Marriott website while signed into my Bonvoy account. It was with a participating Springhill Suites and I confirmed with the meeting coordinator that I would receive the elite nights after the meeting occurred. I went to the meeting and did some work from the conference room. I got my receipt when I checked out. Two weeks later and the nights have not been credited. I contacted Marriott who told me that “per the contract” ( this language is absolutely not anywhere in the “contract” I received) the nights will be posted in 8-12 WEEKS, which will not be in the earning year of 2019. I’ve followed up directly with the meeting coordinator who is working with a “Bonvoy Associate” , “They will be the one’s to determine if you qualify for the points and the elite nights.” So for those trying this at the end of the year- make sure you have a back-up plan.
Will update this post if they manage to post the nights within this calendar year.
Just got an email saying I’m 5 nights from Gold status. Is gold worth hosting a meeting for? I only have the Amex Marriott Biz card.
Hi, was able to find a half day at courtyard for $100 but they wouldn’t give me the nights credit, saying it was just to get to silver, couldn’t award this to a platinum. Does it say it somewhere?
I was going to book online for a Marriott Courtyard Boston Downtown. Went through the whole online booking process and was about to pay with credit card, but decided to call first to make sure I would get the elite night credits.
I fear this was a big mistake.
The guy first took all my information and then quoted me a price that was $50 less than online. I then asked about the points and elite night credits. His response, “Sure you’ll get the points”, I asked about the elite night credits and he stammered and said he would have to check.
I’m now on hold, he comes back and asks where I’m getting that information from, I reply it’s on the Marriott website. Are you not aware of it? He said he was but wanted to be sure that I was?? Suspicious.
Then he said he would send me a proposal but I needed to sign and pay before end of day tomorrow. When I asked if the Elite night credits would be in the contract he said no, but he would make a note about them in his notes and I would get them, but they can’t adjust the wording in the contract.
When I asked what the difference is between booking online and going through him he said there wasn’t any difference and I would have to go through a sales manager on the phone anyways.
He THEN interrogated me if I was just booking the room just for elite night credits. I said I wasn’t. He said he would send the information to my email which I could sign with my phone.
After I hang up I decided to just book it online to insure I would get the credits. AMAZINGLY I’m not able to book online anymore for the properties that he sells for in the downtown Boston area, however I am still able to book online for other Boston hotels that are out of his reach.
Very shady and disappointing. It’s been over an hour now and no email from him and I don’t think I will be receiving one and I won’t be able to book online.
I think it’s better to be up-front about your purpose. Tell them that you just want the elite nights. If they don’t want your business because of it, fine, go somewhere else. Some will see it as an easy way to boost their numbers up a little bit with no work on their part. They might even offer you a better price since they’ll know that they don’t have to worry about setting up a room or anything.
Hi – Just a quick update for your readers. Marriott seems to have changed their system a bit in two substantive ways. First, the online system doesn’t allow you to pick the time period, offer price, etc. It only seems to allow you to submit a request for bids. Second, the 10 free nights are only for the first meeting you ever book, not every year anymore. You can earn elite nights for reserving room blocks, but obviously that’s not something most people would do regularly.
Thanks for the input but I think there’s simply some confusion here. Finding the ability to book online depends on the city you search. In a place with lots of Marriott properties, you should be able to find some that allow you to book online by scrolling down until you find some that have prices shown. I just checked for the Ann Arbor area and still see plenty that allow booking online. Second, the website does say that the 10 elite nights are only for your first meeting, but it means only for your first meeting each year.
Thank you, booked a 1 hour meeting for $50 plus tax yesterday and it posted overnight, status met!! Cheers!
Good data point. I had my meeting last Friday, and yesterday I was informed the hotel had to submit the planner points to Marriott before my 10 Elite Nights will be credited to my account. YMMV – very much! 🙂
UPDATE (data point)…I received an e-mail at 10.20am CT this morning, titled: “Your Meetings and Events Award has Posted”, and about an hour later, my status was updated to Platinum Elite in my Marriott profile.
So was the property aware of the 10 elite night credits prior to the meeting? Also, was it Marriott Corporate that informed you the hotel had to submit the planner points for the elite night credit to post? If this is the case, then it sounds like the elite night credits come from the Marriott side and the points come from the hotel. Is this your understanding as well?
@JC1 – yes, I sent the hotel meeting planner a screenshot of the image Greg included under “Wrap Up” above, which she acknowledged in our e-mail correspondence.
I followed up on Monday to ask when she was going to submit the planner points to Marriott Corporate, her response was “They will be submitted today for approval and once approved it will be in your account within 3-5 business days.”
Therefore, in my case, the Elite Nights credits came from Marriott Bonvoy – but were triggered by the planner points submitted by the hotel.
For the benefit of any readers on the North Dallas area, I booked my meeting online at the “Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Plano/The Colony”.
I hope this helps.
Fantastic!!! I just booked at local Courtyard for $100 + Taxes. Will update once the points gets posted.
Quick Question – even though I made the reservation on line I dont see the reservation under “My Trips” section. I did get an email confirmation and the sales agent called to collect the credit card info. Hoping others had similar experience. Just wanted to make sure if I did this right.
Was at 41 nights…points were posted last night. Viola!
Greg, thanks so much for this post and helping get many of us the platinum status.
@Money – when did you have your meeting? Just interested in the timing of Elite Nights posting. Thanks, Simon.
I think as one of the other readers here pointed out a good play for this is to add a 1hr meeting to a hotel stay you already have planned. This way you don’t have the issue of no-show or having to go out of your way just to check in.
Book a one-hour meeting at online for $100 plus tax. 10 elite nights were posted three days after. Sweet! Thanks Greg!
Awesome. Thanks for reporting back the results!
Who handles the 10 Elite Qualifying Nights posting, the hotel or Marriott corporate. The reason I am asking is multiple hotels in my area claim to not be aware of the 10 elite qualifying nights for booking a meeting and when sending them the link from Marriott’s website detailing this then state they are not participating and it only qualifies if you book 10 hotel rooms or more. This was at both full service hotels such as Marriott and Westin as well as limited service hotels such as courtyard, Fairfield inn, and Towneplace suites.
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Funny enough, only 1 hotel in my area is bookable online and when I sent the RFP out, I only heard back from 1 of 12 hotels I sent them too. So I called several properties over the last few days in the area and most reached out either same day or next day. I did find some reasonable pricing at a variety of both full-service and limited service properties, however, not one of the properties I talked too new anything about the 10 elite qualifying nights. I sent them the link from the Marriott website which details this to make sure the EQNs are included in either the proposal or in writing via email and two properties have both tried to claim that the EQNs are only available when booking overnight rooms in combination with meeting space. Obviously, I am not going to book with either of these properties. However, for others I would reconfirm before booking online that the hotel will actually honor the 10 EQNs as advertised.
Thanks for this tip Greg ,got my local Courtyard Marriott from $250 down to $125 with a half day meeting today. Booked it all online , showed up at 9am , sat and did work in a conference room and then left at 11:45am.
Now lets see how long it takes for the nights to post. Hope I am not placed in the Bonvoy Zone , where neither the hotel or Marriott takes responsibility for posting the nights .
2 days after “meeting” Courtyard Events Manager sent me final invoice $125+ Tax as expected and 10 nights posted the next day
Now at 75 nights for 2019 – Thanks again Greg
Just a heads up, you should be able to find 1 hour meetings for $50. You just need to look harder. It’s perfectly safe just make sure you have a contract signed (RFP). Do not sign it unless it states 10 nights credit, if its missing ask them nicely to put that in the contract. You do not need to stay after you check in, technically you do not need to even go to the meeting once you sign the contract. I do not recommend not going, bc they could always say you no showed and then its a gamble. I personally dont show to my meetings.
Thank you so much for the detailed info on this subject! I actually read this last week and booked a half day meeting room at the hotel I stayed last week for the Thanksgiving holiday. Cost was $125 plus tax and was booked directly with the sales manager at the hotel. As soon as I settled the bill today I got notification of my 10 Elite nights award! Score!! So excited to have made it to Platinum status. Can’t thank you enough. It was such an easy process.
I am lifetime Titanium Elite, so the nights aren’t that important to me. However, getting United miles at about 0.5 cpp is OK. I do not like to do MS with our Chase cards and innovative ways such as this might be a good way to get points. We travel from SAV to ORD a good bit and those tickets cost $300-500. SAV is just an expensive place to fly into and out of. This might be a good cheap way to get more United points.
Has anyone gotten points instead and how quickly do they post?
Unless I’m missing something, you’ll only get 1 mile per dollar if you opt to earn miles. It says that you’ll get “up to 20,000 miles” so I believe you’d have to pay $20K to get that many
Lots of comments I think I can speak to. I was able to leverage the meetings right before the final SPG merger and from that experience have 3 things to share:
1) You can negotiate the price in-person. Just tell them what you’re doing instead of trying to be sneaky. The honestly will remove the risk in their eyes and let them decide whether “I’m not even going to be there” justifies the lower price you’re negotiating ($50/meeting for me)
2) Nights posted almost instantly when they ran my card. In one case it took a full day (for some reason)
3) The no-show risk (I believe) is about their liability. If they run your card and you weren’t actually there – think about the risk to that employee (legal and job) if you happen to be that one crazy customer that said you wanted them to run your card and then 3 weeks later denies you told them to run it and can prove you weren’t even there. Just my opinion, I think that’s why they’re sticklers about it. If you have a good one-on-one with the Manager and they understand what you’re doing and why – in my opinion it makes it way easier for them to play along.
I had a meeting last Friday, 11/22. Hubby and I actually went there and sat in the room for 45 minutes or so, reading email. On the way in I picked up my receipt. This was booked directly with the hotel, a Fairfield Inn. The contract was simply a Meeting Room Agreement. There was no mention of Elite nights credit on the agreement, but I did confirm it with the Sales Coordinator in an email. I added my membership number under my signature on the meeting form. It’s only been a couple of business days. How long does this usually take? If she doesn’t know about the Group Posting Tool, should I contact her, or Marriott?
How did it go? Did you get the 10 elite nights?
Hi, I was wondering if these are 10 nights you can stay at a Marriott or just counts towards a minimum stay requirement to keep Platinum status?
These are just elite night counts toward status, nothing more.
Any links for Terms and Conditions explaining the 10 elite night credits with a meeting? I am fighting with a property who says they don’t participate (it’s a Courtyard, they do).
It really shouldn’t be this hard. The meeting website explicitly states “Get 10 Elite Night Credits with your first meeting. That’s Silver Elite status!”
The sales rep at the hotel said that they think it is only for Silver elite members…wtf? This was after we phoned in a (very competent) Marriott CSR on the Titanium Elite line
[…] Book Marriott meeting online for $100, get 10 elite nights by Frequent Miler. […]
Most hotels near me didn’t offer the online option but doing the Request RFP option (and putting in I only needed the room for an hour for a couple people) meant I got reasonable quotes by email the next day. Was able to secure my local Courtyard’s boardroom (seating 10) for only $50 total. The Sheraton similarly wanted $100 for the tiniest room plus a 21% service charge and tax.
Everything was done by email and points posted within a few days.
Does the 10 elite nights from hosting a meeting count towards lifetime status?
10 Elite Nights could also be earned using 40K points to book two (4 nights+1) off-peak stays at my local Fairfield Inn, but I’m guessing the meeting is a better option from a value standpoint if I can get one for $100. Agree?
Edit: Correction. I see a local Courtyard for $90
Well, considering that you point out that you could use those 40K points for 10 nights in a hotel, I’d say that’s worth more than $100. I mean, I’ve stayed in places that cost less than $10 per night, but they weren’t Marriotts. Of course, you may rather prefer to book a 35K property during peak season for 40K. Most of those cost well over $100. In short: yes, I’d pay $100 to keep 40K points.
Do you know if the recent double elite nights targeted promo would count these nights as double (meaning 20 nights towards status)? I know the terms of the promo say award nights aren’t eligible for double night credit but not sure how these elite nights show up or if anybody else has had success with meeting nights counting towards double night promos. Below are the full T&Cs of the promo
“Registration is required. Registered Members can earn double Elite Night Credits on all eligible paid nights consumed during the promotion’s earning period (the “Promotion”). Earning period starts the day after members register through the end of the month, plus an additional two (2) months (the “Earning Period”). Bonus Elite Night Credits will be awarded to the member’s account within 3–5 business days after the qualifying nights post. Elite Night Credits will count only toward the status year in which they are posted. Registered Members electing to earn miles are not eligible for this promotion. Nights stayed prior to enrollment are not eligible for this offer. Only one room per hotel is counted toward Registered Members’ nights. Credit toward this Promotion is given for nights consumed at participating Marriott hotels that occur within the Earning Period. ExecuStay, Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club® owner-occupied weeks are not eligible for the Promotion, and nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for the Promotion. For a list of current participating hotels, visit http://www.marriott.com/loyalty/earn/hotels.mi. Rooms booked through most third-party online retailers and select travel agency bookings are ineligible to earn for this Promotion. This Promotion is nontransferable and is valid for one-time use. This Promotion is subject to modification, cancellation or limitation at Marriott’s discretion, with or without notice. All Marriott loyalty program terms and conditions apply, which are subject to change with or without notice. For more information, visit http://www.marriott.com/loyalty/terms/default.mi. Void for Marriott International, Inc. employees. This Promotion may be combined with other promotions in market during the same time; however, earnings are exclusive of each other. Promotion is applicable to individual members only and not to groups. Marriott International, Inc., is not responsible for omissions or typographical errors. Void where prohibited by law.
I believe that the answer is no. I have a friend who tried that in the past. The meeting nights were not doubled.
Nice! All hotels in my area want $150. Oh well, STILL a great deal as I need exactly 10 nights to be Platinum again. I was already planning on spending 40,000 points to get my 10 nights, so this is a steal even at $150 + taxes.
do you have to show up or just book to earn those nights?
do you need to show up to earn qualify?
I don’t know
Depends on the hotel if they process the meeting in the credit system as if it happened. That is separate from taking your money for the booking.
See my reply to the same question from AmitG above. It doesn’t sound safe, unless you know a hotel where someone did that VERY RECENTLY and got the 10 nights. The policies may have changed since a year ago, so I wouldn’t trust datapoints on this from a year or more ago.
excellent info! how long does it take to post the 10 nights? I seem to remember per terms 30 days? I had a meeting coordinator back in Sep who posted my 10 nights while I was in the room. It was done before I walked out at the end of hour.
I’ve heard that they post pretty quickly but probably not usually while you’re in the room!
Sweetness!! This is truly amazing information Greg! Very much appreciated!
I can’t say enough about this blog!
Thanks Greg! I had to shorten meeting to under 2 hours to get price drop to $100 at local Residence Inn.
Residence Inn is not part of the program. You might want to cancel, you wont get the elite nights..
Corrected, also, received an interesting email. It confirms my “meeting” at Resdience Inn, but adds this paragraph: There appears to be a misconception from some members that if they do not show up for their meetings they will still receive credit. I just wanted to remind you that It is important each member arrives at the hotel during the time booked if they would like to earn Bonvoy event credit for the meeting. No-shows are cancelled and a full cancellation penalty applies however the cancellation fee is not eligible for any Bonvoy credit. More information is available on our website and this specific term is under section 5.5.c (below). Terms and conditions can be found here. If you have any questions please let us know!
Did you end up getting elite nights for this meeting?
Do you need to show up/check in to get the elite nights?
I don’t know.
See a few posts below. Someone found the terms, and they say that officially they can cancel the meeting if you don’t show up, and then you won’t get anything. (And in the past, during the era when you could do this 8 times a year and earn top elite status with no stays at all, no-shows never worked reliably, they only worked at certain properties. But that era ended a couple years ago, and they may have tightened up on no-shows even more since.)
It’s safest to show up, especially if you’re doing it this late in the year that you won’t have a chance to “make up” for it in case it doesn’t post. But you don’t have to stay the whole meeting time. Just move a couple things around to imply the room was really used, and after half an hour or so you can go back to the front desk and tell them the meeting didn’t take as long as you thought, and you’re already done, and can they give you the bill now or will they email it to you?
Thank you! I am 9 nights short and just booked a half day (that was the min) at a Courtyard in Dallas for $125!
Did you see the credit in your Bonvoy account immediately – I also happened to book a COurtyard – but haven’t seen the nights show up yet
Why would the nights show up before you actually host the meeting? Come on..
Did you call and reserve? Did they take off service fees? I am looking online and it shows 125 plus 250 service fees
Fantastic!! Thanks so much, Greg!
Off Thread BUT my TY points to TK posted over-nite wish using them was online too. If u like SW..Milevalue.com is doing another GIVEAWAY for a SW $100 GC ..Short time frame like 100 usually sign up so easy $$ for T-Day.
The link you sent won’t allow a meeting booked for the same day, as it’s requiring an overnight and it doesn’t show prices. It says Request RFP
Make sure to put in 0 Guest Rooms, then it should allow one day meetings
Some properties aren’t bookable online. The ones that just say Request RFP don’t appear to be bookable online for a non-overnight meeting. In the cities I initially tried, I’d say that only about 20% of the Marriott properties had a price like Greg is showing in the post, so you may just have to try a different city.