Marriott launches easy elite status for 2021 and cheaper saver awards

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Update Feb 6: Many members are having trouble registering for this promotion. It is not targeted. According to Loyalty Lobby, Marriott has advised members to first make sure that their account preference is set to earn points and not airline miles (apparently selecting airline miles will make one unable to register). If that doesn’t work, you should contact Marriott Bonvoy customer service to get registered manually. Don’t miss out because of Marriott’s shoddy IT – make sure you get registered one way or another. (H/T: Loyalty Lobby).

Update Feb 2: Registration is now open for the double points and double elite nights promo. Register here. While the terms indicate that award stays do not earn double elite nights, we have once again confirmed with Marriott that a stay including at least one paid night mixed with award nights will count for double elite credit. See this post for more: Official word: Marriott mixed paid / award stays will earn double credit.

Update Feb 1: Elite nights from the 50% Rollover are starting to post!  And we have good news from Nick: In 2020, he didn’t didn’t earn enough nights to requalify for Titanium status (but his Titanium status rolled over due to Covid) and yet he still earned the 50% Rollover based on his Titanium status.

Marriott has announced a huge boost for members interested in qualifying/re-qualifying for elite status this year. They have also reduced redemption rates at many properties for reservations through September 30, 2021 booked between January 11, 2021 and February 21, 2021.

Faster & Easier Elite Status

Marriott has made it much easier this year to keep your elite status or reach next level status.  Here are the details:

  • 50% Elite Night Credit Rollover: Marriott will deposit 50% of the Elite Night Credits (ENCs) into members’ accounts based on their 2020 Elite status tier. The ENC’s will be deposited in February.  As a reminder, Marriott did the same last year.
  • Ambassador Elite Status 30% Easier: Marriott is reducing the $20,000 spend threshold for attaining Ambassador Elite status by 30% for 2021.  This year you’ll “only” have to spend $14,000 at Marriott properties and earn 100 nights to achieve Ambassador Elite status.
  • Double points and elite nights: From February 16 through April 27, 2021, members will earn double the number of points and elite night credits for stays of two nights or more.  Registration is now open: Register here.  Good news too: Official word — Marriott mixed paid / award stays will earn double credit.

If you earned status in 2020 (or got status for free from a credit card, lifetime status, or other means), then Marriott should add elite nights to your account according to this table:

2020 Elite Status
Regular requirement 50% elite night credits to be deposited in February
Ambassador 100 nights + $20K spend 50 nights
Titanium 75 nights 38 nights
Platinum 50 nights 25 nights
Gold 25 nights 13 nights
Silver 10 nights 5 nights
General Member None None

And, here is a summary of Marriott elite requirements and benefits:

Elite Status Level Requirements Per Year Key Benefits
Silver Elite 10 Nights Late checkout, 10% point bonus
Gold Elite 25 Nights 2PM late checkout; 25% point bonus; welcome gift (points only); room upgrade; enhanced internet
Platinum Elite 50 Nights 4PM late checkout; 50% point bonus; welcome gift w/ breakfast option; room upgrade includes suites; lounge access; Choice benefit (such as 5 suite night awards) when you achieve 50 nights.
Titanium Elite 75 Nights All of the above, plus: 75% point bonus; United Silver Premier status via RewardsPlus; Ritz-Carlton suite upgrades; Additional Choice Benefit (such as 40K free night certificate) when you achieve 75 nights.
Ambassador Elite 100 Nights + $20K Spend All of the above, plus: Ambassador Service (dedicated Marriott agent); Your24 (Choose the 24 hours of your stay. For example, choose to check in at 9am after an overnight flight).
 

With the combination of elite night rollover and the double points & double elite night promo, it should be very easy for Marriott Bonvoy members to earn elite status this year.

Discounted Awards (Marriott’s “Super Off-Peak Promotion”)

Marriott has also promised to reduce off-peak redemption rates globally by 10% for all reservations through September 30, 2021 booked between January 11, 2021 and February 21, 2021.  More about this promo can be found here.

Here is the standard award chart:

With a 10% award reduction, we can expect to see the following award rates for off-peak properties.  Note that for PointSaver awards, only hotels in categories 5, 7, and 8 are discounted.  Cash + Points rates are not discounted.

Category Off-Peak Price After 10% Off Off-Peak PointSavers Price After 10% Off
1 4,500 N/A
2 9,000 N/A
3 13,500 N/A
4 18,000 N/A
5 27,000 24,750
6 36,000 N/A
7 45,000 40,500
8 63,000 58,500

Unfortunately for those of us with free night certificates, I don’t see any situations where the 10% discount will make hotels eligible for certificates if they weren’t eligible before.  For example, category 6 off-peak hotels can’t be booked with 35K free night certificates because they still cost 36,000 points after the 10% discount.

43 elite nights with no stays

Those who will be gifted 13 elite nights due to having Gold status in 2020 maybe able to get 43 elite nights before staying in a Marriott hotel.  Anyone with both a consumer and business Marriott card should be in that position: 15 elite nights from consumer card + 15 elite nights from business card + 13 promo elite nights = 43 elite nights.

If you don’t already have 30 elite nights from credit cards, you can get there by signing up for a credit card or two (Please note: I’m not suggesting that this is a good idea, I’m just listing what is possible)…

Consumer cards available for new signups

If you don’t already have a Marriott consumer card, you can sign up for any one of these to get 15 elite nights added to your account (note that signing up for more than one consumer card will not result in more than 15 elite nights):

Card Offer and Details
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

FM Mini Review: The best use for this card is probably to downgrade from the Ritz or Boundless card to avoid the annual fee. That way, you can always upgrade again when you need the annual free night or other perks


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Marriott Bonvoy ⚬ 2X travel ⚬ 1X everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: Automatic Silver status ⚬ 15 nights of elite credit each year

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 6X Marriott Bonvoy ⚬ 2X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: Earn Gold status when you spend $35K each year

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Annual free night certificate for 1 night at a hotel redemption level up to 35K ⚬ Automatic Silver status ⚬ 15 nights of elite credit each year

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
125K points + up to $200 in statement credits
125K points after $5K spend in the first 3 months plus up to $200 in statement credits for US restaurant purchases in the first 6 months. Terms apply.
(Offer Expires 5/12/2021)

$450 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: None

FM Mini Review: Decent ultra-premium option for Marriott fans, but Hilton fans may prefer the ultra-premium Hilton Aspire card.


Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: 3X airfare charged by airline; 3X US restaurants, 6X Marriott; 2X on all other eligible purchases

Big spend bonus: Platinum Elite status with $75K calendar year spend

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ 50K Free Night Award each year upon renewal ⚬ $300 Marriott statement credit per membership year ⚬ Gold Elite status ⚬ 15 elite nights credit ⚬ Priority Pass Select with 2 free guests ⚬ Global Entry fee credit ⚬ Free premium internet at Marriott properties

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Business card available for new signups

If you don’t already have a Marriott business card, you can sign up for this card to get 15 elite nights added to your account:

Card Offer and Details
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
100K Points + up to $150 in statement credits
100K points after $5K in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership + up to $150 in statement credits for eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
(Offer Expires 5/12/2021)

$125 Annual Fee


Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Dine
Gas
Phone
Biz
Brand

Earning rate: 6x at Marriott Bonvoy properties ⚬ 4x U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. suppliers and on U.S. purchases for shipping ⚬ 2x on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)

Big spend bonus: Marriott Gold elite status with $35K annual spend ⚬ Earn an additional free night (good for one night at a redemption level at or under 35K points, subject to resort fees) after you spend $60K on purchases in a calendar year

Noteworthy perks: 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary for a one-niight redemption level at or under 35K points (subject to resort fees) ⚬ Complimentary premium Internet access at Marriott properties ⚬ Terms Apply (Rates & Fees)

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Conclusion

This year it will be very easy for many of us to earn meaningful elite status levels with Marriott.  With Marriott, this mostly means earning either 50 night Platinum status or 75 night Titanium status.  Gold status is mostly worthless (in my opinion) and Ambassador status is unreasonably difficult to obtain due to it’s spend requirement (even after the 30% reduction).

See also:

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