Marriott Now Offering Up To 30 Elite Nights From Credit Cards (15 Personal + 15 Business)

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The end of the world really must be nigh. Marriott has made a change to its loyalty program and – for once – it’s a positive change. That’s because you can now earn 30 elite night credits from their credit cards, making it significantly easier to earn Platinum or Titanium status for many people (COVID-19 notwithstanding).

Earning Platinum status (or better) for a stay at the St Regis Bora Bora once travel is back to normal is now more achievable

Marriott credit cards award 15 elite night credits per year. Up until a couple of years ago, it was possible to earn 30 elite night credits per year – 15 nights from a personal Marriott card and 15 from a business card. When Marriott and SPG first merged, it was temporarily possible to earn up to 40 elite night credits:

  • Marriott personal – 15
  • Marriott business – 15
  • SPG personal – 5
  • SPG business – 5

Earning 40 elite night credits per year simply for holding their credit cards was too good to last. As a result, they gutted the benefit to being worse than it once was. When their new credit card lineup was launched across both Chase and American Express, each card continued offering 15 elite night credits per year. The downside was that you could only earn 15 credits per year regardless of how many cards you owned. That made it much harder for people to earn meaningful status (i.e. Platinum and above) because that meant having to stay 35+ nights throughout the year rather than only 20 if you had two of their cards.

That all changed today though. Marriott has made a positive update that allows you to earn 30 elite night credits per year. There is a caveat though – you’ll only earn the extra 15 nights by having both a business and a personal Marriott credit card, so not if you have two business cards or two personal cards. Here’s the wording for their new policy (my bolding):

To be eligible to receive the 15 Elite Night Credits with this Card, you must be the Basic Card Member, and you must have an active Marriott Bonvoy Member Account linked to your Card Account. A maximum of 15 Elite Night Credits will be provided per Marriott Bonvoy Member Account, unless you have both a small business Marriott Bonvoy Card account and a consumer Marriott Bonvoy Card account; then, you may receive a combined maximum of 30 Elite Night Credits (15 per Card account). This benefit is not exclusive to Credit Cards offered by American Express.

That wording was displayed on my personal Marriott Amex card. Amex seems to be a little more on the ball with updating the terms of their cards than Chase, as my Chase business card is still showing the old wording right now:

A maximum of 15 Elite Night credits will be awarded per Marriott Bonvoy program member account even if the member has more than one Credit Card linked to their Marriott Bonvoy account. When your Marriott Bonvoy member accounts are merged, if both accounts have received 15 Elite Night credits, only one 15 Elite Night Credit will remain.

When checking my account though, sure enough I now have 30 elite nights from credit cards. That’s because I have two personal Marriott cards (one from Chase and one from Amex) as well as a business Marriott card from Chase. Due to the 25 nights we’ve already stayed this year, Platinum status is now wrapped up, so only having to earn 20 more nights this year to retain Titanium status hopefully won’t be too much trouble.

Marriott 30 elite nights

My wife has two Marriott credit cards but only has 15 elite night credits showing on her account. That’s because both those credit cards are business cards – one with Chase and one with Amex.

Marriott 30 elite nights Shae

It’s great to see this change as it makes Platinum status significantly easier for many people. If you have one business card and one personal card, that’s a total of 30 nights. Those cards come with a free night certificate at renewal, so each of those earn you an additional elite night credit when redeemed. That leaves you needing 18 elite nights to earn Platinum status which, in normal times, makes earning Platinum status more achievable. If you have a category 1 property nearby that has off-peak redemptions available, it might be worth a mattress run towards the end of the year. With the 5th night free benefit on award stays, that would cost you 20,000 points for every 5 elite night credits.

The problem for many people right now is that they’re not traveling, so even earning 18 elite nights will be hard. I have to hope that this isn’t Marriott’s sole concession for earning elite status in 2020 and is more a case of them trying to prevent people from cancelling their Marriott credit cards. I imagine more people are seriously considering canceling one or more of their Marriott credit cards at renewal. Although the anniversary night certificates can often make the annual fee worth paying, they’re not worth it if you’re not traveling anywhere and so can’t use them. They’ve been extending the expiry dates of existing certificates, but there’s (understandably) no knowing right now whether newly earned certificates will have their expiration dates extended.

We’ve updated our Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide to reflect this change.

h/t TPG

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[…] the number of nights required to reach the elite tier they earned in 2019. This is on top of up to 30 elite nights from credit cards and any you may have already earned and these extra nights count toward lifetime status. Here is a […]

[…] you have both a personal and business Marriott credit card, your elite earning is already easier as you can now earn 30 elite nights per year by holding both types of Marriott credit cards. Quite how much easier will hopefully become known […]

Josh

guh, too bad this wasn’t a thing last year

Aloha808

IF somebody wanted to do this, I’d say go for the chase no-AF Marriott card and of course the amex biz, assuming they don’t have the chase biz.

Larry

Stephen or anyone else — Any idea if you get the 15 credits midyear if you apply for the card in the middle of the year, or do you only get them posted once a year? For example if you apply for a card now will you get 15 plus another 15 next year?

Edit — actually the Amex terms seem to be clear that you get the first 15 within 60 days of approval and then the second 15 the next year.

Larry

Thanks Stephen for this analysis. I’m about 100 nights from lifetime Platinum and this would get me there pretty quickly. I only have a personal Bonvoy card but if I were to apply for the Amex business version I’d get 15 this year and then another 30 next year and be very close. Of course, if I do that my guess is that they will either change the lifetime qualification requirements on me as I close in or they will dilute Plat! I think it would be an easy call if I were eligible for the Amex business sign up bonus but I’m not.

ktc

2 Personal from chase (Ritz, Marriott), 1 AMEX Personal, 1 AMEX Busines

Good, just checked, also got extra 15, but ..

They will devalue elite perks, Titan is the new Plat
They will extend Lifetime nights by 100 across the board

Brutus

Now you all you need to get a free breakfast is one personal card, one business card, and 20 nights per year.

I think I’ll stick with Hilton.

Mike

Same. Still waiting for that benefit to be added. But good news either way.