Marriott Rewards offers three levels of elite status – Silver, Gold and Platinum.
The great thing about Marriott is that fact that you can find their hotels almost everywhere. The bad news…. You have to stay in them A LOT to earn elite status.
With Marriott, status attainment is based on “nights” not “stays” so if you are someone that travels quite a bit, but only 1 night at a time, this is going to be a tough one for you. However, if you are a traveling consultant or have an occupation that requires you to stay several nights a week at the same property, then the basis of “nights” may be of benefit, and will get you there faster.
That said, there is more than one way to get Marriott Status. Read on to find an overview of the Elite levels and benefits as well a couple of “other” ways to earn status
As of September 23, 2016 Marriott and Starwood are now one company, creating the world’s largest hotel company, with more than 5,700 properties in over 110 countries.
Marriott has segmented its brands into four broad categories of Luxury, Premium, Select and Longer Stay and then further sub-segments each by “Classic” and Distinctive” properties:
- Classic Luxury
- Distinctive Luxury
- The Luxury Collection – Participates in the SPG Program.
- The Ritz Carlton Reserve – Does not participate in any of the 3 loyalty programs.
- Bulgari Hotels Does not participate in any of the 3 loyalty programs.
- W Hotels – Participates in the SPG Program.
- Edition – Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Classic Premium
- Marriott Hotels and Resorts – Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Sheraton – Participates in the SPG Program.
- Marriott Vacation Club – Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Delta Hotels – Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Distinctive Premium
- Le Meridien – Participates in the SPG Program.
- Westin – Participates in the SPG Program.
- Autograph Collection – Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Design Hotels – Participates in the SPG Program.
- Renaissance Hotels – Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Tribute Portfolio – Participates in the SPG Program.
- Gaylord Hotels – Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Classic Select
- Courtyard – Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Four Points – Participates in the SPG Program.
- Springhill Suites– Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Protea Hotels – Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Fairfield Inn and Suites– Participates in Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Distinctive Select
- Classic Longer Stays
- Distinctive Longer Stays
- Element – Participates in the SPG Program.
Marriott Rewards: Elite Status and Benefits
All you have to do is sign up and you will begin the process of earning Marriott Points – it’s free and easy! As soon as you sign up for the Marriott Rewards Program, you will be at the “Member” level. This Level essentially provides access to the program, the ability to earn points and free Wifi. Beyond this are the Elite levels of Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Hotel Stays/Nights Required for Elite Status
Silver – 10 nights
Gold – 50 nights
Platinum – 75 nights
Marriott Rewards Levels & Benefits of Each Elite Tier
Just for signing up you will get the ability to earn points, the 5th night free option on reward redemptions and no blackout dates. Elite members got the following additional benefits
Silver Status (10 nights): You really don’t get much with Silver status.
- Late Checkout (subject to availability and not always offered at resorts),
- 20% point bonus for stays,
- Elite Reservation Line and a couple of other things.
Gold Status (50 nights):
- Free internet access,
- Room upgrade (best available room at next room category – not a suite upgrade, just the next best category. For example, from resort view room to partial or ocean view room)
- Guaranteed Room Type (not valid at Ritz Carlton, Edition, and Marriott Vacation club)
- Concierge Lounge access or free breakfast coupon if there is no lounge (this is valid for Marriott, JW Marriott, Autograph and Renaissance hotels – not valid at Courtyard, Ritz Carlton or resort properties. Applies Monday-Friday),
- Hertz #1 Gold Membership
- 25% points bonus for stays
Platinum Status (75 nights): (This is only marginally better than Gold, although the 48 hour guaranteed room can come in handy for business travelers)
- Guaranteed room when you book 48 hours in advance (even if hotel is sold out),
- Platinum arrival gift (either 500 points or a drink/snack – although it can be a bottle of wine with cheese and crackers in some locations),
- United Airlines Complimentary Silver Status
- 50% bonus on stays, plus all the benefits of Gold
5 Ways to Earn Marriott Elite Status
Each one of these options provides a different way to elevate yourself to the Elite level of Marriott Rewards. Some may be as easy as linking your accounts with the SPG match, while others may take a bit more effort such as the Marriott status match. Read them all and see which one will work for you….
1. Marriott Status Match or Status Challenge
Marriott does offer a status match feature (it is not a pure match, but rather a temporary match with a “challenge” feature to maintain it. This will give you instant status to Marriott Silver, Gold or Platinum status for three months. During those three months you will have to complete the required number of stays to maintain the status. Note that the requirements are based on “stays” not “nights”
- Silver – 3 stays during the next three months
- Gold – 6 stays during the next three months
- Platinum – 9 stays during the next three months
Make sure to start the challenge after the 1st of the month. This will essentially give you the first month as a grace period. For example is you sign up on January 5, you will have the remainder of the sign up month (in this case January), plus February, March and April to meet the status requirements. If you start on January 1, you will only have January, February and March to meet the requirements.
You will have to call Marriott Rewards directly to sign up for this.
2. Marriott Elite Status Buyback
There is also a “buy back” feature that Marriott offers for people who have had status and lost it. You cannot buy up to a higher status, only reinstate the status that you lost the previous year. The currency for the buyback is Marriott Rewards Points, not dollars.
- Points required to buy back Platinum status – 40,000
- Points required to buy back Gold status – 25,000
- Points required to buy back Silver status – 7,500
Here is the link for the Marriott elite buyback program.
In my opinion, the only option worth buying back is Gold Status. That will give you free internet, access to lounges and room upgrades. Although I have heard that Platinum status is treating much better at international properties, than in the US. If you plan on primarily traveling in the US, you can consider buying back gold. If you are an international traveler, you may want to consider buying back Platinum. Don’t even consider buying back Silver.
3. Marriott Elite Status with a Credit Card
Yes. You can also spend your way to elite status with Marriott Credit Cards. Chase offers several Marriott affiliated credit cards to help you attain Marriott Elite Status.
This card will give you 15 nights toward elite status every year, plus 1 elite night credit for every $3,000 spent you spend on the card. Using this card will definitely reduce the number of nights need to obtain elite status.
Just by having the card you will get automatic Silver status.
To earn top-tier elite status on this card would require you to rack up quite a few charges. On spending alone, it would take $180,000 for Platinum status (15 nights for having the card, plus 60 nights at $3,000 each) and $105,000 for Gold status (15 nights for having the card, plus 35 nights at $3,000 each)
This card will give you 10 nights toward elite status every year. Plus 1 elite night credit for every $3,000 spent you spend on the card. Like the Marriott Premier Rewards card, this card will reduce the number of nights need to obtain elite status.
With 10 nights needed for Silver status, this card will also provide you with automatic Silver status.
To earn top-tier elite status on this card would require you spend more than with Premier Reward Card because it offers 5 less elite nights for having the card. With this card, it would take $195,000 for Platinum status (10 nights for having the card, plus 65 nights at $3,000 each) and $120,000 for Gold status (10 nights for having the card, plus 40 nights at $3,000 each)
This card has a higher annual fee, but will give you automatic Gold status for your first year. You can then maintain the Gold Status by spending $10,000 on the card each year thereafter (compare that to having to spend over $100,000 annually on each of the other card for Gold Status).
If you can justify the fee, this is the easiest way to get Gold Status at Marriott and it has some great other features, like 3 annual upgrades at the Ritz Carlton Club.
This card is the business version of the Marriott Rewards card and essentially offers the exact same benefits. It will give you 10 nights toward elite status every year, plus 1 elite night credit for every $3,000 spent you spend on the card. Like the other Marriott cards, this card will reduce the number of nights needed to obtain elite status.
With 10 nights needed for Silver status, the Marriott Business Card will also provide you with automatic Silver status.
To earn top-tier elite status on this card would require spending $195,000 for Platinum status (10 nights for having the card, plus 65 nights at $3,000 each) and $120,000 for Gold status (10 nights for having the card, plus 40 nights at $3,000 each).
Applying for the both the Marriott Business Card and Marriott Premier Rewards card would give you a jump on elite status, with a combined 25 nights for signing up.
4. SPG Status Match
If you happen to be have elite status with Starwood, you are in luck! All you have to do is link your Marriott Account to your SPG account and you will have an instant match to whatever SPG status you have. If you are a Starwood Platinum member, you will immediately also be a Marriott Platinum and Ritz Carlton Platinum member!
5. Staying at Marriott Properties
As mentioned previously you can also earn Marriott Elite status the old fashioned way… By spending a lot of nights in their hotels.
5.5 Promotions to earn Elite Status
Marriott has previously offered “fast track” promotions to earn elite status faster, check our Marriott Rewards Promotion Page to see if there are any current offers
Marriott Rewards Elite Status – Is it worth it?
Marriott definitely has the most stringent requirement for attaining top-tier status and the benefits of having that status are not as rewarding as either Hyatt or Starwood. However, they are the standard in the hotel industry. Now, with over 5,700 properties (via the Starwood Merger) in both rural and urban locations, you can always count on finding a Marriott for your trip.
On top of that, they have done a great job with their new Autograph Collection for those that want a boutique hotel experience, the JW Marriott’s are typically very nice and you can never go wrong with a Ritz Carlton.
With 10+ points per dollar spent, earning free nights through stays is actually easier at Marriott than some of the other properties, like Starwood and Hilton.
Unless you are a road warrior, I would not try to get Platinum Status, but Gold is something to definitely shoot for and the credit card offers will help you get there much faster.
Marriott Best Rate Guarantee and Discounts
If you have plans to stay at a Marriott soon, make sure you check out the latest offers or get the Best Rate Guarantee by booking direct on the property website