During our First Class Honeymoon in 2019 we found that Christina's Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite status gave us access to amazing benefits including upgrades, free breakfast, and additional Marriott points. Her Platinum status ended up giving us access to experiences we could not have afforded without it. In this post I will discuss how to earn Marriott Platinum elite status, discuss the benefits, and provide tips on ways to maximize the status.
How do you earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Status?
Normally, Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite status is earned by staying at least 50 nights in one calendar year. However, due to COVID-19 Marriott both extended 2019 elites status through February 1, 2022 and provided 50% elite night credits, 25 nights for current Platinum elites, allowing current elites to fast track to the next status level. Also, Platinum status can be earned by spending $75,000 in a calendar year on your Marriott Bonvoy Brillant American Express Card.
What counts toward the elite night credits requirement?
One great part of hotel elite programs in general and Marriott's program in particular is that a wide variety of activities help meet the elite nights requirement. Generally, there are four ways to earn elite nights credits. First, any individually billed nights at a participating hotel count towards status, this excludes nights paid for through central billing such as for a convention. Second, unlike airline awards all award nights paid for with Marriott Bonvoy points count toward elite status. Third, holding a Marriott Bonvoy credit card provides an automatic 15 nights towards elite status regardless of spending on the credit card. This can reduce the 50 night requirement by 30 percent. Fourth, having an event at a Marriott brand hotel can earn 1 elite night for every 20 rooms booked. This was significantly devalued at the start of 2020 but may still be helpful if you are having a large group event.
What are the Benefits of Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Status?
Complimentary Enhanced In-Room Internet Access- All Marriott Bonvoy members that book directly with Marriott receive access to complimentary in-room internet. However, Platinum members receive access to enhanced in-room internet which provides faster speeds.
Member Rates- All Marriott Bonvoy members that book directly with Marriott receive access to discounted member rates.
Mobile Check-In/Services- All Marriott Bonvoy members that book directly with Marriott can utilize mobile check in where available.
Dedicated Elite Support Line- When Platinum members call Marriott Bonvoy customer service members receive access to dedicated elite support.
Unlimited Reservation Guarantee- If the hotel is unable to honor the reservation then it will provide the Platinum member with compensation ranging from $100 and 90,000 points to $200 and 140,000 points depending on the brand. You can find the complete details here.
Points Bonus- Platinum members receive a 50 % bonus on hotel stays and money spent during stays. This means that Platinum members receive 15 points per dollar spent at the vast majority of brands.
Late Check-Out- Platinum members receive a guaranteed 4 pm late check-out at non-convention and non-resort hotels.
Guaranteed Room Type- If a Platinum elite member room type request is not met then the member receives compensation ranging from $25 to $100.
In-Hotel Welcome Gift- At check-in Platinum members receive a welcome gift ranging from a choice of 500 points per stay and a Food & Beverage item to 1,000 per stay or breakfast in the restaurant. These benefits vary based upon the brand and you can find the full list here.
Enhanced Room Upgrade- At participating brands Platinum elites receive an upgrade to the best available room including select suites subject to availability.
Lounge Access- At JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection Hotels, and Renaissance Hotels Platinum members have lounge access.
Annual Choice Benefits- After 50 elite qualifying nights Platinum members receive annual choice benefit with the choice between 5 Suite Night Awards, 5 elite night credits, a gift of silver elite status to another member, 40% off a mattress, or a $100 charity donation.
Marriott Platinum Status Tips
1. Book Direct- Elite benefits only apply to stays booked directly with Marriott. In order to utilize platinum elite benefits it is essential to book direct.
2. Benefits Vary by Brand- To maximize Platinum elite status it is critical to be selective about the brand you book since benefits vary significantly between brands. For example, the In-Hotel Welcome Gift for the Element brand is 500 points or an amenity compared to the option for the The Luxury Collection of 1,000 points, and amenity, or breakfast in the restaurant. The differences are also not limited to value vs. luxury brands. For example, Platinum members don't receive upgrades to suites at Ritz Carltons while they do at St. Regis brand hotels.
3. Promotions- Periodically, Marriott offers promotions which can provide a shortcut to Platinum elite status. This is how Christina achieved Platinum elite status in 2018 with less than half the required elite night credits. Periodically, review your Marriott elite account for promotions.
4. Elite Benefits Guarantee- Marriott is unique among the major hotel brands in offering cash guarantees if elite members are not provided guaranteed elite benefits. We have had success getting a hotel to provide $100 in cash for not honoring one of the guarantees. Make sure to ask the hotel to honor the guarantee before check-out if the benefits are not honored.
5. Lounge Access- One of the most undervalued benefits of Platinum elite status is lounge access and is something which I would recommend maximizing. While the benefit is only available at a limited number of brands depending on the hotel it can be very valuable. For example, in the past we have been able to substitute a pasta dish for dinner and have been offered complimentary happy hours in Marriott hotel lounges.
If you have the ability to earn Marriott Platinum elite status is can be very valuable and make a substantial difference during your Marriott stay. If you follow the tips above you can get access to benefits including complementary restaurant breakfast, lounge access, and suite upgrades.