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Marriott is one of the largest hotel companies in the world, with 30 brands and more than 7,000 properties in over 130 countries and territories. Depending on your travel preferences, maintaining loyalty to a large chain like Marriott can have its perks. Whether you’re on a road trip or a luxurious honeymoon, you can enjoy benefits like complimentary room upgrades, bonus points, enhanced Wi-Fi and late checkout.
The Marriott Bonvoy program features five tiers of elite status, but only three are available to unlock for a lifetime. Here's a closer look to learn how you can achieve the benefits of elite status forever.
Marriott lifetime status criteria
Marriott’s elite status tiers include Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador. However, only Silver, Gold and Platinum status are available for lifetime status. To earn this status, you must collect a minimum number of qualifying nights and years of elite status.
Here’s a summary of the requirements for each lifetime status tier:
Silver Elite Lifetime Status: 250 lifetime nights and five years of status.
Gold Elite Lifetime Status: 400 lifetime nights and seven years of Gold Elite status or higher.
Platinum Elite Lifetime Status: 600 lifetime nights and 10 years of Platinum Elite status.
Keep in mind that you’re not required to maintain elite status for consecutive years to qualify for lifetime status.
Another important eligibility requirement to note is only the calendar year in which you achieve elite status counts as a year for lifetime status. For example, if you earn Gold Elite status at the end of 2021 and get to enjoy the benefits for the balance of 2021 and all of 2022, only 2021 will count toward your years of status. You must qualify again in 2022 for a second year counted toward lifetime status.
The benefits of lifetime status
Besides earning lifetime benefits of the respective status tier, another perk of lifetime status is your Marriott Bonvoy points will never expire. Fortunately, Marriott makes it easy to track your progress toward lifetime status online or through the Marriott Bonvoy app.
» Learn more: The complete guide to the Marriott Bonvoy program
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy status
Accumulating the required number of nights is a straightforward part of the equation to unlocking lifetime status. You'll get credit for paid nights, award nights and nights earned as Elite Night Credits through Marriott credit cards. That said, depending on your travel habits, the requirement can take a bit of time.
The second part of the puzzle is earning status for multiple years. You can earn Bonvoy status each year by either booking eligible stays at Marriott hotels (10 nights for Silver, 25 nights for Gold or 50 nights for Platinum). Or you can earn status through a credit card.
Several Marriott co-branded credit cards and other premium credit cards provide complimentary elite status in the program. The status and benefits you get by earning with a credit card is the same as what you’d get if you earned it by qualifying through stays.
Here’s a breakdown of what status comes with each card:
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.
In addition, certain cards offer a path to higher tiers of elite status upon meeting a spending threshold each year with your card. For example, with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card you’ll earn Gold Elite status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
The bottom line
Achieving lifetime elite status with Marriott definitely requires a long-term commitment to the chain. To earn the lowest tier, Silver Elite lifetime status, you’ll have to stay a total of 250 lifetime nights and earn five years of status. Once you've surpassed lifetime status criteria, you have access to the level's perks for life — plus your points never expire.
You can meet the annual status requirement by having a credit card that offers complimentary Marriott Bonvoy elite status or by staying the minimum number of qualifying nights in a year.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card