The Complete Guide to Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status

Here are the details you need to know about the Marriott status levels and if it's worth it for you.
Aug 12, 2022

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The Marriott Bonvoy umbrella covers 30 brands and over 7,000 hotels, making it one of the largest and most well-recognized rewards programs in the world. Sheerly because of its massive size, holding Marriott elite status can be one of the most valuable types of elite statuses you can have. The delightful and wide-ranging Marriott elite status benefits (including guaranteed reservations, enhanced room upgrades and late check-out for Gold and higher members, and free massages for Ambassador Elite members) go a long way, too.

Whether you’re a business traveler looking to earn lifetime status, an infrequent traveler curious about the perks of elite status or want to maximize the elite benefits provided by Marriott’s credit cards, here's everything you need to know about earning and flexing Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

Marriott elite status levels

There are five elite levels guests can reach with the Marriott Bonvoy program: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador.

There's also Member status, which anyone can receive at no cost and with no effort, aside from signing up online and handing over some light personal details, such as name and email address. Marriott Bonvoy member benefits are scant — complimentary Wi-Fi, exclusive member rates and mobile check-in and key — but are certainly better than nothing.

For all the Bonvoy elite status tiers, benefits get increasingly better the higher you go. Here's an overview of all the Marriott Bonvoy elite status levels, how to earn them, and some of their benefit highlights:

Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status

  • How to earn: Stay at least 10 qualifying nights per calendar year.

  • Bonus points earned on hotel purchases (including room rates and other incidental charges): 10%.

  • Best benefits: Priority late checkout, member rates, a dedicated elite reservations line, complimentary in-room Internet.

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status

  • How to earn: Stay at least 25 qualifying nights per calendar year.

  • Bonus points earned on hotel purchases (including room rates and other incidental charges): 25%.

  • Best benefits: All of the benefits of Silver Elite status, plus 2 p.m. priority late checkout based on availability, in-hotel welcome gift of extra points and enhanced room upgrade based on availability.

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status

  • How to earn: Stay at least 50 qualifying nights per calendar year.

  • Bonus points earned on hotel purchases (including room rates and other incidental charges): 50%.

  • Best benefits: All of the benefits of Gold Elite status, plus 4 p.m. priority late checkout, and an in-hotel welcome gift of extra points, a breakfast offering at participating hotels or a welcome amenity. Platinum Elite members also get an annual one-time Choice Benefit upon qualification. At the hotel, elites at this level get lounge access, as well as a guaranteed room type, along with enhanced room upgrades — including select suites — at check-in if available.

Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status

  • How to earn: Stay at least 75 qualifying nights per calendar year.

  • Bonus points earned on hotel purchases (including room rates and other incidental charges): 75%.

  • Best benefits: All of the benefits of Platinum Elite status, plus A second Choice Benefit selection upon qualification and a 48-hour room guarantee.

Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite status

  • How to earn: Spend at least 100 nights at Marriott properties a year and over $14,000 in qualifying spend at hotels.

  • Bonus points earned on hotel purchases (including room rates and other incidental charges): 75%.

  • Best benefits: All of the benefits of Titanium Elite status, plus Ambassador Service and Your24 concierge services before and during stays with Marriott Rewards.

How to earn Marriott elite status

There are two ways to earn Bonvoy status: by staying at Marriott properties and collecting enough eligible nights, or by holding a Marriott credit card.

Earn Marriott status through eligible nights

You can earn the first four levels (Silver through Titanium) by staying enough qualifying nights per calendar year. It doesn’t matter if you stay at high-end Ritz-Carlton hotels or long-term Residence Inns — all nights count the same. However, the highest level (Ambassador) requires a minimum $14,000 annual spend.

Here’s the breakdown.

Elite status level

Elite night credits required to earn

Silver Elite

10 elite qualifying nights.

Gold Elite

25 elite qualifying nights.

Platinum Elite

50 elite qualifying nights.

Titanium Elite

75 elite qualifying nights.

Ambassador Elite

100 elite qualifying nights (plus $20,000 in spend).

Important: “Qualifying Nights” are those booked directly through Marriott.com or most corporate travel services. They do not include stays booked through third-party online travel agencies like Expedia or Orbitz. This is true of most hotel loyalty programs, but it can trip up travelers who are unaware.

Earn elite status through credit cards

Does spending a quarter of the year in hotels sound daunting? There’s an easier way. Several credit cards, including Marriott's own branded cards, provide complimentary elite status. This status is identical to what you’d get if you earned it the hard way. You’ll still be thanked for being a loyal Bonvoy customer when you check in and get all the associated perks (even if it’s your first stay).

It’s important to note that the status offered through the Marriott co-branded cards usually comes in the form of Elite Night Credits. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card includes 15 ENCs, which is enough to earn Silver status, but also gets you closer to earning higher status levels if you stay more. The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offer Gold status not in the form of ENCs, so it is more difficult to earn a higher status level through these cards. Terms apply.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is particularly delightful because it offers you automatic Gold status, so you have higher tier benefits right off the bat, even if it's your first-ever Marriott stay. But since it also offers 15 ENCs, you're on a fast track to eventually earn Platinum, Titanium or perhaps even Ambassador status.

Here’s a breakdown of what status comes with each personal card (You can get an additional 15 ENCs by holding the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card as well. Terms apply.):

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

15 Elite Night Credits (Enough for silver status)

Terms apply.

American Express Platinum Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Automatic Gold status (Not through ENCs)

Terms apply.

Here’s a comparison table looking at some of the best benefits you get from each Marriott elite status level:

Silver Elite

Gold Elite

Platinum Elite

Titanium Elite

Ambassador Elite

Points earning bonus

10%.

25%.

50%.

75%.

75%.

Late checkout

When available (time unspecified).

2 p.m. (when available).

4 p.m. (guaranteed).

4 p.m. (guaranteed).

4 p.m. (guaranteed).

Room upgrades

None.

When available, no suites.

When available, including suites.

When available, including suites.

When available, including suites.

Check-in gift

None.

Points.

Points, breakfast, or welcome amenity.

Points, breakfast, or welcome amenity.

Points, breakfast, or welcome amenity.

Lounge access

None.

None.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Annual choice benefit

None.

None.

At 50 stays.

At 50 stays and 75 stays.

At 50 stays and 75 stays.

Ambassador service + Your24

None.

None.

None.

None.

Yes.

Points earning bonus

These are the extra points you'll earn for each stay once you've achieved that status level. For example, if you have Gold status and earn 1,000 points from a stay, you'll earn an extra 50%, for 1,500 total.

If you want to feel like you're sleeping in a Marriott even at home, you can select a 40% off coupon for a Marriott mattress as your Annual Choice Benefit. Mattresses typically otherwise run about $1,400 to $2,325 when purchased through Marriott's online store. Photo courtesy of Marriott.

Marriott Annual Choice Benefits, explained

This benefit is a little confusing, especially as Marriott presents it on its website. Basically, Platinum elites earn a choose-your-own adventure benefit when they reach 50 stays. Titanium and Ambassador elites earn that benefit at 50 stays, as well as an additional benefit at 75 stays.

The first (50-night) benefit is your choice of:

  • Five Suite Night Awards.

  • 40% off a Marriott bed (from their store).

  • Silver status for a friend or family member.

  • US $100 donation to UNICEF.

  • Five elite night credits.

The second (75-night) benefit is your choice of:

  • Five Suite Night Awards.

  • 40% off a Marriott bed (from their store).

  • Gold status for a friend or family member.

  • US $100 donation to UNICEF.

  • Five elite night credits.

  • One free award night (up to 40,000 points).

How much is Marriott Bonvoy elite status worth in 2022?

To determine the value of Marriott Bonvoy status (and compare them to other hotel programs), we performed a comprehensive analysis of the perks offered at each elite level. Keep in mind that the value you get from elite status will depend on many factors, including how much you use it (by staying at Marriott properties) and how much you take advantage of the perks, such as free breakfast and upgrade certificates.

Here's what Marriott Bonvoy elite status is worth, broken down by tier.

Silver

Gold

Platinum

Titanium

Ambassador

$10.

$126.

$3,314.

$5,233.

$7,167.

Remember that status earned through credit cards and other promotions might offer less value; for our analysis, we assumed that the number of nights stayed is equal to the number of nights required to earn each status level. Further, if you earn status from a credit card and only use it a handful of times, you’ll get less value from it.

The real “value” of a given status level depends on both the benefits it offers and how much it costs to earn. Taking this into account, you can find an “elite earning rate,” which is effectively the return in value based on the spending required.

Silver Elite

Gold Elite

Platinum Elite

Titanium Elite

Ambassador Elite

Value of benefits

$15.

$154.

$3,423.

$5,480.

$7,617.

Cost to earn

$1,460.

$3,650.

$7,300.

$10,950.

$20,000.

Elite earning rate

1%.

4%.

47%.

50%.

38%.

Lifetime status

Super-dedicated travelers (and extreme Bonvoy loyalists) can earn lifetime status, too. Here’s how it works: You must collect a minimum number of both qualifying nights and years of elite status. For example, to earn lifetime Gold status, you need 400 total nights and seven years of Gold status.

One extra perk of lifetime status: Your Bonvoy points will never expire. Otherwise, Marriott Bonvoy points expire if your account does not have any qualifying activity for 24 consecutive months.

Lesser-known Marriott Bonvoy perks explained

Marriott throws a ton of extra perks into each status level. Some (like mobile check-in) are basically fluff, while others are highly valuable. Here are some helpful explanations of the latter.

Welcome gift

Not to be confused with the “Annual Choice Benefit,” this is an in-hotel gift offered when checking in. Gold members receive points at check in. Most properties offer 500 points, but these brands only offer 250: Courtyard, Four Points, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels, Fairfield, AC Hotels, Aloft, Moxy, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element hotels.

Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members receive a choice of:

  1. Points (at the same rate as Gold member).

  2. Complimentary breakfast when available.

  3. An “amenity” that differs by brand (but sometimes includes food and beverage).

Ambassador Service + Your24

At Bonvoy’s highest level, Ambassador elites receive two valuable perks.

The first, Ambassador Service, provides “personalized service” for each stay. This is essentially a personal travel concierge who can help plan your stay and organize activities.

The second, Your24, is an interesting one. It gives you a flexible 24-hour check-in and check-out window, which lets you avoid the hassle of arriving too early. That is, if your flight arrives at 6 a.m., you can check into your room immediately instead of waiting until the afternoon. Marriott also gives a more extreme example of staying “from midnight to midnight” (thought we’re not sure why you’d want to).

Is Marriott elite status worth it?

Deciding whether it’s worth shooting for Bonvoy status depends entirely on your travel preferences and goals. If you’re a frequent business traveler considering Ambassador status, you’ll want to compare it to other high-end hotel elite levels. If you’re an infrequent traveler, you might wonder whether it’s worth earning any hotel elite status at all.

For example, Bonvoy Silver status offers almost no tangible benefits. The only real benefit is the bonus points earning benefit, which is still paltry at 10%. So we definitely wouldn’t suggest shifting your travel plans just to earn that 10th night.

Gold status offers a bit more, including late checkout and room upgrades. But remember it can be obtained hassle-free via getting a credit card instead of spending nearly a month in Marriott hotels.

As expected, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador status offer the more meaty perks, including the flexible annual choice benefits and check-in gifts. But they also require a lot of Marriott loyalty (and spending) to earn, of course.

Frequently asked questions

According to our analysis, Marriott Bonvoy Silver status has a value of $15 and costs $1,460 to earn.

According to our analysis, Marriott Bonvoy Gold status has a value of $154 and costs $3,650 to earn.

According to our analysis, Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status has a value of $3,423 and costs $3,650 to earn.

According to our analysis, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status has a value of $5,480 and costs $7,300 to earn.

According to our analysis, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador status has a value of $7,617 and costs $20,000 to earn.


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 2022, including those best for:

partner programs

IHG® One Rewards
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World of Hyatt
Enjoy free nights, member rates and more
Alaska Mileage Plan
Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
IHG® Rewards Program

IHG® One Rewards

Wherever you go, however you stay, IHG One Rewards offers rewards for every one.

on IHG One Rewards’ website

Highlights:
  1. Cheers to new tiers: New tiers allow members to earn points faster.
  2. Piling on the perks: New members benefits that enhance every stay
  3. Milestone Rewards: Allows members to choose their rewards.
  1. Cheers to new tiers: New tiers allow members to earn points faster.
  2. Piling on the perks: New members benefits that enhance every stay
  3. Milestone Rewards: Allows members to choose their rewards.

on IHG One Rewards’ website

World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt

With the World of Hyatt loyalty program, enjoy a world of rewards designed to revolve around you.

on Hyatt's website

Highlights:
  1. Earn points for things you already enjoy with Hyatt
  2. Use your points for free nights at more than 1,100 hotels around the world
  3. Three elite tiers to unlock exceptional benefits - room upgrades and more.
  1. Earn points for things you already enjoy with Hyatt
  2. Use your points for free nights at more than 1,100 hotels around the world
  3. Three elite tiers to unlock exceptional benefits - room upgrades and more.

on Hyatt's website

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Alaska Mileage Plan

Mileage Plan is Alaska's loyalty program for anyone who loves to travel and is free to join!

on Alaska's website

Highlights:
  1. Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
  2. Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
  3. You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend
  1. Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
  2. Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
  3. You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend

on Alaska's website

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