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Marriott is the largest hotel brand in the world, so there's a good chance you can find one of Marriott's 8,000+ properties if you are traveling in the 139 countries and territories within the brand's global footprint. Marriott's loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, rewards travelers who frequently stay at the company's 30 brands. The more you stay, the higher your elite status can become. If you spend 25 nights a year in Marriott hotels, you will earn Marriott's mid-tier status, Gold Elite.
What does Gold Elite mean to you as a traveler? Here is everything you need to know about Marriott Gold Elite status, including the benefits you can expect, how to earn the status and how much value you can expect.
» Learn more: The complete guide to Marriott elite status
Changes to Marriott Gold Elite in 2023
Marriott extended elite status in the early years following the pandemic. But now, its status extensions reverted to its old process. This relies on whether you actually stayed at a Marriott in the past year for.
Here's how long you'll hold elite status, based on your existing status (and how you attained it):
If you earned elite status in 2022, you'll hold it through February 2024.
If you held elite status in 2022 but did not re-achieve that tier, Marriott allows you to maintain some level of status — albeit at a lower tier. These members are offered one tier below their current status starting March 2023 through February 2024.
» Learn more: Hotel elite status will be harder to get / keep in 2023
Marriott Gold Elite benefits
Marriott offers Gold Elite members benefits across the entire portfolio of Marriott brands. Here are the additional perks you can expect as a Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite member:
25% bonus points. Earn 25% more points on your purchases at Marriott properties, including room rate, incidentals and services charged to your room.
Enhanced room upgrade. Receive a room upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability. Enhanced room upgrades may include:
Rooms with better views.
Rooms on high floors.
Rooms with unique amenities.
Rooms on executive floors.
Note that upgrades to rooms with Club access at the Ritz Carlton are excluded.
Priority late checkout. Receive 2 p.m. late checkout subject to availability at all Marriott properties.
Free high-speed in-room Wi-Fi. Marriott hotels offer Gold members free access to their fastest in-room Wi-Fi connections.
How to become a Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite member
Marriott Gold Elite status is earned when you accumulate 25 elite night credits, but paying for almost a month of hotel stays at Marriott properties isn't the only way to get the credits you need. Marriott offers many paths to becoming a Gold Elite member, including elite night bonuses from credit cards and credits for business meetings whose participants stay at Marriott hotels. Some credit cards even offer Gold Elite status outright. Here are the ways to progress toward earning Gold Elite status.
Stay at hotels within the Marriott family of brands
The traditional way of earning elite status with any hotel program is to stay at the brand's hotels. If you stay 25 nights within the Marriott family of brands, you will earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. Both paid and award stays booked with points count toward your elite night credits, but free night stays booked with a certificate do not.
» Learn more: The guide to Marriott brands
Get Gold status as a travel card benefit
You can get automatic Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy just by holding a certain travel or hotel credit card. The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card both offer complimentary Gold Elite status as a perk of card membership.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card offers complimentary Platinum Elite status, which includes an elevated set of benefits beyond what is offered to Gold Elite members.
If you hold one of the AmEx Platinum cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you can also receive complimentary Gold Elite status just by being a cardmember. Enrollment required.
Earn elite night credits with a credit card
If the above credit cards are out of your price range, consider earning elite night credits through one of Marriott's many co-branded credit cards in partnership with Chase and American Express. Most Marriott-branded credit cards grant 15 elite nights as a benefit of holding the card. Here are the credit cards that grant 15 elite night credits just for holding the card:
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards right now
On top of the 15 elite night credits it offers, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card allows you to earn one additional elite night for every $5,000 you spend on the card.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card offers even more elite night credits. You can earn 25 elite night credits annually by holding the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card. Terms apply.
The most elite night credits a member can earn per Marriott Bonvoy account is 40, depending on the cards they hold. While the consumer cards don't allow for adding the elite nights together, you can add nights to your total if you hold a consumer card and a business card. For example, if you held the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (25 nights) and an additional Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (15 nights), you would receive a total of 40 elite night credits. Elite night credits earned from spending on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card do not count toward the 40 elite night cap. Terms apply.
Hosting events at Marriott properties
If you book an event or meeting with participants staying at a Marriott hotel, you can receive elite night credits for your attendees' stays. You can earn one Elite Night Credit for every 20 rooms you book as part of an event at a Marriott property.
Receive Gold Elite status as a United Premier Gold member
United Airlines and Marriott have a partnership that allows point transfers from United to Marriott and elite status matching. If you are a United Airlines MileagePlus member and hold Premier Gold status or higher, you can receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status by registering.
What is Marriott elite status worth?
According to NerdWallet's comprehensive analysis of hotel elite status, Marriott Gold status lags behind the competition in terms of value provided by a mid-tier hotel elite status. NerdWallet's analysis determined that the benefits and perks of Marriott Gold Elite status are worth just $126, which is just 3% of the spending typically required to achieve Gold Elite status.
However, suppose you can get Marriott Gold Elite status from one of the many credit cards that grant status as a perk of having the card. In that case, you can unlock the program benefits for substantially less than the $4,000 you might have to spend if you earned status outright. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers complimentary Gold Elite status and carries an annual fee of just $125. Terms apply.
Here's an overview of what each level of Marriott elite status is worth:
Marriott Lifetime Gold and promotions to keep in mind
Marriott promotions are generous and frequent
Marriott frequently runs promotions that you should take advantage of if you collect Bonvoy points and often stay at Marriott Hotels. Marriott promotions require registration and are typically communicated to Marriott Bonvoy members via email. In addition, some offers may include bonus point earnings on stays with increasing rewards for more frequent and longer stays.
You can also find available promotions by logging into the Marriott Bonvoy website, navigating to your account at the top of the page and clicking on "Promotions."
» Learn more: Your guide to hotel bonus point promotions
Marriott offers lifetime Gold Elite status
If your commitment to the Marriott brand has spanned the better of a decade, you might qualify for lifetime status with Marriott Bonvoy. Program members who have stayed 400 qualifying nights and have had Gold Elite or higher status for seven years or more receive Lifetime Gold Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
Final thoughts: Is Marriott Gold Elite status worth it?
While Marriott Gold Elite status offers additional points on paid stays and high-speed internet, the points are marginal and the high-speed internet isn't much different than the free standard internet. Marriott Gold Elite status also provides upgrades and complimentary late checkout, but both are subject to availability and offered at the hotel's discretion.
There's no need to feel FOMO here. Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy may not be the most exciting hotel status, but it is relatively easy to earn through Marriott's many credit cards.
The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card credit card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
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 2023, 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