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Anyone can become a member of Marriott’s loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, to earn hotel points and other perks at any of the 8,500 participating properties in 138 countries.
Joining the program is free. But to become a Silver Elite member and enjoy the elevated perks that come with this status, you’ll have to qualify first.
Here’s how to get Marriott Silver Elite status and a look at Marriott Silver Elite benefits.
What is Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status?
The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program has five elite status tiers:
Silver is the lowest level and gets you the fewest perks. But it’s also the easiest elite tier to attain, meaning the benefits are in reach for less-frequent travelers.
» Learn more: Marriott Bonvoy Program: The complete guide
Marriott Silver Elite perks
Don’t expect lavish benefits as a Silver Elite member. Instead, you get:
10% points bonus on paid stays.
Priority late checkout when available.
These are on top of the perks all Marriott Bonvoy members get, which include:
Free in-room Wi-Fi.
Mobile check-in and mobile key.
The best perk of Silver Elite status is the 10% bonus points. This little boost can help you get to your next free night redemption faster, which is the reason you sign up for hotel loyalty programs in the first place.
Late checkout could be valuable — or worthless — depending on whether you need it and whether the hotel has the capacity to let you stay in your room a few more hours.
If you usually fly home in the late afternoon or evening, this Silver Elite Marriott benefit could save you the hassle of handing off your bags to hotel bell staff while you explore a little more at your destination, then digging through your suitcases for a change of clothes before you fly home.
But it’s not guaranteed the hotel can grant your Silver Elite free late checkout request, so don’t count on it.
» Learn more: What makes Marriott unique?
How to earn Marriott Elite Silver
You can get Silver Elite status by staying at participating properties or by signing up for a credit card that offers Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status as a perk.
By staying at hotels
A Marriott Bonvoy member who stays 10 nights at participating properties in a calendar year automatically becomes Silver Elite. Those don’t have to be consecutive nights, and they don’t have to be at the same property. Any way you rack up 10 paid nights during the year will automatically get you bumped to Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite, assuming you booked directly through Marriott or the property and supplied your Bonvoy member number.
By signing up for a credit card
Two credit cards offer Silver Elite Marriott status as a perk of being a cardmember:
Just by carrying one of these cards, your basic Marriott Bonvoy membership is automatically bumped to Silver every year your account is in good standing. These cards also offer extra points on paid stays and bonuses for new cardmembers who meet a spending minimum after opening their card accounts:
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card — Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card — Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards right now
How much is Marriott Silver Elite status worth?
In NerdWallet’s annual analysis of the best hotel elite status programs, we sought to determine how much value the major U.S. hotel loyalty programs deliver to guests. Here's how Marriott Bonvoy did.
Value of benefits
Cost to earn
Elite earning rate
What else you need to know
Did you know you can earn United, American or Alaska airline miles for your Marriott stay without sacrificing any Marriott base points or even those 10% Silver Elite bonus points? Just sign up for the airline’s shopping portal, sign in, then navigate to Marriott’s website through the portal.
The airline’s shopping site puts a cookie in your browser that qualifies you for miles based on how much you spend with Marriott. There’s no cost, no catch and no downside. It’s an easy way to pile airline miles on top of Marriott Bonvoy elite bonus points.
For example, we found a five-night stay in Hawaii that would cost $2,495 and earn 24,950 Bonvoy base points plus elite bonus points.
But because it was booked through a pitstop at United’s MileagePlus Shopping portal, it also earned 1 United mile per dollar, deposited a few days later directly into the United MileagePlus account registered with MileagePlus shopping.
One mile per dollar is standard for Marriott hotel bookings in these airline shopping portals. But special promotions can boost earnings to 2, 5 or even 10 miles per dollar. Neither Southwest Airlines nor Delta Air Lines offers miles for Marriott stays through their shopping portals.
Is Marriott Silver Elite status worth it?
Hotel loyalty programs are designed to lure you into choosing one hotel group over another by getting you excited about perks and prestige, losing sight of important questions like cost.
If you’re trying to choose between a Marriott and a less expensive non-Marriott hotel, a shot at Silver Elite status is not an incentive to pay more at the Marriott property because that status is worth only about $10. Nor is a shot at Silver status a reason to have a credit card that charges an annual fee.
But if you’re going to stay at Marriott hotels anyway — because the properties you’re eyeing have the best location, accommodations, rates or amenities — earning Silver Elite status is free, effortless and worthwhile.
The same logic applies to a Marriott credit card: If you can get good value out of the card’s other perks, especially the welcome bonus points or free nights, then Silver Elite status is a nice little top-off to those benefits.
(Top photo courtesy of Marriott)
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