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Elite members in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program enjoy VIP benefits when they stay at hotels in 30 Marriott family brands. But did you know that if you don’t get to use your elite perks, Marriott will give you on-the-spot compensation?
Here’s everything you need to know to fully enjoy the benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy Elite Guarantee.
» Learn more: Marriott Bonvoy Program: The complete guide
How it works
The hotel's Elite Member Benefits Guarantee means that, as a Bonvoy elite, you shouldn't arrive at your hotel to find that your room has been given away. And if you do, you're entitled to various forms of compensation depending on the location — potentially points, meals or even cash.
The perks of the Elite Member Benefits Guarantee vary depending on your elite status and the hotel brand where you’re staying. All levels are eligible for reservation guarantees. Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador elite members are additionally entitled to a guaranteed welcome gift, room type and access to a lounge if the hotel has one.
The Elite Member Benefits Guarantee applies no matter how you attained Bonvoy elite status — be it through frequent Bonvoy stays or through frequent spending on a co-branded credit card like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, which comes with Silver Elite status, or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, which comes with Gold Elite status.
Types of Elite Member Benefits Guarantees
When you arrive at a qualifying hotel, Marriott guarantees that your reservation will be waiting for you. If, for some reason, the hotel is oversold or the property can't honor a reservation, elite members need not worry: The hotel will pay for a comparable hotel nearby.
For your trouble, you'll also get compensation in the form of cash — usually $100 or $200 — or Marriott Bonvoy points. Often, you can choose which type of compensation you would like, although your options may vary by brand and elite tier as shown in the chart on Marriott’s website.
If this situation happens to you and compensation is not proactively offered, be sure to ask.
Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador elite members receive a welcome gift when checking in to a Marriott family hotel.
Gifts vary. You could get Bonvoy points, breakfast or a food and beverage item, depending on the property.
If the hotel staff haven’t proactively offered you your welcome gift after check-in, ask about compensation. In most cases, you’re entitled to cash ranging from $25 to $100, depending on the hotel. If your hotel is outside the U.S., expect the equivalent in local currency.
Luxury brands usually offer greater compensation than brands at more affordable price points. For example, the compensation at a St. Regis for a skipped welcome amenity is $100, whereas at a Courtyard it is $50.
Unfortunately, at Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Marriott Vacation Club and Design Hotels properties, the elite welcome gift is not part of the guarantee. That is, there’s no assurance you’ll be compensated if your elite welcome gift is not offered, although you can follow up with Marriott Bonvoy to request compensation.
For elite members, the welcome amenity adds a nice boost to your stay, whether that’s in points or a food and beverage amenity. And if it’s not delivered, your compensation can add a nice boost to your wallet courtesy of Marriott.
When you make a reservation, you can choose the type of room you want (king bed, two queen beds, accessible room, etc.). If you're a Platinum, Titanium or Ambassador elite member and the hotel doesn't honor the specific room type you reserved, Marriott Bonvoy will compensate you with anywhere from $25 to $100 in cash, depending on the property.
At international hotels, expect the equivalent in local currency.
There are a few caveats, however: The bed type guarantee applies only to hotels in the U.S. and Canada. Internationally, the nonsmoking rooms are based upon availability (meaning they are outside the guarantee). Also, bed type is only guaranteed for Titanium and Ambassador elite members in international locations, although the bed type and size may vary by region.
If you're upgraded, the room type may change, but you can request to forgo the upgrade in exchange for your guaranteed room type.
In hotels that offer an executive lounge, Marriott’s top Platinum and Titanium elite members can typically enjoy access. If the lounge is closed or the hotel doesn't have a lounge, the elite member (plus a companion) is offered breakfast in the restaurant or points instead.
If this is not proactively offered at JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Autograph Collection hotels and a few other brands, you’ll be compensated in cash.
There is no compensation if breakfast is not offered when staying at a Sheraton, Westin or another exempted Bonvoy brand. This compensation benefit is only for the guest room in which the elite member is staying.
Titanium and Ambassador Elite members have another benefit with Marriott that guarantees there will be a room available for a paid stay reserved more than 48 hours before arrival. The guarantee is available at most brands with a few exclusions, like Marriott Vacation Club, Design Hotels and resort properties.
This guarantee is useful for elites who travel on fairly short notice and want to stay at a Marriott property. Marriott will make room for you.
The bottom line
By knowing your elite status perks, you can take full advantage when staying in a Marriott family hotel. Silver and Gold Elite members can rest assured knowing their reservation is guaranteed. Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elite members enjoy additional guaranteed reservations, plus benefits like room type guarantees and a welcome amenity.
You can be compensated if you don’t get certain perks that are due to you. But be prepared: If you're not offered your amenity, you must request compensation before checking out of the hotel, lest you forego access to the perk.
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