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Your Marriott Bonvoy ‘bonus’ elite nights have posted – should you now get the credit card?

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Earlier than expected, Marriott Bonvoy has posted your ‘bonus’ elite nights to your account.

As we reported back in June, all Marriott Bonvoy members are getting elite night credits equivalent to 50% of the status they earned in 2019.

This means that if you were Platinum Elite in 2019 but only did enough nights to earn Gold Elite for 2020, you will receive 13 elite night credits.

The full list is (this is based on the status you earned in 2019 for 2020):

  • Ambassador Elite – 50 elite night credits
  • Titanium Elite – 38 elite night credits
  • Platinum Elite – 25 elite night credits
  • Gold Elite – 13 elite night credits
  • Silver Elite – 5 elite night credits

Marriott Bonvoy elite nights bonus

This offer is actually a bit better than I thought

When Marriott launched this idea, I was dismissive of it.

In retrospect, I think I was wrong.  To prove it, I am probably going to end up putting more nights towards Marriott Bonvoy this year because of it.

Here was my original problem.  Marriott has already extended our elite status by 12 months.  These additional nights aren’t worth anything for most people.

They are only useful if you were planning to aim for a higher tier for 2021 than you have in 2020.  For example, a Platinum Elite member in 2020 is guaranteed Platinum Elite status for 2021 regardless.  However, with 25 elite night credits in the bag, the member may now decide to push for Titanium Elite instead.

It will also help some people trigger the additional Choice Benefit unlocked for hitting 50 and 75 nights in a year.  At 50 nights, for example, you can choose from either five Suite Night Awards, five elite night credits, free Silver Elite status for a friend or a $100 charity donation.

For the majority of Marriott Bonvoy members, however, it doesn’t get them anything.

Marriott Bonvoy elite nights bonus

This is why I think this offer may now work for me

I am current Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite.  I am guaranteed this status until Spring 2022 thanks to Marriott’s status extension.

Being Platinum Elite, I was gifted 25 elite night credits.  My account now looks like this:

Marriott bonus elite nights

I have a grand total of 26 elite nights credits!  I reviewed the new Courtyard by Marriott Inverness Airport back in March (hotel website is here, it’s good) plus I got my 25 bonus credits.

However, this got me thinking:

I have three Marriott Bonvoy nights booked for a holiday in October

I am likely to be reviewing the new Courtyard hotels at London City Airport and Heathrow before year-end

I could get the Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card again, which comes with 15 elite night credits

This would get me to 46 elite nights for the year.

If I could squeeze in an extra four nights, I would qualify for the 50 night Choice Benefit – of which the only valuable option is five Suite Night Award certificates.  This would allow me to request suite upgrades in advance for five nights during 2021, albeit that not all brands and hotels offer this.

Some people struggle to use their Suite Night Awards.  It doesn’t help that Marriott won’t start looking for availability until 5 days before you arrive.

However, I think it is worth moving four additional nights to Marriott during 2020 to give it a try.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

Would the 15 Marriott Bonvoy Amex elite night credits work for you?

If you’re Gold Elite this year …..

You’ve been given 13 elite night credits.  If you got the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, you’d receive a further 15 nights.  This gets you to 28.  You’d then need 22 paid or reward nights in 2020 to earn the 50 nights required for Platinum Elite.

If you’re Platinum Elite this year …..

You’ve been given 25 elite night credits.  If you got the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, you’d receive a further 15 nights.  This gets you to 40.  You’d need 10 paid or reward nights in 2020 to earn five Suite Night Awards.  You’d need 35 paid or reward nights in 2020 to earn the 75 nights required for Titanium Elite.

If you’re Titanium Elite this year ….

You’ve been given 38 elite night credits. If you got the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, you’d receive a further 15 nights.  This gets you to 53.  You immediately trigger a ’50 night bonus’, of which the five Suite Night Awards are by far the best option.  You’d then need a further 22 paid or reward nights to trigger a ’75 night bonus’ – choose from five Suite Night Awards, a Free Night Award, gift Gold Elite status, five Elite Night Credits or a $100 charity donation.

Don’t underestimate what a good deal this is for a Titanium Elite.  The 15 elite night credits from the Amex card will trigger your ’50 night bonus’ (the best option being the five Suite Night Awards for 2021) even if you don’t do a single night in a Marriott property this year!

If you think getting the credit card makes sense, our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card is here and you can apply here.

New cardmembers will receive their 15 elite night credits within 60 days of applying.  In subsequent years, the 15 elite nights will be credited by 1st March.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (45)

  • Munch says:

    Seriously tempted to go for the 50 nights – currently gold.
    Rob – do you think having Platinum Elite added any value? Marriott rules seem so convoluted I’m never sure what benefits you would expect (breakfast, upgrades etc.)
    Also not sure it worth breaking my 2 year wait from personal Amex. I assume I wouldn’t receive the Amex bonus how would this affect my next card application BA Premium Plus Amex or Platinum Amex by applying before my 2 year break?

    • Harry T says:

      You can hold the Bonvoy card and still receive the bonus on the BA cards and Platinum card – BA card bonus requires two years without a BA card; Platinum bonus requires two years without a MR card:

      Platinum is far superior to Bonvoy Gold, which is largely useless. Plat gives you 4pm checkout at all hotels apart from resorts. You get breakfast at most Bonvoy hotels, notable exceptions being Ritz-Carlton and EDITION (just book STARS rate for those properties through Emyr and you’ll get breakfast included anyway). You earn 50% bonus on base points, compared to 25% for Gold. Many properties give you extra perks such as free drinks. You receive lounge access at many properties, excluding the RC (the rule of thumb is that RC don’t give a shit about Bonvoy status unless you’re Titanium or above and don’t really give you much then anyway). You would also receive far better room upgrades, as Golds are not eligible for suite upgrades. Essentially, with Bonvoy, any status below Platinum isn’t worth pursuing but is an okay perk if derived from credit cards.

      TL;DR guaranteed 4pm checkout, free breakfast and lounge access at many properties, earn more points, better room upgrades.

      • Harry T says:

        You can find tables and articles explaining the breakfast situation on many blogs, including this one. I think people overstate how complex the rules are – if you have a functioning frontal cortex and 10 mins of your time, you’ll understand everything there is to know.

        • Harry T says:

          Apologies, that last comment sounded like I was insulting you, which was not my intent. I guess what I was trying to say is that the rules aren’t as complex as you might think (though I think they should simplify them) and I’m sure you’ll be able to understand them if you read Rob’s great article on the topic or find a table elsewhere.

        • Rob says:

          Worth noting of course, for all luxury and many mid market Marriott hotels, you can book through Emyr and get similar – often better – benefits than Plat on cash stays 🙂

          • Harry T says:

            @Rob a very good point! I’ve made bookings with Emyr for the Alfonso (your idea – thanks for the recommendation), Augustine, Hotel Imperial Vienna, Barcelona EDITION. The Luminous benefits are okay but the STARS ones are better. It’s a shame some of the more upmarket Ws (Eg Amsterdam) aren’t included in STARS.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            While right now everyone is probably happy with full refundable rates right in normal times the “free” breakfast wasn’t free as these rates are usually considerably more than cheapest.

            I have booked them but deffo need to do your homework before booking it vs cheapest Marriott rate or even the discounted Marriott member flexible rate (5% discount)

          • Optimus Prime says:

            RC hotels don’t give upgrades to gold members anymore? I had a points booking (a travel package actually) on a RC and I was upgraded to a Junior Suite at check-in. Maybe got upgraded because it was September 2018 and the new elite categories had just been rolled out a month before.

          • Harry T says:

            @TGLoyalty
            Good point, always pays to run the numbers especially if you have status and would use prepaid rates. I suspect many of us won’t be comfortable prepaying for some time, given the uncertainty with travel and the difficulties with refunds.

        • Munch says:

          No offence taken – thanks for your opinion.

    • Rob says:

      It’s worked OK for me, because the benefits are guaranteed (lounge access, breakfast etc) and I tend to use the more expensive brands where these benefits kick in. How it works for you is up to your travel pattern.

      The Marriott card WON’T impact the future bonus on a Platinum (which only looks at Gold/Plat) or BAPP (which only looks at BA/BAPP). It WOULD stop you getting a bonus on Gold, free BA, Amex Rewards or Nectar in the next 2 years.

      • Munch says:

        Great didn’t realise it was 2 years by each category of Amex card. Cancelled my last BA card September 2018 so can go for it again this September and still earn the bonus.

  • Andy says:

    Any suggestions for the cheapest properties anywhere in the UK for a mattress run?

    • Anna says:

      What do you class as cheap? They don’t seem to have a level of properties on a par with HI or Hampton as far as I can tell.

    • Stu p says:

      Moxy is the cheap brand, I’ve seen the Southampton one for £29 a night. Having said that can’t find any dates available at the moment. Perhaps hasn’t reopened yet.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Look out for moxys. In sales you can get as cheap as £20 a night on the right dates.

  • Paul says:

    I already have a Marriott Bonvoy card which means silver elite and 15 nights as standard, they’ve just added 5 nights so up to 20 and only 5 away from gold without even having to have booked a stay this year.

  • mutley says:

    This is good, as a plat I now have 36 nights, and 2 courtyard bookings in October, 50 nights is however, is largely dependent on a work trip scheduled to Chicago on 10th November for 2 weeks. What are the chances of the Trumpster letting the Brits in by then?

    • Harry T says:

      It’s anyone’s guess. I suspect he will use the ban on foreigners entering the US as part of his campaign strategy though. US elections are in November!