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Big Marriott Bonvoy changes make status chasing easy for 2022

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Marriott Bonvoy has announced a number of aggressive changes to try to win your depleted hotel business for 2021.

We have already seen similar moves by Hyatt (halving elite requirements and doubling night credits), Hilton (halving elite requirements and carrying over elite nights from 2020) and Accor (halving elite requirements).

Here is what Marriott Bonvoy is doing.

You will receive a chunk of free elite night credits, based on your current status

All Marriott Bonvoy members are getting elite night credits equivalent to 50% of the status they earned in 2020.

This is what you will get:

  • 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

For me, as a Platinum Elite member, I can expect 25 nights to be dropped into my account.

Bonus elite night credits will arrive by the end of February.

Remember that if you get the Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card (apply here), you will receive another 15 elite night credits.

I have this card, so I will be sitting on 40 elite night credits towards 2022 status. This means I only need to earn 10 elite night credits during 2021 to retain Platinum Elite for next year.

Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

And this will get even easier because …..

Marriott’s new promotion will give you double points AND double elite night credit

Marriott Bonvoy has given early notice of its first promotion for 2021.

On all stays between 16th Febuary and 27th April, you will earn double points AND double elite night credits.

The only rule is that you must stay at least two nights.

Redemption stays will count for double elite nights as long as the stay includes at least one paid night. This means, if I understand it correctly, that a stay of four reward nights which finishes with one paid night would earn 10 elite night credits.

This offer means that I would only need to do 5 nights between 16th February and 27th April to get to the 50 nights I need for Platinum Elite status in 2022. Result!

In reality, I might try to squeeze in 2 or 3 nights, to get me to 44 or 46 elite nights credits, which will take any pressure off requalification.

Double points would mean 20 points per $1 – I would get 25 points as a Platinum Elite member. Based on my valuation of 0.5p per point, this means a minimum return of 13.5% on your ex-VAT spending.

Save 10% on off-peak Marriott Bonvoy redemptions

Marriott is also launching a ‘sale’ on off-peak redemptions.

ALL Marriott Bonvoy hotels have seen their points cost reduce by 10% for off-peak redemptions.

You can book from now until 21st February, for stays until 30th September.

The snag is that there is no mention of greater off-peak availability than usual. You would expect virtually all Marriott Bonvoy hotels to be selling redemption nights at off-peak prices at the moment, but it isn’t happening. There is no evidence that the split between peak, standard and off-peak has changed.

That said, as redemption rooms are fully refundable in almost all cases it makes sense to book now for later in the year if the hotel you want is showing off-peak for your dates.

Conclusion

This is a solid announcement by Marriott Bonvoy. It is also strategically smart.

It makes it clear, without saying so directly, that you cannot expect a status rollover for 2022.

If you want to retain your status for next year, you have been given a big head start with 50% of the nights you need.

Throw in the Marriott Bonvoy American Express (apply here) and you get another 15 nights.

You have been substantial advance notice that stays of 2+ nights from mid February to late April will earn double elite nights.

I don’t think anyone can complain that Marriott is treating them unfairly. Assuming travel starts to open up – at least domestically – by Easter you will have opportunities to knock up some double elite night credits and make good progress towards 2022 status.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

Comments (111)

  • KBuffett says:

    Do Marriott operate a soft landing policy? If I got for Ambassador, will I drop to Platinum in 2023 if I don’t hit Ambassador again in 2022?

    • Rob says:

      They didn’t for 2020 although some people, including me, who complained on the grounds that we expected that the old Marriott Rewards policy to continue were given one.

  • George K says:

    Speaking of awardwallet, at present it has a december 2022 date under ‘Expiration’ of bonvoy (platinum) status. If that’s the case, then pursuing status this year may not be worth it. However I’m suspicious of this stated expiration date – I though status usually dropped at end of February, if you failed to requalify the year before.

    • Rob says:

      You need to earn by December but your old status runs to Feb. Does AW have the same dating policy for Hilton, BA etc?

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