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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.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (January 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year. You can apply here.

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

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

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

Comments (111)

  • DT says:

    Will Gold Elites from Amex Plat with 0 2020 nights also get the 13 nights dropped in for 2021?

  • Si says:

    Is the Marriott 90 day status match still live?

    The landing page looks like it is but then below has this comment:

    ‘Can I enroll into your Elite Status Challenge and then enroll into this Competitor Elite Status Match?’
    ‘No, new enrollments into the Elite Status challenges are temporarily being suspended’

    Is it that you can still get 90 days but now can’t do the reduced nights in 90 days to keep the status all year?

    I have a stay coming up at end of march where status match would be very useful, but as I’m guessing I’ll have to postpone it, I don’t want to pull trigger until i know trip will def be on.

    • Si says:

      P.s. I just cancelled and then rebooked and got 8,000 Marriott points back

    • Harry T says:

      ‘No, new enrollments into the Elite Status challenges are temporarily being suspended’

      Doesn’t seem very ambiguous to me.

      I wouldn’t even attempt to do a status challenge at the moment, even if it was permitted, because Marriott will rightly grant you zero clemency if covid spoils your plans.

  • BJ says:

    We might still be in lockdown or something close to it for part or all of 16/2-27/4. I suspect they will try to prevent an Easter surge at the very least.

    • NigelthePensioner says:

      You are quite correct…..England (at least) will be in lockdown until Monday 29th March. The absolute peak (helped by irresponsible corridors and foreign travel over the holiday period) will not kick in until the end of this week and through next week. Hope you’ve all ordered new filing cabinets in the Jan sales for all those vouchers you’ve got and are still being encouraged to get!! :- ))

  • Alan says:

    Not a bad offer but I still find it a hugely unappealing programme. I find their properties very overpriced and with a poorer footprint than Hilton or IHG. The lack of a non-Amex points earning option also limits things from my POV.

    Sadly their timescale for reopening looks woefully optimistic and (as with much in their programme) looks to be domestic US-focused.

    • Harry T says:

      They literally have the largest footprint in the world and offer everything from horrible and cheap (Moxy, Courtyard) to glorious but spenny (Ritz-Carlton, Luxury Collection).

      • Rhys says:

        Moxy isn’t horrible! I quite like it!

        • Harry T says:

          Try the one in York, Rhys! It doesn’t have air conditioning that cools the room – it only heats it – so my room was 25 degrees with all the available windows open, all night. I had to check out of the Moxy and move to the Marriott. To be fair, the Moxy staff were lovely and very obliging. If you like being extra toasty, I can recommend it!

          • Rob says:

            I thought the Excel one was decent and I am 25 years above their target market.

            Using the standard ‘half your age + 10’ calculation for the target age of a man’s second wife, it’s the sort of place I would be hanging out if my wife ever gives me the boot 🙂

          • BJ says:

            Since when do you need AC in York Harry? 25 sounds very comfortable to me; I used to cool my house in Bangkok to 28 and even that cost a packet, not to mention the damage to the environment.

          • Dave says:

            I stayed at the York one a few months after it opened. Wasn’t greeted with any status recognition (I mentioned it to them during check in). The room wasn’t great. No kettle in our standard room. Fire alarm at 7am. Only 1 pillow, requested another as soon as I arrived using the app but they didn’t read it until after I left. Breakfast wasn’t professional but disorganised with no welcome and few seats available. The few staff spent most of the time talking to one another. Atmosphere very cold, warehouse style with concrete floors. After two days I checked out and went to the (significantly cheaper) Hilton at Clifford’s tower. Massive difference in service. My gf and I are young and probably Moxy’s target market but we hated it and won’t stay at one again unless we have to.

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            Rob – I’m glad I’m not the only one who knows the ‘half you age plus seven’ rule…
            Mrs Trotter always gives me a bit of a look when I quote it for some reason 😉

          • Andrew says:

            From memory, the Hilton in York (next to Cliffords Tower) was the same. No air conditioning and the window opened a crack.

            It’s surprising how many hotels don’t have adequate heating or air conditioning systems. I used to carry a small 1kW fan heater for winter work trips in the UK. In February last year, the bedroom in the Novotel in Monte Carlo was tropical. They don’t turn the aircon units on until April, and the windows in the room didn’t open.

        • BJ says:

          Haven’t tried one yet but I read the other night that they don’t have coffee makers or kettles in the rooms which is a bit of a disappointment. Even an Ibis I stayed in Milan for a night a few years back had a Nespresso machine.

          • Rhys says:

            Can’t remember but as I’m not really a coffee drinker never really bothered me. What I like about Moxys is that they are competitively priced yet smart and characterful – not just a boring rectangular business hotel. Very trendy and fun.

          • Rob says:

            Moxy’s do all have in-house coffee shops and cafes. The idea of a Moxy is that the communal ground floor areas are oversized and that you spend your time there, not in your room.

          • Gareth Jeanne says:

            I enjoyed my stay in the Moxy in Chicago for a business trip, it had an in-house Taco restaurant 🙂

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Nearly Always get upgraded to a business room that has them.

            Only time I wasn’t they gave me free breakfast and a drink instead, which was far as I got there at 10:30pm and left at 8am.

      • Michael C says:

        We didn’t end up staying in the end, but the price/quality ratio of the Copenhagen Moxy looked excellent.
        I’ve also noticed that the newer ones are squeezing in family rooms, so I’d be more than happy to try one on a city break.

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        Moxy Heathrow is lovely and has a great view of 90N

      • Alan says:

        Well they certainly don’t feel it. I found their London properties massively overpriced and have been disappointed when I stayed with them in Melbourne.

    • BJ says:

      Since the merger I’d say they definitely have the footprint but I agree they are overpriced, particularly in comparison to nearby competitors in key cities. There were times when reward prices worked great but those have been eroded. Free breakfast remains a bit of a shambles. However, for me personally, the main problem has been very limited targeted offers and poor status recognition. Only thing that ever excited me about Marriot was the original travel packages. RC helps them at the high end but I’m rarely interested in luxury hotels but when I am I’d choose other options before RC.

      • Harry T says:

        I’ve personally found the status recognition excellent as Platinum. Hopefully it’s even better as Titanium.

        • Harry T says:

          I agree on targeted offers though – I’ve never had one!

        • Optimus Prime says:

          But you’ve been travelling during a pandemic with low occupancy rates and cash fares 🙂

          We need opinions of Platinum members that did travel 2019 to have a more balanced view

          • YC says:

            Platinum or higher for the last 3years. Only leisure travel. Very satisfied on recognition and benefits. I don’t expect an upgrade every time but most hotels are reasonable. Note outside US things are much better. Rarely had targeted offers.

          • Optimus Prime says:

            Thanks YC.

            Regarding things being better outside US – I guess that US Amex Bonvoy that comes with Platinum status for a year has something to do with it…

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Plat in 2019 and again very satisfied except on USA trip but I got a great BRG on a high category room anyway

        • Bonvoy says:

          I have been Titanium for several years, and recognition is very consistent (not that my ego needs that kind of stuff…).

          This promo makes status renewal this year very, very easy and cheap for those of us who are actually travelling. I won’t be going for Ambassador since I don’t see the value of the benefits.

      • Alan says:

        Good summary, BJ – I think that sums up my perception of them, even if actual numbers are higher it doesn’t feel that way to me.

  • The Original David says:

    Is the legacy Creation Marriott credit card still giving out free status nights? I don’t think mine did last year, but had reliably given me 10 nights per year until then… Can I expect it to come back to life for 2021?

    • FFoxSake says:

      I definitely still got them last year, plus the annual 2000 points anniversary bonus.

    • Stu p says:

      I was wondering this. I have 25 nights credit card bonus this year so I assume yes (15 for amex and 10 for legacy???).

      • Kevin says:

        I have only 15 nights from Amex but not the other 10 nights from creation for 2021

        • Stu p says:

          No idea how I have 25 then! I won’t be asking them either!!

        • FFoxSake says:

          Same here, but I think the Creation nights might not credit until after your card anniversary? I seem to remember them appearing about July/Aug last year for me (but can’t see any way to check that 2020 activity now)

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      I also got the ‘double dip’ last year of 25 elite nights from my old Creation Marriott card (10) & the Amex Bonvoy (15). However, not sure on 2021 yet as I have received the 2,000 anniversary points in January for the Creation Marriott but no elite nights – I see these credited in April last year so fingers crossed!

  • Ian M says:

    As an Ambassador Elite I’ll be happy to land the 50 night credits. I also hold the Bonvoy card and have already received the 15 night credits from this. So that’s 65 in the tank. However, is there any news on the $20,000 spend requirement to requalify for Ambassador status?

  • memesweeper says:

    I did the status match just over 90 days ago. I switched my work trips (almost entirely) to Marriott but thanks to a couple more lock downs missed the stays requirement by a few nights. I would expect to have dropped backed to Gold from Platinum at this point — but I haven’t. I also acquired 15 bonus nights from my Bonvoy Amex on 1 Jan so I’m wondering… Did the bonus nights get counted for the match? did I just luck out and hit Platinum for the year?

    I guess I’ll know if I get 25 rather than 13 nights deposited when this goes live…

  • Capt Hammond says:

    As a Titanium who has already banked 15 nights credit from holding the Amex Bonvoy card, I’ve already qualified for Platinum in 2022 without actually staying a single night. I’m obviously not complaining!

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