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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

This will make getting status 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 Bonvoy 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.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (December 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 usually 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 status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold 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 (112)

  • C says:

    Any likelihood of a MR to Bonvoy transfer bonus any time soon? The last (targeted) one was in Nov 2019 if I recall

  • Will says:

    Great news, since the SPG merger and the adoption of the old SPG amex card Marriott has become something of a gem.

  • meta says:

    Also 10x for stays paid by Marriott Bonvoy credit card holders is extended till 31 March.

    • Rob says:

      Oooh. They didn’t tell me that.

      I sucked up the 3% FX fee in Ras Al Khaimah the other week to stick a chunky charge on my Bonvoy card for 10x points.

      This is getting very lucrative now for UK stays, where there is no FX fee to worry about.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        There is a CAP though of 20k bonus points!

        • meta says:

          Yes, although I think that just applies to the extra 4 points, not the original 6 as I got more than 20k overall up to now.

      • Harry T says:

        I’ve done very well out of domestic staycations with the 10x points. I’m very glad it’s extended and I hope it becomes a permanent card feature.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      A bit pointless as most lockdown restrictions are expected to continue until March.
      Shouldve extended until June at least.

      • meta says:

        I’m sure they will. As we’ve seen with Marriott they are doing everything n short intervals and much later than other chains. Presumably, they don’t want to do long extensions of generous promos in case things pick up.

  • HuThUn says:

    Having seen these comments and wording in yesterday’s thread as well as other forums I have two questions:

    1) Are these offers targeted by account? Neither my partner nor I received any e-mail, or are seeing these ‘double nights’ in our Offers section on our Marriott account.

    2) I ‘earned’ no status in 2020 as I’m Plat Gold, and haven’t received any nights and am dubious this will happen. My partner has a better route to achieve status than I can (Has a US Marriott card which gives 15 nights, and can get the UK SPG Amex which should provide further nights).

    The only snag is that I’m sitting on most of the points…and I’d rather not faff about too much with the 100k annual points transfer cap. As per BA status, is there anyway to get status recognition if the reward night is booked through my account but I list my partner as a guest? How would this work?

    • will says:

      Are you staying at the same time as your partner?

      In my experience, when I’ve booked for someone else with Marriott, they have insisted on offering the benefits of the person who checks in not myself. Make the booking on points, message ahead with your partners bonvoy details and say she will be checking in, cross fingers.

      Only fool proof way is to transfer the points, it’s easy enough over the phone.

    • Rob says:

      The promo doesn’t start until mid Feb and registration won’t be available until early Feb.

  • Nick M says:

    Semi OT – a friend has 27k points that are due to expire in March, what can be done to extend these? A physical stay won’t be possible before then and I don’t think CC/MR transfer is an option either

    • will says:

      Transfer to someone else?

      • Rob says:

        Yes, get him to ring Marriott and transfer them to you. No fee. Bung him £100 and you’ve got a deal!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      buy 1000 points though as per below I think its extended to Dec 21 but the online account still shows the old date

    • Nick M says:

      Super… thank you everyone – will have a chat and see which option is preferred!

  • George K says:

    I thought points expiry was suspended for a bit… You can always buy the least amount of points, if it comes down to it.

  • Tony says:

    I’m thinking about applying for the Bonvoy card. I know that I’m not eligible for the 20k welcome bonus as I already hold the Gold and BAPP cards. But would I still receive a referral bonus if someone referred me? Or for that matter would the referrer still receive a bonus? If not, then is there any rationale for chasing the £3k spend criteria?

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      If you are referred the referrer will get a reward but you will not (as the referral bonus is added to the spend bonus, which you are not eligible for). You will however get the 15 elite nights for holding the card so you’ll have to decide if that (plus points you earn on any day-to-day spend) is worth the £75 annual fee for you. Certainly there is no reason to hit the £3K spend target for you.

    • Rob says:

      Referrer gets a bonus for introducing you, but that is triggered as soon as you are accepted so no need for you to chase £3k.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      you never know sometimes the IT works in your favour and you get the welcome bonus anyway.

      Wouldn’t chase it but if it happened anyway!

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        Well I did try last September and it definitely didn’t credit for me 🙁

  • Phil says:

    Curious to see if other HfP readers had the same (very bad) experience with Bonvoy customer service (I mean by that customer service for the account management, not customer service at hotels which is spot on)? This is even starker comparing to the great service from Hilton Diamond I have always had.
    In a nutshell:
    Registered for a status match HH Diamond –> Bonvoy Platinum in October and was able to book and stay the relevant number of nights since. But:
    For some reasons, two stays did not post (very strange!). I had to request a copy of the invoice from the hotel after I realised they forgot to send it to my email (never happened with Hilton). Filled in the form online to claim the missing stays. Got an email 3 days later to say it would be completed in the next 3-5 business days as they need a proper team to ‘investigate’ if the stay is valid or not (mind you, they can see I booked on Marriott.com and they have a copy of the invoice). 10 business days later still no news. Then the fun part begins: reaching customer service. Struggled to find a phone number on their site (on Hilton, it is at the bottom of the page!). No European number, but to be fair an ‘international’ phone number with +800: except it does not work from a Vodafone mobile. Tried the US number which worked (thank god I have an international bundle), then another nightmare: a voice recognition system which is there to avoid you to be able to talk to a human being as much as possible. Tried so many different phrases to describe my problem, ended up 3 times being told that ‘I could combine my SPG and Marriott accounts online’, and that ‘I should fill in a form for missing stays online (not helpful)’. I had to lie (partially) and say I had an issue with a reservation to be able to be connected to a ‘representative’: the whole process took painfully 6 minutes. The representative asked me for my ‘case number’ which should have been composed of 8 or 10 digits. The only case numbers I had were a reference in the title of the response email, and were double the length and a mix of digits and letters. The rep had no clue about these. We tried the reservation confirmation numbers. Didn’t work either (!). I had to give the hotel name and the dates. The only answer I got in the end after a 20 mn call was that she could see the cases open and there would be no reason for not receiving a response soon. ‘I should give it a couple of days.’ Still no news as of today.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Best route is to contact Twitter or the FT lurker.

      • meta says:

        Yes, Marriott Twitter team is brilliant. Usually solves any problems within 24-48h max.

    • Bonvoy says:

      I have the reverse. Marriot (Titanium member) support usually pretty good, as is the FT Rep who is brilliant. On the other Hilton (Diamond member) is a disaster everytime.

    • Harry T says:

      At least 50% of my stays in 2020 didn’t post initially and had to be chased.

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