There were lots of other announcement too about status and vouchers which are covered below. In general it is good news but you can’t please everyone however you decide to approach these things.
Announcement 1: Your status is extended
If you currently have Marriott Bonvoy status, it is being extended to February 2023.
No-one will see their status level drop in February 2022.
This is clearly good news for those people who did not retain status this year due to covid. On the other hand, it offers nothing to someone like myself who earned Titanium status this year – I already have it for 2022 and have no guarantees about 2023.
Last year, Marriott also rolled over 50% of the elite nights you earned in the previous year. If they had done this again, it would have given me some extra value from the extension. Instead, I am no better off than I was before this announcement. Arguably I am worse off because all existing Titanium members are rolled over and will be competing with me for upgrades next year.
Ignore my moans though. For most people this is a big win. It is also a win for me if it encourages IHG Rewards to do the same thing, since my Spire Elite status is at risk.
Announcement 2: Points expiry is suspended for another year
Irrespective of the activity on your Marriott Bonvoy account, no points will expire next year.
All expiry is suspended until 31st December 2022. If you have any activity on your account during 2022, it will push the expiry date out even further by resetting the 24 month clock.
Announcement 3: Suite Night Awards are extended to 30th June 2022
If you are Platinum or above, you can earn Suite Night Awards as an elite choice benefit for hitting 50 nights and 75 nights. We looked at how Suite Night Awards work in this article.
Unused awards will not expire on 31st December 2021 and will get an additional six months.
This is useful to me, because I have five Suite Night Awards heading towards expiry and no real enthusiasm to travel to Europe in Winter to use them.
Announcement 4: Any Free Night Awards are extended
You may have a Free Night Award, either as an elite choice benefit or from credit card spend.
In the UK, you get a free night worth up to 25,000 Bonvoy points for spending £25,000 per year on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card.
Any Free Night Awards due to expire between 3rd January 2022 and 29th June 2022 will be extended to 30th June 2022.
Announcement 5: Free Night Awards will become easier to use
This is something that a lot of people, including myself, have been shouting about for years. Marriott has not gone far enough but it is a start.
From ‘early 2022’ you will be able to top-up your Free Night Award by using up to 15,000 Bonvoy points from your account.
This means that a 25,000 point voucher can be used to book a room costing up to 40,000 points, with the balance taken from your Marriott Bonvoy account.
Whilst this change doesn’t save you any points, it does allow you to use your voucher for a more upmarket hotel than would otherwise be possible.
Let’s be frank – anyone wealthy enough to spend £25,000 per year on the UK Marriott Bonvoy American Express is probably looking for something more exciting than Marriott Northampton from their Free Night Award, which is about the limit of the current voucher. (That is slightly unfair – the excellent University Arms Cambridge, reviewed here, is also covered by the voucher.)
Marriott has done a decent job here which will keep most people happy.
Note that these changes will not show on your Bonvoy account until nearer Christmas, so don’t panic if your Suite Night Awards or Free Night Awards still show an upcoming expiry date.
Of course, you need to see these changes in the context of the coming move to ‘dynamic’ Marriott Bonvoy reward night pricing, which we cover in this article today.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (January 2022)
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.
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.
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).
(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.)