There has been a lot of discussion about the ‘status cliff’ at the end of 2022, with literally millions of frequent travellers due to lose their airline or hotel status due to reduced 2022 travel and with all covid mitigation policies removed.
Marriott seems to have decided that downgrading millions of elite members to nothing will be bad for business.
According to a message on the Bonvoy website, you are getting a soft landing.
A ‘soft landing’, if you’re not familiar with the phrase, is when a loyalty programme only demotes you by one tier if you do not retain your existing status. British Airways operates soft landings – if you are a Gold member and don’t take a single flight in the following year, you will only drop to Silver, not Blue. If you don’t take a single flight in the year after that, you only drop to Bronze and not Blue.
“Members who did not re-achieve their existing Elite status in 2022 will be offered one tier below their current status through February 2024. These members will see their new status starting in March 2023 and can enjoy their existing status through February 2023.”
So …. if you are currently Titanium, you will not drop further than Platinum. If you are currently Platinum, you won’t drop further than Gold. If you are Gold, you won’t drop further than Silver.
(Ambassador members had been told last year that their status would be protected and they wouldn’t drop further than Titanium.)
Of course, not everyone will be happy with this policy. I made a concerted effort, for example, to ensure that I hit 50 nights in 2022 so that I would only drop from Titanium to Platinum. This locks in lounge access, 4pm check-out and five Suite Night Awards and I’m happy with that. Not only have I wasted some of those nights, but I will now be fighting with more Platinum members than I expected for upgrades.
(Of course, those who are soft landed to Platinum won’t have Suite Night Awards so I am still better off than if I hadn’t hit 50 nights under my own steam.)
It is probably good business for Marriott, however. If a member had dropped from Titanium to a relatively worthless level (Silver or Gold) there would have been a risk of losing them to another brand. We could even have seen Hilton, IHG or Hyatt offering a Bonvoy status match to those who were downgraded.
The question now is what Hilton, IHG and Hyatt decide to do in return, if anything.
Remember that this is not official yet and the only evidence we have is the wording on this page of marriott.com.
Marriott.com will still show your old status regardless if you check today, because new status levels do not take effect until 1st March.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (January 2023)
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.
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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
(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.)