How to Earn Marriott Elite Status

As with airline frequent flyer programs, hotel companies offer their own loyalty programs with elite membership levels to reward their most frequent guests. Among such programs, Marriott Rewards offers several elite membership levels: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Premier, and Platinum Premier with Ambassador. Each elite level comes with additional benefits during hotel stays at Marriott (including SPG and Ritz Carlton) properties. These benefits may include bonus points, guaranteed rooms, upgrades, welcome gifts, free breakfast, lounge access, early checking and late checkout. To earn Marriott elite status, you earn the required number of elite night credits during a calendar year. Elite night credits are earned for each night stayed at a Marriott hotel, whether for a paid or an award stay.

Silver elite

Silver Elite Benefits

Stay 10 or more nights at Marriott hotels in a calendar year and you will earn Silver Elite status. Elite Night Credits can be a combination of paid and award stays. Elite status is good for the rest of the year you earn it and the following year. Silver Elite is a card membership benefit with American Express Starwood Preferred Guest and Chase Marriott credit cards (personal or business). Silver Elite benefits include 10% bonus points on eligible spending during stays and priority late checkout.

gold elite

Gold Elite Benefits

You earn Gold Elite status after staying 25 nights, including award stays, in a calendar year. In my post, Earning Points for Free Hotel Stays, I mention 15 elite night credits added to your account each year for being a cardmember of an American Express Starwood Preferred Guest or Chase Marriott credit card. In this case, you only need 10 more Elite Night Credits. You receive one set of Elite Night Credits per year even with multiple cards. Another way to earn Gold Elite status is by spending $35,000 with one of these cards in a calendar year. Gold Elite status is also a benefit of the premium Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card.

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card

Gold Elite benefits include 25% bonus points (for a total of 12.5 per dollar), enhanced room upgrade (higher floor, club level, improved view, larger room), 2PM late checkout and a welcome gift of points (250 or 500 depending on the hotel brand).

platinum elite

Platinum Elite Benefits

You earn Platinum Elite status after staying 50 nights, including award stays, in a calendar year. If you have an American Express Starwood Preferred Guest or Chase Marriott credit card, you only need 35 more Elite Night Credits. Some of the benefits of Platinum Elite benefits include 50% more points (for a total of 15 per dollar), room upgrades (including select suites), welcome gift (points, breakfast, or other amenity), 4PM late checkout and lounge access. When you reach 50 nights, you can choose from five Suite Night Award certificates, five Elite Night Credits (for the current year), or several other options. For 2018, I chose Suite Night Award certificates that I will use for our trips to Hawaii or Europe. Certificates are applied to specific room bookings – one per night. They do not guarantee a suite upgrade but in my experience from the original SPG Platinum benefit they work most of the time.

As a Platinum Elite member, room upgrades and late checkout benefits are very useful for vacation stays. I have been fortunate to be upgraded to some amazing suites, such as Wow Suite at W Paris Opéra.

W Paris Suite
Wow Suite at W Paris Opéra

Platinum Premier Elite

You earn Platinum Premier Elite status after staying 75 nights, including award stays, in a calendar year. If you a Marriott (or SPG) co-branded credit cards, you need 60 more Elite Night Credits. Some of the benefits of Platinum Premier Elite include 75% more points (for a total of 17.5 per dollar), room upgrades (including select suites), welcome gift (points, breakfast, or other amenity), 4PM late checkout and lounge access. When you reach 75 nights, you choose from an additional five Suite Night Award certificates, five Elite Night Credits (for the current year), or several other options.

With the recent introduction of a partnership with Hertz, Marriott Platinum Premier members who register wtih Hertz Gold Plus Rewards receive Five Star or President’s Circle status. Benefits include car upgrades and bonus points.

Marriott-Hertz Partnership Benefits
Marriott-Hertz Partnership Benefits

platinum premier elite with ambassador

Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador

When you stay 100 nights you earn Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador status. In addition to receiving Platinum Premier Elite benefits you are assigned a Marriott ambassador to assist you with reservations, award bookings, and provide help during stays. Another amazing benefit (Your24) allows you to select your check-in and check-out times – useful if you arrive early morning after a red-eye flight, or to extend your stay into the evening of your departure.

Lifetime ELITE

Marriott Lifetime Elite

You earn Lifetime Silver Elite, Lifetime Gold Elite or Lifetime Platinum Elite by staying a total of 250, 400 or 600 nights combined as a member of Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). There are also requirements for the number of years of elite status. For example, to earn Lifetime Platinum Elite you would need to have stayed 600 nights and been a Platinum Elite member for at least 10 years. You check your personal Lifetime Status within the Marriott app on your smartphone.

Summary

Hotel elite status benefits may include room upgrades, free breakfast, and more, plus faster points earning. One of my favorite hotel companies is Marriott, from my original membership in the Sheraton loyalty program that eventually became part of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). I am fortunate to have earned lifetime Gold Elite status, and Platinum Premier Elite for 2019 by owning an American Express SPG card and staying more than 75 nights with a combination of paid and award stays during 2018. When we stay at Marriott/SPG hotels we enjoy the benefits of upgraded rooms, free breakfast and late check-out. If you have a favorite hotel company, I’d love hearing how you earn elite status and the benefits you enjoy.