Marriott Rewards is the loyalty programme for the Marriott chain, which includes such brands as: JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Edition, Renaissance, Marriott, AC Hotels, Courtyard, etc. If you aren’t familiar with the programme, you can check out their website.
Achieving Elite Status
Marriott Rewards offers 3 levels of elite status: Silver, Gold and Platinum. To achieve Silver status, you need 10 nights in a calendar year. Gold status is more difficult, requiring 50 nights. Platinum status is earned after 75 nights in a calendar year! Reward nights DO NOT count towards elite status.
There are occasionally shortcuts available. I posted recently about instant Silver status for new members.
Marriott Rewards also has lifetime status. The requirements are:
- Lifetime Silver – 250 nights and 1.2 million points earned
- Lifetime Gold – 500 nights and 1.6 million points earned
- Lifetime Platinum – 750 nights and 2 million points earned
Published Benefits of Elite Status
Silver members receive:
- 20% bonus Marriott Rewards points
- free internet in certain Asian countries only
- late check-out (subject to availability)
Gold members receive:
- 25% bonus Marriott Rewards points
- guaranteed lounge access (with bonus points or breakfast in the restaurant should the lounge be closed)
- room upgrades, which may include suite, executive floor, rooms, or simply improved view/higher floor, etc.
- guaranteed room and bed type (i.e. actually getting a deluxe king when you book it)
- free internet worldwide
Platinum members receive:
- 50% bonus Marriott Rewards points
- a welcome gift of bonus points or food/drink credit
- guaranteed lounge access
- room upgrades, as per gold, with higher priority
- free internet worldwide
- guaranteed room availability with 48-hours notice
Marriott Rewards also has an interesting Elite Benefits Guarantee. Cash payments, and in some cases free night certificates, are given if any elite member is denied:
- a room, despite having a confirmed reservation
- room and bed type
- lounge access
- welcome arrival gift (bonus points or food/drink voucher)
Unpublished Benefits / The Inside Scoop
Status Matching – At the time of writing, Marriott Rewards is reported to not do status matches at all, and have suspended their challenges as well.
Chances of a Room Upgrade – As always, much is dependent on individual hotels and the number of elite members staying simultaneously. It appears to me that room upgrades are less prevalent than at other chains.
Comparison with Other Chains – Gold and Platinum status match up nicely with other programmes’ elite levels with free breakfast, lounge access, room upgrades, etc. It seems however, that Marriott Rewards is perceived as a notch below some of the other chains when it comes to delivering on elite benefits.
When Paying Yourself – Is Aiming for Status Worth It?
Marriott offers 5% cashback on Topcashback and Quidco (or you can be kind and click on my affiliate link instead!). Better than nothing, but neither is it a fantastic offer.
The main issue with Marriott Rewards is the requirement for 50 paid nights in a year to reach Gold status. Silver has very little value, and unless you live in the United States you don’t have access to a credit card that offers elite status qualification nights as an amenity.
I travel a lot, but can’t possibly imagine 50 paid nights at a Marriott hotel. So unless your business takes you to Marriott, elite status will be well out of your reach with Marriott Rewards.