In this post I wanted to take a closer look at Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status, which is Marriott’s elite tier that requires 75 nights annually. All the time I see people ask whether it’s worth going for Titanium status over Platinum status, so I wanted to share my take on that.
In this post:
Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador requirements
Marriott Bonvoy has five elite tiers, but I’d argue that status really starts to get valuable at the Platinum tier. There are two tiers above that, though. Specifically, here are the requirements over the course of a calendar year to qualify for Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador status:
- Platinum status requires 50 elite qualifying nights
- Titanium status requires 75 elite qualifying night
- Ambassador status requires 100 elite qualifying nights plus $23,000 of qualifying spending
Before you assume that these requirements are really high and unachievable, keep in mind that in the United States it’s easy to earn 40 elite nights per year through Marriott’s co-branded credit cards.
For example, I have the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (review) and Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (review), and just for holding onto those two cards I get 40 elite nights per year (25 from the Brilliant Card and 15 from the Business Card). That gives me quite a head start to earning status.
What are the advantages of Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status?
Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status requires only 50 elite nights per year, and comes with many great elite perks. I’d consider the most significant to be:
- Room upgrades subject to availability, and at most Marriott brands you’re eligible for an upgrade to a standard suite
- Complimentary executive lounge access at most Marriott brands
- Complimentary breakfast at most Marriott brands
- Guaranteed 4PM late check-out (except at resorts, where it’s subject to availability)
- Access to the Choice Benefits program when you pass 50 elite nights per year, where you can select Suite Night Awards as a perk
So, what are the incremental perks of Titanium status over Platinum status, given that Titanium status requires 75 nights rather than 50 nights? Let’s go over those, in no particular order.
75% Bonvoy bonus points
When it comes to earning points, Platinum members receive 50% bonus points on hotel stays, and Titanium members receive 75% bonus points. You ordinarily earn 10 base points per dollar spent, meaning Platinum members earn 15x points per dollar spent, while Titanium members earn 17.5x points per dollar spent.
I value Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so I consider that to be an incremental 1.75% return on Marriott spending.
Ritz-Carlton suite upgrades, subject to availability
On paper the upgrade benefits for Bonvoy Platinum and Bonvoy Titanium members are identical, with one exception — Titanium members are eligible for space available suite upgrades at Ritz-Carlton properties, while Platinum members aren’t.
That’s how the rules are published, at least. That’s not to say that Titanium members will always get suite upgrades at Ritz-Carltons, and it’s also not to say that Platinum members will never get suite upgrades at Ritz-Carltons.
But Ritz-Carlton is the one brand where the upgrade benefit is different between Platinum and Titanium members.
United MileagePlus Silver elite status
Bonvoy Titanium members receive free United MileagePlus Silver status. This is valid for as long as they maintain Titanium status, and registration is required. This is United’s entry level status, and offers perks like bonus miles, a complimentary checked bag, and space available upgrades to first class and Economy Plus.
If you’re an occasional United flyer this could come in handy, though don’t expect to regularly get first class upgrades as a Silver member.
Access to additional Choice Benefits
Marriott Bonvoy members can select Choice Benefits when they pass 50 elite nights and 75 elite nights in a calendar year. So if you earn Titanium status with 75 elite nights, you’ll also be able to select an additional set of Choice Benefits.
Personally I’d select the five Suite Night Awards, each of which allows you to confirm a suite upgrade for a one night stay up to five days prior to arrival, subject to availability. Note that later this year, Marriott will be replacing Suite Night Awards with Nightly Upgrade Awards. This change is a mixed bag. The good news is that Nightly Upgrade Awards can be used at more properties and for more room types than before. The catch is that they’ll clear at most three days out, compared to the current upgrades clearing at most five days out.
Potentially better “soft” treatment
The above are the main published differences between Platinum and Titanium status in the Bonvoy program. I do think it’s at least worth mentioning that travelers may find that they get better “soft” treatment as a Titanium member than a Platinum member. After all, it’s a higher elite tier.
So you may find that the average Titanium member has better luck with upgrades than the average Platinum member. This won’t consistently be the case, but it’s logical that many hotels prioritize upgrades based on elite tier, even if the benefits are supposed to be the same.
My experience with Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status
I’ve been a Bonvoy Titanium member for a few years, so I’ll share my experience. For context:
- Prior to being a Bonvoy Titanium member I was a Bonvoy Ambassador member (going back to the Starwood Preferred Guest days), but I don’t go out of my way to stay at Marriotts like I used to with Starwood
- I’m also a lifetime Bonvoy Platinum member, so I always have that to fall back on
- Nonetheless I earn Bonvoy Titanium status, as I get 40 elite nights per year with co-branded credit cards, and then I organically spend 35+ nights per year at Marriott properties
Have I found Titanium status to be worth the incremental perks over Platinum status? I’m not sure, to be honest, because I’m also very strategic about the places where I elect to stay at Marriotts. The way I view it:
- I do consistently get value out of Suite Night Awards, so I appreciate being able to earn 10 of those per year as a Titanium member, vs. just five per year as a Platinum member; in the past couple of years I had Suite Night Awards clear at the St. Regis Aspen, W Muscat, St. Regis Venice, Gritti Palace Venice, King George Athens, and Hotel Grande Bretagne
- Most of my Marriott stays are outside the United States, and I avoid properties that are known to be bad with elite recognition
- I can’t say that I feel like I get many incremental “soft” perks for being a Titanium member over a Platinum member
So based on my experience is it worth going out of my way to earn Titanium status? No. But I happen to earn it through my hotel stays (combined with the elite nights I earn through credit cards), so the current system works for me.
Titanium status is Marriott Bonvoy’s 75-night elite tier, between Platinum and Ambassador status. It offers limited incremental perks over Platinum status, including 75% bonus points (rather than 50% bonus points), suite upgrades at Ritz-Carltons, United MileagePlus Silver status, and access to more Choice Benefits.
I don’t find there to be much difference in treatment otherwise between Titanium and Platinum status. I think the biggest thing I value is earning an additional five Suite Night Awards per year through the Choice Benefits program.
If you’re a Bonvoy Titanium member, what has your experience been like?