Marriott Bonvoy Now Offering Up To 30 Credit Card Elite Nights Annually

Filed Under: Marriott
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At first, I assumed this was a glitch, but it appears that it isn’t…

Earning Marriott elite nights with credit cards

One of the benefits of hotel credit cards is that they can help you earn elite status.

In the case of Marriott Bonvoy, you can earn 15 elite nights per year just for having select credit cards. For example, of cards open to new applicants, the following offer 15 elite nights:

The catch is that historically you’re capped at earning 15 elite nights per year per Bonvoy account through credit cards. In other words, even if you had three credit cards offering 15 elite nights each, you’d still earn only 15 elite nights. The benefits didn’t stack.

Well, it appears that policy has changed.

Marriott now lets members earn up to 30 elite nights per year

I logged into my Marriott Bonvoy account this morning and noticed I had 33 elite nights. That surprised me, since the number should have only been 18:

  • I received 15 elite nights through the Marriott credit card benefit at the beginning of the year
  • I’ve earned three elite nights through actual stays

The additional 15 elite nights made me assume that I was getting credit card elite nights double-counted. My initial assumption was that this was a glitch, though it appears that’s not the case.

The terms of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex state the following now:

A maximum of 15 Elite Night Credits will be provided per Marriott Bonvoy Member Account, unless you have both a small business Marriott Bonvoy Card account and a consumer Marriott Bonvoy Card account; then, you may receive a combined maximum of 30 Elite Night Credits (15 per Card account). This benefit is not exclusive to Credit Cards offered by American Express.

That means that if you have a personal and small business Marriott card, you could now earn 30 elite nights per year.

This makes it easy to earn Platinum status

This is a hugely positive development for those with Marriott’s co-branded credit cards, in my opinion. Now many of us can easily earn 30 credit card elite nights per year with Marriott. Keep in mind that Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status requires only 50 elite nights per year, meaning that credit cards get you 60% of the way there.

For just 20 actual nights per year — and that includes award nights — you could be earning Platinum status. That makes the status really attainable, in my opinion.

To me the cards are more or less breakeven not even factoring in the elite nights they offer, given the free night certificates you can earn with them. This is the icing on the cake.

Bottom line

It’s a bit surprising to see Marriott change the long term rules of credit card elite nights right now. I think many of us may have expected some sort of temporary measures for earning status, though this seems to be a permanent change to the program.

For those with both a personal and business card, that’s awesome. I imagine those who won’t benefit from this view it as Marriott just giving away status, though.

What do you make of this change to the Marriott Bonvoy program?

(Tip of the hat to Katie)

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Comments
  1. This brings Platinum within reach for me, which it wasn’t yesterday. I welcome good news today; who would have thought it’d come from Bonvoy?

    Thanks Marriott!

  2. What a mad move from Marriott for international members, e.g. from Europe/Asia/Africa, where they do not offer credit cards.

    Living in the USA (where its much easier to find a Marriott hotel), you need less then half the nights to reach Platinum now.

  3. Just saw the 30 nights posted on my account. To be honest not sure if Bonvoy Platinum is worth anything but maybe better than having no status.

  4. @Santastico Platinum is the lowest meaningful tier in Bonvoy. Breakfast and lounge are common Platinum benefits unavailable to Golds. This is a big deal, until they deval Platinum next Tuesday afternoon.

  5. Any idea if this will be extended or apply to those of us who have the amex and Chase personal cards? Will I be able to get 30 nights this way too or just if I have a business card?

  6. I’ve had the Bonvoy Business card for a while now and actually got the Boundless a few weeks ago mainly for the sign-up bonus and annual free night. Also had 15 nights added today; great news! Agree that it makes Platinum/Titanium much more attainable.

  7. I sense elite level deval coming. Perks you get at 50 will now be bumped to 75.
    When everyone is elite no one is elite.
    Awful move IMO. One time courtesy for covid is one thing. To change the terms is another.

  8. Same thing happened to me today … signed in and BAM. 33 nights and last week was only 18 nights and I haven’t stayed

    Then under details it showed 30 nights from credit cards and 3 nights ….

  9. DenB®: Yes, I know that. I was Bonvoy Platinum for many years until I was downgraded to Gold this year. The reason I say it might not be worth is that the benefits are very weak in my view or at least for my needs. Most of my hotel stays are business related. I don’t ever recall as a Platinum getting a decent room upgrade. It is always the same BS, no suites available, no better room available. I might get a corner room or a higher level room as if that means an upgrade. Breakfast is good but as a business traveler I can expense my breakfast so not a big deal getting it for free. When I really wan to use the Platinum benefits they are usually useless and that is when I travel on family vacation. I cannot get breakfast for my wife and two kids as they only allow two people. They cannot all get into the lounge. I never get a room upgrade. Thus, to be honest, during vacation only the 4PM checkout may be useful but I was denied that many times at the excuse the hotel was too busy and they needed the room.

  10. @Santastico wow you’re the Perfect Storm of incompatibility with Bonvoy Platinum! Strangely, I’m the opposite. All my travel is leisure, no wife no kids. I only ever stay in lodgings in SE Asia, often Bangkok, where JW, Sheraton Grande and even St Regis (yum) are Cat5. You’re not alone, the US and Canada (and Europe? I dunno or care) are probably the worst places to expect real benefit. I had good luck in Manhattan before the recent deval, when many were still Cat5. Upping them all to Cat6 makes my free night certs useless on the island, #Bonvoyed again.
    Bummer you can’t get the juice outta this thing, but for me, it’s a real winfall.

    @Sb I agree with most of what you say and normally I’d agree entirely. But maybe, just maybe this is the strategy and they won’t deval Plat. These guys are desperate right now and it’s too early for them to know what’s ahead. They (we) are all groping in the dark. Let’s hope they leave benefits as they are for a year or more.

  11. Most of the time Marriott does not do anything that benefits the customer, so this must be a very calculated move. Here are my thoughts:

    I don’t think this is necessarily going to create a huge boost of new platinum members, especially for the next couple of years, because of the covid-19 crisis. And while this is going to help a lot of us that are fans of the blog sites, I don’t think a majority of Americans are going to carry a personal and business Marriott credit card, and while 20 nights is a lot less than 35 nights in a year, 20 nights is a lot of nights for the average consumer, unless they really focus on staying at Marriotts exclusively. Like I said, that is not going to be most Americans, because the business traveler is already going to obtain Platinum status for business travel with or without the credit cards, and many people are happy to get rewards through OTAs like Orbitz and Hotels.com, thus never earning elite nights at all.

    On the other hand, once we move past the crisis, I fully expect to be Bonvoyed again, with breakfast and room upgrades to only be offered at the Titanium level, thus making it even harder to obtain for most people than before, since the extra 15 nights will not cover the 25 additional nights needed to reach 75. I would bet this happens sometime in late 2021 or early 2022.

  12. @Lucky – I have the Chase Premier and then the Bonvoy Amex (old SPG card). Both should offer 15 nights, but I’m not seeing the other 15 yet. Should have 30 but only seeing 15.

  13. @Colin Hassell one must be personal and the other must be business.

    @Brands It was never about “most people”. This specific change will drive numbers of people to take specific actions. I’d guess Marriott has data that supports this move. One thing that occurs to me is that restaurants and lounges (the main benefits from Platinum status) are closed in many places, or the offerings are reduced, shrinkwrapped or otherwise less valuable and satisfying. In effect, COVID-19 has devalued Platinum without Marriott’s help. So my guess is that they’ll quietly up-status “true” Platinums to Titanium and deval later, when the lounges and breakfasts return to normal.

  14. Just FYI: the terms on the AmEx Business Bonvoy card have been changed since at least March 18th … though I didn’t see the increase in credited nights till today

  15. O guess this doesn’t affect older credit cards. I know when they first came out the new Marriott cards sis not offer the 1 credit for Evey $3000.00 spent. Between that and the nights stayed and the 15 early credit I make Platinum. Next year I should have my forever Platinum status. After that may change to the new card.

  16. Does the Marriott Bonvoy Amex personal card (originally the SPG Amex) quality? Bonus nights haven’t been posted in my account.

  17. they will devalue elite perks, Titan is the new Plat.

    while they are at it, slap on another 100 nights for Lifetime requirement across the board.

  18. Would you happen to know if I have a Chase Bonvoy Boundless, and acquire the Amex Bonvoy Briliiant, both personal cards, would that work for the 15 each?

  19. I am so confused and frustrated with this new bonvoy….first of all it is so elitist and tiresome. Marriott Rewards used to be so simple and the little guy like me used to be able to feel valued by the company. Now I feel left out and dropped out of the view of this company. I don’t have time to go gold elite to platinum to gold to…..you get it. i can’t keep up. Changes seem arbitrary and not always made with the common person in mind.

  20. I wouldn’t give Marriot a single penny. There is no loyalty to its members. Was scheduled to run Boston marathon until it was canceled and rescheduled for September. As soon as new date was announced I tried to change dates to September. Was told they were already sold out. Only an executive room left at $2000 more. Asked for upgrade but was told “no” Really wasn’t about the money, as I was already paying almost $1000 a night for a junior suite. It’s the fact they gave me the run around for three days while most other hotels were already filling again. Never will I stay at Marriot or its affiliates. Still waiting for some one to say they are “sorry”.

  21. My 15 additional elite nights have posted. Re-qualifies for Platinum this year (and next). Have more travel planning later this year, so I may hit Titanium the first time.

  22. @Travis – Out of curiosity, do nights earned via credit cards count toward your lifetime stays?
    Answer – YES

    Ben – you have a good rate for 3 nights – average $110/night
    I have 12 real nights but averaging $184. But some of my nights this year were in London and Sydney.

  23. Let’s see.
    1) Status with Bonvoy is of little value. Upgrades are seldom and while you earn more points, Bonvoy redemption rates are devalued, so technically you always lose. I have never been less than Titanium in Bonvoy terms – it’s a complete shame compared to SPG times.

    2) Will likely be longer-term contracts, but maybe an uptick of AMEX CCs will even bring in some short term cash for Marriott. In that case, it’s cash to Marriott as the costs of more status holders is negligible (nobody travels and they could and will always control the status benefits).

    3) Who says it’s not just a glitch? It’s not that their IT is the gold/Platinum/Titanium standard.. 😉

  24. Happy for those that get it. I have 2 personal Bonvoy cards, Chase and American Express and didn’t get the 15 nights. Just not interested in getting another Bonvoy card. I’m Lifetime Platinum and do mostly personal travel, after years of business travel staying at mostly Marriott properties. I do get upgrades better than half the time, including an occasional suite. I enjoy the included breakfast and lounge benefit and would most likely ditch using Marriott as my go to brand if they devalue the Platinum benefits. They have complicated getting a decent award booking with the variable award points required. I’m seeing many hotels that I want to use a 5 night award certificate that you can’t use because 3 nights are 35,000 points, but then one is 40,000…making it impossible. A 7 night award certificate an just be thrown in the trash for any nicer properties because you’ll never get 7 nights in the points range in the same week. They also quietly change the categories of their hotels without announcing them now. Yes, they do a yearly review and change, but many changed without the warning.
    I’ve been a loyal member since 1984, but if they take away my current hard earned perks….I’m done.

  25. @Dan Kusiowski: “As soon as new date was announced I tried to change dates to September. Was told they were already sold out. Only an executive room left at $2000 more.”

    So were you expecting this Marriott property to kick out another paying guest to accomodate you? If they were sold out and you’re complaining that they aren’t helping you, that would be the only way that they could.

  26. After all the chaos of handling the merger & downgrading of the elite benefits for former SPG members, Marriott is doing something right for American based customers. Hopefully, there’s no devaluation of the elite benefits in the near future, which can essentially make this change worthless.

  27. I knew they would do something like this before the pandemic. But I thought they would have give more credit to the top credit card. Don’t forget, they do have competition and the biggest one is Hilton. Hilton give Diamond to credit card holders. So they have to do something to match otherwise all leisure traveler will defect. I have been put most of my stay in Hilton anyway while I was still Platinum. Now I would have some interest to put some nights to Marriott .

  28. “This benefit is not exclusive to Credit Cards offered by American Express.”

    Is there another business card one can apply for other than the one from Amex?

  29. BTW I am Gold Bonvoy and got nice upgrade twice at Protea Entebbe Uganda in early March

    Fortunately just made it back before borders close and Emirates close up

  30. Can someone let me know how you get the extra 15? I’m a platinum member with one chase visa Marriott card but didn’t get the extra 15 nights.

  31. @Ladytravelbug: In order to earn a total of 30 elite qualifying nights, you need to get/hold a personal and a small business credit card of US-issued Marriott Bonvoy credit cards (across both Amex and Chase).

  32. Non-US based customers are not important to Marriott, since they cant get these credit cards. They now start at 30 nights less and the target is 50 for Platinum. US based card holders need only 20 since they start at 30 (and someone mentioned here that they count towards lifetime status), and non-US based ones need 150% more at 50 since they start at zero.

    I think Marriott is alienating those outside US, and perhaps it is time for non-US bonvoy members to consider other hotel chains as they playing field is so uneven.

    Marriott must have an overwhelming amount of business from US elite members to alienate their non-US elite members; if not, this is an incredibly dumb decision.

  33. I am not sure if someone asked this question. I have a Ritz Carlton Credit Card and I automatically get a Platinum Status if I spend $75,000 in my account year. It looks like I will not need to spend that amount as I am only a few nights away from the Platinum Status but what if I spend $75,000 and have a Platinum Status does that mean that they will bump me up to Titanium or do I still keep the Platinum Status. I am trying to maximize my benefits between my Delta Reserve and the Marriott/Ritz Credit Card.

  34. great for Americans and a huge middle finger from Marriott to people living in areas where no CCnights are possible! what a joke of a program!!!!

  35. This is huge, good and bad. I currently hold 3 Marriott cards (Vintage Original Chase Marriott that still gives you 1 elite night for every 3 k spend, the SPG card which is now Amex Bonvoy, and then Amex Brilliant card with the $450 annual fee). I hope Marriott does not up the nights for Platinum to 75 (Titanium level). Then it really forces people to go to Hilton, Hyatt or IHG (more likely Hilton because of the larger footprint).

    Doesn’t seem fair in a way, I do have 3 Marriott cards, why only the combo of business and personal gets this perk…

    Regardless, this is all part of the game I guess and we just have to play by the rules. Question for the experts:

    I am now thinking about freeing up one of my Amex slots (5 cards already) and then applying for the Amex Marriott Bonvoy business card. How long should I wait after I close a card to apply? Should I do it on the same day or it doesn’t matter, thanks.

  36. With the card shuffles and re-brands with these Marriott cards between Amex and Chase it should be reiterated that while some of the cards were considered new products and thus eligible for the sign-up bonus, this one is not. It is a rebrand of the old SPG Business. For those of us who’ve had the old SPG Biz the $125 AF is just for the 15 elite nights and 35k certificate.

  37. Do you have to hold the old “small business” card for this to work, or does it work for those with the new Bonvoy Business card as well?

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