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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
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:
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card from Chase (review)
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (review)
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (review)
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.
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)