As much as some people gripe about the new Marriott Bonvoy, it was at least relatively easy to earn elite status. Many of their credit cards include 15 nights’ worth of elite stay credit just for paying the annual fee. Some, like my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card from American Express, even include Gold elite status automatically.
But if you want to get Platinum, Titanium, or Ambassador status, you’ll need at least 50 nights each year. That’s worth noting because these are the tiers at which you start getting complimentary suite upgrades and breakfast with your stay. Speaking as a current Gold member, it ain’t worth much. (Check out my complete guide to Marriott Bonvoy.)
There is one trick to earn more nights quickly: in years past you’ve been able to book at meeting room at a Marriott hotel and earn 10 elite qualifying nights for the first meeting of the year. You can still do that for the rest of 2019 if you’re a little shy. I have a meeting scheduled for this weekend for “FY21 Planning.”
Some hotels cost as little as $100 for the day. However, keep in mind you’ll also pay a service fee of over 20% plus local hotel and sales taxes. It’s still a better deal than 10 mattress runs.
Unfortunately Marriott will not be extending this feature into next year. Miles to Memories reported yesterday morning that a reader got a glimpse of new instructions from HQ. Meeting rooms will not earn any more credits, but you’ll continue to earn 1 elite night credit for every 20 room nights booked for your event (e.g., 10 rooms for 2 nights each). I think you’ll agree that’s no good to someone trying to game the system.
I’m close enough that I’ll still make it to Platinum with this year’s meeting before the deadline. And after that I’m just another couple years away from lifetime Platinum status. That’s good, I think, for a new parent who would rather rest his head at home.