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Editor’s Note: Some travel cards come with confusing benefits that are difficult to maximize. This article is part of a series that shows you unique, fun and unintended ways to use your credit card benefits. If you have any questions or have an example of a surprising way to maximize a credit card benefit, tweet us @, send us a message on Facebook or email us at info @.
Best Marriott Rewards Card
Would you open a credit card if you could immediately benefit from the welcome bonus and ongoing benefits for two full years of Marriott Platinum status?
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After all, TPG Marriott values platinum status at $ 2,655 per year. And while the true value of Bonvoy status will vary based on your travel patterns, if you regularly live on Marriott’s properties, you could look at a serious value in a year or two.
Here’s how you can use the introductory bonus points on a new Marriott Bonvoy Co-brand credit card, combined with its annual Elite Night credits, to raise all the Elite Qualifying Nights you need to get Marriott Platinum fast to achieve status.
First, an introduction to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status. To achieve this, you are usually expected to stay 50 qualifying nights in a Marriott each calendar year. Once you get there, here are the key benefits you can expect:
As a Marriott Platinum, you also get an annual election benefit. You can choose from, among other things, five elite night credits, a 40% discount on a Marriott branded mattress or five Suite Night awards. I chose five Suite Night awards as my benefit for several years. These are certificates that you can attach to your booking to give you a much better chance of being upgraded to a suite.
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The success rate of getting these upgrades done in one suite varies, although my own personal success rate was relatively high.
Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status is valid for the calendar year you earn it, next year and until the end of February next year. So if you could earn it in January, you can imagine enjoying the benefits for almost 26 months. This is how it can be done by taking advantage of credit card bonuses and elite credits.
As mentioned, to reach Marriott Platinum status, you must earn 50 Elite Night credits in one calendar year. But contrary to what you may think, you do not necessarily have to earn all those nights by staying in a hotel. Marriott’s combined credit cards offer elite night packages as part of their ongoing benefits that can take you a part of the road there.
In addition to Marriott credit card elite nights, you need some travel to earn the rest. Since price nights count for Marriott status, the best way to do that might be by simply booking a bunch of price nights at some of the cheapest Marriott Bonvoy properties. Since price nights start at just 5,000 points on off-peak dates at Category 1 hotels, you can accumulate many elite nights without spending too many points.
Earn Marriott Platinum Using Credit Card Elite Nights And Points From A Welcome Bonus
I will cover two strategies to get platinum status with a combination of credit card nights and awards. The first is much more convenient, even if it means you have two Marriott credit cards. Then I will talk about the way to earn Platinum by just opening a single card.
Keep in mind that, to stay within the limits of most hotel programs, you must plan to use the room during the time you are booked, so do not think that you can just check in and then leave, otherwise you may find yourself points and status.
For the first part of the plan, you get an edge on earning platinum status if you already have a Marriott card. But what cards you have matters.
Please note that the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Unlimited Credit Card currently offers 125,000 points plus a free night voucher worth up to 50,000 points after $ 5,000 has been spent on qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card currently for 60,000 bonus points after spending $ 2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Best Marriott Credit Cards Of 2022
These card bonuses are only available until November 3, 2021, and you may want to apply because these cards’ previous offers were less than half that value. The reason why you might want to focus on the Amex options is especially that the business card specifically excludes people from earning their welcome bonus that one of these two Chase cards (but not Brilliant) has acquired or earned in the last 90 days has. their launch bonuses over the past 24 months.
All of these cards offer 15 elite night credits each year just for being a card member. It is not part of the welcome bonus, it is a continuous benefit that is restored year after year.
The most important strategy here is that if you have both a personal and small business Marriott card, these credits are stacked to give you 30 elite night credits per year. This is not the case with two personal Marriott cards. It only works with a personal and a small business.
So if you carry Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and Marriott Bonvoy business cards, you will have 30 elite nights deposited in your account by 2022. In other words, you will already be 60% of the way to platinum status without doing much at all.
Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card
If you decide to open a card to complete this plan, you will want to earn the bonus as soon as you can to advance to the next stage of the plan. If you need ideas on how to meet your minimum spending requirements, read this post for some creative suggestions.
Marriott Category 1 hotels cost between 4,000 and 10,000 points per night, and that range includes PointSavers nights to peak nights.
Just be aware that Marriott will release its price lists and set dynamic prices from March 2022. Yet it is expected that the vast majority of properties will continue to price their prices within the current category bands for at least 2022, so these figures should not change much not in the short term.
If you really want to increase your scores, know that there are 62 Category 1 Marriott hotels in North America. Click here to get to the page where you can filter Marriott’s hotel catalog by category.
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Stay with me – these are big numbers. But even if this plan does not work for you, the theory behind it may work with some adjustments for your situation.
If you end up with a Marriott card for both personal and small business, you will earn 30 elite night credits from both and only 20 nights short to reach platinum status by 2022. It assumes you do not already have a level of Marriott elite. status and that Marriott is not announcing a similar elite raise as the one they extended in 2021 by crediting members with half the elite nights they would need to qualify for their previous level again.
If you are starting over and still need these 20 nights for Platinum, you can book a stay of 20 nights in a hotel, or you can book several stays in different hotels for a total of 20 nights.
In a perfect world you will find 20 consecutive nights with low traffic for 5,000 points each. This is not very likely, although it is certainly possible early in the year when people are back from their holiday trips.
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I searched for good prices in early January and found many low cost prices for most of these Category 1 hotels. Many of these properties are bookable for 20 nights in January for as little as 87,500 points due to a mix of standard nights and off-peak nights and Marriott’s benefit for the fifth night free (more on that below).
If you are set on using as few points as possible, you can easily book 20 nights for 80,000 points as long as you are willing to book in five-night increments. As an example, here is the Fairfield Inn & Suites Decatur at the Decatur Convention Center, also in Texas.
If there is a category 1 hotel near you with several different block rates of five nights at low traffic, it may be worth booking several stays to save a few thousand points.
Keep in mind that you need to have the points in your Marriott account ready to discuss awards like this. But it may not be that difficult given the current credit card launch bonuses. But there is another peculiarity with Marriott Bonvoy that makes it even cheaper to score with points.
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Keep in mind that Marriott offers a fifth night free for stays of five nights or more. Usually you get the lowest price night for free, but if all nights are priced equally, it is 20% off. Also, if you book a longer stay like this, it comes automatically every five nights
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