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Editor’s Note: Some travel cards have confusing benefits that are difficult to maximize. This article is part of a series showing you unique, fun, and unexpected ways to take advantage of credit card benefits. If you have questions or have an example of an amazing way to increase your credit card advantage, tweet us @ , message us on Facebook or email us at info@
Marriott Credit Card Rewards
Would you open a credit card if you could take advantage of its welcome bonus and ongoing benefits for two full years of Marriott Platinum status?
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After all, TPG values Marriott Platinum status at $2,655 per year. And while the actual value of Bonvoy status will change based on your travel patterns, if you stay at Marriott properties often, you could see serious value for a year or two.
Here’s how you can use points from Marriott Bonvoy’s new co-branded credit card introductory bonus along with its annual elite night credits to rack up all the elite qualifying nights you need to earn Marriott Platinum status fast.
First, a primer on Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status. To achieve this, you must typically spend 50 eligible Marriott nights each calendar year. Once you get there, here are the main benefits you can expect:
As a Marriott Platinum, you also receive the annual Choice Benefit. Other options include five Elite Night credits, a 40% discount on a Marriott brand mattress, or five Suite Night Awards. Over the years, I have selected five Suite Night Awards as my perks. These are vouchers that you can attach to your booking to give you a significantly better chance of moving on.
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Conversion success rates for these update sets vary, but my personal success rate has been relatively high.
Marriott Bonvoy elite status is valid for the calendar year you earned it, the following year, and until the end of February of the following year. So if you manage to earn it in January, you can enjoy almost 26 months of benefits. Here’s how to make it possible by using credit card bonuses and elite loans.
As mentioned, you must earn 50 Elite Night credits in a calendar year to qualify for Marriott Platinum status. But contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to spend the whole night in hotels. Marriott co-branded credit cards offer elite night packages as part of regular benefits that can get you there.
With the exception of elite nights on the Marriott credit card, you have to travel to earn the rest. Since award nights are tied to Marriott status, the best way to do this might be to simply book a lot of award nights at the cheapest Marriott Bonvoy properties. Given that award nights start at just 5,000 points at Category 1 hotels on off-peak dates, you can book many elite nights without racking up too many points.
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I’ll outline two strategies for earning platinum status by combining elite credit card nights and reward balances. The former is much more practical, although it does include two Marriott credit cards. Next I will talk about how to get platinum by opening just one card.
Keep in mind that most hotel programs require you to plan to use the room for the duration of your stay in order to stay, so don’t think you can just check in and leave or you could be done. with points and status.
For the first part of the program, you will first receive Platinum status if you already have Marriott cards. But what cards you have matters.
Just remember that Chase’s Marriott Bonvoy Unlimited Credit Card currently offers 125,000 points plus a free one-night certificate worth 50,000 points after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening and at Marriott Bonvoy. The Thick Credit Card currently offers 60,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.
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The bonuses on this card are only available until November 3, 2021, and you can apply because previous offers on these cards were less than half that value. The reason I’m focusing specifically on the Amex options is that the business card specifically excludes people who bought or earned one of these two Chase cards (but not the Diamond) within the last 90 days of receiving a welcome bonus. Their introductory bonuses for the last 24 months.
All of these cards offer 15 elite night credits each year just for being a card member. This is not part of the welcome bonus, it is a permanent benefit that resets every year.
The key strategy here is that if you have both a personal and a small business Marriott card, those credits stack to give you 30 elite night credits per year. That’s not the case with Marriott’s two personal cards. Only works with individuals and small businesses.
So if you have a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and a Marriott Bonvoy business card, you will be credited with 30 elite nights after 2022. In other words, you will already reach 60% platinum status without doing much.
Earn Marriott Platinum Using Credit Card Elite Nights And Points From A Welcome Bonus
If you decide to open a card for this plan, you’ll want to get the bonus as soon as possible to move up to the next level of the plan. If you need ideas on how to meet your minimum spending requirements, read this post for some creative suggestions.
Marriott’s Category 1 hotels cost between 4,000 and 10,000 points per night, and this range includes discounted PointSavers nights all night through peak nights.
Just be aware that Marriott will drop its award charts and implement dynamic pricing starting in March 2022. However, the vast majority of real estate is expected to continue to be priced in the current category zones until at least 2022, so these numbers shouldn’t change much in the short term.
If you really want to increase your points, know that there are 62 category 1 Marriott hotels in North America. Click here to be taken to a page where you can filter the Marriott hotel directory by category.
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Stay with me, those are big numbers. But even if this plan doesn’t work for you, the theory behind it might work with some modifications for your situation.
If you top up both a personal and a small business Marriott card, you’ll earn 30 elite night credits from both and just 20 nights toward Platinum status in 2022. That means you don’t already have a certain level of Marriott elite status. status, and that Marriott will not announce similar elite incentives continued in 2021, members received half of the elite nights needed to requalify at the previous level.
If you’re starting from scratch and still need those 20 nights for Platinum, you can book one 20-night hotel or you can book multiple reservations at different hotels for a total of 20 nights.
In a perfect world, you’d find 20 consecutive off-peak nights worth 5,000 points each. This is not very likely, although it is certainly possible at the beginning of the year when people return from their holiday trips.
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I looked up award rates in early January and found off-peak rates for most of these Category 1 hotels. Many of these properties can be booked for 20 nights in January for 87,500 points, thanks to a mix of standard and off-peak nights and Marriott’s fifth night free benefit (more on that below).
If you decide to use as few points as possible, you can easily book 20 nights for 80,000 points if you’re willing to book in five-day increments. For example, here’s the Fairfield Inn & Suites Decatur at the Decatur Conference Center, also in Texas.
If there’s a Category 1 hotel near you with several different five-day blocks priced off-peak, it’s worth booking several to save a few thousand points.
Note that you will need points in your Marriott account to book such awards. But it might not be that hard, given the credit card’s introductory bonuses. However, there is another downside to the Marriott Bonvoy that makes it even cheaper to use points.
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Remember that Marriott offers a fifth night free for stays of five nights or more. Usually you get the lowest priced night free, but if all nights are equal, it’s 20% off. Furthermore, if you book such a long stay, every fifth night will be automatically added
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