The world’s largest hotel loyalty program has announced that they will extend a number of benefits due to COVID-19.

Elite status

The Marriott Bonvoy status level that you earned in 2019 would normally expire in February 2021. That will be automatically extended by 12 months to February 2022.

Points expiry

Marriott Bonvoy points usually expire after 24 months of inactivity. However, the expiration of points will be paused until February 2021. Therefore, if you have points expiring between now and February 2021, they will be extended until February 2021.

Marriott Bonvoy

Flexible cancellation policy

For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, they will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival, as long as the change or cancellation is made by 30 June.

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo | Point Hacks
You could make a reservation for The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo now for a stay next year and cancel it the day before

For guests making new reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates, between 13 March and 30 June, they will allow the reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date.

Summing up

Marriott Bonvoy has followed Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt by extending elite status for a year, so no surprises there. They’ve also followed other hotel chains by pausing points expiry and introducing flexible cancellation policies.

Nonetheless, it’s great to see the majority of hotel chains instituting customer-friendly policies during COVID-19.

Our original guide to Marriott Bonvoy status follows.

A guide to Marriott Bonvoy status

The Marriott Bonvoy program has six status levels and three lifetime levels. Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy is much like Silver status with some airlines—more of ‘pat on the back’ and an incentive to work harder and reach the sweet spot, which is Platinum Elite status.

In this guide, we will run through the essential things to know about Marriott Bonvoy elite status so you can decide what status level to try aim for, or to make the most of your new status level.

Member status

As you would guess, this is the entry-level membership for anyone starting out with Bonvoy. Apart from the ability to earn and redeem points, you have just three other benefits: complimentary in-room internet access, special member rates at hotels and use of mobile check-in.

African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel, Autograph Collection, South Africa
African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel, Autograph Collection, South Africa
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Silver Elite Status

Requirements: 10-24 eligible nights a year

You gain access to a dedicated elite reservation line, can request a late check-out, get a 10% points bonus, and have the ‘Ultimate Reservation Guarantee’ which promises compensation if your reservation is unable to be honoured.

For all elite status levels, a year is defined from January 1 to December 31.

Wailea Beach Resort - Marriott, Maui, Hawaii | Marriott Bonvoy | Point Hacks
Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui, Hawaii

Gold Elite status

Requirements: 25-49 eligible nights a year

In addition to the above, your main Gold Elite benefits are room upgrades subject to availability (up to Executive Level), and an extra serve of ‘welcome points’ whenever you check-in. Your points bonus is bumped up to 25% and you are eligible for a 2pm check-out subject to availability.

The Riviera Palm Springs, a Tribute Portfolio Resort, California | Marriott Bonvoy |Point Hacks
The Riviera Palm Springs, a Tribute Portfolio Resort, California

American Express Platinum Charge Card Members get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.

Platinum Elite status

Requirements: 50-74 eligible nights a year

This is the status tier where the benefits start piling up. Guaranteed lounge access is now part of the deal, regardless of what room you are staying in. Room upgrades are up to Select Suites. Your late check-out is guaranteed for 4pm and a 50% points bonus will apply to all bookings.

Caresse, Bodrum Turkey | Marriott Bonvoy | Point Hacks
Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Bodrum, Turkey

Platinum Elite members also get a choice of one of the following perks:

  • Five suite night awards
  • 40% off the full value of a Marriott Retail Brand mattress and box spring
  • A US$100 charity donation to UNICEF
  • Gift a Silver Elite membership to someone
  • Five elite nights bonus (does not count to lifetime status).

The five suite night awards can be used to upgrade a standard room to standard suites or other premium room, on both paid or free award nights. When applied, availability is checked starting from 5 days before check-in, until a suite can be confirmed (otherwise the credits will be returned to you).

The Guaranteed Room Type benefit offers US$25-100 if your selected room type is not available (of course, it does not count if you get upgraded instead).

Finally, your welcome benefit for each stay becomes a choice of points (usually 1,000), a food and beverage credit (usually US$10) or breakfast, depending on the hotel brand.

Titanium Elite status

Requirements: 75-99 eligible nights a year

The next jump up to Titanium Elite offers just a few more perks above what is included for Platinum Elite status. Your points bonus jumps to 75% per stay.

Renaissance Pattaya Resort & Spa | Point Hacks
Renaissance Pattaya Resort & Spa, Thailand

However, Titanium Elite members get a slightly improved set of perks to choose one of:

  • Five suite night awards
  • One free night award (just a standard room)
  • 40% off the full value of a Marriott Retail Brand mattress and box spring
  • A US$100 charity donation to UNICEF
  • Gift a Gold Elite membership to someone
  • Five elite nights bonus (does not count to lifetime status).

Finally, you will be guaranteed a room if you book at least 48 hours in advance, except for during special events, at resort hotels, and for award nights or promotional rates.

Here’s a summary of all the status levels on one table.

Marriott Bonvoy status level table

Ambassador Elite status

Requirements: 100 eligible nights a year plus US$20,000 in eligible spend

Marriott Bonvoy’s top-tier status is Ambassador Elite, for those who spend nearly a third of a year in hotel rooms and spend almost $30,000 AUD a year in eligible spend.

Grand Hills, Broumana, Lebanon | Point Hacks
Grand Hills, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, Broumana, Lebanon

In addition to all Titanium Elite benefits, you will get two more perks. First up is Ambassador Service, for personal assistance with all your stays.

Secondly is Your24, which means you can request any specific check-in time, and can check-out 24 hours later (for a one-night stay).

If your check-in time is between 9am to 4pm, you can still request a late check-out to 4pm on the next day, potentially giving you 31 hours in your room (9am Day 1 to 4pm Day 2).

However, Your24 is subject to availability, must be requested up to 2 days before arrival through your ambassador (see above) and can be declined by the property, which I have heard through various sources can happen often.

Lifetime status

For determined jetsetters and business travellers, Marriott Bonvoy offers lifetime status at some levels. Apart from racking up hundreds of nights, you will also need to have held Silver Elite status or higher for at least five years (not necessarily consecutive).

Your points will never expire and you will get to hold those status tier benefits for life (of the program or yourself).

  • Lifetime Silver Elite: 250 lifetime nights and at least five years holding elite status
  • Lifetime Gold Elite: 400 lifetime nights and at least seven years holding elite status
  • Lifetime Platinum Elite: 600 lifetime nights at least ten years holding elite status

There is also an equivalent Lifetime Titanium Elite status for previous members of Marriott’s Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite prior to the end of 2018, but that tier is not open for anyone anymore.

Summing up

As status with Marriott Bonvoy is determined by how many nights you stay at their properties in a calendar year, be mindful of how much longer is left in the year. If you are just starting out and it is November for example, it is probably best to take it easy until January the year after and start locking in all the elite-qualifying bookings.

Then, once you have qualified for Platinum Elite status, you could use your bonus reward of five elite qualifying nights to help you re-qualify for the year after, if none of the other options are appealing.

Otherwise, the majority of benefits in the old Starwood, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton programs have made their way to the new Marriott Bonvoy program, which is great news.

Lifetime status gives travellers many years of status-chasing to aim for, which is of course beneficial for the Marriott Group in terms of bookings, but it is nice to have the security of lifetime benefits once you have done the hard yards.

Read our full set of Marriott Bonvoy guides here.

Supplementary images courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy

Do you have Marriott Bonvoy elite status? What do you value it for most and least?

Marriott Bonvoy extends elite status, points expiry was last modified: August 25th, 2023 by Evin Tan Khiew