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Having elite status in hotels is extremely rewarding for those who like receiving VIP treatment in hotels, like free room upgrades and other benefits. Here is a brief overview of the Marriott Bonvoy program’s elite status levels, since it is by far the best hotel rewards program for Canadian travelers.

Hotel reward programs all offer elite statuses, as a reward for your loyalty. The more you stay, the higher the elite status level you get. Marriott is no exception, being the world’s largest hotel chain.

Here are the Marriott elite status details.


Basics of Marriott Elite Status

There are multiple levels of elite status with Marriott and each has its own set of benefits. You need to stay quite often in a Marriott hotel to reach the top elite status levels, those that offer the most benefits.

For most casual travelers, it’s not worth chasing these statuses — the simple Rewards program is better for most travelers who don’t travel a lot, with a flat 10% back always).

At least not chasing elite statuses the traditional (and therefore slow and costly) way.

Thankfully, there are 2 credit cards that give you automatic Marriott elite status:

That said, both cards are quite different:

Most importantly, having the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card also gives you a shortcut to the next elite levels, like for example Gold Elite, the level you get for free with the Amex Platinum Card.

That is quite a step up and a lot more interesting than the initial level offered automatically with the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card.


Marriott Elite Status levels

There are 5 levels of Marriott Elite Status, which require a certain number of annual nights to reach:

  • Silver (10 nights)
  • Gold (25 nights)
  • Platinum (50 nights)
  • Titanium (75 nights)
  • Ambassador (100 nights + US$23,000 in spending)

The shortcut I was telling you about is simple: With the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card, you’ll get 15 “Elite Night Credits”, meaning just by having the card, it’ll count as if you had stayed 15 nights.

In other words, you can deduct 15 nights from the actual annual night requirement for each elite status.

So the number of annual nights required for those who have the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card is:

  • Silver (automatic)
  • Gold (10 nights)
  • Platinum (35 nights)
  • Titanium (60 nights)
  • Ambassador (85 nights + US$23,000 in spending)

Therefore, there is an easy and valuable opportunity, depending on your amount of travel: reaching Gold or Platinum Elite status.

(Marriott also offers “Lifetime Elite Statuses” which are exactly what the name says: an elite status you earn for life, with no need to requalify each year. I’ll talk about those separately soon.)

You have the entire calendar year to reach the required number of nights and you will retain the status for the remainder of the current year and 14 full months thereafter (the next full year and until the end of February of the next year).

For example, if you have the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card and you use your points to stay 10 nights as early as January 2023, you would retain Gold status for all the rest of 2023, all of 2024 and through February 28, 2025.

Here’s what each Marriott elite status level entails.


Marriott Silver Elite Status

It’s not much honestly, since it’s the entry-level elite status and everyone who has the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card gets it. But it’s better than nothing, especially the late check-out (even though it’s not as generous as higher levels).

You get these benefits as a Silver Elite member:

  • 10% bonus on points earned with paid stays
  • priority late check-out at 2pm


Marriott Gold Elite Status

This is the status you get automatically with the Amex Platinum Card if you’re a frequent traveler, but for those who don’t travel as much, reaching Gold Elite status should still be very easy. It will allow you to get the room upgrades benefits like better views, larger rooms… but no suites—see the next level for that.

Staying just 10 nights in a year should be doable, especially if you maximize your welcome bonus and pool your points with a travel buddy who gets their own Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card to get their own welcome bonus and their own annual certificates.

There are many affordable Marriott properties where staying 10 nights wouldn’t cost too much, and remember that nights you stay with your points (including the welcome bonus) count towards elite status qualification: all stays count.

The Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card also gives you Gold Elite status automatically if you spend $30,000 on your card, but that’s definitely not for everyone—and not recommended anyway (if you spend that much, use that spending to unblock more welcome bonuses worth thousands of dollars).

Here are the Gold Elite benefits:

  • enhanced rooms
  • 25% bonus on points earned with paid stays
  • priority late check-out at 2pm
  • premium Wi-Fi

Both of us Flytrippers cofounders were Gold Elite in 2017 and 2018 thanks to the Amex Platinum Card and we very much enjoyed the preferential treatment and experience, even if we’re not luxury travelers at all. So much so that we then decided to stay 50 nights each in 2018 to qualify for Platinum Elite, and I even reached 75 nights for Titanium starting in 2019.

That’s how much we appreciate the Marriott Bonvoy elite program ourselves!


Marriott Platinum Elite Status

This is the next level, and the one that is by far the most interesting. Platinum Elite requires staying 35 nights (normally 50 but the 15 elite night credits apply here too), so it is a bit more restrictive. But for those who travel a lot, it’s clearly worth it for 3 reasons: suites, lounges, and breakfast.

I was actually writing this article from an insane suite at the 5-star Grand Hills Luxury Collection Resort in Beirut. I had two balconies, about 8 places to sit down and so much space that I didn’t know what to do with it. It took me 10 minutes just to turn off all the lights to go to sleep. All for the same price as the cheapest room. Being Platinum Elite gives you great room upgrades.

You probably know about airport lounges, but you might not know that most full-service hotels also have lounges, and often dinner is provided for free (or appetizers at least). Free breakfast at 26 or so of the 30 Marriott brands is another very useful benefit.

When you regularly go from 5-star hotels to hostels during the same trip like we love to do, it’s also quite valuable to have 4pm late check-out. I usually get to the hotel at 10 am and my room is almost always ready, so that means I almost get 2 full days at a nice hotel for the price of just one night. Maximization.

Platinum elites get 5 annual suite night awards (SNAs), which allow you to guarantee you get a suite before arriving (although it’s subject to availability). SNAs are used to avoid a situation where there are no more suites available for upgrades when you check in.

Finally, the 50% bonus on points earned is also quite lucrative since you obviously earn a lot quicker.

Here’s what Platinum Elites get:

  • suite upgrades
  • free breakfast for 2 in most brands
  • hotel lounge access
  • 5 annual suite night awards
  • 50% bonus on points earned with paid stays
  • priority late check-out at 4pm
  • premium Wi-Fi


Marriott Titanium Elite Status

The last status that is realistically attainable, and it is only for very frequent travelers. I reached it on the very last day I could (December 31st 2019) to be a Titanium Elite for 2020 and I’ve managed to keep it since. The benefits are awesome, most importantly the near-guaranteed suite upgrade every time (in hotels that have suites) outside of North America and more often in North America because you get priority over Platinums.

But the best benefit (and my main motivation to reach Titanium) is that Marriott has a partnership with United Airlines. Being a Marriott Titanium Elite automatically gets you United Silver Elite Status (and Star Alliance Silver Status).

That’s not very high, but it allows me to pick Premium Economy seats for free. For someone who is used to very little space and is a bit uncomfortable on planes, it’s amazing to get that for free. I even got an upgrade to lie-flat United Polaris business class seat on a 4-hour flight, but since that took a literal global pandemic and the imminent potential collapse of the entire airline industry, I know that was exceptional. But United Silver also gives you priority boarding and a priority phone line too.

In addition to the 5 SNAs from the Platinum level, Titanium members also can choose from 5 more SNAs or a free night certificate for Category 5 hotels. It’s even more valuable than the annual certificate from the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card. That benefit alone is at least $500 in value.

I also earn 75% more points on my (rare) Marriott stays that are paid in cash, which is quite significant. For example, a US$250 night paid by my credit card’s flight delay insurance gave me an earn of 5,500 points (without the seasonal promos and my credit card earn). That’s enough for a free Category 1 hotel! That’s fast.

Here’s what Titanium Elites get:

  • United Silver status
  • suite upgrades
  • free breakfast for 2 in most brands
  • hotel lounge access
  • 5 annual suite night awards (SNAs)
  • 5 more SNAs or a free Category 5 night
  • 75% bonus on points earned with paid stays
  • priority late check-out at 4pm
  • premium Wi-Fi


Marriott Ambassador Elite Status

This level is the only one with a spending requirement in addition to the nights requirement. Staying 100 nights (or 85 with the card shortcut) is one thing, but spending US$23,000 in a year on Marriott hotels is completely insane, and only something business travelers or obscenely rich people can do, so we won’t spend any more time discussing this level.


Earn rate bonus

It’s really important to understand that sometimes it makes more sense to pay for some nights in cash if the redemption value is bad with Marriott points, as we mentioned this in our article about How To Use Marriott Bonvoy Points To Maximize Their Value. It’s really one of the things travel rewards beginners have the hardest time understanding.

This is especially true for Elite members, thanks to bonuses on points earned, especially during great promos. Even Silver Elite members can earn a ton of points easily with these. Especially if you charge it to your Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card and earn an extra 5 points per Canadian dollar!

We’ll have all the details shortly so you can take advantage of the promos, so be sure to subscribe to our new free travel rewards newsletter to get great tips to earn more free travel. 


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That is a good intro to Elite Status in the Marriott Bonvoy program. It is worth chasing if you plan on spending many nights in hotels.


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Featured image:  Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa (photo credit: Marriott)



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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Asli

    Hi, I’m basically reading all of the articles on your website, this is my third comment/question under an article in the last hour, lol 🙂 There’s a part above where you say “The Amex Platinum Card is a card ONLY frequent travelers should have”, would you mind explaining that? I’m thinking of applying for that card but I won’t be a frequent traveler this year, so I’m trying to figure out if I should avoid applying for it. Thanks!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hey, well glad you’re finding it useful 🙂 Well, I should maybe temper that a bit haha. It’s just that Amex cards are the only ones with a rule that you can only get the welcome bonus once on each card. So you should get it the year you’ll be traveling the most, to maximize your only full year of unlimited lounge access. Then after the 1st year that always makes the card more than profitable for every traveler, only frequent travelers should keep for sure. I’ll edit the post as we speak, thanks for helping me notice that I was being a bit too extreme that day haha!

  2. Joan Evans

    I just applied for the Marriott Bonvoy card … thru your site of course! Now that the minimum spend was extended to 6 months, it made sense for me in these lockdown/ slow reentry to “normal life” days.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Absolutely, it makes it a lot easier. Thank you so much, don’t hesitate if you have any questions!

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