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Back in July, United and Marriott announced they were launching a new partnership called RewardsPlus in the vein of Starwood and Delta’s Crossover Rewards that provides reciprocal benefits to elites of the airline and hotel chain. To participate, you can register at either the Marriott Registration Page or United Registration page.
Among other benefits, RewardsPlus offers Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite and Platinum Premier Elite complimentary MileagePlus Premier Silver status, and United Global Services, Premier 1K, Premier Platinum and Premier Gold members all of the benefits of Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status. The status offerings initially were supposed to be effective until January 31, 2014, but I’ve had readers who joined the program write to me that those with Marriott elite status (Platinum and higher) who were given United MileagePlus Silver status have had their status period extended another 16 months to May 31, 2015.
That’s a whole additional 16 months, and well beyond the cut-off date for elite status for those United elites who don’t requalify in 2014 for 2015. MileagePlus Silver status would normally require you to fly 25,000 miles or 25 segments within a calendar year, and starting in 2014, United will be instituting new spending requirements so you’d have to spend at least $2,500 with the airline as well.
It seems a bit arbitrary as an end date, but hey, free elite status, I’ll take! Premier Silver status gets you:
- Complimentary access to Economy Plus at check-in
- Complimentary Premier upgrades as early as day of departure
- Instant upgrades on Y and B full-fare economy tickets
- Minimum 500 award and qualifying miles on flights
- 25% award mileage bonus on flights
- Priority check in, security screening, boarding, baggage handling, phone agents and access to sold-out flights
- 1 free checked bag up to 50 lbs
- Discounted United Club membership rates
- Priority award waitlisting, discounted close-in award booking fee ($50), reduced award redeposit fee ($125), reduced award change fee ($50)
As a reminder, here are the other benefits of RewardsPlus.
MileagePlus members receive:
- Complimentary Gold Elite status in Marriott Rewards (open to MileagePlus Premier Gold members and above, registration required)
- All MileagePlus Premier members can convert their MileagePlus miles into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio, up to 50,000 miles per year.
- Convert Marriott Rewards points to MileagePlus miles at a 20% discount.
- Receive 10% more MileagePlus miles when you book the trip of a lifetime and redeem for a Marriott Rewards Travel Package–up to 12,000 more miles
Marriott Rewards members receive:
- Complimentary Premier Silver status in MileagePlus for Platinum Elite members and above (registration required)
- 20% discount when converting Marriott Rewards points MileagePlus miles (open to all members, registration not required)
- 10% more MileagePlus miles when redeeming Marriott Rewards points for flight and hotel Travel Packages (open to all members, registration not required)
In my opinion, the United Silver for Marriott Platinum is the most valuable benefit benefit here, since United Silver gets complimentary upgrades, 25% mileage bonus and some other perks like better customer service (though over the past two years United has really trimmed back Silver benefits, like the ability to book Economy Plus at booking – now you need to wait until 24 hours before your flight) – but hey, if you’re already a Marriott elite and can score at least low-tier United elite status for another 16 months, why not take advantage?
If you’re not a Marriott elite or a United Premier member but are interested in Marriott Gold status, you can always sign up for the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa, which confers automatic Gold status on cardholders for the first year, and then every year thereafter that you spend $10,000, among other benefits.