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Booking direct: How much value does Marriott status provide?

March 26, 2021
8 min read
W Osaka Room
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Even once you decide on a particular hotel for a trip, you still need to determine how to best book your stay. Perhaps you compare room rates booked through a couple of different sites. You might even use TPG's valuations to evaluate whether using points would provide solid value. But you may be forgetting to consider the value provided by your elite status when you book directly with the hotel brand.

Over the next four weeks, I'll explain the benefits and earnings that you can obtain from different status levels at popular brands when you book direct. First up, let's look at Marriott.

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Marriott status levels

Required nights per yearEarning rate on stays based on statusStandout benefits that start at this status level
MemberNone2.5x at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay (2% return based on TPG's valuations)

5x at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites (4% return)

10x at all other Marriott properties (8% return)

Complimentary in-room Internet access
Silver Elite102.75x at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay (2.2%)

5.5x at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites (4.4% return)

11x at all other Marriott properties (8.8% return)

Priority late checkout
Gold Elite253.125x at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay (2.5%)

6.25x at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites (5% return)

12.5x at all other Marriott properties (10% return)

Enhanced room upgrade

2 p.m. late checkout

Welcome gift of points

Complimentary enhanced in-room Internet access

Platinum Elite503.75x at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay (3%)

7.5x at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites (6% return)

15x at all other Marriott properties (12% return)

Enhanced room upgrade including select suites

Annual choice benefit

4 p.m. guaranteed late checkout

Lounge access

Welcome gift choice (breakfast is an option at many brands)

Titanium Elite754.375x at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay (3.5%)

8.75x at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites (7% return)

17.5x at all other Marriott properties (14% return)

Additional annual choice benefit

United MileagePlus Premier Silver Status

Ambassador Elite100 + $20,000 qualifying spend4.375x at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay (3.5%)

8.75x at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites (7% return)

17.5x at all other Marriott properties (14% return)

Ambassador service

Your24

Related reading: What is Marriott Bonvoy elite status worth?

How to get Marriott status

You can earn Marriott status organically by staying the required number of nights for each level. If you need a little help reaching that desired status level, some Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards award you 15 elite night credits every year per account. This means that you'll get at least Silver Elite status with any Bonvoy-branded card, and you'll have to stay 15 fewer nights than usual for every status level.

Gold Elite status normally requires 25 nights, but there are several credit cards that either include this status or allow you to earn it:

Platinum Elite status normally requires 50 nights, but there are a few ways to earn this status through credit cards:

Related reading: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card is right for you?

What value does Marriott status provide?

Marriott usually doesn't provide elite benefits or earnings on bookings that aren't made through Marriott. This means that if you book through an online travel agent, credit card portal or even American Express' Fine Hotels and Resorts program, you usually won't get elite benefits or earnings based on your elite status tier. So, especially if you have a high-tier of elite status with Marriott, it may be worth booking directly with Marriott to ensure access to your elite benefits and earnings.

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Marriott elite status provides benefits in two primary areas: earnings and on-site perks. It's difficult to estimate how much value you'll get from on-site perks. TPG Senior Editor Nick Ewen estimated the following values based on earning status organically while spending an average of $150 per night on eligible charges ($175 per night for Ambassador Elite):

  • Silver Elite: $4 per night
  • Gold Elite: $33 per night
  • Platinum Elite: $53 per night
  • Titanium Elite: $65 per night
  • Ambassador Elite: $54 per night

You may initially scoff at these valuations. But, let's consider the valuation of Platinum elite status at about $44 per night. You may agree with the valuation once you factor in the guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout, potential space-available upgrades, breakfast benefit for two at most brands and more.

My recommendation is to check out Nick's guide on what Marriott Bonvoy elite status is worth to see his methodology. Then, decide whether you agree with his assumptions and use his methodology to calculate your own value per night based on your level of elite status. Once you have calculated your value, you can better decide whether to book direct for a particular stay.

It's important to understand that the value of booking direct is even more than Nick's valuations show. That's because his valuations only consider the point bonus provided on top of what is provided for base-level members on direct bookings.

So, let's consider the points each level of elite status would earn when booking directly with Marriott at a full-service brand, along with the value of these points based on TPG's valuation of Marriott points at 0.8 cents each.

Status levelPoints earning rate (return based on TPG'S VALUATIONS)Points on $100 of qualifying chargesPoints on $150 of qualifying chargesPoints on $200 of qualifying chargesPoints on $500 of qualifying chargesPoints on $1,000 of qualifying charges
Member (0-9 nights)10x (8%)1,000 ($8)1,500 ($12)2,000 ($16)5,000 ($40)10,000 ($80)
Silver Elite (10-24 nights)11x (8.8%)1,100 ($9)1,650 ($13)2,200 ($18)5,500 ($44)11,000 ($88)
Gold Elite (25-49 nights)12.5x (10%)1,250 ($10)1,875 ($15)2,500 ($20)6,250 ($50)12,500 ($100)
Platinum Elite (50-74 nights)15x (12%)1,500 ($12)2,250 ($18)3,000 ($24)7,500 ($60)15,000 ($120)
Titanium Elite (75+ nights) or Ambassador Elite (100+ nights and $20,000 qualifying spend)17.5x (14%)1,750 ($14)2,625 ($21)3,500 ($28)8,750 ($70)17,500 ($140)

Ignoring the value of other benefits, such as upgrades, breakfast, late check-out and more, the above table shows the tangible value of the points you'll receive for a range of qualifying charges when booking directly at each elite level. This allows you to estimate -- based on your qualifying charges and elite level -- how much value you'd be giving up in points alone (based on TPG's valuation of Marriott points) when booking through a non-qualifying method.

You may receive more points on select stays due to a welcome gift of points, but I ignored this in my calculations because the amount varies by brand and is often only provided to customers with elevated status levels.

Related reading: Amex vs. Citi vs. Chase: Which booking portal is best for hotels?

Related guides

Featured image by Miyuki Kaneko (Nacasa & Partners inc.)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

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Recommended Credit

740-850
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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023