How Marriott Titanium and Ambassador Elites can claim United status in under five minutes

Dec 31, 2019

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If you refer to Marriott’s elite levels and benefits page, there’s a benefit that comes with Marriott Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite status that’s easy to miss: United Silver elite status.

This perk is granted through Marriott’s “RewardsPlus” partnership with United. This reciprocal-benefit program grants those with United Premier Gold status (or higher) complimentary Marriott Gold Elite status, and those with Marriott Bonvoy Titanium or Ambassador Elite status complimentary United Premier Silver status.

However, it’s easy to forget that this benefit exists. In addition to not being listed on Marriott’s elite benefits page, this benefit isn’t shared in the Marriott Titanium Elite welcome email — like the one that I received from Marriott just this week:

To find out about this benefit, you’d need to click the “Explore Benefits” link at the bottom of the email and scroll the bottom of the benefits list. There you’ll find a simple reference to “RewardsPlus” buried below less-exciting benefits:

To finally find out about this free status, you’ll need to expand that benefit list to see that “Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members are eligible to register and enjoy complimentary United® MileagePlus® Premier® Silver Status.”

While Silver is United’s lowest tier of elite status, it can still be quite valuable. United Silver elites get free access to Economy Plus seats at check-in, upgrades on United flights, a free checked bag up to 70 pounds, priority boarding, 40% bonus miles on flights, more obscure perks like Five Star elite status with Hertz and even additional award inventory.

RELATED: How to unlock additional award availability with United credit cards

TPG pegs the value of United Silver status at $960 assuming it’s used for at least 4,800 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) and 12 Premier Qualifying Segments (PQS) worth of flights. However, TPG conservatively values the United Silver reciprocal benefit at just $200 when calculating the $5,350 value of Marriott Titanium Elite status and $250 of the $7,430 value of Marriott Ambassador Elite status.

If you have Marriott Titanium Elite or Ambassador Elite status, let’s walk you through how to claim your free United Silver elites status.

First, you’ll want to browse to Marriott’s United landing page at fly-united.marriott.com and click “Join RewardsPlus”:

Next, you’ll be prompted to log into your Marriott Bonvoy account, and you probably will need to complete a two-factor authentication.

Once you’ve logged into your Marriott Bonvoy account, you’ll be prompted to provide your United MileagePlus account number to link your accounts. When you submit your United number, you should get a confirmation that your registration is complete:

The message notes that “your United MileagePlus Premier Silver benefits will be effective within 7-10 days,” so make sure to link your accounts now and not right before you might need to use the benefits. While the link wasn’t instantaneous, I logged into my United MileagePlus account the day after I completed the registration and found that my United elite status was bumped to Silver.

While only Marriott Titanium and Ambassador Elites can claim free United elite status, there’s still a way that you can get many of the benefits of United Silver status: United co-branded credit cards. Cardholders of the United Explorer Card also get a free first checked bag, priority boarding and — perhaps the most-valuable perk — additional award inventory. Plus the card comes with additional perks like up to a $100 statement credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees, two United Club passes and 25% back on United in-flight purchases.

If you don’t have the United Explorer Card yet, it’s offering a solid sign-up bonus of 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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