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You can now earn up to 30 elite nights per year with Marriott credit cards

March 31, 2020
5 min read
You can now earn up to 30 elite nights per year with Marriott credit cards
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One of the hallmarks of Marriott's cobranded credit cards is the set of 15 elite night credits you'd earn every year you have one of the cards. This can provide a large boost toward Bonvoy elite status qualification, essentially lowering the requirements for Platinum status to just 35 actual nights. In recent history, this has been limited to 15 elite nights per member, regardless of how many Marriott cards you have. However, it appears that this has now changed.

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This morning, I logged into my Marriott account and was surprised to see my elite-night balance had jumped significantly overnight. It was at 21 nights earned for the year as of yesterday, but now the total stands at 36 nights. Intrigued, I dove into my account details and noticed that I now had 30 elite nights from credit cards.

When I dug a bit deeper to try and ascertain whether this was an error or a legitimate positive change, I stumbled upon some interesting language on the application pages for Marriott cards.

Here's the verbiage from the benefit details section for the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (emphasis mine):

15 Elite Night Credits
The 15 Elite Night Credits will be credited to your Marriott Bonvoy™ Member Account within 60 days upon opening your Card Account. On or before March 1 of each subsequent calendar year, the 15 Elite Night Credits will be credited to your Marriott Bonvoy Member Account operated by Marriott International, Inc., in accordance with Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions, as long as your Card Account is open as of December 31 of the prior calendar year.
To be eligible to receive the 15 Elite Night Credits with this Card, you must be the Basic Card Member, and you must have an active Marriott Bonvoy Member Account linked to your Card Account. A maximum of 15 Elite Night Credits will be provided per Marriott Bonvoy Member Account, unless you have both a small business Marriott Bonvoy Card account and a consumer Marriott Bonvoy Card account; then, you may receive a combined maximum of 30 Elite Night Credits (15 per Card account). This benefit is not exclusive to Credit Cards offered by American Express. (Terms apply)

Since I currently have both the Bonvoy Business Amex and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, I clearly fall into this category of having one small business and one consumer Marriott card.

Related: Which Marriott credit card is right for you

A quick survey of TPG colleagues indicates that I'm not the only one to now have 30 elite nights; Editor-at-Large Zach Honig saw the same thing in his account, as did Senior Contributor Ethan Steinberg. However, it appears that it's specific to holding a business and personal card (as opposed to two or more Marriott cards). TPG Director of Travel Content Summer Hull has two Marriott small business credit cards (one from Chase and one from Amex) and reports that she's still at 15 elite nights from credit cards.

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I reached out to Marriott, and a spokesperson confirmed that this is a new policy as of today:

Starting today, anyone who has a Marriott Bonvoy small business credit card, and a Marriott Bonvoy consumer credit card is eligible to receive a maximum of 30 elite night credits per year. That means that if someone has [for example] the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Amex business card they will get 30 elite night credits and only need twenty more nights to achieve Platinum for the following year.

This is a terrific change and makes it a lot easier to justify keeping both a personal and business card since you'll then just be 20 nights away from the 50 required annually to unlock valuable Platinum Marriott status which can convey Suite Night Awards, breakfast benefits and more. The annual 35k or 50k free-night certificates provided with the various co-branded Marriott cards offer solid value each year, but being able to snag a total of 30 elite night credits is a great new perk.

Featured image by (Photo by Samantha Rosen/The Points Guy)
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 featured card

Best premium travel card for value
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

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more