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

Mar 31, 2020

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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.

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.

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