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Have top-tier Marriott status? You may be able to gift Platinum status

Oct. 29, 2021
3 min read
Have top-tier Marriott status? You may be able to gift Platinum status
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Marriott Bonvoy made a slew of announcements this week. In addition to removing award charts in favor of dynamic pricing, it shared that it would extend all current elite status levels by another year. However, it still wants to reward those who requalified for top-tier elite status the "hard way" this year.

One way it's doing this is by giving some top-tier Ambassador Elites elites the opportunity to gift free elite status to a loved one.

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Gifting Marriott elite status

Qualifying for Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite status is no easy feat.

It normally requires a whopping 100 elite-qualifying nights and $20,000 in qualifying spending, though that's been reduced to $14,000 for 2021. If you're able to accomplish this before the end of the year, you'll be invited to gift Platinum status to a family member in January 2022.

Marriott Platinum isn't something to shake a stick at, it's one of the more valuable status levels in Marriott's program. It normally requires 50 nights and unlocks perks like free breakfast at many brands, lounge access and potential suite upgrades. Altogether, TPG values Platinum status at over $2,600, assuming you travel enough to actually make use of it.

Related: Don’t be surprised if emails to your Ambassador go unanswered

Marriott Platinum breakfast at the St. Regis New York (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

This offer is separate from Marriott's annual choice benefits, which allows eligible elites to gift Silver or Gold elite status to someone else. Marriott's latest email to Ambassador elites specifically teased at gifting status to a family member. But if past years' status gifting offers are any indication, you'll likely be able to choose a friend or colleague instead with no specific family relationship required. Any gifted status will be valid through February 2023.

This isn't the first time we've seen Marriott let Ambassador Elites gift Platinum Elite status to another member. Marriott ran the same promotion in 2020, so it's great to see them bring it back.

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Additionally, Marriott confirmed that Ambassador Elite status will again require $20,000 in qualified spending next year.

Related: Airline and hotel loyalty programs that let you give the gift of elite status

Bottom line

While Ambassador status might not be as valuable as it once was, having the opportunity to gift Platinum status to someone is a nice gesture for sure — assuming you have requalified the hard way and are eligible. Platinum status can make your relative's hotel stays far more comfortable when you're not traveling with them.

Around this time last year, Hilton offered a similar status gifting opportunity for all of its top-tier elites — regardless of whether they requalified the "hard way." We'll have to wait and see if it brings back a similar offer this holiday season.

Featured image by (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/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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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
BEST FOR DINING AND GROCERY REWARDS
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.