Check your accounts: Marriott emails confirm that bonus elite night credits have arrived

Jul 24, 2020

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Most hotel programs have been busy pivoting in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — including extending elite status and offering waivers on changes and cancellations. Last month, Marriott announced a unique promotion to reward existing elite members beyond its status extensions through February 2022: It would be depositing bonus elite-night credits into members’ accounts.

With this promotion, members will earn 50% of the elite nights needed to qualify for the elite status that they held in 2019. For example, if you were a Platinum elite in 2019, which requires 50 nights a year, you’d get 50% of that — or 25 elite nights — as a bonus.

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Here’s the breakdown:

Ambassador Elite 100 Qualifying Nights AND US$20,000 stay spend 50 Elite Night Credits
Titanium Elite 75 Qualifying Nights 38 Elite Night Credits
Platinum Elite 50 Qualifying Nights 25 Elite Night Credits
Gold Elite 25 Qualifying Nights 13 Elite Night Credits
Silver Elite 10 Qualifying Nights 5 Elite Night Credits
Member Not Applicable Not Applicable

While Marriott initially said that these bonus elite-night credits would be deposited in late July, a number of people reported that they began arriving on July 11 — and most TPG staffers saw their elite nights post within a day or two of these initial reports.

Now, Marriott is sending out emails to eligible members with more details.

Here’s what arrived in my inbox last night, with the subject line, “We’ve Added 25 Elite Night Credits to Your Account”:

Photo courtesy of Marriott
Photo courtesy of Marriott

Since I chose to stick with Marriott in 2019, I qualified for Platinum Elite status, so I was given 25 elite nights — half of the 50-night requirement.

Elite night credits are primarily used to help you qualify for elite status each year (as the name would suggest), but Marriott already took care of that by extending members’ status through February 2022. Still, there are a few reasons why receiving these nights could be beneficial.

Upgrade to a higher tier of elite status

Bonus elite night credits, when combined with elite nights earned from Marriott credit cards or from any trips you manage to take this year, may help you qualify for a higher level of elite status than you previously held. In my case, these 25 nights put me at 61 for the year — thanks to a few pre-pandemic stays and the 30 nights I now enjoy from holding both a personal and business Marriott credit card.

Qualify for lifetime elite status

Marriott uses two factors to determine eligibility for lifetime elite status: number of years with status and total number of elite night credits. This includes actual nights spent in a hotel as well as those earned from credit cards or other promotions. Earning dozens of extra elite night credits can help people close the gap.

Earn additional Choice Benefits

Marriott offers its top-tier elites Choice Benefits, with a selection earned after staying both 50 and then 75 nights a year. The options include things like Suite Night Awards, bonus elite night credits, gifting elite status and more. However, these perks are based solely on your actual nights in a year — and aren’t automatically granted to existing lifetime elites and under the previously-announced status extensions. That said, since my 25-night deposit pushed me over the threshold to qualify for Platinum status in 2020, I now have the option to select new ones:

Photo courtesy of Marriott
Photo courtesy of Marriott

If you’re in a similar situation, log in to your Marriott Bonvoy account at this link, though remember that your selections are final — so choose carefully.

Personally, I’m holding off on making a decision until later in the year (you have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on January 8, 2021 — at which point Suite Night Awards will automatically be selected for you). The five elite-night credits would be appealing but only if I can use them to reach Titanium and unlock another (more valuable) selection. Otherwise, I’ll go with the Suite Night Awards again to add to my existing set, which Marriott has already extended through Dec. 31, 2021.

Bottom line

If you received an email overnight about bonus elite-night credits with Marriott, this relates to the program’s announcement from last month. It’s great for those members who qualified back in 2019, as it could help you reach a higher tier of Bonvoy elite status this year or unlock a new set of Choice Benefits. If you haven’t checked your Marriott account recently and you earned elite status last year, you may want to log in to see your current elite-night balance — and start planning a strategy for the last five months of the year.

Additional reporting by Ethan Steinberg.

Featured image by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy

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