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Elite breakfast benefit returns to Marriott hotels on July 1

June 15, 2021
2 min read
Elite breakfast benefit returns to Marriott hotels on July 1
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Free breakfast has long been one of the top benefits of elite status — while room upgrades, premium Wi-Fi and bonus points can certainly help move the needle as well, complimentary breakfast can offer significant savings, especially in destinations like The Maldives, where a morning meal can otherwise add tremendous cost.

For much of the pandemic, however, Marriott has allowed hotels in the U.S. to opt out of providing a full breakfast — many properties recognized that the perk incentivizes bookings, and continued to offer it, as I most recently experienced on a trip to Florida. Still, others embraced the cost savings, especially when room rates and occupancy levels were low.

Related: The 11 hotel breakfasts we’d order for every meal if we could

As View From the Wing reports, beginning on July 1, Marriott will require that eligible hotels once again provide breakfast to elite members — they'll no longer be able to offer a food and beverage "credit" or other similar perk, instead. A Marriott spokesperson confirmed the change.

My fantastic lobster Benedict at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Unfortunately that doesn't mean eligible elite members can expect a full breakfast at every Marriott hotel. Certain higher-end brands aren't required to offer breakfast at all, with members receiving a "welcome amenity" as outlined below, instead:

  • The Ritz-Carlton (1,000 points per stay)
  • EDITION (1,000 points per stay)
  • Marriott Vacation Club (1,000 points per stay)
  • Marriott Grand Residence Club (1,000 points per stay)
  • Design Hotels (1,000 points per stay)
  • Gaylord Hotels (1,000 points or $10 food and beverage credit per stay)

Additionally, customers spending the night at Element, Fairfield, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites properties receive complimentary breakfast, regardless of whether or not they have elite status.

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While we may not see full breakfast buffets return for quite some time, I'm hopeful that hotels will move away from the especially wasteful practices some properties have adopted during the pandemic, such as the atrocious single-use plastic party I experienced at the Residence Inn at Big Sky.

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 the well-traveled foodie
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 at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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 of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus 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
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees