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Marriott reinstates elite benefit guarantees effective immediately

Jan. 11, 2021
3 min read
Marriott reinstates elite benefit guarantees effective immediately
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The hotel industry was hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. Many properties closed — some temporarily and others permanently — while the ones that remained open were forced to rethink the guest experience and ramp up cleaning procedures.

In March, Marriott suspended its brand standards and elite benefit guarantees to ease the burden on struggling properties. Normally, hotels (especially upscale, luxury properties) have strict standards set out by Marriott corporate that they have to adhere to. Not doing so can lead to fines or potentially even removal from the brand. These brand standards cover everything from the toiletries in your room to the benefits offered to elite members and much more.

The suspension was initially only supposed to last until the beginning of July 2020 but kept getting extended. That’s changing today.

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With many hotels reopened and adjusted to the new normal, Marriott Bonvoy announced today that it's reinstating its elite guarantee effective immediately.

This means that eligible elites are once again guaranteed benefits like free breakfast, lounge access or guaranteed room type. When these benefits are not honored, elite members are entitled to a specific amount of compensation (in the form of cash or points). While many properties still offered these benefits during the suspension, they were under no obligation to do so.

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Related: This new tool may tell you what to expect during your next Marriott stay

In its announcement, Marriott Bonvoy notes, "based on day-to-day business conditions at individual hotels and/or government regulations, properties may offer a breakfast alternative when lounges and restaurants are closed such as grab and go or credit for food and beverage purchases on property."

As has always been the case, the lounge and welcome gift elite benefits vary by brand and geographic region.

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy's elite benefit guarantees were suspended for almost a year but are finally back. Elite travelers can once again expect their usual benefits or get compensation when they're not available.

In addition to this news, earlier today, Marriott announced it's making it easier to qualify for status this year. Like last year, current elites will receive 50% of the elite nights needed to qualify for the elite status that they held in 2020. Additionally, in mid-February, Marriott will launch a global promotion that will allow members to earn double the number of points and elite night credits for all stays of two nights or more.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy makes it easier to earn elite status and redeem points in 2021

Featured image by (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

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  • 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.
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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