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If you’ve always thought hotel elite status was a perk for those who spend dozens of nights in hotels each year, we’ve got a surprise for you: It’s not. In fact, hotel elite status can be earned without ever setting foot in a hotel lobby, thanks to credit cards.
Most major hotel chains — such as Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott — offer some sort of elite status through a credit card. All you need to do is apply, get approved and hold the card. Especially with Marriott’s Bonvoy program, earning elite status couldn’t be easier.
That’s because Marriott offers status on six of its credit cards as a free perk. Plus, you get free Marriott Elite status from a seventh credit card, which isn’t technically even a Marriott card:
As you can see, Marriott Elite status is easy to come by, especially with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex card, which offers Platinum status for free.
The card is also currently offering a welcome offer of 150,000 bonus points, which you can earn after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of account opening. You’ll also get up to $300 in statement credit ($25 per month) to use at restaurants around the world, as well as annual free night rewards. However, the card has a $650 annual fee (see Rates and Fees), making it by far the most expensive Marriott card on the market.
With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card, you can earn higher elite status than Platinum, and the card itself has an annual fee of only $95.However, please note that you must spend destiny on the card to take advantage of.
With this card, you can earn 15 Elite Night Credits for just owning the Marriott Boundless card, which is enough to earn Silver elite status each year and Gold status after spending $35,000 on the card in a calendar year. However, you can also use the card to earn even more Elite Stay points. For every $5,000 you spend on the card, you’ll earn additional Elite Night Credits to move up to a higher level of Elite status.
There is no limit to the number of Elite Night Credits you can earn as part of this benefit, so if you spend $35,000 to reach Gold status (which normally requires 25 Elite Night Credits), you’ll need to spend an additional $125,000 in your calendar year to reach Platinum Status – $160,000 total on the card in one year. On top of that, you’ll need to spend up to $285,000 on the card in a calendar year if you want to get Titanium Elite status.
While it’s an unconventional (and extremely expensive) way to achieve elite status, it’s doable. Also keep in mind that this doesn’t include any nights you plan to actually stay at the Marriott to earn Elite Night Credits the “traditional” way.
For most people, this ability to earn one Elite Night Credit for every $5,000 spent may come in handy if you’re just a few nights away from earning status the “traditional” way. Being able to spend on your credit card earns you higher levels of elite status, which is crucial to ensuring you don’t spend unnecessary nights in a hotel room.
For a limited time, the Marriott Boundless Card is offering a three-night free night sign-up bonus (up to 50,000 Bonvoy points per night) after you spend $3,000 in your first three months of account opening. Beginning in the second year you hold the card, the card offers a free night bonus each year on your account anniversary and earns 3 points per dollar on your first $6,000 in combined purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and dine.
If you’re looking for a way to make your next hotel stay more comfortable, Elite Level is the way to go. With it, you can enjoy benefits such as free upgrades, late check-out and early check-in, bonus points and more.
Of course, what you get depends on how high or low the elite status you have. The higher the status, the more benefits. Here are your benefits at each level of Marriott Elite:
- membership status: This most basic level of elite status comes into effect automatically when you join the Marriott Bonvoy program and stay 0 to 9 nights per year. You’ll get benefits like free in-room Wi-Fi, member rates and mobile check-in.
- Silver Elite Status: Usually earned after spending 10 nights per year. In addition to the benefits of basic membership, you’ll also receive extra rewards such as 10% more points for your stay and late check-out (where available).
- Gold Elite Status: Usually earned after spending 25 nights per year. You’ll receive 25% bonus points for your stay, room upgrade (if available), late check-out at 2pm (if available), welcome gift of 250 or 500 points and enhanced in-room internet access and the benefits you’ll receive with Silver status .
- Platinum Elite Status: Usually earned after spending 50 nights per year. You’ll receive 50% bonus points for your stay, room upgrades (including suites, if available), welcome gift of choice on arrival, annual gift of choice, lounge access and a guaranteed 4pm late check-out plus all the benefits you’ll receive gold status.
- Titanium Elite Status: Earned after staying 75 nights per year. You’ll receive 75% bonus points for your stay, upgraded room upgrades (including suites, if available), a welcome gift choice, an enhanced annual gift choice and 48-hour room guarantee along with the Platinum status benefits you’ll receive.
- Elite Ambassador Status: Earned after staying 100 nights per year and making $20,000 in qualifying spend. You’ll get dedicated ambassador service, the ability to check in or out anytime within 24 hours, and all the Titanium status benefits you’ll receive.
Overall, having elite status will only benefit you if you’re going to be staying at hotels on a regular basis. From free breakfast to lounge access and even suite upgrades, Marriott Elite status can often make your stay more comfortable.
So if you don’t think earning elite status is an option — if you don’t stay at Marriott hotels long enough during the year — your Marriott credit card can be your way in. Marriott Boundless cardholders, for example, can earn higher levels of elite status — similar to how American Airlines allows its AAdvantage members to earn elite status by spending on their credit cards — without spending many nights on the road.
click Gentlemen Learn about Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex rates and fees.
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