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After a long period of silence from the world’s biggest hotelier, Marriott has now started to show its hand for 2021. Yesterday I wrote about Marriott’s ‘Super Off-Peak Awards Deal’ in which off-peak awards are being discounted by 10% and in this post, I’m going to cover what Marriott is doing with elite status in 2021 and what its plans are for its first major promotion of the year.
Marriott Bonvoy 2021 Elite Status Changes
The number of elite night credits required to earn Marriott Bonvoy status in 2021 is not changing from previous years. The elite night requirements remain as follows.
- Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite – 10 nights
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite – 25 nights
- Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite – 50 nights
- Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite – 75 nights
- Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite – 100 nights
The only elite status threshold that will be changing is the spending requirement for Ambassador Elite status. Ordinarily, anyone aspiring to Ambassador Elite status is required to spend a minimum of $20,000 with Marriott in a calendar year (it’s the only Marriott elite status that comes with a spending target) but, in 2021, that spending target has been reduced to $14,000.
To make it considerably easier for Bonvoy members to earn/retain elite status in 2021 (and to hopefully prevent them from defecting elsewhere), Marriott says that it will be following a similar path to the one that it chose to take last year – all Marriott Bonvoy elites will have a set number of elite night credits deposited into their accounts in February 2021.
Specifically, Marriott Bonvoy members who earned Elite Status in 2020 will receive a deposit of 50% of their tier’s annual Elite Night Credit requirement in February 2021.
This is what that will look like:
- Silver Elite members will receive 5 elite night credits
- Gold Elite members will receive 13 elite night credits
- Platinum Elite members will receive 25 elite night credits
- Titanium Elite members will receive 38 elite night credits
- Ambassador Elite members will receive 50 elite night credits
If you’re trying to work out how many elite night credits you will be receiving, take a look at what elite status you currently hold (check your Bonvoy account) and then compare that elite status to the information above. If your account says that you currently have Gold status you’ll be receiving 13 elite night credits, if it says you have Platinum status you’ll be receiving 25 elite night credits etc…
There is nothing that Bonvoy members need to do about this – Marriott will automatically deposit the appropriate number of elite night credits in your Bonvoy account.
If you have the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card you will already have received 15 elite night credits into your account (both cards offer 15 elite night credits every year) and that should make your path to a useful elite night status tier all the easier. If you also happen to have the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card alongside one of these two cards, you’ll already have 30 elite night credits and your path to worthwhile Bonvoy status is almost certainly assured.
Marriott’s Upcoming Promotion
Marriott hasn’t published full details of the first major promotion it will be running in 2021 but we do know quite a few things about it:
- The promotion won’t start until February (apparently Marriott has written off January 2021)
- The promotion will run between 16 February and 27 April 2021
- The promotion will award guests double points and double elite night credits on stays of 2 nights or more.
- There is no limit to the number of bonus points you can earn during the promotion period.
- Only base points will be doubled.
- Not all brands will be participating.
- Stays made with Homes & Villas by Marriott International, ExecuStay, and Marriott Executive Apartments will not qualify for this promotion
- Marriott Vacation Club owner-occupied weeks will not qualify for this promotion.
- Stays at Ritz-Carlton Reserve, BVLGARI, and at other hotels that do not currently participate in Marriott Bonvoy will not qualify for the promotion.
- A Reward Night stay will qualify for the promotion if it’s part of a stay that includes at least one paid night.
- Only one room per hotel at a time will count as an eligible stay for the promotion offer even if a member pays for additional rooms.
- Registration will be starting “soon” but no start date has yet been published.
Further details can be found on this FAQ page.
To help Bonvoy members retain elite status through January 2023, February will see Marriott depositing bonus elite night credits into the accounts of all Bonvoy members who currently hold elite status. The number of elite night credits that will be deposited will be based on a member’s current elite status.
In addition, Marriott will be running its 1Q 2021 global promotion from 16 February 2021 in which it will be offering double elite night credit and double base points on all stays of 2 nights or more.