How to Maximize Your Marriott Bonvoy Rewards Program

As a frequent business and personal traveler, I pride myself in hacking the rewards system to the best of my ability! While I do like to use a range of hotels and airlines, I normally have my alliances set to Marriott Properties as well as American Airlines. The alliance with Marriott is the sheer range of properties they offer across the globe, including their prestigious Ritz Carlton Brand and J.W. Marriott hotels, and the American Airlines connection is due to my residence being in South Florida and using the Miami International Airport for the majority of my travel.

Today I’m going to delve into the Marriott Hotels Rewards program, which in early 2019 was renamed “Bonvoy.”  I’ll share with you every single travel hack and tip that I know of so you can upgrade rooms, save money on stays, and earn rewards at a faster pace and get the most out of your experience.

If you are interested in MORE ways to earn points with Marriott, check out my Marriott Eat Around Town hacks, which outlines how you can use your Bonvoy Card to earn rewards towards future stays.

Marriott Bonvoy Review

Marriott Hotels is the biggest hotel chain in the world, with 6700+ properties, including The Ritz-Carlton.

They offer a solid loyalty program, with a huge range of airline transfer partners.

This guide is an overview of as many Marriott current offers we can find, with bonus points, discounts, free nights and more.

Join Bonvoy for Free and start earning rewards on your next trips:

What to Know About The Program

There are six levels of status including three lifetime levels, but don’t let all the levels and terminology confuse you. I’m here to guide you on tips on how to advance with Marriott Bonvoy rewards so that you can just enjoy the perks of membership.

Each level is graded on the calendar year stays and earned points from January 1 – December 31.  

Member Status

Once you register as a member, you are now part of the program. This earns you the ability to earn and redeem points as well as get internet access in your room, members only rates, and the ability to check in via mobile.

Silver Elite Status

Leveling up from there you’ll get to the Silver Elite level. This is the range you’ll be in if you find yourself earning 10-24 nights per year.

With this level of membership, you get a reservation line entirely dedicated to members, the ability to ask for a late check-out, a 10% bonus on points earned, and compensation if your reservation is unable to be honored under their “Ultimate Reservation Guarantee” program.

Gold Elite Status

While enjoying all of the aforementioned benefits, you’ll also get a room upgrade if it’s available with the Gold Elite Status.  Additionally, you’ll get “welcome points” upon check-in.  You will be given 25% bonus on points earned with this level, as well as a 2pm check out if it’s available.

Enjoy Gold Elite status with 25-49 stays per year.

Platinum Elite Status

For those of you traveling 50-74 nights per year, you’ll find yourself enjoying even more with the Platinum Elite Status.  The benefits include lounge access, regardless as to where in the hotel your room is.  This is especially big if you are in one of the higher end hotels that have immaculately appointed club levels with spreads of food and beverages.  You will also qualify for room upgrades up to a certain level of suite, and you have a guaranteed late checkout of 4 PM.  On top of all of this, you earn a 50% bonus on all bookings.  Talk about points on points on points!

As if that wasn’t enough, you also enjoy these perks of being a Bonvoy Platinum Elite Status member:

  • Five nights in a suite
  • 40% off on any Marriott branded box spring and mattress
  • $100 charity donation to UNICEF
  • You can gift a Silver Elite membership to anyone you know…..or don’t know!

With the five nights in a suite, you can use these as upgrades from a standard room to a suite or other premium room.  The hotel will check on availability and return the credit to you if it’s not redeemed.

At this level of membership, you also earn the welcome benefit for your stay in the form of points (1,000) or a food and beverage credit. In some cases it will be a meal, like breakfast.

Titanium Elite Status

So you stay 75 nights or more?  Enjoy the perks of being a Titanium Elite member of Bonvoy.  Enjoy a whopping 75% bonus on points on every stay! 

On top of that, you get the below:

  • Five suite nights
  • One Free Night in a standard room
  • 40% off mattress and box spring
  • $100 UNICEF donation
  • Gift someone a Gold Elite Membership
  • Five elite nights bonus

Lastly, if you reserve a room 48 hours or more in advance, you will be guaranteed a room, unless there is a special event.

Ambassador Elite Status

Okay, so you want to stay 100 nights and spend $20,000 per year with Marriott?  Here is what you will get rewarded with!

This is the top tier you can earn!

In addition to everything I piled on above in terms of benefits, you will also get the Ambassador Service, which will personally guide you during all of your stays.  You also get Your24, which allows you to ask for a specific check-in time and check out exactly 24 hours late.  If you happen to check in between the hours of 9am and 4pm, you can ask for a late check out the following day, which will give you a full 31 hours in your room.  This must be requested up to 2 days prior to your stay, and it’s not a guarantee that they can do this, but it’s something you can and should ask for.

Lifetime Status

I did say that Ambassador Elite Status was the top tier, but for those of you who are truly special, or insane, you can earn lifetime status.

You’ll have to have earned Silver Elite for a minimum of five years to be offered this, and you’ll have to have racked up 100’s of nights, but over time, I’ve met many people who have made it to this level. When you get here, your points never expire.

  • Lifetime Silver Elite: 250 lifetime nights and at least five years holding elite status
  • Lifetime Gold Elite: 400 lifetime nights and at least seven years holding elite status
  • Lifetime Platinum Elite: 600 lifetime nights at least ten years holding elite status

I’m a points hacker, and knowing what I’m up against was always the biggest challenge in determining if something was worth it as far as staying loyal.  With so many nice hotels around the world, both on a chain and boutique level, it’s really hard to stay within one brand.  However, Marriott offers so much, and has such a big reach, that they really make it hard to leave their brand when you see how well they reward you.

You should always keep in mind the yearly calendar when you plan your travel, and keep an eye on their website for offers. I recently did  a 2 x point earnings if I did two trips inside of 60 days, which made my choice to leave for a weekend rather than not – easy.

The BEST way to earn points for Marriott stays is to get the Chase Marriott credit card.  You earn 1 night for every $5,000 you spend with NO LIMIT to what you can earn.

My Top Rated Credit Card for Hotel Stays
Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card

Why Should You Get the Bonvoy credit Card?

  • Earn up to 17X total points for every $1 spent at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®
  • Earn 6X points with Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
  • Earn up to 10X points from Marriott Bonvoy® for being a loyalty member
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores, and dining
  • Earn 2X points per $1 spent on other travel purchases
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits per calendar year
  • Enjoy a Free Night Award every year after your account anniversary, valid for a one-night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points. Certain hotels have resort fees

And Much More! Points never expire. This is the card I use to earn free stays, upgrades, and status at Marriott Hotel brands.

marriott credit card

Want to read about all of my experiences with Marriott properties? Check out my first hand reviews below:

Other Rewards Programs I Have Covered:

Who here is a loyal Marriott Bonvoy member?  Any life time status members reading?  Would love to hear about some of your favorite Marriott properties in the comments.