Planning for Lifetime Marriott Platinum Elite Status

Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel Elevate Lounge. Platinum status ensures access to lounges like this one.

Marriott’s loyalty program, soon to be named Bonvoy, has a lot to like… and a lot to dislike (even beyond it’s name).  Overall, though, I’m pretty happy with the program… as long as I can maintain Platinum elite status or higher.  Platinum status entitles you to 4pm late checkout, a 50% point bonus, a welcome gift with breakfast option, lounge access, and complementary room upgrades including to select suites.

The following chart shows each level of elite status, the requirements for earning that status, and key benefits:

In my opinion Platinum Elite is the sweet spot.  Yes, Titanium and Ambassador add nice perks, but the key perks come with Platinum status.  As a result, I believe that achieving lifetime Platinum status is a worthwhile goal.

My current status

In 2018 I earned 75 nights, which got me to Platinum Premier status (soon to be renamed “Titanium”) which will last through February 2020.  I earned 75 nights largely due to short term opportunities caused by the program merger between Marriott and SPG.  Specifically, I have four credit cards which each contributed to my total: Marriott Premier (15 nights), Marriott Premier Business (15 nights), SPG (5 nights), and SPG Business (5 nights).  With that collection of credit cards I had earned 40 elite nights before setting foot in a Marriott or Starwood hotel. Going forward, it won’t matter how many Marriott cards one has: the elite nights will no longer stack.  So, going forward, I’ll earn only 15 elite nights per year from credit cards.

Even with the 40 credit card nights, it was a bit of a stretch to earn 35 more nights for Platinum Premier status, but I ended up doing so almost entirely with actual planned stays.  Near the end of the year I “manufactured” one elite night by booking an award night at a near-airport hotel in my name for my son’s friend who was flying out early the next morning (I checked in and gave him the key).  In a previous post I had said that I would use a Choice Benefit to get 5 more nights, but I didn’t end up needing to.

Gregs progress towards Marriott Lifetime Platinum

The Marriott app shows that I currently have lifetime Gold status (not worth much, but better than nothing).  More importantly, it shows my progress towards lifetime Platinum:

  • 366 nights completed (I need 600 for Lifetime Platinum)
  • 10 years or more as Platinum Elite or higher (I’m done with that requirement since lifetime Platinum requires 10 years as Platinum or higher)

So, all I need to get to lifetime Platinum status is to earn 234 additional elite nights.

My elite night run rate

In 2018 I earned 35 elite nights from actual stays.  My guess is that a typical year going forward won’t be as Marriott-heavy.  Let’s estimate that, on average, I’ll earn 25 elite nights per year from stays.  With 15 credit card nights, that will get me to 40 elite nights per year.  At that point, I’ll be close enough to re-earning Platinum status that I might as well book a meeting room to get 10 more elite nights (my understanding is that we’ll be able to do that once per year going forward).

In short, I expect to earn 50 elite nights per year one way or another.

That will be enough for me to keep annual Platinum status while I make may way towards lifetime Platinum.

4 years to go at 50 nights per

I need 234 more nights to reach lifetime Platinum.  If I did nothing but hold onto a credit card and use its one free night each year, then I’d earn only 16 nights per year and it would take me 15 years to reach lifetime Platinum status.

I’m not likely to do that, though.  As discussed above, I’m expecting to earn a combined 50 elite nights per year, on average.  At that rate, I’ll achieve lifetime Platinum status in approximately 4.5 years.

Another way to look at it is that if I earn 50 elite nights each year for the next 4 years, then on the fifth year I’ll only need to earn more 34 elite nights to reach my goal.  That should be a piece of cake.

See also

Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

 

 

 

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Blue
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Blue

Thanks for laying out the path to, I guess it is Titanium now, for last year through credit card sign ups. Followed it closely and at least for 2019 should get a ton of value from it for my aspirational redemptions at a couple of St. Regis properties plus a bunch of other Marriott stays. Hoping for a soft landing for 2020!

Gary
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Gary

Will the number of nights earned with the credit card count for just elite status that year or will it also count for lifetime elite status? Same thing with reserving a meeting room? Also is it a one time thing (reserving a meeting place) with one hotel per year or is it just one time per year? Thanks.

Jacinto
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Jacinto

What is the best way to track Marriott Elite nights activity?

jeph36
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jeph36

Greg (or anyone),

Is Marriott the best hotel program for earning a lifetime benefit? Right now I tend to pick the don’t-care option for hotels on business trips because perks like breakfast would otherwise be paid for by the employer, and late checkout is very rarely needed since I need to get to meetings anyway. And on family trips, we typically skip hotels in lieu of Airbnb for because we have so many kids running around … but that will not be the case in 10-12 years. So I am wondering if it makes sense to focus my business travel over the next several years in order to build toward a lifetime status.

Of course, the obvious caveat is that everything will change in 10+ years!

Thanks.

Sam
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Sam

IHG does not have Lifetime Status. Much to my chagrin, they canceled it two months before I would have earned it.

Peter
Guest
Peter

So how did you end up with ten years of Platinum with only 366 nights in. Especially if you earned 75 of them last year?

Stefan Krasowski (@RapidTravelChai)
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Stefan Krasowski (@RapidTravelChai)

Since the Aug 2018 combination my app lifetime stats have shown 7 years as Platinum. I hit 50 nights in Dec 2018 and still the counter has not updated to 8 years as Platinum. I hope that is soon or maybe the sweep won’t happen till March when 2018 status officially ends. Others may be in the same boat with the counter showing one less than should be.

Telnar
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Telnar

That’s reassuring in a way. I was already over 50 nights in August and was starting to worry that I would never see a year towards lifetime status from 2018. Your experience makes me more optimistic that in might arrive in March.

Stefan Krasowski (Rapid Travel Chai)
Guest
Stefan Krasowski (Rapid Travel Chai)

@Telnar – lifetime status years has updated: https://rapidtravelchai.boardingarea.com/marriott-lifetime-status-years/

Peter
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Peter

Landed Lifetime Platinum five years ago. Was stoked. With the merger, however, it seems like all the cool stuff of having it has been diminished… I guess only time will tell…

Dan
Guest
Dan

How Marriott calculates status makes no sense to me. Last year, including credit card nights and free reward nights, I had 22 nights. Still I am showing gold status this year, and only 3 more nights to platinum status. Funny thing is, when I canceled the business platinum card that gave me gold status in the first place, my status never went away. I still have it even though the card has been inactive for a while.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Correction:. 3 more nights to renew gold status

Nom
Guest
Nom

Do the 15 credit card nights count towards lifetime elite status? Somehow I thought this wasn’t the case.

DSK
Guest
DSK

Followed your suggestion when I met you at FTU and went for Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite in 2018. Newark is my closest airport so United Silver helps. Made it barely under both the old and new standards (50,000 points for Marriott credit card upgrade and a half hour conference with my wife in a Marriott conference room were both needed). Notifications came out last Sunday. Thanks Greg.

Pam
Guest
Pam

Hi Greg, (as you already know) I got Platinum status last July thru the RC card until 2.20. When I log into my “Nights Detail in the app, it correctly shows I have stayed 1 night this year but also “Renew Platinum Elite at 26 Nights?” I have a card which should give me 15 elite nights, which then puts me needing 34 nights to Platinum for this year if my math is correct (50 req – 15 – 1).

26 nights is actually achievable for me but also looks like a mistake of some sort. Am I missing something, any thoughts? Thank!

wouter
Guest
wouter

In the article is a screenshot of Lifetime Gold. However, do not understand how Lifetime Gold could be achieved with 366 nights, because I read that the requirement was at least 400 nights (and 7 years as Gold/Platinum). Could someone please clarify. Thanks.

STK
Guest
STK

I’m 50 nights away from lifetime platinum and have the 10 total years, but I’m not likely to come close to earn 50 nights this year even with the nights I get from the Marriott credit card. I earned titanium [old platinum] in 2017, the same year I changed jobs to one where my travel is almost none, so I had titanium for a 2018, but didn’t even make the nights for platinum so I was downgraded to platinum [the old gold]. So I wonder what happens this year. I’ll probably finish the year with around 25 nights or so and be maybe 40 nights off lifetime. Since I have the 10 years part, will they just keep me at platinum since I’m almost at lifetime [I’ve seen long term titanium elite/old platinum colleagues be retained for several years of not even making platinum/old gold before they got bumped down], or do I get dropped to gold for 2020 but as soon as I hit the lifetime nights [most likely sometime in 2021] do I automatically earn back platinum? That would seem the case, but I’m not sure

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[…] get there, these elite nights will help you get there sooner.  As I discussed in a previous post, I expect to earn lifetime Platinum status in about 4 and a half years.  With this upgrade offer, I would likely get there in just 4 years.  Whether or not that really […]