Almost every major hotel program rewards those customers who have been loyal over the course of several years or even decades in many cases. One way that they accomplish this is by offering lifetime elite status. To get lifetime status it usually requires a lot of nights (several hundred to a thousand) and also a number of years holding certain elite levels (point earnings sometimes count, too).
In this article, I will tell you everything that you need to know about Marriott Bonvoy lifetime elite status. I will cover the different requirements for the elite levels like Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium. I’ll also discuss how to check your progress toward lifetime status and go over some of the recent changes.
What is Marriott Bonvoy lifetime status?
There are four different levels of Marriott lifetime status:
- Lifetime Silver Elite
- Lifetime Gold Elite
- Lifetime Platinum Elite
- Lifetime Titanium Elite (not available to new members)
I will go over the qualifications for each of these levels below and also highlight some of the benefits. But for starters, you just need to know that once you obtain lifetime elite status you will be able to enjoy those elite level benefits for your entire lifetime (subject to changes that take place).
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Lifetime Marriott Silver Elite
- Lifetime Silver Elite Requirements: 250 Qualifying Nights + 5 Years as Silver Elite or higher
As a Marriott Silver member you will be entitled to the following benefits:
- 10% Bonus Points
- Priority late check out
- Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
Overall, it is not a very rewarding status to be honest. Moreover, you can earn the status by holding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. That card also comes with some additional benefits that could be worth it.
These include benefits like:
- Annual free night for properties that cost up to 35,000 points per night
- 6X on Marriott properties
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
Getting those 15 free night credits each calendar year can help you to climb up higher levels of status in future years. If you are constantly cutting it close to reaching elite levels then you might consider that credit card.
Also, something that is cool is that the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless elite night credits should count toward lifetime status. Not only that, but the status obtained via credit cards should also count towards lifetime status requirements. Note that I have seen some funky things going on with these credit card nights credits counting toward lifetime status (post-merger) so we may still need to see how it plays out.
Finally, I should note that you are limited to 15 credit card night credits per year. So if you hold several Marriott credit cards there is no way to double up or triple up on the 15 night credits.
Lifetime Marriott Gold Elite
- Lifetime Gold Elite Requirements: 400 Qualifying Nights + 7 Years as Gold Elite or higher
As a Marriott Gold member you will be entitled to the following benefits:
- 25% Bonus on points
- Late check-out
- Enhanced internet
- Welcome gift
Marriott status begins to get a bit more valuable at this level but to be honest even Marriott Gold is not that valuable to me. The reason why I’m not too impressed with that is that you don’t get guaranteed breakfast or lounge access.
You might be able to get breakfast and/or lounge access if you get the right upgrades though. Upgrades will be limited to “enhanced rooms” and enhanced rooms may include “rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors.”
- You can read more about Marriott Gold elite status here.
Marriott Gold status can easily be achieved with the American Express Platinum Card. Not only can you get automatic gold status with Marriott, but you also get Gold status with Hilton Honors. And those benefits only scratch the surface of all of the benefits offered by the Platinum Card, which include:
- Priority Pass access for you and two guests
- Centurion lounges access for you and two guests
- Delta SkyClub access when flying with Delta
- $200 annual Uber credit
- $200 annual airline credit
- 5X on airfare and 5X on hotels booked through the Amex Travel portal
- $85 TSA Pre-Check/$100 Global Entry
You can also earn Marriott Gold status with the Marriott Brilliant credit card.
Lifetime Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite
- Lifetime Platinum Elite Requirements: 600 Qualifying Nights + 10 Years as Platinum Elite or higher
Once you obtain the Marriott Platinum level the benefits really start to ramp up.
As a Marriott Platinum member you will be entitled to the following benefits:
- 50% bonus on points
- Complimentary upgrades
- Guaranteed lounge access
- Elite welcome gift
- Guaranteed 4 PM late checkout
- Annual choice benefit
The upgrades are definitely sweeter at this level because they include upgrades to suites. The terms and condition state:
Complimentary upgrade includes suites, rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities or rooms on Executive Floors. At The Ritz-Carlton, suites are only included for Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite Members and rooms with direct Club access are excluded.
As a Platinum member you will receive free breakfast and or lounge access. The lounge policy gets a little bit complicated depending on what the hotel offers but basically at the minimum you should be guaranteed a breakfast or a form of compensation.
One thing to note about Marriott is that there are several properties where lounge access is not given or available. These properties include:
- The Ritz-Carlton
- St. Regis
- The Luxury Collection
- W Hotels
- Design Hotels
- Tribute Portfolio
- Gaylord Hotels
- Four Points
- Quite a few others
Getting guaranteed late checkout at 4 PM is a nice perk but again this is not available at every property. The terms and conditions state:
This benefit is guaranteed at all Participating Properties, except at resort and convention hotels and Design HotelsTM, where it is based upon availability. Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, and participating Vistana properties are excluded from this benefit.
The annual choice benefit is pretty interesting because you can choose between several different types of benefits, which include:
Platinum Elite Annual Choice Benefit Options:
Five (5) Suite Night Awards
40% off bed
$100 Charity Donation
The gift of Silver Elite status for a friend or family member
Five (5) Elite Night Credits
I will have a more detailed article breaking down these benefits at later date. But right now it is worth noting that if you chose the five elite night credits those should count toward lifetime status.
Lifetime Marriott Premier Platinum (Titanium) Elite
- Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite Requirements were: 750 Qualifying Nights + 10 Years as Platinum Elite or higher
This requirement became no longer available as of December 31, 2018.
What counts as a year for lifetime elite status?
Whenever you earn elite status you typically will receive status for the remainder of that year, the full next year, and the very beginning of the year after that. For purposes of qualifying for a lifetime elite status the only year that counts is the year that you actually make the stays in.
I will illustrate this with an example.
Let’s say that you achieve gold status in the middle of 2019. Now you will be able to enjoy that status for the remainder of 2019 and also all through 2020. However only 2019 will count as a year toward lifetime elite status. 2020 will only count if you also achieve the requisite number of nights during that calendar year.
Can I forfeit my points?
Having lifetime elite status will protect you from forfeiture of your points even if your account goes inactive. Marriott makes this clear when they state:
Lifetime Elite Status only provides a Member with Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, or Titanium Elite status and protection against the forfeiture of Points even if the Lifetime Elite Member is inactive
But it is worth noting that Marriott can still cancel your membership.
Annual elite status requirements
If you are wondering about the number of nights required to reach each level of Marriott elite status, here are the requirements for earning the different elite levels each year:
- Silver: 10 to 24 nights
- Gold: 25 to 49 nights
- Platinum: 50 to 74 nights
- Titanium: 75 to 99 nights
- Ambassador: 100 nights + $20,000 U.S. dollars in qualified annual spend
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Check your Progress toward Marriott lifetime status
If you want to check your progress toward lifetime status you have a few options.
First, you can call customer service at 1 (800) 535-4028. Explain to them that you are trying to find out the number of nights and years that you have held status and they should be able to help you out.
Second, you can check your nights store lifetime status online. Simply log into your account and then click on the activity tab. And then on the right side of the screen right underneath where the number of nights for your year is shown you should see a tab called “Details.” Click on that to bring up your information.
On the right side of the window that opens you should be able to the number of lifetime nights.
You can also check your lifetime nights through the app.
Unless I’m overlooking something, the biggest missing feature is showing you the number of years that you have qualified at a certain elite level. For example, it would be really convenient if you could see that you have obtained Gold for six years, Platinum for three years, etc. I know that this function existed in the past and I’m just waiting for it to return.
It is interesting because I have heard that the lifetime status determination/years of elite membership are made based on a manual review when evaluating lifetime status. This would explain why a lot of people unexplainably have several more years of elite status then they thought they did. And why others may have had missing status. I’m not sure if this will change in the future but it is something to be aware of.
Earning lifetime elite status with Marriott (or any program) is an exciting accomplishment but at the same time elite status at the silver and gold level can easily be obtained via credit cards. Obtaining elite status is going to take a long time at the Platinum level but at least credit cards can also help you get there with the elite night credits.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.