Marriott Just Upped The Status Game

As the new year starts, even in a weird one like 2021 when many are still in some form of lockdown, most of us can’t help but logging into our various travel accounts and bemoaning the results… 0 night stays, 0 miles flown, etc. In good years heavy travelers dread looking at their accounts in the first couple of months, forget about 2021 when we’re still not sure when travel will return.

Status is of course the prize most frequent travelers have their eye on and this year Marriott just upped the status game.

To take some of the unknowns out 2021 travel, Marriott just dropped a very nice surprise. They had previously extended all 2019 statuses until February 2022, paused points expirations until August of this year before the 24 month activity window kicks in, added extra time for Free Nights Awards and made Suit Night Awards valid until December 31, 2021. But yesterday’s surprise announcement ups that even more.

To make status qualification in 2021 for 2022 easier they are gifting each member half of the required nights to reattain their 2019 status. So as an example, Platinum Elite which usually offers lounge access, complementary breakfast, upgrades, etc, requires 50 nights. In this case, Platinum members will receive 25 Elite Night Credits this February. This is much better than simply lowering the re-qualification threshold, as these gifted nights count towards Lifetime Status.

Further, if you have a credit card, these nights count on top of your credit card nights. And, to make it even easier to see-qualify this year, all stays between Feb 16 and April 27 will count as double points and add double Elite Qualify Nights. So doing the math – earning 50 nights for Platinum Elite status in 2022 is simple with 25 gifted nights, 15 nights from the credit card and 10 stays before December 31, 2021, with the option of completing just 5 stays between Feb 16 and April 27.

Clearly Marriott is getting creative and wants to keep their best customers. Also it looks like they’re starting to concede that they think travel levels are still going to be much lower than usual this year.