Your guide to the new Marriott Bonvoy program: status, perks and more

By Chris C., January 16 2019
Your guide to the new Marriott Bonvoy program: status, perks and more

Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards schemes will finally come together under the single Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program from February 13.

Marking the culmination of the long-running merger between Marriott, Starwood and The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Bonvoy becomes the unified reward scheme for the 120 million members currently enrolled across today’s three separate programs.

As the trio of schemes have already adopted common features, status benefits and points earning and redemption rates across the board, there’ll be little practical change for members at this stage of the game except for the naming of elite tiers.

From February 13, the Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards websites and mobile apps will also be deactivated, with all members of the now-giant loyalty program able to access their account through the Marriott website and a new Marriott Bonvoy app under the same login.

Mobile users who already have today’s Marriott Rewards app installed on their device will find this automatically updated to Marriott Bonvoy from February 13, while those relying on the separate SPG or Ritz-Carlton apps will need to download and use the new Bonvoy app, once released.

With the dust now settling on the Marriott, SPG and Ritz-Carlton megamerger, here’s everything you need to know about Marriott Bonvoy.

Marriott Bonvoy: elite membership tiers

As travellers climb the ranks of the Marriott Bonvoy program, here’s how each tier is unlocked.

  • Member (entry-level): For guests who stay up to nine nights per year.
  • Silver Elite: Travellers who stay for 10-24 nights per year.
  • Gold Elite: Guests who accrue 25-49 hotel nights per year.
  • Platinum Elite: For those who amass 50-74 nights per year.
  • Titanium Elite: Renamed from the previous Platinum Premier Elite, requiring 75-99 nights per year.
  • Ambassador Elite: Replacing the outgoing ‘Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador’ tier, earned after staying for $100 nights paired with US$20,000 in annual qualifying spend.

Importantly, if you already hold one of these tiers as a Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest or Ritz-Carlton Rewards member, your status under Marriott Bonvoy will reflect this.

The only difference is for current Platinum Premier Elite cardholders – who’ll now become Titanium Elite guests – and for Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador travellers, who’ll now be known as Ambassador Elites.

Marriott Bonvoy Member benefits

Even without elite status, base-level members of the free-to-join Marriott Bonvoy program enjoy complimentary in-room Internet access across Marriott International hotel brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, Westin, St. Regis, Renaissance, Sheraton, Marriott – of course – and many more.

Being a member also facilitates your access to online check-in via the Marriott Bonvoy app, where you can file any special requests, share your arrival time and also check-out to save time on departure.

On most hotel stays, members will earn 10 Marriott Bonvoy points per eligible US dollar spent, with higher-tier members earning bonus points on this rate, as below.

Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite benefits

Compared to regular members, Silver Elites earn 10% more Marriott Bonvoy points on hotel stays, and can request a complimentary late check-out at the discretion of the hotel.

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite benefits

Building on the benefits of Silver, Gold Elites find their points bonus boosted from 10% to 25% on hotel stays, with a further ‘welcome gift’ of bonus points served on top.

Standard complimentary room upgrades are also possible subject to availability, as are late check-outs until 2pm. When surfing online during each stay, Gold Elites also receive “enhanced Internet” compared to regular members at properties that provide more than one connection speed.

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite benefits

As you continue to climb the loyalty ladder, Platinum Elite introduces free daily breakfast or a local amenity in its place, with space-available room upgrades to standard suites rather than only standard rooms at Gold Elite, and with late check-outs until 4pm, again subject to availability.

Holding a Platinum Elite card also opens the door to hotel Club Lounges, Executive Lounges or Concierge Lounges where available, regardless of the room type booked, plus five ‘suite night awards’, which each allow you to confirm your upgrade to a suite before arrival.

Finally, while Gold Elite members earn 25% more points on hotel stays compared to regular members, for Platinum Elites, that’s pushed to 50% more points – plus that handy welcome gift of bonus points on top.

Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite benefits

Formerly the Platinum Premier Elite tier, Titanium Elite cranks out points at even higher rates with a generous 75% bonus.

You’ll also gain a further five ‘suite night awards’ – 10 in total each year considering the five earned from Platinum Elite – which can again be used to secure upgrades where they matter most, such as when travelling with a partner or for a special occasion.

Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite benefits

As the very top tier in Marriott Bonvoy – and formerly known as the much wordier ‘Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador’ – Ambassador Elite guests receive Ambassador service: that’s a dedicated contact at Marriott HQ who personally takes care of your bookings, enquiries and preferences.

Ambassador Elite guests also enjoy access to Your24: an exclusive benefit that allows you to check into a hotel and depart 24 hours later while only paying for a single hotel night: particularly useful at airport hotels.

As an example, if you checked in at 9pm, your room would be yours until 9pm the following evening at no extra charge, rather than having to either vacate by 4pm via the regular late check-out privilege afforded to Platinum Elites and above, or purchasing another night to stay longer.

For more on the Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards merger, including information on the earning and redeeming of hotel loyalty points and frequent flyer points, continue reading AusBT’s extensive coverage:

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 681

Eh? To my way of thinking, Marriott has lost the plot,

Member (Entry Level) - basic benefit is 'free wifi'? Would anyone in their right mind stay in a hotel without free wifi? Member rates? Would need to be discernably better than OTA's such as Expedia, etc. Mobile services? Banks tried this with ATM's - just another way to reduce staffing costs. Real benefits = none. Incentive to join = none.

Silver - so after staying 10 nights (avg expenditure USD $1,600-2,000 pa, you get 10% more points per dollar spent ie: 11 points instead of 10. Woohoo ! Late Checkout is 'possible' but not guaranteed. Neither is length of time.

Gold - so after a minimum of 25 nights (revenue of approx. USD$ 5K pa at $200 per night), 25% more base points per $ spent. 'Enhanced connection speed'? I'd expect this 'benefit' at SILVER level. Late checkout still not guaranteed - subject to 'availability'. Same for room upgrades. Gee, compelling stuff here.

Platinum Elite - so after staying a minimum of 50 nights pa, you finally have the world of 'club' rooms opened up. even as a bon-fide Business road warrior - and with competing hotel chains and various cities, you'd be hard-pressed to manage 50 nights at one chain.

Titanium and Ambassador Level ? Tell 'em they're dreaming. Whilst the 24 hour rule is welcome, what bould be more practical would be a 'no restriction' on check-in time ie: if I arrive at 7am in the morning, I can check-in immediately.

As a long-standing Gold member (not even counting SPG Preferred), these revisions are more likely to make me avoid Marriott altogether. There are better value propositions elsewhere IMHO. Recommendation - collapse the qualifying nights level back to ' reasonable levels for a start.

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 66

"There are better value propositions elsewhere IMHO"

Such as?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 158

Hilton has quiet compelling mid tier status. Gold Status gets you free breakfast at most hotels and only needs 40 nights.

03 Nov 2014

Total posts 91

Shangri-la Golden Circle is great, but coverage outside of Asia is not fantastic. Stay 10 times (can be one night) & free breakfast, early/late checkout, welcome gift of three items you choose.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 362

I will keep with HHonors thanks. Free breakfast and lounge access for Diamond is whats important to me. I don't see any value in the Marriott program at all.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Oct 2016

Total posts 2

Any word on what happens to the AMEX Platinum Card perk of Gold SPG membership under the new program?

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2521

Hi drpil, we've covered that previously.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2011

Total posts 82

The only benefit to me of the old SPG programme was the points sales and these now seem to have been axed

Excellent roundup of the changes, thanks AusBT. Looks like Platinum Elite is the sweet spot in Bonvoy.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 102

Very happy as an ACCOR Platinum

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Dec 2016

Total posts 15

Read this morning's release in my email and Sorry Marriott you've lost me I can get a lot of those benefits by been a standard member but by paying only $150US each year and stay only one or two nights with the IHG group, get a free night, a guaranteed a better rate than anywhere on line, upgrades, bonus points, free wi-fi, access to book Club facilities if available, late check out and lots more

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 147

There are impending changes to IHGs Ambassador though, you use to come in as a Gold, now they soon make everyone Platinum, which sounds good but with that mean more cost? I am a Platinum, through spend so any increase in cost to Ambassador is something I wear

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Jul 2017

Total posts 3

At SPG resorts you do get an escalating % off any food & beverage purchase with membership. Ranges from 10-25% off depending on your status.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 47

How do i extend the life of my current Starpoints stash ? Can one continue to purchase Starpoints / Bonvoy points after Feb the 13th ? (Currently i purchase a small amount of Starpoints to extend the life of my stash)

23 Jul 2012

Total posts 21

Any word on the best rate guaranmtee at BonVoy?

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