Status chasing is part of the miles and points game. Whether it be airline or hotel status, these statuses can make vacations that much more enjoyable through complimentary upgrades, free breakfasts, and more.
But what if you could eventually stop chasing status and just enjoy status for the rest of your life? Marriott Bonvoy offers the ability to earn lifetime status and it’s not that hard to reach if you understand the ins and outs of the program. Needless to say, the value of lifetime status is huge and all Marriott Bonvoy members should understand how they can get on the path to holding status without needing to meet annual requirements.
Let’s take a look at Marriott Bonvoy lifetime status and everything you need to know about earning this unique benefit within this hotel loyalty program.
What is Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Status?
Marriott Bonvoy lifetime status is exactly what it sounds like: status within the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program that does not have an annual night requirement. This means that once you earn lifetime status, you indeed have it for life, regardless of the number of stays that you complete at Marriott properties.
This is a massive benefit as it means that you will always have a hotel loyalty program status to rely on, even if your travel habits change or you decide to start exploring other hotel loyalty programs, such as Hilton Honors or World of Hyatt. Lifetime status provides added flexibility to the mile and points enthusiast’s tool kit, and for that reason, it is highly desirable to pursue and earn this status.
Benefits of Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Status
Marriott Bonvoy members who earn lifetime status can expect to receive the same benefits that they would receive if they earned the respective status organically for that calendar year.
For example, this means that Platinum Elite lifetime status holders will continue to receive 50% more points on stays, complimentary room upgrades, and a welcome gift (including the always desirable complimentary breakfast for two), even if they have stayed zero nights at Marriott properties for that year.
The only difference is that lifetime elite status does not award an annual choice benefit, which is a perk that offers benefits such as Nightly Upgrade Awards, gifting status to another member, and more. To earn an annual choice benefit, members will need to meet the required nights during a calendar year to earn Platinum Elite status, and will then in turn earn an annual choice benefit.
How is Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Status Earned?
The various tiers of Marriott Bonvoy lifetime elite status are earned through a combination of lifetime nights stayed at Marriott properties and years of Marriott Bonvoy elite status:
- Lifetime Silver Elite: 250 lifetime nights & 5 years of Silver Elite status or higher
- Lifetime Gold Elite: 400 lifetime nights & 7 years of Gold Elite status or higher
- Lifetime Platinum Elite: 600 lifetime nights & 10 years of Platinum Elite status or higher
Lifetime nights can be earned through various methods, including normal stays, credit card elite night benefits, and promotions. Essentially, if the nights count as elite nights towards annual status, they will count as elite nights towards lifetime status.
On the other hand, years of elite status are calculated exactly how you would think. For each year you attain that level of Marriott elite status, your counter will go up by one. If you earn Platinum Elite status in one year, it will also count as a year of Gold Elite status and a year of Silver Elite status, meaning you will be working towards all levels of lifetime status at the same time.
This also means that if you were to earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status in 2023, that would count as one year toward lifetime status. However, since status was earned in 2023, it would also carry through to 2024, meaning 2024 would also count as an additional year of status toward lifetime status.
Does Lifetime Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite Status Exist?
In the requirements above, you may have noticed that the highest attainable lifetime status is Platinum Elite. However, we all know that there are higher status levels in the Marriott Bonvoy program, including Titanium Elite status and Ambassador status.
While lifetime Titanium Elite status was available as a limited-time offer during the merger of the Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest programs in 2019, this was a short-lived opportunity and only those who had been strong loyalists of either hotel program were able to take advantage.
As a result, while it does still exist in theory, lifetime Titanium status is no longer attainable and those who had previously earned it have been grandfathered in and allowed to keep the earned lifetime status. If you are shooting for Marriott Bonvoy lifetime status, the highest you will be able to attain is Platinum Elite.
The Best Way to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Status
The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy lifetime status is very similar to the best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status; take advantage of credit card benefits and perks to accrue elite nights en masse in addition to a handful of actual stays at Marriott hotels every calendar year.
Unfortunately, the biggest gatekeeper in earning lifetime elite status is the years of status. There is no way to accelerate this component; you will need to hold status for the required amount of years before you will earn lifetime status.
With that in mind, If you were to start from scratch today, the most linear path to lifetime Platinum Elite status would be to stay at Marriott properties for 60 nights per calendar year for 10 years. While this strategy would earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status and the annual choice benefit every year, it would also achieve the ultimate goal of lifetime status at the end of the ten-year period.
How to Maximize Marriott Elite Night Credits
While we don’t have access to many hotel-focused credit cards in Canada, we are lucky to be able to easily obtain two Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit cards through American Express that can help us work towards lifetime elite status.
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy card offers 15 elite nights annually, which will help the cardholder work towards annual status and lifetime status.
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy card earns Bonvoy points and offers cardholders benefits including an annual free night and 15 qualifying nights towards elite status.
Check out our American Express Marriott Bonvoy card review for more details.
80,000 Marriott Bonvoy
May 6, 2024
There is also the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business card which offers 15 elite nights annually, but these do not stack with the personal version of the card. This means that it makes the most sense to only hold one of these cards if you are only interested in the elite nights; else holding both would also get you two Marriott free night certificates worth 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per calendar year.
On the other hand, if you have learned how to obtain US credit cards as a Canadian, earning lifetime elite status is even easier. The most powerful card is the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card (US) as it grants 25 elite night credits annually and complimentary Platinum Elite status, both of which help the cardholder work towards lifetime elite status.
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card offers cardholders complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, an annual $300 restaurant credit, an annual free night, 25 elite qualifying night credits annually, and Priority Pass Select membership.
Check out our American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card review for more details.
95,000 Marriott Bonvoy
Even better, you can hold both the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card (US), which grants 25 elite nights, and the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business card (US), which grants 15 elite nights, to earn a total of 40 elite qualifying nights every calendar year. Unlike the Canadian versions, the elite nights on these cards are stackable and anyone interested in Marriott Bonvoy status should take advantage and consider holding both cards for the long-term.
How to Check Progress Towards Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Status
If you have already been a Marriott Bonvoy loyalist for several years, you might be curious to see where you are at in your lifetime elite status pursuit. Marriott makes it easy to check on your progress through both the Marriott Bonvoy website and the Marriott Bonvoy app.
Via the Marriott Bonvoy Website
Once you are logged into Marriott.com, click your name in the top right-hand corner and select “Overview” in the pop-up sidebar menu. Once you are on the overview screen, select “Details” under the text that indicates how many nights you have stayed this year.
This will open a pop-up window that recaps your journey not only toward your current annual status but also your lifetime elite status. At a glance, you can quickly see how many lifetime nights you have earned and how many years you have held a specific status.
From there, you can compare your statistics against the requirements for lifetime status to determine how far away you are from reaching the next lifetime status level.
Via the Marriott Bonvoy App
Once you launch the Marriott Bonvoy app, select “Account” on the bottom menu bar. This brings you to your account overview, which will show your progress towards annual status but also any existing lifetime status already earned.
Click on “View Progress” in the lifetime status banner for a deeper dive into your progress toward lifetime status. On this screen, you will see your nights stayed, years of status, the next tier of lifetime elite status you can earn, and the requirements for lifetime status.
While Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime status is not something that can be pursued aggressively, it is a great reward for years of loyalty to the Marriott brand. Through regular hotel stays and generous free elite night credits through credit card benefits, Marriott Bonvoy status, and by extension lifetime status, is absolutely within reach of any Canadian who is looking to gain lifetime elite status with one of the biggest hotel chains worldwide.
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