It’s no secret that I’ve been extremely happy with my Hyatt Globalist status the past year and a half. After first earning it in late 2019, I’ve been hooked. The benefits at Hyatt hotels have been excellent, and I find that I am generally able to earn enough points so that I can book award stays most of the time (unless cash rates are ludicrously cheap).

But I am also often in the market for picking up other hotel elite status, especially if it requires little-to-no effort and could provide good value over the following year. Last year, I did this with IHG Spire. Now I’m considering targeting Marriott Platinum. Crazy? Maybe. Maybe not.

Marriott’s Augmented 2021 Elite Requirements

Just like last year, Marriott Bonvoy members are being credited with half the elite nights of their most recently earned elite status level. This is a more unique method of augmenting members’ status, but I actually really like it. It rewards those who have been most loyal to Marriott previously. Depending on your 2020 elite status level (which was rolled over from 2019 anyway, or you earned higher), Marriott will award the following:

  • Ambassador Elite will receive 50 Elite Night Credits and will need an additional 50 Elite Night Credits and US$14,000 in Qualifying spend in 2021 to re-achieve Ambassador Status
  • Titanium Elite will receive 38 Elite Night Credits and will need an additional 62 Elite Night Credits and US$14,000 in Qualifying Stay Spend in 2021 to achieve Ambassador Elite
  • Platinum Elite will receive 25 Elite Night Credits and will need an additional 50 Elite Night Credits in 2021 to achieve Titanium Elite
  • Gold Elite will receive 13 Elite Night Credits and will need an additional 37 Elite Night Credits in 2021 to achieve Platinum Elite
  • Silver Elite will receive 5 Elite Night Credits and will need an additional 20 Elite Night Credits in 2021 to achieve Gold Elite
  • Member tier will not receive Elite Night Credits and will need a total of 10 Elite Night Credits in 2021 to achieve Silver Elite

The additional elite nights count toward the 2021 annual choice benefit and toward lifetime status. Thanks to Marriott, I’m a handful of nights away from Lifetime Silver. Which means I’m a handful of nights away from pretty much nothing.

But anyway, the path to 2021 Bonvoy Platinum doesn’t seem all that difficult for me.

Marriott Platinum Status 2021

Seattle Airport Marriott

The 2021 Path to Status

In 2020 I was a Marriott Gold Elite. I’m not sure how this happened, as I went cold turkey with them after being Titanium Elite back in 2018, benefits that I used in multiple ways. I enjoyed the status, earned from a challenge, but requalifying was impossible for me. I let it go. Somehow I was pegged at Gold, which must have been a sort of soft landing.

Since that rolled into 2020, I received 13 elite nights last year. Picking up the Bonvoy Brilliant Visa meant that I re-earned Gold for 2021 from its additional 15 elite nights. Now, after being award the additional nights for 2021, I’m sitting on 28 elite nights currently.

The thing is…I have 5 nights that must be used this year, plus an additional free night certificate coming up. Assuming I use all these, I’ll land at 34 nights without a nickel out of my pocket. I’m then 1 night away from Platinum, assuming I can pick up the Bonvoy Business card this year for another 15 elite nights.

However, I might not want to go that route. I currently have three cheap one-night stays planned with Marriot for various reasons before the end of the month, and the option for a 4th. Two are stays where Marriott properties are most convenient. The others have multiple options, but this is an intriguing path as well. During the current promotion period, Marriott is offering double points and double elite nights. This is then up to 8 extra nights. Add in the 5 + 1 free night certificates, and I’m at 42 nights. Per commenter: I have one problem: my one-night stays won’t qualify. So looks like I need to subtract two nights. 

It’s not difficult to imagine that I’ll land very close to 50 without much more effort. With one anticipated work trip of 4-5 nights, I’ll be only a few nights shy.

Final Thoughts

The question is…is it worth forgoing other options to earn Marriot Platinum status in 2021? Maybe. Maybe not. If I’m only $200-300 into this beyond what I would be, I’d say it’ll likely pay for itself in 2022. It’s hard to know, given the world of travel right now. But I’d like to hope that I’ll be hitting the road more this coming year. Marriott has a huge footprint, and it could make a lot of sense to shoot for status.

What do you think? Is this an enticing opportunity, or an easy pass?