The end of the year is fast approaching, so now is a good time to assess where you stand on your goals. Marriott Bonvoy is one of the programs where I am not quite there yet.

The Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status was provided as a benefit of The Platinum Card from American Express. After Marriott deposited bonus elite night credits into members' accounts, I was able to earn Platinum Elite status.

After earning 30 elite night credits from Marriott co branded credit cards and 25 elite nights credits from Marriott, I was re qualified for Platinum Elite status.

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status is all that's needed for me. The status tier gives all the benefits that I look for in an elite status.

  • Breakfast: Complimentary breakfast at most Marriott Bonvoy brands
  • Room upgrades: Upgrades, including to select suites, based on availability at check-in and as determined by each hotel
  • Lounge access: Lounge access for two guests at select Marriott Bonvoy brands
  • 4 p.m. late checkout: Guaranteed late checkout at most Marriott Bonvoy properties

For the first time, I will push for Titanium Elite status this year. I'm trying to get a higher status tier in 2021.

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It's easily within reach

Two of my elite night credits came from a stay at the Le Meridien Maldives. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

I'm pushing for Titanium Elite status because it's easy to get.

The Marriott Bonvoy credit cards gave me 30 elite night credits. Marriott gave me 25 bonus elite nights credits for being a Platinum Elite. I didn't have to go to a Marriott property to get 55 elite night credits.

I have picked up a number of night credits this year.

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I only need five more elite nights credits this year to get titanium elite status. I plan to take these nights on trips to Paris, New York City and Phoenix.

There is a guide to elite status with Marriott andHilton.

75-night annual Choice Benefit

Currently, you can use a free night award worth up to 40,000 points to stay at the Le Meridien Maldives even on peak dates. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

When elites reach 50 and 75 eligible elite night credits, Marriott gives them annual Choice Benefits. I have earned my 50-night annual Choice Benefit and will be able to choose a second when I get Titanium Elite.

These are the decisions I make.

The choice is between Suite Night Awards or a free night award for me. The free night award worth up to 40,000 points may be more valuable than five more Suite Night Awards. Depending on the property, suite upgrades can be worth more than 40,000 Marriott points.

Category 5 is in the Marriott Bonvoy award chart.

United Silver status

I'm looking forward to snagging United Silver status, which will provide some perks when flying United. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members can get free United MileagePlus premier silver status. This partnership is one of the main reasons I'm pushing for Titanium Elite status, since it will give me a number of benefits when I fly United.

I wouldn't be able to get United Silver status if I didn't have eight flights and 3000 points. I do not fly United enough to get United status.

As United's lowest status tier, United Silver status doesn't offer tons of perks. I don't think I'll get any value from the perks. Extra availability on United awards, preferred seating and priority check-in should provide significant value as I travel.

I said I wouldn't mileage run, but now I want United's top tier 1K status.

Increased earning on stays

In 2019, I paid about $60 for a night at the JW Marriott in Medan, Indonesia. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

I've been booking more Marriott rates than award nights due to the depressed hotel rates. Marriott's award chart currently charges the same points rates regardless of cash rates, so if you want to redeem a ton of points for cheap stays, you're out of luck.

I will continue to book paid nights if this continues. I will like the higher points-earning rates given to Titanium Elites. There is a comparison of earning rates for Marriott Bonvoy brands.

BrandMembersSilver Elite membersGold Elite membersPlatinum Elite membersTitanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members
All Marriott Brands unless otherwise noted10x11x12.5x15x17.5x
Element, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Homes & Villas by Marriott International5x5.5x6.25x7.5x8.75x
Marriott Executive Apartments2.5x2.75x3.125x3.75x4.375x

Booking direct asks how much value Marriott status provides.

When I book a paid night at a Marriott hotel, I usually pay about 80 dollars in qualified spending. Let's assume I book 20 nights at Marriott brands that don't earn at lower rates. I would earn 24,000 points if I were a Platinum Elite. I would earn 28,000 points as a Titanium Elite.

The increase in earning is small. Even though the U.S. dollar can go far, it still makes a difference. If you stay in expensive markets, you may see an increase in earning rates.

When I use my Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card to pay for my stay, the earning rates are before I accrue any more points. I can earn extra points, miles or cash-back rewards on my Marriott stays by using a shopping portal aggregation.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is for the long term.

Better upgrade chances

My husband got a suite upgrade at the St. Regis Osaka in early 2020, likely due to his Titanium Elite status. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elite members have access to upgraded rooms based on availability at most brands. The terms are important.

Platinum Elite Members and above receive a complimentary upgrade to the best available room, subject to availability on the day of arrival, for the entire length of stay. 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.

The upgrade benefits for Titanium Elites are the same as for Platinum Elites at Ritz-Carlton properties. The hotel makes the upgrade decision. I have noticed my husband gets better upgrades on his stays than I have.

Is elite status from a credit card a bad thing?

Extra on-site perks at some hotels

Welcome gift at the Le Meridien Maldives (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Discretionary on-site perks are one of the reasons I'm excited to become Titanium Elite.

Thanks to Marriott elite status, my husband and I have received a number of perks, including a complimentary happy hour drink menu at The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa.

Privileges and access to hotels are the same for Platinum and Titanium elite members. I think some on-site perks may be better for titanium elites. I'm excited to upgrade to Titanium Elite because of these soft perks.

A million Marriott points can be spent for an epic trip.

Bottom line

You can earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status if you accumulate 30 elite night credits each year. I expect to earn Platinum Elite status as long as I continue to live and work as a digital nomad.

I decided to push for titanium elite status. 25 more elite night credits are required for Titanium Elite status than for Platinum Elite. If all of my trips go as planned, I won't need to book any more trips.

I don't know if I will try to get Titanium Elite status in the future. I'm looking forward to the perks that come with the status.