How I Earned 55 Marriott Elite Nights Without Staying A Single Night

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“Hey, do you remember that time when Americans were banned from entering practically every country on earth, airplanes were completely empty but then videos went viral because the next day airplanes were completely full…during a pandemic? That was crazy, right!?”

I feel like this will be a normal conversation starter in a few years.

I’m just going to say it…2020 has been a weird year. It’s already September and the past 6 months are a blur. Mentally, I’ve just fast forwarded to 2021.


This morning, things became even weirder as I logged into Marriott Bonvoy account to check on expiration dates of award certificates.

To my surprise, 55 elite nights was prominently displayed on my account homepage despite having not spent one night in a Marriott hotel this year. How is that possible?

If you have a Marriott credit card, you automatically earn 15 elite nights per year just for being a card member. Awarding elite nights for card members makes it far easier for the consumer to earn elite status if given elite nights.

Unfortunately, if you have more than one Marriott credit card (say, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business card), you would still only earn 15 elite nights as it is capped regardless to how many cards you have.

However, in March 2020, Marriott decided to double the number of elite nights you can earn for having their credit cards. I have both of the aforementioned cards so I earned 30.

Interestingly, Marriott gave all current elite members a 50% elite night bonus determined by the status you earned last year and somehow I missed this announcement.

2019 Elite StatusNormal Requirement50% Elite Night Bonus
Ambassador100 nights + $20k spend50 nights
Titanium75 nights38 nights
Platinum50 nights25 nights
Gold25 nights13 nights
Silver10 nights5 nights

In other words, I earned 30 nights just for holding 2 credit cards, and also received a bonus of 25 nights for being Platinum last year for a total of 55 nights.

Additionally, Marriott already extended everyone’s current status so no one with current elite status needs to re-qualify this year, however this makes it extremely easy to qualify for higher status (if that is what you desire).

Personally, I’m not interested in obtaining Titanium status but I would only need 25 nights more nights if I was seeking that status (or 20 nights if I select “5 nights” as my Choice Benefit – a benefit that I have for crossing the 50 night threshold last year).


Marriott has a lot of work to do. Ironically, earlier this year Marriott eliminated the easiest way to earn elite status (15 nights for hosting a meeting) because they thought it made elite status too easy to earn but now they’re just giving away nights. The pandemic has changed everything!

Ohhh..Marriott. You’re so backwards but I’m not complaining. I’ll take the free nights.

I guess this is the result when you’re not traveling and don’t check your account for months on end…you find great surprises. 🤣

Did anyone else notice theses elite nights post to their account?


  1. I had a similar experience. I randomly checked my account in May and had a whole bunch of nights deposited. Here’s my question, my titanium status is good thorough 2021. I’m likely to hit the titanium threshold this year so does that mean I get titanium status through 2022? At some point they’ll have to stop the extensions, will I be penalized for that? Privileged questions, I understand. I guess my bigger point is that Marriott, like everybody else, doesn’t really have a long term plan. We’ve never been through something like this in our time so I’m just trying to give everybody a little space, and cut people and orgs a little slack as we all try to figure this out.


  2. @dronejammin Interestingly, Marriott has already extended status through Feb 2022 so if you hit Titanium this year, technically, you obtain status for the rest of 2020 and all of 2021. Clearly, that is of no benefit to you because it’s already been extended into 2022. Marriott has not clarified their plans but I trust there may be some wiggle room and benefits to obtaining status through actual stays. I’ll keep you updated.


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