I simply certified for Lifetime Platinum Elite standing with Marriott Bonvoy — this is why that will not change my resort technique

On Jan. 1, 2024, I woke as much as some thrilling information in my Marriott Bonvoy app: I had formally notched my tenth yr of Platinum Elite standing. Since I had already surpassed 600 lifetime nights in 2023, this meant that I used to be beginning the brand new yr as a newly minted Lifetime Marriott Platinum Elite member.

Whereas this may occasionally seem to be a trigger for celebration, it truly will not change my resort technique in any significant means. Given this, I see some fascinating alternatives for Marriott to boost the worth proposition for individuals who’ve proven in depth loyalty through the years.

Here is why my Lifetime Platinum Elite standing with Marriott Bonvoy is not inflicting me to vary my method to resort elite standing.

My journey to Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Platinum Elite


I have been accumulating factors and miles for greater than twenty years, and this elevated considerably when my then-girlfriend (now-wife) and I lived on reverse ends of the nation after faculty commencement. As a fourth-grade instructor (me) and a regulation college scholar (her), we welcomed all methods to save cash, shuttling backwards and forwards to see one another.

Nonetheless, after I moved to Florida and took a consulting job in 2007, my journey actually took off.

I used to be initially loyal to Hilton Honors (which is after I began contributing to TPG), however quickly, I fell for the Starwood Most well-liked Visitor program. I started accumulating dozens of nights a yr and shortly made my approach to Platinum standing, which I loved for a number of years. This exercise transferred when Marriott and SPG had been built-in to finally develop into the present-day Marriott Bonvoy program.

With 608 complete nights and 10 years at Platinum Elite or above now below my belt, I’ve formally locked up Lifetime Platinum Elite standing. Doing so has opened up this system’s on-line expertise for lifetime members, which affords some fascinating insights into my exercise since becoming a member of this system in 2007.

  • I’ve earned 1,228,484 factors.
  • I’ve redeemed 1,132,635 factors.
  • I’ve stayed at 23 of this system’s 30 manufacturers, together with 30 stays with Fairfield Inn & Suites, 22 stays with Autograph Assortment Resorts and 16 stays with Marriott Resorts.
  • Orlando, Tampa and New York are my most-visited cities.

Nonetheless, this accomplishment goes to have minimal impression on my day-to-day technique.

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Associated: Final-minute methods for Marriott elite standing

Why I am sticking with my Marriott technique


Previous to reaching Lifetime Platinum Elite standing, I certified for Platinum Elite standing in a number of other ways.

Earlier than the coronavirus pandemic, I acquired 15 elite evening credit yearly from Marriott bank cards. I would then attempt to snag the remaining 35 nights wanted by way of resort stays or promotions for double elite evening credit. This took a good quantity of effort. Nonetheless, that was made considerably simpler in 2020 once we broke the information that you possibly can stack credit from a private and enterprise card. Out of the blue, I would solely want 20 nights a yr to qualify for Platinum Elite standing.

Then, in 2022, considered one of my playing cards — the Marriott Bonvoy Good® American Categorical® Card — underwent a serious overhaul, together with the addition of computerized Platinum Elite standing (beforehand, it solely provided Gold Elite standing). It additionally jumped from offering 15 to 25 elite nights per yr.

In different phrases, by holding each the Bonvoy Good and the Marriott Bonvoy Enterprise® American Categorical® Card, I obtain 40 elite nights yearly — placing me simply 10 nights away from the usual Platinum Elite standing qualification threshold.

Why does this matter if the Bonvoy Good already grants Platinum Elite standing? Effectively, at 50 nights, you unlock a Selection Profit choice. I nearly at all times decide 5 Suite Evening Awards — quickly to be renamed Nightly Improve Awards as a part of adjustments slated for January 2024. I’ve personally had nice success utilizing Suite Evening Awards, and as a household traveler, the extra house for my 9-year-old daughter makes these extremely useful to me.

Given this system’s huge worldwide footprint, it is easy to select up these remaining nights. The truth is, I’ve already stayed as soon as and have seven extra nights booked for later this yr.

In fact, holding each the Bonvoy Good ($650 annual charge; see charges and costs) and the Bonvoy Enterprise ($125 annual charge; see charges and costs) is not low cost. Nonetheless, this is what I get for the $775 per yr in complete charges:

The 35,000-point certificates utterly covers the annual charge on the Enterprise card for me yearly, and I at all times max out the eating credit on the Bonvoy Good. Meaning I want simply $350 in worth from the 85,000-point certificates to make the Bonvoy Good value it — and I commonly get effectively over this quantity. I stayed at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort final yr and have two upcoming stays in Orlando booked with these certificates: one on the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve and one other at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.

Each considered one of these stays would’ve set me again not less than $800.

Ought to I cancel the Bonvoy Good?

Now, there may be an argument to be made to cancel the Bonvoy Good. In spite of everything, reaching Lifetime Platinum Elite standing implies that one of many key perks on the cardboard — computerized Platinum Elite standing — is now primarily nugatory to me. True, I get a whole lot of worth from the free evening certificates and the eating credit score, however $650 continues to be a lot to pay for a bank card.

Nonetheless, the 25 elite nights yearly are sufficient to persuade me to maintain the cardboard. If I cancel it, I would want 35 nights a yr to earn my Suite Evening Awards. And even when I substitute it with a card just like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit score Card, I would nonetheless want 20 nights. That is a giant distinction — and one I do not wish to cope with.

Associated: What’s Marriott Bonvoy elite standing value?

How Marriott might improve its lifetime program


Lifetime elite standing is supposed to acknowledge those that’ve proven long-term loyalty to a given program, however like others on the market, I see some alternatives for Marriott to boost the expertise for loyal friends. In spite of everything, there is not any incremental profit for me to remain at collaborating properties extra often.

First, I would like to see Marriott convey again Lifetime Titanium Elite standing. Through the preliminary integration of Marriott Rewards and SPG, choose members had been grandfathered into Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite standing (Platinum Premier Elite standing then grew to become Titanium Elite standing when Marriott Bonvoy launched). Nonetheless, since Jan. 1, 2019, there’s been no approach to climb greater than Lifetime Platinum Elite. Opening up a pathway to this greater standing tier might create incremental enterprise — particularly if it required a set variety of years at Titanium Elite.

Moreover, I feel there’s a chance to distinguish between Platinum Elite members in relation to on-property perks. A Lifetime Platinum Elite member has spent a lot of time at Marriott properties. A traveler with Platinum Elite standing, simply by holding the Bonvoy Good, probably hasn’t. It might be fascinating for Marriott Bonvoy to publicly acknowledge Lifetime Platinum Elite vacationers — probably with greater improve precedence.

Lastly, it will be nice to see this system introduce extra perks for Lifetime Platinum Elite members. Possibly they might present Silver Elite or Gold Elite standing to a pal or member of the family every year (like United Airways, which permits lifetime elite members to share their present standing ranges with a companion). An extra possibility for Selection Advantages at 50 or 75 nights may very well be added as a perk. By sweetening the deal, Marriott might add extra incentives for current members to push for lifetime standing whereas rewarding those that’ve already demonstrated a long-standing dedication to this system.

Associated: Is it value pursuing lifetime elite standing?

Backside line

I’ve formally earned Lifetime Platinum Elite standing within the Marriott Bonvoy program, nevertheless it will not change my general method. I’ll preserve my Marriott Bonvoy Good American Categorical Card and my Marriott Bonvoy Enterprise American Categorical Card open, and I will proceed to ensure I decide up a further 10 nights a yr to pick an Annual Selection Profit. To me, this means a necessity for some enhancements to Marriott’s lifetime standing program.

Whether or not it is reopening a pathway to greater tiers or including incremental advantages for Lifetime Platinum Elites, I would like to see new incentives with Marriott. For now, although, I will fortunately take my new standing, as I will at all times get pleasure from Platinum Elite perks — even when I finally determine to maneuver away from my Marriott playing cards.

For charges and costs of the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Good, click on right here

For charges and costs of the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Enterprise, click on right here

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