This article is part of the multi-part MTH (“Make Travel Happen”) series designed to provide beginners with all the information needed to reach their travel goals.
Marriott Gold Elite status is somewhere on the “high end” of hotel mid-tier status. For example, while it takes 40 nights to receive HHonors Gold and 25 nights to receive SPG Gold, you must complete 50 nights to earn Marriott Gold Elite status. For that reason, it’s a little difficult to do a straight-line comparison between the mid-tier programs. However, if you’re curious about the benefits of Marriott Gold Elite status, here’s a breakdown for you.
How to earn Marriott Gold status
To achieve or renew Elite Membership status, the following number of personal nights must be earned through Rewarding Events or stayed at participating locations between January 1 and December 31 of any given year:
- Silver: 10 to 49 nights
- Gold: 50 to 74 nights
- Platinum: 75 or more nights
(Reward certificate stays do count toward Elite night credit).
50 nights for gold status is a lot of nights. However, you can also achieve gold status with credit cards.
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card offers automatic Gold elite status for the first year (you’ll have to spend $10,000 in a year to receive it for the following years).
- The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card offers Silver status but also offers ways to earn elite credits toward Gold and you can earn Gold status by spending $50,000 in a year.
If you’re only able to obtain silver status then you can always contact Marriott and inquire about a status challenge to get to Gold.
Another way to get Gold status is if you are a MileagePlus Premier Gold member. Through the RewardsPlus Program, you’ll be given complimentary Gold status with Marriott.
And finally, with the recent merger of SPG and Marriott, you can link your Marriott and SPG accounts and get matched to Marriott Gold status if you have SGP gold status. This means that cards like the American Express Platinum Card offer you Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, and Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Gold! Not a bad deal.
Now on to the benefits…. You can check out the differences of benefits for the different levels of Marriott Rewards Elite status here (or in the chart below), but I’ll go over some of the benefits that stick out for Marriott Gold Elite status and provide a few comparisons to what other programs offer.
Marriott elite status benefits.
25% Bonus on Marriott Rewards Points
- Gold Elite members are credited with a 25% bonus on base points earned during stays.
5th redemption night free
- Book 5 consecutive nights and the 5th night is free (this perk is available to all Marriott status levels but is worth mentioning).
If you’re considering taking advantage of this benefit, then you should definitely read up on how to maximize this perk and increase your savings. Both SPG and Hilton Honors also offer this benefit to their members, while programs like Hyatt and IHG do not.
Guaranteed late checkout
- As a Gold Member, you may check out as late as 4pm. This benefit is guaranteed at all hotels, except at resort and convention hotels, where it is based upon availability.
This same benefit is offered by SPG and Hilton, although I don’t know that Hilton’s late check out runs as late. The last time I was given late check out due to my Gold status, I was only given late check out at 1pm and on multiple occasions Brad’s Hilton Diamond status has only given him a late check out at 1pm, too. Thus, at least based on my experience, I think that the Marriott Gold offers one of the better “late checkout” benefits.
Guaranteed lounge access/breakfast for members and one guest
- Enjoy refreshments and complimentary breakfast for you and one guest in the lounge. Continental breakfast is available 7 days a week for Platinum and Gold Elite members plus one guest in the Concierge/Executive/Club Lounge at JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Renaissance, Marriott, Hotels and Delta Hotels. Notably, resorts are excluded (although in practice this may not always be the case).
- Things are a little different when there is no lounge at the hotel. In the U.S. and Canada, at hotels without a lounge or if the lounge is closed, you’ll have a choice of continental breakfast in the restaurant or 750 points. In Europe, hotels without a lounge offer a choice of breakfast for two in the restaurant or 750 points.
- Also worth noting is that a limited number of hotels in the U.S. do not provide free continental breakfast in the hotel restaurant in the event the Lounge is closed, but do offer 1,000 points in lieu of breakfast. These hotels include:
- Boston Marriott Copley Place
- Boston Marriott Long Wharf
- Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
- JW Marriott Washington, DC
- JW Marriott New Orleans
- JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square
- The Lexington New York City, Autograph Collection
- JW Marriott Essex House, New York City
- Monterey Marriott
- New York Marriott Marquis
- Renaissance New York Hotel 57
- Renaissance New York Times Square
- San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina
- The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection
SPG Gold does not offer a complimentary breakfast but Hilton Honors Gold offers a complimentary breakfast and while it does not explicitly grant lounge access, some hotels have provided access to the Executive Lounge to Gold members. But since Marriott explicitly allows both lounge and breakfast, I think it’s a step up from some of the other mid-tier elite levels.
Complimentary room upgrade
- Upgrades may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites.
Suites are not included in the eligible upgrades for SPG and Hilton Gold status but you can sometimes get lucky and be upgraded to a suite. As for suite upgrades for Marriott, One Mile at a Time writes that “In general you’ll find that many hotels prioritize Platinum upgrades ahead of Gold upgrades, so I wouldn’t expect as many great upgrades as a Gold member as you would as a Platinum member.” I personally haven’t had luck with scoring an upgrade to a suite with Marriott due to gold status yet, though scoring an upgrade can depend on where in the world your hotel stay is, as the above link notes.
Complimentary enhanced Internet service
- Basic and Silver Elite members receive free standard in-room Wi-Fi when they book direct at participating hotels but Gold Members receive complimentary high speed internet.
As a point of comparison, SPG Gold offers premium internet but for Hilton HHonors you must have diamond status to be given premium internet.
Guaranteed room type
- Guaranteed priority for your requested type of room. Subject to availability at participating locations worldwide when your qualifying Elite level and specific preference are noted on the reservation for your stay. (Pillow, room location, extra bed, crib requests, etc. are not included in Guarantee.)
- Hertz #1 Gold Membership
- Free local phone and fax (up to 15 pages per day) – discounted long distance calls
- 25% bonus points for stays
Overall, the benefits for Marriott Gold Elite status are superior to the mid-tier Gold levels of programs like Hilton HHonors and SPG. However, as mentioned, the requirements for Marriott Gold Elite status require more nights to qualify and so it’s a little unfair to compare them to other programs. With that said, for a “mid-tier+” plus level, the benefits are pretty solid all around and since Gold status is so easy to obtain, I think it’s a real bargain.