Marriott Platinum status is the top-tier status for Marriott Rewards (although there are higher levels like the invitation only status called Premier Platinum, life time status, etc.). Marriott Platinum offers a number of valuable benefits and I’ll run down everything it has to offer.
How to earn Marriott Platinum 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.)
75 nights to reach Platinum is a lot of nights for the average traveler. Luckily there are a few short-cuts you can use to get to Platinum status.
Credit card spend
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card offers automatic Platinum elite status after you spend $75,000 in a year.
This is a substantial amount of spend and I’d encourage everyone to strongly consider their opportunity costs for putting their spend on the Ritz-Carlton Rewards card versus pursuing other sign-up bonuses.
One of the easiest ways to obtain Platinum Status is to complete a Marriott status challenge. In order to do one for Platinum status, you’ll first have to earn Marriott Gold status.
You can earn Marriott Gold status in the four following ways:
- 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.
- Through the United/Marriott RewardsPlus Program, you’ll be given complimentary Gold status with 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.
Once you earn Gold status, you’ll typically be given a certain amount of time (usually through the end of the summer) to hit 9 stays and once you complete 9 stays you’re given Platinum status until the end of that year plus all of the next calendar year. Read about how to complete a Marriott status challenge here if you’re interested in learning more.
SPG Platinum status
As already stated, due to the merger between SPG and Marriott you can link your accounts so that Marriott Platinum status earns you SPG Platinum status and vice versa. This is a pheromonal benefit because SPG Platinum benefits are arguably better than Marriott’s when it comes to breakfasts and upgrades so this opens up more options for you.
The other big perk for SPG Platinum is that you can earn one Starpoint per dollar spent with Delta Crossover Rewards on eligible Delta flights. If you have status with Delta, then you can earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on eligible room rates at over 1,100 Starwood hotels.
Plus, you get elite benefits when traveling with Delta, such as Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades, and first checked bag free. So it’s essentially like having status with Delta. I personally don’t fly with Delta much but for someone who does these would obviously be nice additions. (There are also similar benefits offered for Emirates and China Eastern.)
There’s also an interesting park called “Your24” that offers the flexibility of choosing your check-in. For example, check in at 9 pm and check out 9 pm on the day of departure.
Through the United/Marriott RewardsPlus Program, you’ll be given complimentary United MileagePlus Premier Silver status when you reach Platinum status with Marriott.
United Silver offers a number of different benefits which I cover in this article. The most worthwhile benefit is probably getting upgraded from economy to economy plus. This is not 100% guaranteed on each flight but in practice, you often receive the upgrades. You’re also eligible for upgrades to business/first (much more rare) and get other bennies like priority check-in, boarding, security, access to more award space, and waived or minimized fees for changes in booking.
You can check out the differences of benefits for the different levels of Marriott Rewards Elite status here (or just check the chart below), but I’ll go over some of the benefits that stick out for Marriott Platinum Elite status.
Marriott elite status benefits.
50% Bonus on Marriott Rewards Points
- Platinum Elite members are credited with a 50% bonus on base points earned during stays.
As you can tell from this article, Marriott Platinum Elite members receive some of the best value in points earned for stays out of any hotel loyalty program, often able to get a 12% return on Marriott purchases (without factoring in any promotional earning rates).
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).
This is a benefit offered to all Marriott Rewards members, including even Silver members but it’s worth pointing out since some programs like Hyatt and IHG do not offer such a perk (while SPG and Hilton do).
Guaranteed late checkout
- As a Platinum 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’ve struggled to get anything later than 1pm at Hilton properties. This is an extremely handy benefit at times that can make it much easier to relax before heading to your next destination, so I value it a lot. Moreover, I personally haven’t had any issues with Marriott properties not honoring this benefit for me.
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
One knock against the Marriott breakfast benefit is that it’s pretty confusing. Depending on the property and location you’re at, you may or may not be offered a free breakfast and the points given to you in lieu of that breakfast fluctuate. And another knock is that Marriott doesn’t offer free breakfasts at resorts and at top properties like the Ritz-Carlton. Meanwhile, SPG Platinum members are offered free breakfasts across the board including top properties like the St. Regis.
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.
Marriott Platinum members stand a better chance of getting an upgrade than Marriott Gold members but it’s important to remember what constitutes an “upgrade.” Many times you might just get a bigger room or a better view, and upgrades to suites are probably not going to happen a lot of the time.
The official terms state the following about upgrades:
Upgrade: Based on room availability at check-in and limited to a Member’s personal guestroom. Upgrades may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites. All upgrades are granted on a space-available basis, as determined at the time of check-in. Upgrades are subject to availability and identified by each hotel. Not available at Marriott Vacation Club.
Compare this language to what SPG offers:
Platinum members receive upgrades to the best available rooms, including Standard Suites, subject to availability for the entire length of stay at time of check-in.
Many travelers report that upgrades to suites given to Platinum members are more common with SPG properties than they are at Marriott properties. A lot of times this can be location-dependent, but based on data points I reviewed, it does seem like SPG offers a higher success rate of upgrades to suites than Marriott does.
Complimentary enhanced Internet service
- Gold and Platinum members receive complimentary enhanced Internet Access: Where available at participating brands worldwide including: The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, *Gaylord Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, TownePlace Suites, and Protea Hotels
In my experience the enhanced (high speed) internet at Marriott properties is very fast. My only complaint is that it often isn’t clear that it’s free when you log in. You’ll often have to select an option for high speed internet for a higher price and input your last name and room number to process your request but you don’t receive any verification that it’s free (although I’ve never been charged).
Platinum arrival gift
Depending on where you’re staying, you’re guaranteed an arrival gift and if you’re not given one you’re entitled to tup to $100 in guest compensation. (Amenity gift not available at The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION and Marriott Vacation Club locations.)
Dedicated Platinum Reservation Line
- Call anytime at 800-399-4229
This can help reduce your wait times with Marriott customer service which can sometimes be very bad.
Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
- If for some reason Marriott is unable to honor your reservation, they’ll pay for your accommodations that night at a nearby hotel and compensate you for the inconvenience (often giving you 90,000 points).
This benefit applies to Silver, Gold, and Platinum members.
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.)
48-hour Guaranteed Availability
- Limited to Platinum Member’s personal guestroom. Guaranteed room availability for reservations booked at least 48 hours prior to arrival available at all participating Marriott hotel brands except Marriott Vacation Club. 48-Hour Guaranteed Availability may not be available on certain limited dates (e.g., special events).
This is a great benefit for those travelers who get called into a major city for business events last minute and struggle to find any open hotel rooms that are conventionally located. The prices will be higher for these stays as you can’t take advantage of promotional or discounted rates but at least you’ll have a place to stay.
Same day cancellation
This is an unpublished benefit but many Platinum Elite members are allowed to cancel their reservations on the same day that they are scheduled to arrive. It might be easier to just move your booking ahead a few weeks and then cancel it but the customer service agents will likely allow you to cancel your booking last minute since you’re Platinum.
Overall, the benefits for Marriott Platinum Elite status are solid considering that you’re able to obtain SPG Platinum status and United Silver status. I wish the breakfast benefit was more expansive and that they issued upgrade certificates of some sort, but overall I think the total Marriott Platinum Elite status package is extremely solid.