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Last-minute status bump — How to earn an easy 10 Marriott elite night credits

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Last-minute status bump — How to earn an easy 10 Marriott elite night credits

Jason StaufferLast-minute status bump — How to earn an easy 10 Marriott elite night creditsMillion Mile Secrets Team

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If you’ve found yourself in position where you’ll be falling just shy of earning the next tier of Marriott Bonvoy elite status there are a handful of strategies you could use to get yourself over the hump. You could try to find cheap rooms nearby and book a mattress run just to earn elite night credits, but this gets expensive if you need more than a few nights.

Alternatively, you’ll earn elite credit on Marriott award stays and off-peak category one properties only cost 5,000 Marriott points a night. You could take advantage of Marriott’s “Stay for 5, pay for 4” (one of the best ways to use Marriott points) and get five elite night credits for only 20,000 points. If you can find a category 1 PointSavers hotel you could do this for as little as 16,000 points, but that’s a rare opportunity.

The easiest way to secure 10 elite night credits is by booking your first meeting at a participating Marriott.

10 Marriott elite night credits for $100 + taxes

With most Marriott credit cards you’ll get 15 elite night credits every year just for having the card, so using this trick could be a quick way to get to Gold status, which requires 25 nights in a year. But Gold status isn’t that valuable, you’ll get the best benefits at 50 nights (Platinum status) including free breakfast and choice benefit (five suite night awards or five elite night credits, among other choices). You’ll also get additional perks at 75 nights (Titanium status) and 100 nights + $20,000 spent with Marriott annually will earn you Ambassador status.

Considering that you can get Marriott Gold status just by having The Platinum Card® from American Express or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card this option makes the most sense to take advantage of if you can use it to hit 50 or 75 nights.

You can earn 10 bonus elite night credits for booking your first Marriott meeting and some hotels even allow you to do this easily online. However, the following hotels don’t participate in this program:

  • Marriott Executive Apartments®
  • Residence Inn®
  • TownePlace Suites®
  • Design Hotels™
  • Bulgari Hotels & Resorts
  • The Ritz-Carlton Reserve®
  • Vistana

How to book a Marriott meeting online

This first thing you’ll need to to do is head to the Marriott event planning page.

Enter your search info

When you’re searching, remember that not every hotel will have meeting spaces and even if it does you won’t necessarily be able to reserve them online. So you might need to search around a bit. You should have better luck searching business oriented hotels (more meeting rooms) on weekend dates and entering “0” for the number of guest rooms will allow you to reserve a meeting room without an overnight stay.

Find the cheapest price

Next look for the cheapest price, which can be as low as $200. Keep in mind, you’ll need to show up to the hotel, so you’ll want to also find a convenient location.

Knock 50% off your booking at checkout

During checkout you can select the time for your meeting. The price of the room I selected dropped to $100 when I reduced my meeting length to 2 hours or less.

These meetings are also subject to taxes and fees, so keep an eye on those. Here are the taxes for this booking:

It looks like you’d be on the hook for an additional $22 in “mandatory” fees, but if you’re not using any AV equipment or food and beverage services I’d imagine you might be able to negotiate these fees down. Even if those fees stick, paying a bit over $12 per elite night credit is one of the cheapest ways to earn them quickly.

Other ways to earn points and status

Opening a hotel credit card is an excellent way to earn Marriott points. These are the Marriott cards currently open to new applications that also come with elite status perks:

Bottom line

If you’re just short of hitting 50 or 75 elite nights with Marriott you can earn 10 elite night credits just for booking your first meeting of the year with Marriott. This can cost as little as $100 + taxes and fees. Be sure to book a hotel you can actually visit because if you don’t show up you could be on the hook for cancellation penalties and also potentially not earn the bonus credits.

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Featured photo by zhu difeng/Shutterstock.

Hat tip: Frequent Miler via Loyalty Lobby

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

  • Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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there’s no more prices showing…

I also don’t see the 10 night credits anywhere in the reservation process. Also, the 15 nights award does not seem to be an option as the offers details state ” To be eligible to receive the 15 Elite Night credits with this Card, […] your Card Account must be open as of December 31 of the prior year”

This is great as i am at 68 nights and found a place for $100 near me. However how do i know you get 10 elite credits? i dont see that anywhere.

Has anyone tried this without showing up and still received credit? I heard since you don’t check in they just make the room available for you to walk in and nobody would really know whether you were there or not

I just made a reservation and in the sales manager’s email, he made it clear that I would need to check in to avoid being charged a cancellation fee and getting no credits. I think that’s fair. Otherwise everyone would be booking meetings in Nebraska for $50.

He also mentioned this 10 night credits promo is likely going away in 2020, so if you think you’d need it and the promo is still available on 1/1/2020, I’d say book your meeting sooner than later.