Marriott Bonvoy is currently running a promotion offering double elite night credit for paid stays of 2+ nights. Members may also have received some complimentary elite night credits, based on their status achieved in 2020. (which might itself have simply been an extension of what was earned in 2019) Ambassador status is probably out of reach for most, given the $14,000/20,000 spend requirement. But what about Titanium status? Is it worth much more than Platinum status?
Many people determine whether a certain level of status is “worth it” by applying three general criteria:
- Do I receive free breakfast due to my status?
- Am I guaranteed lounge access due to my status?
- What are my chances of receiving a room upgrade?
Applying such criteria to Marriott Bonvoy, both Platinum and Titanium members receive free breakfast (at most brands) and access to the executive lounge where available. Room upgrades are more of a mystery, but there is no shortage of data points suggesting that Platinum members receive a similar upgrade priority as Titanium members. Since the most important criteria are met regardless, you might be wondering whether Titanium is worth it, as it involves substantially more effort. As a reminder:
- Platinum status requires 50 elite nights per calendar year
- Titanium status requires 75 elite nights per calendar year
Elite Benefits Chart
I’m not necessarily interested in getting bogged down with all of the benefits of Titanium, because many of those benefits also accrue to Platinum members. So the important distinction is looking at what Titanium members receive that Platinum members DON’T!
Advantages of Titanium
Titanium members receive a 75% bonus when earning points on paid stays. Platinum members receive a 50% bonus.
The difference is 25%. Since a Titanium member would receive 2.5 points per US dollar MORE than a Platinum, this works out to an extra 2% in “rebate”. The last time I was Titanium, I earned a mere 19,000 more points over the year than I would have earned as a Platinum – maybe $100 of value.
Annual Choice Benefit
Both Platinum and Titanium members receive an annual benefit upon reaching 50 nights. Only Titanium members reach the 75-night hurdle, which entitles them to a choice between:
- One free night at any Category 1-5 hotel
- Five Suite Night Awards (i.e. a complimentary upgrade to a suite for five nights in total, confirmed a few days in advance of hotel arrival)
- Other possibilities that are more confusing than relevant…
One free night at a Category 5 hotel can certainly be quite valuable, but many of the most attractive Bonvoy hotels are out of reach.
48-Hour Guaranteed Availability
If you absolutely MUST stay at a particular Marriott hotel, only Titanium members can force the hotel to make a room available to you. Unfortunately you probably require this benefit during the Super Bowl or a similarly popular event, in which case the hotel is not required to honor this benefit. 🙁
United Airlines Mileage Plus Silver Status
Only Titanium members receive this benefit. Silver status from United doesn’t provide too many benefits – and your odds of a First Class upgrade as a Silver are similar to those of winning the Powerball lottery – but for the infrequent flyer (or a American Airlines / Delta Airlines hub-captive elite who occasionally flies United) it can be useful.
The Bottom Line
One might think that Marriott Bonvoy would reserve some pretty special benefits for those members who can manage a whopping 75 nights per year in Marriott hotels. Instead I find it hard to justify aiming for 75 nights instead of the minimum 50 nights that qualifies you for Platinum status.
I’m certainly happy as a Platinum member and am not tempted to aim for Titanium. Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments section…