For Marriott Bonvoy members with Platinum status, it can be tempting to push onwards towards Titanium. As a reminder:
- Platinum status requires 50 elite nights per calendar year
- Titanium status requires 75 elite nights per calendar year
For Platinum members who expect to end up with roughly 70 elite nights from regular travels, this might cause some indecision. Somebody who is something of a travel hacker might imagine two options:
- For their 50-night Annual Choice benefit, they could choose 5 elite night credits
- Doing 5 nights of mattress running (using points for a 5-night stay or booking individual nights at a cheap nearby hotel)
I have written previously about Marriott’s Annual Choice benefit – you can jump to that article by clicking here.
This is where travel hackers can sometimes get lost. The advantages of Titanium status are irrelevant here. What actually matters is:
- The cost of mattress running (partly compensated for by the points earned from the mattress run(s))
- The value of 5 Suite Night Awards (essentially the 50-night Annual Choice benefit you would be missing out on)
In most cases, I believe that the cost of mattress running 5 nights is surely going to be higher than the value of 5 Suite Night Awards that you may or may not be able to use in a way that is actually valuable to you.
So… pick those 5 elite night credits on December 31st and don’t lose too much sleep over it…
Is Titanium even worth it anyhow?
Having hopefully ruled out the idea of mattress running 5 nights, when the option of choose 5 elite night credits is just sitting there, you might wonder whether a 65-70 night Platinum member should even be pushing for Titanium status.
The differences between Platinum and Titanium status are small. Both levels of status receive:
- Free breakfast (although complicated, as this article explained)
- Lounge access, where available
- Room upgrades, including to suites – anecdoctal evidence suggests that Titanium members are not particularly privileged when suite upgrades are allocated
There are some differences, however.
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 15,000 more points over the year than I would have earned as a Platinum – maybe $100 of value. But somebody who stays on more expensive room rates might receive much more value from the additional bonus a Titanium member would receive.
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.
Annual Choice Benefit
Once you reach 75 elite nights, you can choose an additional Annual Choice benefit. As I have written about previously, your best choice is likely to be a free night award worth 40,000 points.
The Bottom Line
For a Marriott Platinum member thinking of pushing to Titanium status this December, you have two decisions to make.
- Choosing 5 elite night credits or 5 Suite Night Awards –> it’s likely to be preferable to choose the elite nights, as long as they put you over the 75-night hurdle
- Whether one free night award and some bonus points in 2022 is worth any effort / expense beyond the mouse click (to choose your 50-night Annual Choice benefit)
Everybody’s circumstance is different, but I believe that many Bonvoy members are perfectly happy with their Platinum status and don’t feel the need to go for Titanium.
What do you think? Are you a Titanium (or even Ambassador) member who thinks any additional effort / expense is worth it? Let us know in the comments section…