Marriott Bonvoy launches status challenge; instant Platinum and Gold status available

Marriott Bonvoy is offering status challenges to Accor, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG elites- and giving upfront status for 90 days.

Marriott Bonvoy has launched an official status challenge program, after running a low-key unpublished one back in 2018.

This presents an opportunity for anyone with elite status in Accor Live Limitless, Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club and World of Hyatt to convert it into Marriott Bonvoy (although, as some would say, Marriott should be paying you to go from Hyatt Globalist to Marriott Platinum😉). 

Marriott Bonvoy Status Challenge

Westin Singapore
Westin Singapore (not yet approved for staycations)

Once your registration is accepted, you’ll receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold or Platinum status upfront, for 90 days. 

To retain the status until February 2022, you’ll need to stay:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold: 5 nights in 90 days (normally 25 nights in a year)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Platinum: 15 nights in 90 days (normally 50 nights in a year)

Here’s how the new challenge compares to the previous one. Note how the night requirements for Gold and Platinum have been slightly decreased, although you’ll now need to present proof of status with a competing chain. On the bright side, you’ll now receive status upfront, making this useful for those with upcoming Marriott staycations. 

 Previous ChallengeNew Challenge
Gold8 nights in 3 months5 nights in 90 days
Platinum16 nights in 3 months15 nights in 90 days
Status with competing program required?NoYes
Status given upfront?NoYes

When registering, you’ll be asked to provide proof of status in a competing program, as well as a screenshot showing at least one stay in the previous 12 months before registration. 

Please upload proof of your current Elite status in the program you selected above and a stay within the last 12 months to get on the fast track to Marriott Bonvoy™ Platinum Elite status.

Make sure the screenshots show your first name, last name and status level, and hide any other personally identifiable information, such as your address or full membership number.

Acceptable file types are JPG, PNG and PDF

You’ll need to wait up to 10 business days for registration approval, and once approved, your Marriott Bonvoy status will be upgraded within 24-48 hours.

The end date for status challenge registrations has not been specified. 

Which Marriott Bonvoy status challenge are you eligible for?

Here’s how Marriott Bonvoy will map status from competing programs:

 Will be matched to…
Status with…Marriott Bonvoy GoldMarriott Bonvoy Platinum
Accor Live Limitless
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Diamond
Hilton HonorsN/A
  • Gold
  • Diamond
IHG Rewards ClubN/A
  • Platinum
  • Spire
World of Hyatt
  • Explorist
  • Globalist

What’s interesting is that Hilton Gold members can get matched to Marriott Platinum. If you’re an AMEX Platinum Charge cardholder with complimentary Hilton Gold status (and assuming you’ve made at least one stay in the past year), you could parlay that into Marriott Platinum and free breakfast/potential suite upgrades on your next staycation. 

Similar opportunities exist for members of the InterContinental Ambassador program, who receive automatic IHG Platinum status. IHG Platinum status is unfortunately weak- there’s no free breakfast, and the room upgrade benefit specifically excludes suites. There’s good reason to swap it out for the relatively stronger Marriott Platinum status. 

Other important things to note

W Kitchen Table
Marriott Platinum members receive complimentary breakfast at W Sentosa

If you’re an existing Marriott Platinum member, you cannot use this challenge to renew your status (which in any case has already been extended till February 2022, as per Marriott’s COVID-19 policy). 

Only nights booked through official Marriott channels (i.e not OTAs) will count towards this status challenge. Award nights will not count. 

Finally, as tempting as it may be rush off and register so you can enjoy Platinum status on your upcoming staycation, remember that status challenges are once per account lifetime. That’s to say, if you match your Hilton Gold to Marriott Platinum, you will not be able to do another status match on the same Marriott account in the future. 

I suppose there’s nothing stopping you from creating a throwaway Marriott account just for matching, but that’s your own decision to make. If you choose to do so, remember that you won’t be able to combine the points earned during the status challenge with your “main” account (you could in theory, but Marriott may catch on and shut both down- totally not worth it). 

Don’t forget American Express’ Marriott offer

Marriott Tang Plaza Singapore
Marriott Tang Plaza Singapore

American Express is currently running a new campaign for staycations called “Open for Travel”. Cardholders will enjoy hotel statement credits, discounted staycation rates, and enhanced value when redeeming Membership Rewards points for charges at selected hotels. 

💳 Don’t have an AMEX card yet? Sign up for the AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card through The Milelion and get 15,000 bonus miles with S$1,500 spent in the first 3 months
🖋️ Sign Up📖 Read More

This campaign runs from 25 August to 8 November 2020, and applies to all Singapore-issued American Express cards (excluding those from Citibank, DBS and UOB). 

AMEX cardholders can register for a Marriott statement credit offer, which gives a S$100 rebate upon spending S$400 or more. 

The following Singapore properties are participating in this promotion:

  • Ritz Carlton Millennia (but remember, they don’t participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program)
  • St Regis Singapore
  • W Singapore
  • Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

Conclusion

Marriott has historically not given upfront status during challenges, so this is a pleasant surprise. While I can’t see anyone doing 15 staycation nights, I’m sure there will be others who don’t mind doing a once-off match, enjoying the benefits on a couple of stays, then saying “so long and thanks for all the fish.”

While I did a status challenge with SPG back in the day, I doubt the Marriott IT system is sophisticated enough to remember that. That said, I’ll probably hold off until I’ve got a reasonable chance of hitting 15 nights, hopefully in 2021.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Christ

Ugh here come the hordes

Syok

If you take one year 50 nights for 360 days, 90 days only requires a 12.75 days, so this challenge is actually asking more nights…

Jason

Can Best Western Status be used for the match?

Matthew Chong

No.

Vinz

Friends and Family (MMF) rate qualify too?

Matthew Chong

It should technically, since now Marriott awards elite qualifying nights for MMF rates.

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