Lifetime status is often overlooked until one is close to achieving it. It’s not a goal that many people set out to accomplish, but rather a recognition of years of loyalty to a particular company or brand. Once earned, it begs the question – is there any real benefit to having lifetime status? Does it offer any tangible rewards or perks that make it worthwhile?
While some of the lifetime perks mirror those you earn yearly, there are some important differences.
I’m mentioning this because I recently noticed that Sharon has earned Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Silver Elite status and is close to Lifetime Gold.
The nights toward earning lifetime status include those earned by staying at Marriott brand hotels as well as nights earned with co-brand credit cards.
For Marriott Bonvoy, there are three levels of lifetime status. Silver, Gold and Platinum.
- Lifetime Silver Elite – 250 nights + 5 years as Silver of higher
- Lifetime Gold Elite – 400 nights + 7 years as Gold of higher
- Lifetime Platinum Elite – 600 nights + 10 years as Platinum
Based on our current Marriott situation, we’re going to be Gold or Platinum for 7 years in 2024. We’re also less than 30 nights from 400, which we’ll pass when getting the night credits from our co-brand cards next year.
For Silver and Gold Elite, lifetime status provides the same perks as if you earned status from nights the previous year.
There’s no difference between Silver Elite and Lifetime Silver Elite Benefits. The only thing you’ll get is 10% bonus points and priority late check-out.
Lifetime Gold Elite is also identical to regular Gold Elite. You get a bump of 25% bonus points and a 2 P.M. late checkout. In addition, you get a welcome gift of points, enhanced room upgrades, and enhanced internet access.
Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite is the sweet spot of the program.
- 50% bonus points for Marriott stays.
- Guaranteed 4 PM late checkout – except at resort and convention hotels and Design Hotels, where it is based upon availability. (vs. 2 PM non-guaranteed late checkout at all properties for Gold)
- Welcome gift of points, breakfast or F&B credit, or amenity
- Enhanced Room Upgrade (including select suites)
- Lounge access
- Guaranteed room type (cash compensation if not available)
However, Lifetime Platinum Elite members do not automatically get a Choice Benefit. This is the award for reaching 50 and 75 nights per year. Lifetime status doesn’t provide any night credits, so the only way you can get an Annual Choice Benefit is by earning it each year.
It’s great to have lifetime status with a hotel brand, but we’re not really benefiting from it. We already qualify for a higher status every year, so having Lifetime Silver Elite or Gold Elite doesn’t make a difference for us. What’s more, it’s easy to earn either Silver or Gold Elite status by simply having any number of different credit cards.
To achieve lifetime Platinum status, we need to maintain our Platinum Elite status for another four years. If we frequently stay at Marriott properties, we’ll earn it effortlessly. However, I’m not willing to go out of my way to obtain Lifetime Platinum.
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