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I’m really glad Marriott made this announcement today, because I was just about to write an article on why they need to end this right away. The following was just shared via the Marriott Bonvoy Insiders Facebook group.

The Marriott Elite Benefits Guarantee Suspension is now over!

marriott elite benefits guarantee suspension covid

Background on Marriott’s Elite Benefit Guarantee Suspension

If you got lucky, you may have never noticed since Marriott never actually announced the suspension of guaranteed elite benefits.

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Their program terms were never updated and it wasn’t widely known – but Marriott did actually institute a policy early in 2020 to allow hotels to forego honoring certain elite benefits without penalty.

One was the “Elite welcome guarantee” that calls for an on-property cash payment if the hotel doesn’t verbally recognize your status and offer you your benefits (for example, breakfast, points, or a local amenity). I personally find this cash payment thing a bit ridiculous, but it’s in the Marriott Bonvoy program Terms and Conditions, so it should be honored.

An egregious benefit suspension has been breakfast. You see, the lounges are permitted to be closed due to COVID, but this has actually led to a common scenario of the lounge being closed and then paid breakfasts being offered – with Platinum and up elites getting a rock. I’ve long said that if the property can serve breakfast for a fee, they can serve the same to Elites that are owed breakfast under the stated program terms.

This Elite benefit suspension was extended multiple times in 2020, and we didn’t quite know if it would be over in 2021 or what.

Thankfully, Marriott has officially ended this benefit suspension. This makes the move earlier today to make Marriott Bonvoy status requalification easier even better news.

As you can see, brands can still close the lounge and they aren’t required to offer you a specific breakfast – but they are now required to offer you breakfast or, at the least, a food and beverage credit.

This move takes effect immediately. 

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I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.


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