Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus have long maintained a preferred partnership, officially known as RewardsPlus. Recently, the hotel chain and airline have extended this partnership even further by offering their respective top-tier members a limited-time promotion.
Until March 31, 2024, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador and United MileagePlus Premier 1K members can register and earn additional benefits for hotel stays and flights.
Marriott and United Launch Top-Tier Status Promo
Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus have a preferred partnership called RewardsPlus, which allows elite members of both programs to receive reciprocal benefits. The partnership also allows for seamless points/miles transfers between the programs.
Through the standard partnership, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium and Ambassador members receive United MileagePlus Silver status, while United MileagePlus Premier Gold, Platinum, or 1K status receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.
Through March 31, 2024, Marriott and United are levelling up their partnership by offering their respective top-tier members, Marriott Ambassador and United Premier 1K, a limited-time promotion.
The basic mechanics of the promotion are as follows:
- Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador members who spend $4,000 (USD) on United flights from January 1–March 31, 2024, will earn 40 PlusPoints
- United MileagePlus Premier 1K members who spend $3,000 (USD) at Marriott properties from January 1–March 31, 2024, will earn three Nightly Upgrade Awards (formerly Suite Night Awards)
To participate in the promotion, you must first register for the Marriott and United preferred partnership. You must also have an account with both programs, as registering effectively links both your accounts.
As an Ambassador member with Marriott Bonvoy and/or a Premier 1K member with United MileagePlus, you’re automatically registered for this promotion after linking your accounts with both programs.
You’ll then need to fulfill the required spending requirements with Marriott or United to receive the extra perks.
Note that stays and flights must be done within January 1–March 31, 2024 to qualify. Bookings made prior to the promotion period still count, as long as the stays or flights fall within the three-month timeframe.
In addition, when it comes to your spending on United flights, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Only base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges count towards your spend requirement. If you’ve made a Money + Miles booking, the cash portion of the booking will count towards your spend.
- Only flights operated by United and United Express count towards your spend requirement. If you have codeshare flights or other flights operated by other carriers on the same booking, only the United portion will count towards your spend.
- Only flights that fall within the promotional period qualify towards your spend. If you have other flights on the same itinerary that fall after March 31, 2024, then they won’t count.
Is the Marriott and United Top-Tier Status Promo a Good Deal?
The intent behind this promotion is likely to lure their respective top spenders into interacting and spending more with the other partner.
As a Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite member, if you spend $4,000 (USD) with United, you’ll receive 40 PlusPoints, which can be used to upgrade your seat to higher cabins on United flights.
For 40 PlusPoints, you can upgrade one long-haul flight from economy to United Polaris business class, or you can upgrade round-trip long-haul flights from economy to premium economy.
Without a doubt, 40 PlusPoints can certainly be valuable. However, using PlusPoints has one big caveat – they can’t be used on award tickets or on Basic Economy tickets. Therefore, you might need a rather large cash outlay to use them in the first place.
Furthermore, with PlusPoints, upgrades are requested and may wind up being waitlisted, unless of course you’re also a Premier 1K member.
That being said, you’ll need to contemplate if spending $4,000 (USD) on United flights to earn 40 PlusPoints is worth it, or if you could wind up with the same result by spending the cash on flights in higher cabin classes to begin with.
Meanwhile, as a United Premier 1K member, if you spend $3,000 (USD) with Marriott, you’ll receive three Nightly Upgrade Awards, which you can use to upgrade your room to higher categories.
However, the reward for your efforts isn’t substantial, as three Nightly Upgrade Awards means possibly getting upgraded for three nights total.
More importantly, Nightly Upgrade Awards don’t guarantee a room upgrade, and rather just confirm a request.
They’re best used at higher-end properties, where the upgrade can result in a better outcome than at lower-end hotels. However, even then, you’ll likely be contending with your fellow elite members over a few suites.
In either case, if you qualify for the promotion and were going to spend the money on United flights or Marriott hotel stays to begin with, at least you’ll get something in return. Otherwise, it’s not worth going out of your way to earn PlusPoints or Nightly Upgrade Awards.
Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador members who spend $4,000 (USD) on United flights will earn 40 PlusPoints, while United MileagePlus Premier 1K members who spend $3,000 (USD) at Marriott properties will earn three Nightly Upgrade Awards.
In both cases, the spending requirements are fairly significant, and the rewards aren’t particularly handsome. By and large, it’s not worth going out of your way to participate, and should only be considered if you already have Marriott stays and/or United flights lined up.