Marriott Titanium Elite Status: How Much Is It Worth?

 

Marriott Bonvoy elite status gives travellers a number of benefits when staying at a property that falls under the Marriott umbrella.

The most meaningful benefits begin at the Platinum Elite level, which we’ve recently valued in the region of $3,046 (CAD) ($2,288 USD).

But what about Titanium Elite, the next level further up? What are the incremental benefits of Titanium Elite status, and is it worthwhile to aim for Titanium once you’ve achieved Platinum?

In this article, let’s have a look at the incremental value of Titanium Elite status, and ascertain what kind of value we can place on earning Marriott’s second-highest published status level.

1. All the Benefits of Platinum Elite

To start off, as a Titanium member, you already enjoy all the benefits that are available to Platinums. Personally, I’d place the greatest value on the free breakfast and executive lounge access, while the suite upgrades and late check-out are nice to have as well.

Recall from our valuation methodology of Platinum Elite status that we assumed a prototypical traveller who stays 35 nights with Marriott a year, and earns the other 15 nights from a co-branded credit card.

If this traveller were to aim for Titanium Elite, they’d need to stay a total of 60 nights with Marriott a year. Therefore, when valuing the existing benefits of Platinum Elite status from the perspective of a Titanium Elite member who stays more frequently, we should scale up the previous valuation of $3,046 (CAD) / $2,288 (USD) by a factor of 60 / 35 = 1.71.

Valuation: $3,046 (CAD) / $2,288 (USD) × 1.71 = $5,221 (CAD) / $3,895 (USD)

Breakfast at the St. Regis Istanbul

Site note: Savvy Bonvoy members will know that it’s possible to earn up to 40 elite qualifying nights from co-branded credit cards by holding the Amex US Bonvoy Brilliant and the Amex US Bonvoy Business in combination with each other.

If this is your chosen pathway to Platinum or Titanium Elite status, you may choose to scale down your valuations given that you’d be staying 25 fewer nights per year than our prototypical traveller.) 

1. Annual Choice Benefit

Marriott Bonvoy members earn one Annual Choice Benefit upon reaching 50 elite qualifying nights per year (and thereby qualifying or re-qualifying for Platinum), and another Choice Benefit when reaching 75 elite qualifying nights (and thereby qualifying or re-qualifying for Titanium).

The choices available to newly-minted Titanium members differ slightly from those available at the 50-night level, which are as follows:

Amongst these options, the last two can be safely ignored, as the other four provide significantly more value.

Gifting Gold Elite status is better than gifting Silver Elite status at the Platinum level; however, Gold Elite can be earned by any member simply by obtaining the Amex Platinum Card or the Amex Business Platinum Card, so it’s definitely not the most valuable choice you could make here.

The five additional elite qualifying nights can only be used towards your night count this year rather than next year, so they’re only helpful if you think it’s realistic for you to obtain top-tier Ambassador Elite status, which requires 100 nights and $20,000 (USD) of qualifying spend per year.

This goal is fairly out of reach for the majority of folks, so unless you’re a big-spending Marriott guest who is within touching distance of reaching 100 elite nights, this won’t be the optimal choice either.

That leaves the five Suite Night Awards or the single Free Night Award worth up to 40,000 Bonvoy points. While the Suite Night Awards can be useful to locking in a suite upgrade up to five days in advance of your stay, you can often find yourself upgraded to the very same suites simply by “suite talking“, so that limits their overall usefulness.

The clear winner here is the Free Night Award of up to 40,000 points, which could be topped-up with 15,000 points to be worth up to 55,000 points.

While the base value of the 40,000 points can be very valuable, but it becomes even more interesting if you’re able to top it up to 55,000 points, as this extra boost can bring you over the threshold from a relatively standard hotel to an aspirational redemption.

Based on our current valuation of Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents per point (CAD), 40,000 points would be worth $360 (CAD). Let’s discount the valuation slightly given the fact that certificates have a more clear-cut expiry date compared to points, and call if $350 (CAD).

Valuation: $350 (CAD) / $260 (USD)

2. United MileagePlus Silver Status

The other major benefit from earning Titanium Elite status comes from RewardsPlus, which is Marriott’s unique hotel–airline partnership with United Airlines.

In particular, Marriott and United’s higher-tier elites are treated to reciprocal benefits with each other along their travels, and so Marriott Titanium members enjoy an automatic status bump to United MileagePlus Premier Silver status.

United Silver is a useful status level to have if you’d otherwise fly with United without any status perks.

You’ll get free EconomyPlus+ seat selection on United when checking in, one complimentary checked bag when flying with United, and complimentary space-available business class upgrades on United (although you’ll most likely find many Gold, Platinum, and 1K members ahead of you in the pecking order).

Overall, how much value you get out of this benefit will depend on how often you fly with United, and even then, it’ll depend on your specific travel patterns.

For example, someone who regularly flies Toronto–Houston is probably likely to get far more upgrades as a Silver member than someone who primarily travels on the premium-heavy Newark–Los Angeles route. 

Valuation: $100 (CAD) / $75 (USD) per year

3. Suite Upgrades at Ritz-Carlton Hotels

The last meaningful published benefit for Titanium members is complimentary suite upgrades at Ritz-Carlton properties, which is something that Platinum members are not entitled to (even though they get suite upgrades at most other Marriott brands).

You can’t redeem Suite Night Awards at Ritz-Carlton hotels either, so being a Titanium member is virtually the only way to be eligible for Ritz-Carlton suites, which are generally fairly nice.

(You can always ask the hotel nicely as a Platinum or even a Gold member, but the hotel would be doing you a major favour by complying with your request.)

The-Ritz-Carlton-Langkawi-4.jpeg
Titanium Elites are eligible for suite upgrades at Ritz-Carlton properties

Of course, just because you’re a Titanium doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get a suite either, since Ritz-Carltons are pretty exclusive with elite benefits across the board – but at least you’re in the running.

Valuation: $100 (CAD) / $75 (USD) per year

4. Other Additional Benefits

As a Platinum Elite member, you’re earning a 50% points bonus on all your Marriott stays, whereas that’s bumped up to a 75% points bonus for Titaniums.

That essentially works out to a further ~2% discount on all your hotel spend, based on our current valuation of Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents per point (CAD).

Titanium Elites are also treated to an additional benefit known as the 48-Hour Guarantee, which allows you to book a room at virtually any hotel with 48 hours’ notice.

In theory, this can come in handy if you need a room somewhere during a very popular travel time when most hotels are booked up; however, the terms also allows hotels to deny the benefit during “limited dates or special events,” so in practice it’s unclear how useful it’ll be. (Personally, I’ve never taken advantage of it, nor have I ever thought to look into doing so.)

Some hotels around the world provide Titaniums with additional benefits on an individual basis. For example, the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London only allows Titaniums into their Chambers Club lounge, not regular Platinums.

Meanwhile, many hotels in Asia provide elite members with onsite dining discounts, and Titaniums might be treated to a higher 25% discount, whilst Platinums get 15% or something similar.

Finally, in theory, Titanium members are supposed to get higher priority than Platinums for things like suite upgrades, better rooms, late check-out, and any other special request.

In theory, Titanium Elites should get higher priority over Platinum Elites for suite upgrades

However, nowhere in the terms and conditions is this explicitly stated, and in practice this largely boils down to whether or not the individual hotel has a policy of treating Ambassadors better than Titaniums, and Titaniums better than Platinums.

Still, this is perhaps one of the most common motivations among Bonvoy members who aim for Titanium Elite status: securing better treatment in what feels like increasingly swelling ranks of Platinum Elite members.

Valuation: $200 (CAD) / $150 (USD) per year

Adding It All Together

Adding that all up, we arrive at a total valuation of $5,971 (CAD) ($4,453 USD) per year for being Titanium in general. 

As always, keep in mind that our prototypical traveller in this analysis stays about 60 nights per year at Marriott hotels, so you’d scale the value assessment up or down depending on your specific travel patterns.

It’s worth noting that while the difference between our valuations of Titanium and Platinum Elite is $2,925 (CAD), only $750 of this difference can be attributed to incremental benefits offered at the Titanium Elite level, while the remainder is merely attributed to the same Platinum Elite benefits being availed of more frequently. 

So, if you’re on track to become a Platinum for the year, should you go out of your way to aim for Titanium Elite status?

In light of the rather limited incremental benefits, I’d advise only doing so if you organically find yourself closing the year at around the 65- to 70-night mark, and would only need a handful of nights to make up the difference.

Otherwise, the bulk of the best Marriott Bonvoy benefits will already come with Platinum Elite status, so it might not be worth the additional cash or points spent going out of your way to earn Titanium Elite status if you aren’t coming close organically. 

Conclusion

Marriott’s Titanium Elite status is the highest status tier that you can achieve based on your stay activity alone, without having to meet an onerous spending requirement. 

The major incremental benefit of achieving Titanium is the additional Free Night Award you earn, with United Silver status and possible Ritz-Carlton suite upgrades representing the icing on the cake.

Meanwhile, the most meaningful benefits of free breakfast, suite upgrades, lounge access, and late check-out are enjoyed more often – and arguably with greater priority – as a Titanium Elite member.

At the end of the day, though, these benefits are still ultimately granted to Platinum Elite members too, so there isn’t all too much worth going out of your way to reach Titanium Elite for if you aren’t getting close to it through your organic travel patterns.

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