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Marriott and United’s RewardsPlus Program Explained

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Similar to Starwood and Deltas Crossover partnership, United and Marriott teamed up last year for RewardsPlus,  a joint venture aimed at offering elite members of both programs reciprocal benefits.

In light of the addition of a revenue component to the MileagePlus program, this partnership offers an incentive to remain loyal beyond the perks associated with being a MileagePlus elite member. For Marriott Rewards members, the new partnership offers the opportunity to get airline elite status without having to mileage run for it.

Premier MileagePlus benefits chart
Premier MileagePlus benefits chart

United MileagePlus Premier Gold, Platinum, and 1K members are eligible to register for Marriott Gold status, which normally requires 50 nights to achieve. Marriott Gold status can also be achieved via credit card spending on the co-branded Marriott Rewards Premier credit and Business cards. It would take a combined $105,000 in spend across both cards to earn enough elite credit for Marriott Gold status. Is it worth it? To folks who regularly stay at Marriott hotels, it very well could be. The perks of Gold membership are fairly generous:

  • Guaranteed lounge access and complimentary breakfast at JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels and Autograph Collection Hotels (resorts are excluded)
  • Room upgrades (available on a space-available basis)
  • Complimentary high-speed internet access
  • A 25 percent point bonus on all Marriott stays
  • Priority late check-out
  • Gold Elite customized offers and awards

If these perks don’t appeal to you or Marriott’s portfolio just isn’t your cup of tea, you can always leverage Marriott Gold to status match to another hotel program of choice. Options include Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond, Hilton HHonors Gold, and Club Carlson Silver elite, to name a few.

Qualifying activity for different levels
Qualifying activity for different levels

If you can manage $180,000 in spend on the Marriott Rewards cards or complete 75 qualifying nights to earn Marriott Platinum status, you’ll be rewarded with MileagePlus Premier Silver status. This status level typically requires 25,000 Premier Qualifying Miles (PQD) along with $2,500 in Premier Qualifying Dollars spent per year. Below are the benefits reserved for Premier Silver members:

  • Complimentary access to Economy Plus seating at check-in (when available)
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades on domestic flights (when available)
  • Premier Access travel services (designated ticket counter check-in lines, priority security lines and priority boarding and baggage handling)
  • One complimentary standard checked bag
  • 25 percent Premier bonus award miles on United flights
  • Premier Gold and above members can convert MileagePlus miles into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio, for a maximum of 50,000 miles a year

With the ability to spend your way to Marriott Platinum status with the Marriott Rewards credit cards, this is a fairly inexpensive way to not only earn top-tier hotel status but low-tier airline status as well.

While it won’t get you the perks top-tier elites are entitled to, MileagePlus Premier Silver status certainly makes flying on United a bit more pleasant. With MileagePlus imposing a revenue component on elite status, this is one way to improve your travel experience and get perks reserved for elite members without having to focus all of your travel onto one airline.

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