Hotel status is nice. ELITE hotel status is even better.
Do you want free breakfast? Or how about free access to the club/lounge?
Fancy a complimentary room upgrade?
And why don’t you just throw in some bonus stay points while you’re at it!
Elite hotel status = YES PLEASE… I think we are all aligned here!
But, with benefits, comes costs! Brands with valuable loyalty programs are not just going to willy nilly hand out elite status and all of its perks – you have to earn it! Which normally means that you have to basically live in their branded hotels 1/3 of the year!
In some cases however, it may be significantly easier to earn status via match/challenge. Just look at our good friends at Marriott who are currently offering a status challenge to top-tier Platinum status – where you can stay fewer nights than the standard requirement of 75 nights for Platinum (in a 90 day period) and earn the coveted status!
Before we get in too deep, let’s back up and detail exactly what is a Marriott Platinum Status Challenge…
The Marriott PLATINUM Status Challenge
Who can challenge?
Gold members who haven’t challenged in the past 24 months.
Don’t have Marriott Gold status yet? Remember, Amex Platinum cardholders receive complimentary SPG Gold status, which matches to Marriott Gold!
What is the challenge?
Complete 9 stays in 90 days. This is stays, not combined nights.
A stay can be 1 night, but you cannot break up a longer stay by booking each consecutive night as an individual stays.
If you have trouble getting to the 9 stays, perhaps a challenge to Marriott Gold would be a better option!? That status challenge requires just 6 stays and while you won’t earn Platinum status, Gold status still has some valuable benefits… and is better than nothin!
How to enroll in the challenge?
Why Marriott Platinum status matters?
Remember that free breakfast, club/lounge access, room upgrades and point bonuses that I was talking about?
THAT is what status matters!
For the purposes of this analysis, let’s assume that you already have Marriott Gold status as a cardholder of the Amex Platinum or Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards card and that you are considering a challenge to Platinum…
Here is what you get!
The Platinum Perks – Marriott Rewards:
Guaranteed Platinum Arrival Gift
50% point bonus
48-hour guaranteed availability
Complimentary United MileagePlus Premier Silver status
Marriott Platinum will also earn you SPG Platinum, as these programs are now linked!
The Platinum Perks – SPG:
Enhanced Crossover Rewards with Delta
72-hour Guaranteed availability
Complimentary health club and club-level access
Upgrades (best available at checkin including suites)
Marriott PLATINUM Status Challenge – Worth an Investment?
It’s one thing if your own existing travel plans can bring you to the 9 stays in 90 days…
It is a whole new ballgame if a challenge would mean some additional investment or cost that you would not otherwise need to incur!
Should I plan work travel? Can I move around existing reservations?
Should I plan more vacations? Should I book cheap stays on the weekend?
It is here that is when you need to start valuing incremental benefits provided with Platinum status and compare to any and all out of pocket costs!
To apply a real life example here, I have a friend that can get a great Military rate at the Epicurean Hotel: Autograph Collection. She was asking me whether making a 7 or 8 stays at ~$130 night (stay) at this hotel would be worth it to earn Marriott Platinum status…
$1,080 for 8 individual nights at the Epicurean and earning Platinum status via challenge in the process…
Platinum status is valuable, but is it THAT valuable!? And specifically is it that much more valuable than Gold?
Meh… probably not!
I realize that everyone has a different method for valuing status, and while there is no doubt that Platinum is more rewarding than Gold, I personally would not be making anywhere close to this $$$ investment!
Now if it was 4 or 5 nights at closer to ~$500 out of pocket, I may be able to be convinced!
Top-tier Marriott Platinum status will provide you a ton of great bennies at both Marriott and SPG!
If you have some stays (9 to be exact) planned in the near future (90 days to be exact) it may definitely be worth sending a request to Marriott for a challenge!
If you do not have any stays planned, it could be worth shifting existing around travel plans, but probably not worth it to “mattress run” and book additional hotel stays for the sole purpose if earning elite status!
Have you always wanted to have to-tier hotel status? Are you considering this Marriott Platinum challenge!?