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Marriott PLATINUM Status Challenge – Worth an Investment?

The image shows the exterior of a JW Marriott hotel building. The entrance is prominently displayed with the hotel's name "JW Marriott" illuminated above it. The building features a modern architectural design with reflective glass windows and metallic elements. Surrounding the entrance are some trees and greenery. In the background, other tall buildings are visible, indicating an urban setting.

Hotel status is nice. ELITE hotel status is even better.

Do you want free breakfast? Or how about free access to the club/lounge?

The image shows a display of various baked goods in a bakery or café. There are several types of treats, including vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting, large apple walnut bread, coconut chocolate bars, and black currant scones. Some items are covered with glass domes, and there are handwritten labels in front of each type of baked good. The background includes more baked items and a cozy, inviting atmosphere.

Fancy a complimentary room upgrade?

And why don’t you just throw in some bonus stay points while you’re at it!

The image shows a close-up of a hand giving a thumbs-up gesture against a plain background. The hand is positioned on the right side of the image, and the background is a solid, light color. The image is in black and white.

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!

The image shows a calendar page for the month of December. The top part of the page features an illustration of Moscow, with the word "MOSCOW" written prominently below the illustration. The days of the month are arranged in a grid format, with the dates clearly visible.

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?

Call Marriott Rewards at 800-228-2100 to enroll in the challenge. Alternatively, you can fill out the online form here!

Why Marriott Platinum status matters?

Remember that free breakfast, club/lounge access, room upgrades and point bonuses that I was talking about?

A white plate is filled with a variety of foods, including a small portion of noodles, a steamed bun with a dollop of sauce on top, slices of cured meat, a piece of stuffed pastry, a few pieces of cheese, and some roasted meat. In the background, there is a glass of red wine and a small decorative plant on a light-colored countertop. The image shows a well-organized bar setup on a countertop. Various bottles of liquor, including gin, vodka, and whiskey, are arranged on the counter. There are also cocktail-making tools such as shakers, jiggers, and stirrers. Additionally, there are bowls containing garnishes like lemon slices, lime wedges, and olives. Several empty glasses are placed nearby, ready for use. The background features shelves with more bottles and glassware, indicating a well-stocked bar area.

THAT is what status matters!

The image shows a neatly made bed in a hotel room. The bed has white linens and pillows, and there are two wall-mounted lamps on either side of the headboard. A large mirror is positioned above the headboard, reflecting the room's window with curtains. To the right of the bed, there is a framed picture on the wall. The room has a warm, neutral color scheme with beige walls and a light-colored carpet. The image shows a view from inside a building, looking out through large windows. Outside, there are several tall buildings and a green, forested hill in the background. The sky is clear and blue. The interior of the room includes a portion of a lamp on the left side.

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 image is a promotional banner for linking Marriott Rewards and SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) accounts. It features a scenic outdoor lounge area with white seating and tables, overlooking a beautiful coastal view with cliffs and the ocean. The area is decorated with candles and lanterns, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The text on the image reads "Link Your Accounts" at the top, with logos for The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and SPG. Below the image, there is a message encouraging users to link their accounts for instant status match and more benefits, along with a "Sign In to Link" button.

The Platinum Perks – SPG:

Enhanced Crossover Rewards with Delta

72-hour Guaranteed availability

Complimentary health club and club-level access

Welcome gift

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!

The image shows a modern hotel lobby with a cozy seating area. There are two gray armchairs and a gray sofa arranged around a wooden coffee table, which has a bottle of wine and two glasses on it. The background features a brick wall with two reception desks and some plants. On the left side of the image, there is a vertical menu with the hotel name "Epicurean" at the top, followed by various options such as "Stay," "Taste," "Events," "Epicurean Theatre," "Spa Evangeline," "Packages," "About & Press," "Gallery," "Contact Us," and "Gift Cards." Below the menu, there is a reservation section with options to select dates, number of guests, and a button to check availability. The right side of the image has the text "Accommodations for the Senses."

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…

Alt text: A screenshot of a hotel reservation review page. The hotel is the Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection, located at 1207 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606, USA. The check-in date is Tuesday, October 31, 2017, and the check-out date is Wednesday, November 1, 2017. The room type is a Deluxe Guest Room with 1 King bed. The total cost for the stay is highlighted in red as 135.90 USD. There are options to edit requests and continue with the reservation.

$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!

Final Thought

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!?

Happy Travels!


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