I just found this in the Marriott Rewards facebook site. A person wrote in asking about how to achieve Lifetime Platinum. Below is the response from Marriott. I'm trying to not be paranoid, but they adjusted the levels a couple of years back. This message doesn't feel good. What do you think?
"Lifetime status is a combination of years at level, total nights and total spend. If you can be a bit patient - we're conducting analysis right now to confirm whether our criteria is appropriately set. The goal is to be absolutely explicit about how one achieves Lifetime status and we'll communicate it during the renewal timeframe (your membership is valid until the end of February). Thanks for your interest!"
I am crossing my fingers that our dear friends at Marriott are not going to raise the qualifications. I know there are plenty of folks that bang the drum about dwindling benefits, this would just add to the chorus.
It's an interesting development. we will need to see what happens. I would have to say that in my particular situation, just a few years back I wondered if I would ever achieve lifetime platinum. Then, they started awarding 'nights' like they were candy and I blew past the requirement and have not looked back. I think it is actually too easy to achieve and the exceptional nature of the top level has definitly been diluted. If you add the benefits of the credit card as well as rollover nights, it's very easy to achieve in excess of 100 nights a year for a road warrior. Seems the best answer for Marriott to this would be to initiate a new level with maybe twice the points and nights needed than the Lifetime Platinum level. If they did this, and really spiked the benefits, they could likely spur renewed interest in the quest to achieve. I'm not looking to penalize anyone already Lifetime Platinum, just trying to make a new level inviting. just my opinion.
On the other hand Shoe, take someone such as myself. With no business travel, all of my travel is on my own dime. And when my husband and I have to travel separately, as needs often require, we don't rack up nights on one account. They are split off. I have no hope of ever reaching Platinum, which is fine, but I do have a goal of lifetime Gold. It will take years, as I've only been with Marriott for 4 years now. If they increase the requirements, they will probably loose my loyalty due to 1), I'll never achieve my lifetime goal with Marriott (will be hard enough as it is now), and 2) the benefits are already marginal: I get free breakfasts and free upgrades. Except a lot of the time, I don't. So then where is the incentive? Take this year for example: I started with 0 rollover nights. I'll probably be 5 nights short of Gold by Dec. 31st. If I knew I had a much better shot of getting upgrades and free breakfasts, I'd seriously consider spending the money on the 5 nights to maintain status for next year. But as it is, I'm honestly not sure that it's worth it. If a Platinum can't get upgraded, why should I expect to? I don't mean to come across negative, I would just simply be discouraged to see the requirements raised.
You're right, they are generous with awarding free nights, like with the credit card spending and the anniversary nights, etc. Maybe that's what they're looking to get rid of, in which case, their best customers will no doubt still fare just fine. Or maybe they'll raise the requirements as PP expressed concern for. But if they do, all that folks like me will probably be able to say on the way out the door is, "Thanks so much, Marriott, it's been a good partnership."
I was not at all suggesting they change the required points, etc to hit the current levels. I agree they should remain the same. what I am suggesting is that they introduce a new 'plutonium' level that would be a stretch for almost everyone and definately out of reach to the casual traveler. If not, by the time I retire, everyone that is still with Marriott will be Platinum for life and no one will ever get upgraded. Makes the lifetime loyalty thing a joke........
Hello friends! Long time no see! Glad to know at least some of you are visiting our Facebook page. Figures it would be you, Pained...
In actual fact, we will publish Lifetime criteria for the first time ever in the marketing blah-blah we saddle you with when we send your new membership card (think March). We're working to move our marketing copy significantly closer to total transparency wherever possible.
P.S. tef, total points are correlated to total spend - apologize for the corporate speak.
Welcome back Michelle! I, for one, have missed you dearly. Your down to earth witty repartee lets us all feel the humanity behind the large hotel conglomerate facade. You're good people, just like us.
I was hoping you may shed just a little bit more light. You mentioned "corporate speak" to tef.... can you help me get the corp speak out of :
"move our marketing copy significantly closer to total transparency wherever possible"
Does that statement,in some way that I can't figure out, clarify what type of deliberations are going on that may effect the current criteria set for achieving Lifetime Silver, Gold, and/or Platinum. To ask plainly... do you anticipate that qualifiers will change?
How about adding a bonus night credit if you stay 4 or more concecutive nights in one stay? Also, for the non-road warriors so they can attain a higher level status, change the credit card points awarded to 2 or 3 points per dollar spent. I have an Amex Hilton card where I get 6 points per dollar spent on food, drug store and gas purchases.
Thanks in advance, and welcome back!
Why worry? I keep hearing on FT and other travel blogs that getting Marriott Platinum match is easy and available on an annual basis? This annoys me considering that Marriott already has one of the highest number of nights required for elite status
No wonder the CL is full with families. Make a call, and get CL bene for free during your annual vacation
Talk on FT and blogs is that all you have to do is call and ask for a challenge. No evidence of current status elsewhere required (even a gifted status isn't verified, forget actual stays) You get Plat status for 3- 4 months during your challenge. 9 stays required to retain status. You are eligible to attempt another challenge in 12 - 18 months.
If that loose policy stays in effect who needs Lifetime status? Just rotate challenge periods between spouses, and you get Plat for a significant portion of the year.
Hey - glad to be back with y'all. Let's tackle each of your comments:
> Plain speak is what we're trying for. Loyalty programs (all of us) are so ding-dong complex/confusing/filled with exceptions. We can't get past some of it, because with so many hotels and brands, there will never be a one-size-fits-all approach to anything. However, we are working hard to find the right words to describe benefits. Sounds easy. Is hard. Don't even get me started on the legal scrutiny we subject all of our words to. Ah me - just the world we live in now.
> Pained: Re Lifetime status: we've never published the criteria so, technically, you wouldn't notice any changes. Truthfully, we went through an exercise comparing our criteria to our competitors with the thought of being better aligned. We get that we're behind the big two in terms of perceived value - and although there are some who won't believe me, or take this as an opportunity to pile on - we really work hard to advocate on behalf of our members to maximize benefits and recognition. Sometimes we're the windshield, sometimes we're the bug... Plainly - yes. Change is coming. Positive if you strive to achieve lifetime, and Negative if you think it'll just cause more (unworthy?) people to make a commotion in the CL.
> Lone: Thanks for suggestions about how we can give you more. I'll add it to the list.
> Allyson: We are saddened by the abuse of our status match and because of some very clever (albeit naughty) members, we have gone into a much stricter lock down in terms of who gets what. Easy yearly platinum matches is a urban myth.
> We like families (and I personally come from one!) so we try not to squelch the fun of an annual vacation, but agree that it can get annoying in the CL during the season.
Hi Shoe, I understand your point. I believe that you and others definitely bring up the valid concern regarding dilution. It brings me back to wondering whether or not the lack of consistency with regards to the elite room upgrade benefit has more to do with local management mentality or indeed with too many elite customers to satisfy. Regardless, I thought much about this yesterday while I cleaned house all day (what better to think about while cleaning than hotel stays with maid/housekeeping services ) and I've decided that I am not the level of traveler to take on these concerns, as these are matters best discussed by all of you Platinums who have given Marriott and inordinate amount of business (more business than I ever will) as well as having spent an inordinate amount of your working lives living in Marriott properties, and thus deserve your just rewards. For a traveler such as myself, Marriott has generously compensated me for my level of loyalty. They give me points, they give me opportunities to earn free nights, and they give me bonuses from time to time. The main elite perks for me are free breakfasts, room upgrades and discount codes on reservations (and sometimes 35-40% discounts, which I have joyously taken advantage of!). It seems like free breakfasts are getting harder and harder to come by, and being so low on the elite totem pole, I don't expect room upgrades. Also, the difference in bonus points between silver and gold is only 5%. So if I can't sustain Gold level, not much will be lost on those three accounts, but I will miss some of the gold discount promotion offers. And honestly, maybe there's something wrong with me, but I'm not that wowed by CL and airport lounges (true, I probably haven't been in enough to judge, but since I've recently begun to spend time in these places, so far, not that impressed, but that's just me. I'll take the large, wide open spaces of a gorgeous airport hub - thinking Seattle here with it's panoramic 100+ foot wall to wall windows and park like atmosphere - and the large and/or gorgeous hotel lobbies/lounges over a tiny, cramped CL or VIP lounge - very worth the price of a drink.) So a downgrade back to silver (and I know Shoe, nothing to do with your suggestion, I'm just speaking about my own particular level of travel and my own ability - changes not withstanding - of maintaining my current status) might not be such a big deal for me. So I'll wait and see what happens. In the meantime, I've been pretty happy with my relationship with Marriott.
But thinking about your suggestion, if Marriott did make a Plutonium level, how would that help? You still would have all of those Golds and Plats out there. What would lifetime Plutes get on top of the rest? Perhaps just a better (the best) chance of getting what's already offered? , then in a sense it would dilute the system for the rest of us