My Gold card states it is good through 2/2013, which I think it would be good until 2/28/2013, however when I called the gold elite line, they told me they thought the status change would take place on 2/1/2013. The person I spoke to answered the question like they were not sure so I thought I would post the question here. The status is this is important to me because I am going to Hawaii in February and I think it would be easier to get upgraded if I am still gold. I only need 7 more nights to retain my gold status but financially this may be hard to do before the end of the year but based on the answer to my question, I may have to try and stay 7 more nights. .
Typically Marriott will announce renewals in late January which take effect on Feb 1st. There are many cases where some people fall short a few nights renewing their current level but Marriott will still renew their status especially if there is a lot of recent activity. If you for some reason drop from Gold to Silver you maybe able to buy back your status cashing in points as Marriott has offered a "Elite Buy Back" program in the past.
I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip to Hawaii!
While you're at gold elite, you can buy the Marriott cheques for 135,000 points when they cost 190,000 points for everyone else. If you use them at hotels that give you back 10 points per $1 spent, that would bring the cost to 125,000 points and then the 50% bonus on points while you're gold would add another 5000 points back. There would be the welcome gift points to add back, too, but you could get those anyway.
They are good for a year, but they can't be replaced if lost and you can't get change back from the $50 increment cheques.
On the plus, they do count towards your nights rather than just taking points and no nightly credit. That makes them good for spring mega bonus if you sometimes use points for rooms and get no credit.
If you call the customer service line and talk to them again, ask them if you get within a night or two, would they still drop you back a levle? I have had times where they have mentioned since I had a good history, that if I was within a night or two, they would put a note on my account to not drop me back from platinum. You might have some luck with that.
Secondly, if that doesn't work, then, as vaboywnder mentioned, you might be able to get a buy-back option to keep your gold level for another year for a certain number of points in February.
Finally, if neither of those come through, you can ask about the taste of gold, or taste of platinum challenge programs. You can do either of these, and the way they work is that you are given the "taste of ...." level for 3 months, plus the partial month you start the challenge. Then, if you meet the number of nights you need to meet the challenge (the number of nights for meeting the taste of platinum is higher than the number of nights to meet the taste of gold) within that timeframe, you will keep that new level for a partial year and a full year. You can try a taste of platinum from silver or gold level, so you don't have to just do a challenge up only one level. One of these options should work for you, and to do a "taste of gold" or "taste of platinum" a little while before you go on vacation will get you some of the nights you need right away, and maybe increase your chance of an upgrade, since you get that level put on your account immediately. I know how important it is, to try and get the most out of a special vacation you've been trying to take for a long time. Hope you have a great tip, and let me know if you have any other questions about this.
If you want to ensure you'll retain your status, but don't want to lose your status, you could just rent a meeting room at a nearby property. Doing so would qualify you for the Rewarding Events award, which would give you 3 pts/$ and 10 Elite Qualifying nights. Awards are typically posted 7-10 business days after the event is held. I've read on FlyerTalk that some do this when in your situation, and are able to find properties that charge as little as $50-$100/hour for the meeting room rental.
On another note, if you need any tips on Hawaii, please do let me know! Hawaii is my home and I will be happy to (attempt) to answer any questions you may have! I'm sure you will enjoy your trip
Let me know how that goes for you. I've had to do it a couple times before, and it works for me. You just need to make sure that you are issued a contract for the event and that your Marriott Rewards number will be attached to the event, even though there's no paperwork for that part. Always be sure to keep counter signed copies of your contract if you decide to go this route. I haven't had problems with this yet, but I've heard others on FlyerTalk have.