I've seen this discussed, but I'm a bit confused. I received an e-mail that I could buy back to my gold status for 20K points until April 1, 2013. I also see that option when I login to my account. However, my account still shows gold as of Feb 6.
I've read that the year resets in Mid-January and I'm curious if it's reset for 2013 as of February 6th. My daughter begins college in August and will be attending on a soccer scholarship. I expect to make most of the games and the school's are far enough way that I'll need to stay two nights just about each weekend during the season (about 10 weeks), and will always stay at a Marriott. I'd prefer to use those 20K points for free nights instead of buying back to gold, but will buy back if the year hasn't reset yet.
Thanks in advance.
I'm nearly certain that the year has reset, as they ran the annual processing in early/mid January. When you log on to your Marriott Rewards account, how many nights for the year does your account state that you have? That would be your best indicator. To be completely certain, a quick call to customer support should be able to clear it up for you.
Gold Customer Support: (800) 321-7396 (not a 24/7 number)
Enjoy your daughter's soccer games. May they all go her way!
I show 1 night, and I haven't stayed one day this year, so I was under the assumption it reset. I achieved Gold in 2011 via a promotion and was told it would expire at the end of 2012. I didn't have enough room nights to maintain, so expected to be back to Silver this year.
As I understand it the renewal is based upon the previous calendar year. Around mid January Marriott evalutes status renewals and sends out notifications. Your previous year's status is still however valid through February. So if you earned Gold status in 2012 but did not earn enough elite nights credit to renew Gold for 2013 then you will most likely loose your Gold status on March 1st unless you utilize the buyback promotion they offered. Pluto77 mentioned the Marriott Premier Visa Card, if you do not have one you may consider getting one to earn extra nights toward your Elite status renewal.
bagleyb - you will experience a better service if you are a gold member and also earn more reward points when you spend at a marriott so if I were you I would buy the gold status back and enjoy the experience and work hard to maintain gold in 2013. It takes a while to get to gold from silver and if you were given the status as a promotion then take advantage of it and use it.
Thanks for the info everyone. I logged in this morning and saw that I'm back to silver, so I guess the year hadn't reset as of my initial post. Trying to decide if it's worth it to renew. I'll be staying mostly at 2 star location in a college town, so the upgrades aren't much. I think I'll be better off using those 20K points on free nights. Maybe they'll run another promotion to get you upgraded to Gold. That's how I received that status to begin with.
I would do the same thing that you did when visiting my kids who were away from home (the youngest graduated college last spring), so I can understand your point and sympathize, money can be an issue. When visiting, I would use sometimes points and sometimes I paid. It would depend on the cost for the night. In general, I use a price of $100 - $125 per night as a rule of thumb. If below the price point, I would pay, above I would use points.
This allowed me to save my points for those places where rooms were significantly more expensive. For examle, I usually use points when going on vacation to places like New York, Chicago, Seattle, London, Prague, to name a few. This eliminated the cost for one of the most expensive items in travel - lodging. Furthermore, as an elite member, I would get access to the lounge which (at least in Europe and Asia) is a great place for free food and drink, saving some more money.
I think that for 20,000 points (about the cost on one night), the benefits from retaining gold elite would outweight the cost. But I don't presume to know your financial situation and these decisions are individual.
Either way, enjoy the games. Hope your daughter's school does well.
I felt the same - renewing my Platinum status would have cost me 40,000 pts (or I guess now not a TOP stay since we've got 9 cats but a 1 CAT 8 night) so I'm happy to take the Gold status. I too have reevaluated my stays a lot since it seemed my priority seemed to be staying at Marriott rather than staying where I most needed to be. Combined with the cost of staying in Europe and with losing the weekend benefits, I doubt I will ever make Platinum again. So I'll just stay where it suits me except for my great favorites.
If it makes you feel any better Bagleyb, I wouldn't bother spending the points to renew gold. As a past silver and current gold member (and likely future silver member again), I have not seen any difference in how I am treated based upon status (between silver and gold). The only differences between silver and gold are: 1) golds get free breakfasts at full service Marriotts, but most Marriott's with CL's that offer free breakfast in the U.S. don't provide free breakfasts on the weekends, with the exception of a few properties, and then it's only for platinum elites, and 2) golds get 25% bonus points, where as silver gets 20% bonus points, a difference of only 5% (unlike a 25% jump between golds - 25% bonus points - and platinums - 50% bonus points.) As a silver elite, you might not receive as many or as good offers as a gold elite, but I'll bet it's not that much of a difference (and where can you use those worthless megabonus cat. 4 certs. anyway?) Plus as a silver this year, you'll probably end up with a bunch of rollover nights for next year, which will make it easier to legitimately earn gold status at some point next year (which again, big deal - the only elite status that really means anything in Marriott's elite program is the platinum elite status...)
I probably won't hit 50 nights by the end of this year (will be doing a lot of point stays this year, which do not garner elite night credit), which means that I will be back at silver next year, and at this point in the (rewards) game, I'm simply just no longer worried about it. There's just less and less being offered to entice me to care enough to retain gold elite status. I do mostly weekend stays in the U.S., where there is largely no CL lounge access on the weekends and no free breakfasts on the weekend. While I travel to Europe a couple of times/year and most full service Marriotts provide free breakfast on weekends in Europe (again, at some places only if you're platinum elite), I just won't miss it if I lose my gold status. The breads and cheeses in Europe make a fantastic, inexpensive and fresh morning meal. So free yourself from the bondage of the elite race, by staying where you like, innovate, save money by being out of the race, and enjoy life.