Even if you fall short, there is a very good chance they will offer the buyback program in 2014. They have in years past and I don't see why they wouldn't offer it again.
As one of our valued Elite members, we understand that your travel needs vary from year to year and that occasionally you might not have the required number of stays to maintain your Elite status. We know how important Marriott Rewards benefits are to you – so we are offering you a limited-time opportunity to buy back your status for 2013 using points that you may have already earned.
Here's all it takes to reinstate your level:
Points required to buy back Platinum status - 40,000
Points required to buy back Gold status - 25,000
Points required to buy back Silver status - 7,500
Remember, if you don't have enough points in your account, you can always
buy up to 50,000 points every year.
This offer is valid through April 1, 2013 and allows only one level of buyback, which must match the Elite level you enjoyed in 2012.
Once your status has been reinstated, Marriott Rewards will send you a new valid membership card for your restored Elite level.
I would add that if you dont already have the chase issued marriott credit card, that will give you 15 nights and a cat 1-5 one night free cert. There is an annual fee, but I believe it may be waived for the first year. There are links on the landing page for Marriott to apply for the card, or just google or bing your way to it. You may find that the card benfit is better than trying to get a mattress run or use points for a buyback (assuming it is offered again, and I only say that as although it has been offered in the past, it may or may not be offered again in the future). Good luck in your quest.
Book a meeting room at any Marriott brand property under Rewarding Events. You'll earn 10 Elite Qualifying Nights for a single event, even if it's just a 1 hour meeting. And perhaps just book a night stay to makeup the final night. The credit card awards 1 EQN per $3,000 spent, but I think it's too late for it to accrue this year already.
You would have to book 10 rooms though to get the 10 elite night credits right?
Not at all. All you need is the meeting. Unless there was a change recently, you will receive 10 Elite Nights for any meeting you book. The 10 rooms is for a group block with or without a meeting. Weddings and other social events also qualify. I've done the meetings in the past and also received 10 Elite Qualifying nights for my wedding this year despite having only 4 rooms.
The FAQ uses different language that allows for any of the event types to earn. I've got my fingers crossed that nothing has changed as I'm doing this right now to maintain Platinum! Hopefully our community leaders can get us a clarification on the confusing language being used.
By the way, are you seeing the "new" marriott.com again? I thought they weren't going to use this version again after the negative response from the beta?
It seems no one has answered you initial question. If you cash in points for your stay it doesn't count toward your nights. I looked into the option of turning my points into Marriott checks and using those to pay for nights, but it just wasn't a good value. 11 nights shy is a lot of nights...to many to try and find a super saver hotel deal. The meeting suggestion is good as is the credit card if you don't have it.
A few years ago in Mid December I took a vacation in what I had thought would be my last stay as Platinum member for a year because I was going to fall a few nights shy. It came up in the conversation with the hotel manager when he checked me in and noticed i would be a few nights shy on my profile. About 30 minutes later he called me in my room and said he was going to sponsor me for another year. It just started that vacation on such an awesome note. Maybe you will find the same luck.
I am delighted to reply that my Gold Status was renewed even though I had only 27 nights and not nearly enough points. My guess is MRI Insiders, although it's frankly not much of possible lost revenue to Marriott since I only stayed at the Marriott Venice Courtyard and Athens Ledra last year. Still, one can hope that there are things that will lure me back, though I for one have found the grass greener on the independent, non-loyalty program site (not just Marriott).