I think if you have been a rewards Member for 10+ you should be automatically lifetime Silver or Gold or at least get rewarded 50k Points at your 10 year anniversary. I have been a member since 2004 before then I stayed at Marriott my whole life but would use my Fathers account. I just tweeted Marriott and they said wow long time member sorry we can not do anything for you. Nice time means nothing , Loyalty means nothing, The only thing that matters is Stayed Nights! It does not matter if you stay for Business or Pleasure , If you refer friends and even if you out right brag about the Marriott. It only matters how many nights you stay and that should be changed... slightly
I just do not get how some of us "little guys" who have been loyal to Marriott for years 10 in my case a Member do not get recognized in anyway. We do not travel as much as the "Business Traveler" but we are just as loyal. I have only been to one other hotel since I have been a Member and that was because someone else booked the rooms. I mean I got a 5 year $20 off coupon from CVS for being a member for 5 years. Marriott can not award me Silver or even some points for being Active with them for 10 years? A large shoe chain Famous Footwear gave me $100 and buy one get on free for being a member of their loyalty program 7 years. Yet Marriott says "Big deal stay 50-100 nights and we will care" So Stay one day a week at least? Thats almost impossible for the Average person. I do understand that those people that do that should be rewarded more but I do not agree that us (people in my situation with 5 nights a year on average) should not be rewarded anything. Just Saying
How about signing up for the Marriott Rewards credit card? With the 15 elite night credits each year, Silver Elite status is guaranteed. I'm not a business traveler, but with the card, I will always be at least Silver. From there it takes another 35 nights to reach Gold and some of those nights can be earned through spending (every $3,000 spent on the card adds another night). When you add rollover nights, you might even begin the year needing only a handful of stays to reach Gold.
I don't mean to sound critical, but rather than complain about what Marriott doesn't do for you, why not look for ways (such as the credit card or occasional challenges like Taste of Gold) to increase your MR elite status. It can be done even if you don't travel a lot.
You'll find quite a few of the regular contributors to this site who are Gold and Silver (and maybe a few Platinums) that don't travel as much as you might think. Several come to mind almost immediately.