Including holiday travel, I will be at 73 nights by year end. I have two questions:
Our last check out of the year is on Dec. 30 - charges from this last trip should be around $3000 on the Marriott card. Is this going to get me an extra elite night and push my number from 73 to 74?
If so, should I book a cheap FFI or SHS locally and pay the $80-90 for a night that I don't need (maybe take the kids swimming for a couple of hours, not that FFI or SHS have great pools) so that I get to 75?
Or if I call MR, will they bump me to 75 as a courtesy?
Or should I stay at gold and rely on rollover nights to get to platinum next year?
I'm inclined to find a way to get to platinum because of the bonus points. Isn't there some sort of Silver Premier status on United Airlines that comes with platinum as well? Is that worth anything?
Any advice would be appreciated!
I wouldn't count on the credit card charges to put you over. It can take time for that to reach your account. I also wouldn't count on customer service to bump you over the top. The way I see it, that leaves you two choices. Pay for the extra couple nights or take the rollover nights.
If I were in your shoes, I'd find a way to pay for the nights as cheaply as possible and get to Platinum this year. The benefits will be worth the relatively small out of pocket cost.
Assuming you had no rollover nights from last year, you'll begin the year with, what, 23 nights. You'll get 15 more when your credit card anniversary comes around. That makes retaining Gold a snap, but it will still take a bit of work to reach Platinum. The only benefit from waiting is that when you do reach 75 nights next year, your status will be in effect until Feb 2017 (whereas if you cross the line this year, it will expire in 2016 unless you have 75 nights in 2015).
In addition to the bonus MR points (50% vs 25% for Gold), you'll get the rest of the Platinum perks. As you mentioned, Premier Silver status on UA. We're still puzzled as to how long that my last (right now we hear May 31, 2015). It does give you bonus miles (25%, I think) plus a free upgrade to Economy Plus (space available) at check-in and one free checked bag. Not worth much, but better than nothing.
So, if you can find an inexpensive property, grab it. FFI (or even TPS) would probably do the trick.
Good luck and report back on what you decide to do.
There's another key benefit of the MR Platinum level I recently needed to use. It's the Platinum "override" benefit which enabled me to reserve a room in Chicago when everything was sold out for miles in all directions.
BTW, a couple other benefits of UA Premier Silver are availability of Premier Access for check in where they will put special tags on your checked bags for priority handling. Just got that this past week and it was nice to get the bags first and get going out of the airport.
Thank you! Actually, we are "stuck" at a SHS for holiday travel because the nearby Marriott and MVC are full, so if there was any way to get into the Marriott on some sort of waitlist, I'd absolutely love it. Maybe not this time but in the future, so that platinum benefit sounds great.