Note from your Community Managers: For all inquires and requests regarding Status Challenges, please refer to the following thread:
A few hours ago I went off a phone conversation with an Rewards program associate and sent an email to customer service just to make sure I got everything on paper. Let me tell you a story.
I am, what most people call, a frequent traveler. I spend 50-75% of my time abroad and living in hotels. I'm currently 2 years in a row a Concierge level member of Club Carlson and just now I'm waiting for my Diamond card with Hilton Honors.
Another quick fact - I plan to spend 39 nights in a hotel (any hotel) in the US (travelling from Europe) starting from a couple of weeks from now.
A colleague of mine is a gold tier member with Marriott and she looked up where we'll be and what hotels are somewhat "close" to our preferred location. Now we have 3 Hilton hotels and a Marriott. Of course, given her gold status - she's opting for Marriott. I thought - OK, let's see what can be done and rung Marriott Rewards with a question on matching my status (2 top tier statuses with other chains, just to restate it) or giving me a challenge / fast track, as I will anyway spend close to 40 nights in a hotel.
The lady on the other side simply said "no". I mean - it was of course a longer conversation, where she was saying she could offer me a "silver challenge", but it didn't make sense, since I will anyway spend more than 10 nights. No option to match my status and no willingness to earn money.
Now, luckily I am here in a better position and I'm not "forced" to go the Marriott. I will simply go to one of the 3 Hiltons and enjoy my Diamond status and of course I will also make my colleague stay there with me. All in all - the Hilton will earn something like 15 thousand USD for the stay and I? I will simply keep my account for "if I'm ever forced by my supervisors to stay in a Marriot" event and not consider this chain for the future.
I mean, seriously? Are you really willing to forfeit 15k USD and a potential customer spending half to two thirds of his time in hotels? I guess you're a very rich hotel chain and not interested in getting even more rich.
I don't really want a reply from the hotel, unless you really do want the money and would like to discuss matching my status.
I do hope you learn from my story.
Well... I hate to disappoint you, but most other chains do that.
Hilton --> if they see you have the highest tier of their direct competitor - they will match the status "just like that". If it's not direct competition, but you still spend a lot of time in hotels, they will offer you a challenge - e.g. Platinum challenge - 16 nights or 9 stays within 90 days. Anyway, you'll get a Gold level card "just like that" and not for 3 months, but a full year.
Radisson / Club Carlson --> Similar to the above
I haven't checked SPG yet, as I don't really like the Westin in Europe and not a lot of Le Meridien's out there. Maybe next time.
Anyway - if it's a matter of the benefits - room upgrades etc. - you still get it only if there's a room free. Welcome gift- I mean, come on. If the room is like 150$ per night and you get a free bag of nuts, some candy... what is it? 10$ 20$? More points? Wow - you still have to spend your time and money to get it, so it only makes you want to stay there. So the overall cost for the hotel is very very low, but they build loyalty.
Now - if you have someone spending up to 3/4 of their life in hotels, I would only be an idiot not to want that piece of cake. But like I wrote above (and there is a second similar thread, sorry for that), I now think Marriott is just too rich for that and doesn't want the money. Which is ling on the floor. with spotlights on it. And a neon sign saying "pick me up".
a quick update - I got one reply from Marriott, to send them a list of stays from my Carlson account, as (and I quote) "We would be delighted to offer you a Status Match if you meet our program requirements."... I replied 12 days ago and did not even get a "thank you" from that moment on.
Anyway, I don't think it's even worthwhile anymore bothering.
For the HHonors - just give them a ring and tell them you have a Platinum card with Marriott, you should get a fast track / challenge without any problems. They should offer you "gold" for a year + if you spend ~16 nights / 9 stays in 90 days, you'll get instant Diamond.
Hope it works out for you! Cheers!