I'm Platinum but may not make 75 nights in 2015 as a fair amount of my overnights have been at Hyatt, Westin, or Loews this year. There's enough time in the year to get to 75 if I add in a couple more trips or a staycation or two, but I'm not sure it's worth it. I'll get my Premier Silver renewed on UA by spending/flying enough to qualify without Marriott's help. I've got 800,000 or so MR points stored up, so I suppose paying the buyback cost wouldn't be too bad if that's offered. Any thoughts on whether Platinum is that much better? My main concern is the CL access - Golds still get that, don't they?
Very good question,clebert. Can you send me a private message with the best way to contact you as well as your rewards number? I'd like to pass this question on to our team so they can clarify the benefits of the different levels as well as the buy back offerings.
I'll definitely keep you and the rest of the community in the loop.
I'm in much the same position, clebert. I'm debating what I'll do if I don't reach 75, which at this point seems likely.
Gold elites do have access to the CL and as brightlybob has often pointed out, Gold is the where the bulk of elite benefits are. I'm still looking at ways to retain Platinum for next year and will consider the status buy back if/when the time comes. The additional earnings to build my lifetime points might be enough to convince me to spend 40K points.
Lots to consider and I'll be curious to see if others have suggestions.
Here is a link to the buy back info from earlier this year. Elite Buy Back Promotion
Chances are good that it will happen again next year.
Once the status for 2016 is determined, anyone who drops down a notch because they didn't earn enough elite night credits can buy back status using points.
Platinums who drop to Gold can pay 40,000 points to remain Platinum
Golds who drop to Silver can pay 25,000 points to keep their Gold status
Silvers who drop can buy back Silver status for 7,500 points
This offer will show up around the end of January (when 2015 status expires) or at least it has in the past. Rewards members have until April (last year it was 4/1) to exercise the buyback option.
No guarantees this will be offered in 2016, but it's been fairly consistent over the last few years.
On two occasions, I called the Support line when I came up short for Platinum. Once I was hospitalized and had to cancel a planned trip that would have kept me at Platinum.
On the other occasion, I wound up with 74 nights,
On both occasions, I was comped with Platinum at no cost.
clebert and crew, our team has provided some clarity and this is what they've said:
The main difference between Gold and Platinum is the bonus point earning. Platinum members earn a 50% bonus and Gold earns 25%. Both Gold and Platinum members have access to concierge lounges at participating hotels.
In regards to Rollover Nights, if the your Platinum status expires at the end of 2015 (Jan 31, 2016) and you have less than 75 elite nights in 2015, nothing will roll over. Only nights in excess of what is needed to maintain your current status will rollover.
You may “buy back” your Platinum status if you do not earn it for next year. Buyback starts in February.
Actually there are more differences than just extra points. Plat's get a 48 hr reservation guarantee (which in some situations can be a very nice benefit.) They also have a more generous hotel "walk" policy making it very unlikely a Plat will ever get walked from a hotel. Plats will also get an arrival gift (which can be points but can also be snacks/drinks.)
Also, while both Golds and Plats can get room upgrades, Plats, especially outside of North America will tend to get better upgrades.
Also on Rollover Nights, you are correct in that Golds will get rollover nights starting with their 51st night where Plats won't get any until after their 75th night. But don't forget that Marriott has a "soft-landing" policy for elite status (meaning if you don't renew Plat the next year, they will only drop you to Gold.) So those extra rollover nights aren't quite as big an issue.