Hi - I need your ideas. I'm 4 nights short of keeping my Gold status, and I'm done traveling for biz this year. I thought of finding the cheapest Marriott and just booking the rooms without staying, but do you have to stay to get the room nights? I was also wondering if you can pay Marriott to keep your status. Any ideas?
Marriott may, depending on your recent stay history, comp you into Gold for another year. Have you called Marriott Rewards to ask them what the status is? Also, in past years it was possible to exchange points to renew, and I know that offer applied to Platinum renewals at the least. Gold perhaps but I am not sure.
In any event good luck with the new year.
I just called Marriott on this as I am Gold but a few nights short of Platinum. Sometimes they have an end of year promotion where you can use points to buy into the next level however, this is not the case as of today. Keep checking.
As long as you check in to the hotel and check out you can use these stays toward your annual nights.
Thoughts on annual nights: It is a shame they use annual nights versus amount of revenue. I am always paying premiums as I chose the higher level brands and stay in the major cities whereby the cost is extremely high, yet my status is the same as someone who stays at a Courtyard in third tier cities year round.
I agree wholeheartedly with your comment about prices paid vs. number of nights stayed. I am currently two nights short of retaining platinum, despite the fact that all but about 4 of my 73 nights were at European hotels where the prices are usually much higher and charged in euros or pounds.
Perhaps Marriott could consider a system similar to that of Delta, where either number of segments flown or total miles count toward elite level. I am way beyond Platinum in total miles, but am not even close on segments.
Since miles aren't involved, it could be number of stays (similar to segments) or level of hotel.
"do you have to stay to get the room nights? "
Absolutely. Quoting paragraph 4 of the Elite Membership Requirements:
"Hotel charges without a personal overnight stay will not earn room night credit toward Elite membership."
Finding the cheapest Marriott and staying 4 nights may be slightly more cost-effective than buy back. In 2009 Marriott offered two ways to Buy Back Your Marriott Rewards Elite Status.
Buying 25K points at $12.50 per 1,000 points costs $312. Personally, if time is not an issue, I prefer spending $312 for a holiday road trip between now and NYE at $78 or less per night. A getaway feels like a reward, rather than a reinstatement tax. Consider checking Roomsaver.com for rate deals in/near your area.
At one time Marriott extended my timeframe to reach a certain level until Feb. On a couple of occasions in the past they have automatically given me the next higher level just before I actually reached that number of nights.
Since the nights roll over this year, you could stay where you are and roll over 36 nights (the new program they announced) and only be 14 nights from Gold on January 1. That is what I would do and I would also contact CS just after the first of the year. It cannot hurt to ask.