I recently started my job as a consultant in the financial services industry, and starting mid-November I will be travelling Monday - Thursday (3 nights / week) to NYC for at least the next 5 months straight (will more than likely be indefinite for the next few years given where I'm based out of). My father was a longtime platinum member (currently gold) and I always enjoyed Marriott (and the benefits we got due to his status). Is there a way to expedite reaching gold or platinum status? I am not interested in the credit card (I am fresh out of college and already have enough credit cards).
Thank you for all the help! Can't wait to starting posting more once I start my travels!,
You can request a status challenge. Right now you have no status, so you could only request a challenge to silver as far as I know. That won't get you much of anything though.
The marriott credit card will get you to silver as well, and then you could request a status challenge to gold.
Ritz carlton credit card will give you instant gold status.
I know you said you don't want credit cards, but they're really the best way to grab status. Being fresh out of college doesn't limit the amount of cards you can have. I'm 22, and I have 17 credit cards and a stellar credit profile and scores.
When would be the best time to contact MR about the status challenge? My main issue with the credit card is that I have to use my corporate AMEX for all business expenses. Also, does Marriott take into account when I call that almost all my stays over the next few months at least will be at a hotel in NYC with an average nightly rate of around $450 a night (closest location to office)?
Contact MR pretty soon before your first stay (I think the 3rd of the month is the optimal time as it grants you an extra month really), and you should be able to get to beat the silver challenge no problem. They dont care how much your nightly rate is, but that will determine how many points you get. 10 points per dollar at 450/night is 4500 points per night.
Even if you have to use your corporate card for the hotel, I'd still recommend the marriott or ritz card (or both) for the benefits alone. The marriott card will give you 15 elite qualifying nights (free for the first year) and an annual free night at any category 1-5 hotel for $85 every year after. the 15 EQNs will take you up to silver where you can then challenge to gold status rather than having to challenge just to silver.
The ritz card will give you instant gold status as well as $300 in airline incidental credits, 3 club level upgrades per year (while at RC properties) as well as a $100 hotel credit on stays of 2+ nights while at the RC. ($395)
You can call and ask for a gold challenge but I don't know if they'll go straight to gold, unless you have status with another hotel.
That would be the fastest way to reach Gold. And assuming you reach the spending thresholds during the introductory period, you'll get a nice boost to your points account. Were I in your position, this is the way I'd go. Good luck and report back to the community on how things work out for you.
Jsucool76 is really on target. A Marriott Rewards credit card is really the way to go. You pay a fairly stiff annual fee but you get a free night's credit for cat 5 or less each year and that gives you baack the equivalent of the annual fee. You also get silver staus so you can get a challenge for gold and you get 5 points for each dollar that you spend at Marriott hotels. Just make sure you pay your bill in full and there are no additional costs to having this card.
The card took me all the way to Platinum in one year.
Great thread, NewBusinessTravelerSOS! I see that you are new around here, Welcome to the Insider's Community! As you may have already guessed, this is a great forum to talk about all things travel related, from recommendations and experiences to getting the most out of the Rewards Program. My name is carat and I am one of the moderators here along with lindseyh and deannad. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of us, we're here to help. I've gone ahead and linked to our 'Getting Started Guide' below, just in case you'd like to take a look.
Looks like the community has pulled through and has given you some great recommendations! You can always reach out to us when you'd like to start your challenge, too.
Looking forward to hearing more from you! Happy Travels!
I suggest getting to gold (which between getting the card and the amount of nights you are generating, will occur pretty quickly and then asking for a challenge to platinum. As I am not sure you can do two challenges in a row, but they might let you. Other option is if you are a United flyer and have platinum status you get gold with Marriott then can challenge to platinum.