My first post here so please go easy if I ask something dumb I had no idea this forum even existed until recently.
Anyhow my question is this: I've been Platinum for the last couple years but will come up short of 75 nights this year. I'm at 60 now and with planned travel during December will likely end up 8-10 nights short of the requisite 75. (It's a bit of a bummer because while work allows me to choose my hotels for regular travel, they elected for a couple of conferences at Hyatts this year and I also had to cancel a 4-night trip due to illness ... ok that's my bit of whining getting out of my system there .)
I read a bit on "status challenges" and "status buy-backs" here on the forum and asked Marriott whether these were available to someone seeking to retain Platinum going into 2016. The answer was essentially no, Marriott reviews all accounts during January and February and decides what tier an individual is in, and if I am downgraded, I can get back in touch after February to ask how to reinstate status. That makes sense, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to check here and see if you all more experienced folks know of other options to ensure I keep Platinum before the new year hits. (I'd actually be fine with simply renting the extra nights if I lived in a lot of places in the country, but I live in the San Francisco bay where local properties are all expensive so to be candid I'm trying to dodge that financial hit.)
Thanks a bunch for any ideas. My default assumption is there are no good options at this point, but hey, an easy ask is an easy no so that's my easy ask
Don't forget that 2015 status doesn't expire until February, so even if you do drop to Gold, it won't happen until then. By that time, the buyback option should be available.
One option you might explore is a "Rewarding Event." You could book a meeting or social gathering at a nearby CY. It could be just a couple hours, and I believe you still get credit for 10 elite nights which should put you over the 75 nights you'll need. The wording on the website is vague so it wouldn't hurt to confer with an events specialist at the property. As far as I know, you don't need to book rooms to earn the nights credit (though I would call to make sure). Meetings also earn 3 points per dollar spent. If you want food and drink, those need to come from the hotel, but you don't have to include those to schedule a meeting/event.
Anyway, it's option you might try.
Welcome to Insiders first off, glad to have another experienced traveler to join in and share with us your travels past, present and future. A great group of folks that have shared so much and helped our travels so very much.
Since you brought up the idea of staying those few extra nights I did a search for a weekend in mid December based on SFO International Airport. I found some rates in the low $100 range (not at a full service property mind you) and if you were to search close to your location in the Bay Area you may find lower rates or even take a trip out to a more remote area from the city itself such as Fairfield Inn & Suites Napa American Canyon: Earn Rewards points and stay productive when traveling to American Canyon. that I found a rate of $93. Or Courtyard Fairfield Napa Valley Area: Fairfield Business Hotels that had a rate of $89.
Just a few random thoughts and please let us all know what you decide upon to keep your Platinum Elite level.
I would also like to welcome you (a fellow Californian who happens to live in the most beautiful city in the country).
When IAHFLYR mentioned what a great group we are he wasn't referring to me. But, that's a different story.
IAH has more money than I do, so I would like to add to his suggestions to save you a little more.
Airport hotels (especially around SFO) will drop considerably on the weekends. Believe it or not you can find rates, even at full service properties under $100 - If you are ancient (IAH and I fall into that category) take advantage of senior rates. If not choose the AAA.
Driving inland a few miles or South you will find even lower rates.
If all fails and you have been Platinum but didn't have the necessary nights to renew - don't be shy and call MR. You'd be surprised how accommodating they will be if you are courteous. ( I can't do that as courtesy is against my faith)
Again, consider this your official welcome from the leader of the "dark side".
Whilst the buyback option may not be open at the present, come February 2016, there is usually an option to hand over some points in return for retaining your status! As most people will suggest, this time of year will usually get a 'no' response.
Wait a few months, until mid February and, shoot them an email. There is usually a dedicated email address just for buybacks with points!
Thanks a bunch for the helpful, and also hilarious (looking at you, misterchk) replies! This forum rocks and its members even more so. (And for the record misterchk, my birth year is the two digits appended to my username ... but I work in software ... so I'm ancient for my field of work but perhaps not in the general sense .)
I gave this some thought and decided, heck, I basically never use my points and have a bunch of them sitting around, so the most rational thing to do is go ahead and see if there's a buyback option come next year. Even if there isn't, I suppose I can live as a mere mortal Gold member The Platinum arrival gift is great and automatic Silver status on United Airlines (which I only fly for cross-country trips less than 10 times a year) is excellent as well but doesn't seem worth getting all OCD over as far as crossing into the 75-night end zone by renting a room for no reason.
A bit anti-climatic to be sure Thanks again for all of your help! Happy travels everyone! I'm off to the airport to collect nights #61 and #62 now haha.
Couple of other ideas... if you have your birthday in your online MR profile, you'll get a free night when that rolls around. Also, do you have the MR credit card? Apply now and get 10 or 15 nights on your anniversary date depending on CC level (not 100% sure if that happens the year you initially sign up, but it's worth asking). I've done things like paying for my parents' room when they visit for Christmas (which now can be covered with points, as well).
Or just wait for the buyback after the first of the year, which is probably the easiest and cheapest way to go about it.
I can tell you that the hotel loyalty programs do way more to retain their customers than the airline ones. If you don't make a given airline status, the airlines just kick you out. This is not the case with hotels. As an example, hilton gives you complimentary gold for being an amex platinum.
I've traveled heavely (around 100 nights/year since 2007) and there were 3 years where I hardly traveled and Marriott kept me at platinum. What I would do (just in case) was to give them a call to the platinum line and tell them that you are platinum and that business will pick up more for 2016 and they will most likely keep you at platinum without resorting to buying extra nights you don't need or any other "challenge" they might propose. And you can just add that you happen to have an amex platinum and that hilton is enticing you with gold just for being with amex. I can tell you that if you do that, then its very likely that you will retain platinum in spite of being a few nights short.
HI somedude78, you now join the ranks of our much-maligned millenials (or not depending on which definition you believe) the most prominent of which is Jsucool76. I am one of the GenX, misterchk is one of the Gen-who-gives-a-toss-I've-retired-so-you-millenials-can-sort-out-our-****!
I wouldn't sweat it. Marriott has a good record of requalifying plats who dont quite make it, especially if theyve been plat for a few years and even if you don't make it you could consider a buyback or challenge after Feb when Marriott notifies members of their stautus for the next year. Simply post again and you'll get plenty of analysis and info to help you make your decision, and as I've said there's a strpong possibility you won't need to.
Aand again, welcome...
The reports of my retirement have been greatly exaggerated - I expect to die on a business trip in a Marriott!!!!
The problem is this: I am lucky to have enough money to last me the rest of my life if I don't have to buy anything. BUT if I do have the need to buy I must keep working.
When you have a child at the age of 51 and she is now in college (at 60,000 a year) retirement to me really means putting new tires on my car.
By the way - I've been lying on my profile (not really lying just too lazy to change it) I was born on a date that is just as important in history to the British as it is to North Americans and the rest of Western Europe - June 6, 1944 - which classifies me as a "war baby" as generations go.
Now it's almost past your bedtime back there - make sure you get your beauty sleep.
misterchk, I can think of worse ways to "check out" from this earth than on a business trip in a Marriott. My choice would be the Essex House - seems like a particularly glamorous way to go.
Hey thanks a lot for all the replies folks! So last night I logged into my MR account and saw a text label indicating "Congratulations! Your Platinum Elite status has been renewed." beneath the "Account Overview" link. But today that label is gone. I'm not sure if that means I "made it" for next year and the label was just a temporary notification, or if I actually didn't "make it" yet. Either way I'm at 62 nights with a few more to go in December and won't stress it. Sounds like there are plenty of alternate approaches that I can explore after the new year rolls around.
brightlybob If I ask a GenX'er they would call me a Millenial, but if I ask a Millenial they would call me a GenX'er. So, yup... Won't touch that one
misterchk Thanks for the nightmares about dying in a Marriott while on business travel. Hey at least the beds are comfy If that's my fate then I'm going to at least hope it's a JW as opposed to a FFI. Still beats checking out while on an airplane, I suppose. Man, that's morbid.
Welcome to Insiders, somedude78! This thread is a perfect example of how awesome this community is. Looks like the community was able to give you all the "inside" information. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to me or my fellow moderators, lindseyh & deannad.
Looking forward to hearing more from you!
Hi Somedude and Welcome - While this suggestion won't help this year, I have at times, when going to a scheduled conference scheduled at a non-Marriott hotel, checked to see if there is a Marriott within walking distance of the conference hotel that is offering the same or even a lower rate than the conference rate at the conference hotel, and booked that. I usually try to find a full-service Marriott so that I can get the concierge lounge benefit, but even a Courtyard, Fairfield or Residence Inn would give me the nights. If you qualify for the senior or government rate, check them out. Invariably I find a Marriott property that fills the bill, thus giving me not only the pleasure of getting some walking in each day but the opportunity to add to my nights and points.
I think I had less than you do at the end of 2014, but I was renewed for 2015 as Platinum. I think they look at your overall pattern and if you have been making Platinum the hard way for a number of years, they will often extend it for another year. I had 91 nights this year, so no issues.