Most likely in another year I will reach Lifetime Platinum status with Marriott. I would like to hear from existing Lifetime Platinum members about whether or not they made changes to their travel patterns or credit card spending. Do you still primarily stay at Marriott properties or do you stay at other chains now trying to obtain status there? Did you change your credit card spending habits from Marriott Visa to another card that you feel now offers you a better return for spending? Do you have any advice for other Lifetime Platinum Members?
Inquiring minds want to know...please share your experiences.
I, like you, vaboywnder am about a year from lifetime plat. I expect that I will rethink my credit card spending since I will no longer get any benefit from the night's credit for each $3,000 spent. Beyond that, I will continue to take advantage of Marriott hospitality and Plat benefits,
I reached LTP 2 years ago. I still stay at Marriotts almost exclusively. I do like that the 75 nights/year pressure is gone. I still seek Marriotts because I like the breakfasts and 50% point bonus. We take advantage of travel packages as much as possible. Also, we have two MVCI weeks. Kind of leaves us in the Marriott fold. Its popular conversation on Flyertalk to explore another chain after getting lifetime status. I just don't want to start over-even with getting challenge status, having 0 points with someone else isn't appealing.
Marriott buying Starwood keeps me locked in more!
Since reaching Lifetime Platinum, I have not changed my spending habits or where I stay. Even though I no longer benefit from the night's credit for every $3000 spent, I still benefit from the points I receive from spending that $3000. Our travel is predominantly leisure travel and we need all the points we can earn to continue staying on points in Marriott hotels we would never be able to afford otherwise. I agree with tker that the 75 nights per year pressure is gone.
vaboywnder How do plan to change to your spending habits to maximize reward benefits?
Until I reach Lifetime Status I'm using the Marriott Premier Visa as much as possible to get Elite Night Credits and Marriott Rewards Points. Currently I have a Ritz Visa Card which earns Marriott Points in the same manner as the Marriott Premier Visa (without elite night credits) but each year the Ritz Visa gives the card holder an additional 10% Yearly Bonus of Points earned.
So I may switch to all my spending to the Ritz Card. Another option would be getting the Chase Sapphire Card which earn Ultimate Rewards Points. The Ultimate Rewards Points have a 1:1 transfer Rate to Marriott Rewards, Hyatt, and multiple Airlines giving the cardholder lots of flexibility. Redeeming points for airline will give you likely give you maximum value.
Thanks for this link. I am going to study it more thoroughly to make sure I understand all the possible transfers. I do have 1 question-- would you still use your Marriott visa for your Marriott stays?
Excellent Question. With the Marriott Card you would earn 5 points per dollar for Marriott Charges. With the Chase Saphire Card you would earn 2 points per dollar for Marriott Charges. The Points Guy website estimates Marriott points are worth .007 cents each and Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are worth .021 cents each. So if you spent $100 at Marriott using your Marriott Visa you would then earn 500 Marriott points which would be then worth about $3.50 (500x.007). If you spent $100 on the Ultimate Rewards Card at Marriott you would get 200 Points which would then be worth about $4.20 (200x.021).
I think you would only get the higher redemption value if you find yourself using the Ultimate Rewards mostly for airlines. But if your finding that your using Ultimate Reward Points to convert to Marriott Points then it would probably make more sense to use the Marriott Visa for Marriott hotel stays as you would get more Marriott Points that way.
You get the same 5 points/$ with the Ritz card, plus 10% bonus, so effectively 5.5 point/$. Using the same numbers as your example, you get an additional $0.35 for using the Ritz card over the Marriott. I disagree with the $0.007/point valuation, but it depends greatly on redemption patterns. I tend to value/redeem them more like $0.01/point which makes the Marriott card more valuable than the Sapphire for Marriott spend. Being far from lifetime anything, the nights are worth keeping the Marriott card for me, though I will likely splurge on the Ritz card if they bring back any 6-figure point bonus around the time I next plan a Ritz stay, as the club upgrade can be worth a small fortune at certain properties.
You are right on...The Ritz card would give you an extra 35 cents from my example. I too also have been able to get a higher point vale for Marriott Reward Points especially if redeeming for a travel package.
Since I do find good uses for Marriott Points it sounds like the best strategy for me after becoming Lifetime would be to use the Ritz Card for all Marriott Stays and then use the Chase Sapphire for all other spending. I really do like the flexibility of the Sapphire Card.
Not to be that guy vaboywnder but he values marriott points at 0.7 cents per point, and chase UR at 2.1 cents per point.
Or $0.007 and $0.021 haha
I'd recommend against transferring UR points to marriott unless you already have a valuable redemption in mind, or just need a few points to make it to an award redemption. Airline (and even some hyatt redemptions) are where those points shine.
All of my marriott spend for stays of 3 nights or less goes on my ritz card for that extra 10% bonus (anything of more than 3 nights goes on citi prestige), but will now be transferring to my new chase marriott premier business card so I can hit that 5k spend and get my 100,000 bonus points. Already hit my 10k spend for my ritz card so I'm on cruise control as far as required spend goes.
I figured once the topic turned to credit cards that you would be jumping in on the conversation. In my case I would probably transfer UR Points to Marriott for the purpose of redeeming for a Travel Package. I agree Hyatt and Airline points in general would be a better redemption for UR Points.
I reached Lifetime Platinum probably five or six years ago and while still working travel habits remained the same regarding business trips and pleasure trips. After retiring 3 1/2 years ago of course no more work travel and pleasure travel has reduced some.
Have to admit I've signed up for Hilton Honors and am Gold thanks to AMEX however; Marriott is still our first choice at this point.
Sounds like a smart move...that way you can enjoy perks at both chains. I currently have the Starwood AMEX and may end up switching it to the Hilton AMEX to also get Gold Status. Before I do I'm gonna wait and see what becomes of the Starwood AMEX following the upcoming merger.
My AMEX card is just a plain old AMEX Platinum, didn't opt for the Hilton version and most likely won't.
Hey vaboywnder, how long did it take you to reach LTP (assuming you get there within the next year)?
I signed up for a Marriott Rewards account in 1994. I think that was the first year Marriott Rewards began. The majority of my stays over the years have been leisure trips. I didn't know about Lifetime Platinum status until I signed up for Marriott Insiders in 2012 and read about it. After joining Insiders and reading other travel blogs I then got smarter about my credit card spending. I wished I had utilized my Marriott Rewards Premier Card more back when I signed up for it as I do now. I probably would have earned Lifetime Platinum several years ago. As of today I only need 96 more nights and 17,000 points to reach Lifetime. So assuming I make it next year it would have taken me 23 years to get there.
How about you? Have you made it to Lifetime Plat yet?
No, not by a longshot. I joined Marriott Rewards in 2011. That's about the same time I moved my county collecting beyond the borders of Ohio (I'd been halfhearted until that point collecting something like 100 counties - the 88 in Ohio, plus a few random ones elsewhere).
2014 was when I got serious about MR ( when I applied for the credit card). In the last 2+ years, I've racked up roughly 750,000 points and am now close to 1M lifetime (might reach that this year). That will put me a bit short of Lifetime Silver (I've got the nights already). I'll renew Platinum for next year by July or August, so the points will keep coming. By the time I get the points for Lifetime Gold, I'll probably be near the nights requirement. After that it will just take time to hit LTP.
I guess I'll be about halfway in both nights and points to LTP by the end of this year. Not bad for essentially 3 strong years of travel.
I have been lifetime for three years. Since I am mostly retired I get about 30 paid stays per year and most at Marriott but I no longer am obsessed about staying at Marriott. When possible will stay at FS Marriott to get concierge. I still have the card but mostly for international travel( no fees) and the free night more than offsets the annual fee. But I am very happy that Marriott does offer lifetime. As I have mentioned in another post I have 2.7m lifetime miles on AA and that with $4 gets me a cup of coffee at Starbucks9 actually I am lifetime in middle tier but never get upgraded)
vaboywnder, good post, it seems to have morphed a bit beyond your original question so I will throw in my two cents
I got into the Marriott game really late. I worked for a crown corporation, which had an approved supplier list including hotels. They had a lot of muscle and would negotiate really good deals with one property in major centres and have a few secondary ones. In the remote locations, one was more likely to find a private hotel or a best western, days inn or super 8 which were actually pretty nice. So I joined Wyndham, and really have no complaints, with their program as I could stay on business in the motels but could convert points into some pretty nice vacation club sites. I stayed at quite a few Marriott hotels in those days but never joined so regret that.
I joined Marriott seven years ago, but for the first four years only accumulated 40,000 point. In 2013 I got a bunch of roll over nights from 2012 and about March I realized that if I got the card, I would achieve gold. My first gold experience was at the Calgary Marriott, where I was upgraded, and invited to a mangers elite night where there was free drinks, buffet and I thought it was amazing. Marriott had me on the hook. My second, was to the World Centre in Orlando. I had booked the absolute cheapest accommodation and was upgraded to a 20 something floor right in the middle overlooking their pool. The room was the same, but the view and balcony were great. When I checked in, I asked about the lounge, and the check in worker gave me the spiel about it being a resort. Maybe I looked disappointed, but when he gave me my checking package he threw in breakfast vouchers for an amazing buffet.
I made platinum of 2013, and have sustained it and have 300 stays and 750k points. With the double match this year for non US folks I think I can make plat again for next year. My travel is leisure so it will be hard to maintain plat after. My challenge is the points, I hope to some day make lifetime gold, but plat seems a long way away.
I have both the Marriott card and AMEX plat, I really have not changed spending patterns. I charge everything Marriott to the visa and pretty well everything else to AMEX. My reason is the guarantees and insurance. I purchase meals and some gas with Marriott and there are a few places that will not take AMEX, particularly overseas. The Canadian Card does not give stay credits for spend so no incentive to spend beyond Marriott.
Your right the conversation has morphed a bit but nonetheless there has been some good information here. Marriott definitely knew what they were doing with the introduction of the Gold & Platinum perks. Getting room upgrades and lounge access can definitely hook you on the experience. It's a shame that Chase doesn't offer the Elite night credits on spending for the Canadian card. At least you still get the annual 15 Elite credits which I'm sure is a big help.
I continue to stay at Marriott properties. I get the Platinum treatment. My overall travel has dropped this year due to the drop in oil prices (that's the business I'm in) but I'm at a Marriott now in Thailand and I'm scheduled to be at a Marriott next month in Utah and Nevada.
Pretty much a newbie at this board. I have been in MR for years. I was pulled off the road for most of the last seven years, much of it staying in a company apartment. I was able to return to Gold since I am a UA MM.
I hit the road again starting in January. I have 41 nights this year and have earned over 100,000 points. In the last month I have clicked over to lifetime gold - I have the nights for platinum. I also just got promoted to Platinum for the first time in eight years after getting the nine stays since March. It is my goal to hit the 2MM points before I retire. My wife has a greater appreciation for my years of travel since she has gold in both UA and MR due to my travel.
I reached lifetime platinum around 6 years ago. Marriott is still my go to place to stay. Usually close to 100 nights a year. I also stay maybe 10 to 15 nights at Sheraton.
I only use the Visa card for Marriott and places that don't accept Amex, like haircuts, dry cleaners etc.
I have a platinum Delta Amex card to help reach medallion status with Delta each year with the spend and use that for everything except what I stated above.
So I haven't changed my stay preferences or the use of the Visa card.
My business travels have gone down a lot over 6 months ago. Made Lifetime Platinum quite early (less than 3 years I think). Took advantage and put all my stays on Marriott when they removed the 12 year requirement. I have been staying at Marriott 99% of the time still after that but recently have thoughts of splitting it with another chain. Trying to earn lifetime status with other chains but the only one that seems to be worth it is Hilton. SPG is going away soon with the Marriott merger. Hyatt just doesn't have a big enough footprint for my travels and the fear of them being taken over is another reason.
I still have my Marriott Premier card and solely use that for Marriott stays since I find the extra 5 points valuable. Don't have any reason to cancel it either with the free night well worth the $85 annual fee.
Unless there is reason to believe that Marriott will raise the threshold to hit Lifetime Platinum (LP), I say don't rush it. I was happy to have made LP at first but then regretted it a little. I could have easily hit Platinum every year with Marriott plus extra nights towards another chain, like Hilton, which was my second choice all these years.
I made Lifetime Platinum a couple of years ago. I have not really changed my habits with my stays or with using the credit card. I Still love Marriott so I continue to stay at Marriott's even though the pressure is off to reach that 75 nights every year. I also continue to stay in Marriott's because my coworkers are not Lifetime Platinum yet so they want to stay at Marriott's and I often travel with my employees.
I have thought about trying the Hilton but for whatever reason, I continue with Marriott. You will make it soon enough provided they don't change the rules.
Like many here, Lifetime really forces me to stay at Marriott's. Two weeks ago my wife and I were in Berlin and Budapest and we stayed at Marriott's there because of the royal treatment we get. But most importantly, we had access to two of the best Executive Lounges in all of Europe.
I made LTP status several years ago - 2008/9? back when the program had higher requirements (3M points and 1000 nights) see Re: Elite for Life
Now I have less incentive to stay at Marriott properties (down from nearly 200 paid annually to a handful over the last 3 years) as there is so little difference in LTP and PP that to re-earn PP status every year is "too much dedication" to Marriott. As such, I am doing the "run for Hilton Lifetime Diamond status." Hilton requires 10 years of Diamond and 1000 paid nights and I have 8 years and 780 paid, so I should reach their LTD status in 2018. Similar to my MR pursuit, I have the Citi Hilton card to maximize points.
It's all a game to earn and maximize points - regardless of program.
I'm really surprised that you say that there is so little difference between LTP and PP. I reached LTP years ago and was for the most part PP. Last year through a combination of illness and a change of business location I only stayed about 130 nights so did not make PP. This year the number of upgrades has declined considerably and upgrades to suites virtually zero. So it seems our experiences are quite different. I'd be interested to hear what others think about the differences between LTP and PP. Cheers.
My last 9 years of "regular" Marriott stays (through 2013) I had PP status and concurrent LTP status for the last 6 years. Of course the PP status is "higher" and, in theory, should provide more benefits. However I rarely saw any PP special treatment - especially on my biggest issue of getting maximum upgrade on points when upgrades are not sold out - which to me includes suites (and the heck with terms and conditions - if a suite is not sold on cash, upgrade the PP who spent 200 paid nights at other Marriott venues in the prior 12 months - how much more simple can that get for the MR Management to understand???)
So why, given my personal experience, should I continue to stay 200 nights a year at Marriott when (despite the minutia of differences in programs) not "run with Hilton?"
I became LTP about 8 years ago and retired 15 years ago. My wife and I traveled a lot for our first 10 years of retirement and really enjoyed the breakfasts, points and upgrades that we received. Now we have only 10 or so stays a year traveling to see grand kids. Joined in the early 80's whenever the program actually began.
Last year, after 45 years as a "road warrior" I achieved lifetime platinum status. Once there, I realized and proclaimed loudly and to Marriott that they were not doing enough if any thing for such loyalty. I have owned several companies(not trying to brag) and any employee that supported our firm for that kind of time got something for their loyalty. No acknowledgement from Marriott at all except when in one of their properties the programed response to me was always "thanks for your loyalty." Having the pressure of 75 nights off my back is a plus....but no we still use the card to "pay" for various vacations we take. The design of the program whereby you achieve the status usually as you are just about to retire and making 75 nights becomes way out of reach does work and does force you to plan in your last years of heavy travel to obtain the goal. My simple suggestion was as an award for the accomplishment of lifetimers was free nights. The building is there and the program for giving a free night are there so why not a special reward for the accomplishment-especially now when other chains give away nights for next to nothing in terms of effort to achieve the free night. After a while it just feels good to have than to not have it and so in the end the sense of accomplishment is worth it all. I have no interest in involving myself in another chain and starting over at the bottom-why waste the money and time? All the Best Big Red
Have been a LTP for well over 4 or 5 years now...and I can absolutely tell you that there is NO difference in how I am treated on the phone, when I check in or in any way, shape or form from Marriott Corporate. I have never had a front desk clerk or concierge check-in where my loyalty and status was recognized. Matter of fact, every employee has stated that there is no information on their side that indicates my status.
What's interesting about that fact is that almost EVERYTHING else about my account or info is on their screen; room preference, credit card number, total number of stays this year, etc. But not one mention of my supposed Top Tier Status.
As a LTP who pays for most of my stays out of my own pocket, I can tell you that suites or upgrades have been almost non-existent. I did however hear from a Front Office manager at a property in Denver that supposedly Marriott has indicated that the hotel MUST offer up suites in the hotel to MR members and not keep them empty...we shall see.
As a top level member with SPG, I can tell you that I absolutely love their ambassador program. It's interesting to see that Marriott is going to try and emulate that program in the future with @ 5,000 of their top customers. I don't know about anyone else, but I haven't received any notice yet and I still stay @ 200 nights per year with Marriott.
The resort fees are another sore spot for us LTP's and it seems to be hit or miss about getting them waived by the individual resort. Again, Marriotts most loyal, most profitable and top level customers are effectively told to go pound sand about resort fees. Question for the mods here...if I don't use your "highly enhanced internet access" during my stay, don't park my car during my stay, don't stay at your crowded pool with overpriced F&B, and don't drink your complimentary cheap booze...why exactly am I paying a "resort fee"??
Marriott Corporate - As a LTP I have never received a "Thank You" email or mailing about my considerable achievement in their loyalty program. I also had to call the MR desk to have them send me out the yearly gift that supposedly comes out each year on renewal date. Matter of fact, even though I live in the Austin area, I never received info about the special events that were taking place specifically for MR members at the JW during SXSW
I'll let others chime in with their experiences and comment about the program, but to be honest I truly have not experienced any benefit, appreciation, awareness, etc for being one of the top members of Marriott's reward program.
Heck, I had Hilton do a status match with me earlier this year and they have bent over backwards to acknowledge my business and commitment to them.
All in All, I would have to rate the LTP program an EPIC dud on the part of Marriott...worse yet, I get the feeling that they truly don't care either. Oh, they may sound of some canned response, but their ACTIONS speak the loudest to me and 100's of other LTP"s
Okay texaschef, I'll be the bad guy and toss the flag on your statement "I have never had a front desk clerk or concierge check-in where my loyalty and status was recognized."
What recognition are you seeking? Do you want an associate to recognize you are a Platinum or the lofty Liftetime Platinum? If the later I can count on one hand the number of times I've been recognized for being Lifetime Platinum at a hotel and have a few fingers left over.....maybe once. On a Customer Service or Reservation line (seldom used now days) I have been recognized as a Lifetime Platinum just about every call. As for getting recognized for my loyalty when checking in at a property just about every time I get thanked for being a loyal Platinum Rewards member.
So never have you been, that's quite a few check in opportunities and more for not being recognized as a Platinum, so please tell us is it Lifetime or what?
My comment was for the LTP status not being recognized...my point was that in 2016 CRM capability allows for my status to be inputed into the same data fields as my credit card info, address, room preference etc. For some reason, Marriott can't or won't address this
My airline partner is able to recognize my Concierge Key status, Hilton recognizes my Diamond Status (just joined this program with a status match earlier this year)
vaboywnder - as of this morning, I passed the 2,000,000 points to achieve Lifetime Platinum status. For me, it was a personal achievement milestone for many of the reasons our friends share in the thread above. I've been at it off and on for the past 14 years, and hit the nights sometime last year. It wasn't until then that I realized I should have picked up the Marriott Premier Visa card a long time ago. That said, the points came quickly after that (over 300,000 since late last year). It will be nice not to "have" to hit 75 nights each year, but it's very likely that we will continue to hit that mark for years to come as I probably have another 15 to 20 years until retirement....
As for perks and benefits, I don't anticipate anything different, but I love the lounges (crowded or not), breakfasts, and frequent upgrades. Unlike others, I find that I get an "upgrade" in view, floor, etc every 2 out of 3 stays. I rarely need a suite, unless I have my family with me, and have gotten special consideration by calling ahead to the manager in almost every one of those instances. I get thanked for my "platinum" loyalty at check in every time, and that certainly makes me feel good and reinforces my decision to stay Marriott.
I will keep you apprised as to whether there is any formal recognition or thanks that comes with passing the LTP threshold. I am excited about the opportunities to see new properties and places that are likely to come with the merger of programs, and I appreciate that long-term loyalty is recognized at all. I hope to see you out on the road!
I should be hitting the 2 Million Point Level by the end of this month. Then I just need to get 94 more nights to reach Lifetime. You are right the Marriott Premier Visa Card is a great tool at getting you there faster. My 15 Elite Credits for this year also haven't posted yet so that will also help get me closer.
Like you I also appreciate the lounges and frequent upgrades. For longer stays I understand that Marriott properties are usually not able to offer suite upgrades but for shorter stays (1-2 nights) I have had a lot of luck with getting nice upgrades.
Some members feel they should be given some type of reward for hitting the Lifetime mile marker. For me personally I'm just happy that I no longer have to meet the 75 night a year threshold to maintain Platinum.
Nationwide, Congrats... that's a massive achievement. I am just getting Started, but will be hitting the Marriott chains hard the next 2 years as part of my new job... after reading all the feedback, I need advise from a pro like yourself... what are some of the Key areas I need to focus on and track ... I know I will get close to 500 nights stay in the next 2 years, but have no idea how to make the 2 million points...any advise and or tips would be appreciated. I just applied for the Premier CC... that seems the standard for everyone.
Vaboywnder, has provide some great details as well.
Welcome to Marriott Insiders! Getting the Premier CC is definitely a step in the right direction. It may be difficult for long term stays but when possible you will want to avoid staying at Residence Inn and Townplace Suites as they only offer 5 points per dollar spent while other Marriott properties offer 10 points per dollar spent. There are some Reward Members who have enough nights to be Lifetime Platinum but because the majority of their stays were at Residence Inn they are way short of having enough points.
ilfordboy - Congratulations on the new job!!! It's always fun to begin a new adventure! The first thing I always recommend to folks in my organization who are beginning a heavy travel stint is to pick a hotel and an airline you like and stick with them! You've already done the first big thing by making that choice --- commit to a brand so you don't dilute your own efforts! I can't tell you how many times I've driven miles past a competitor's hotel late at night to get to my Marriott home away from home. It all adds up!
The credit card, as I shared earlier in the thread, was something that came to me late. I've always been an Amex points guy, and kept all my spending between two corporate and personal Amex cards. I signed up for the Visa when I realized I only needed another 270k points for LTP status on Marriott. I wish I had done so years ago, because the points, and the nights, really add up quickly. We treat our credit cards like debit cards at my house. Every receipt goes in the checkbook register, deducted as though it's already gone from the account. At the end of the month, we pay them off and never run a balance. If you carry a balance, the interest can rapidly diminish the value of the points and status you are chasing. Long story short, get the credit card, use it for everything, and pay off the balance every month.
As quickly as you are able, take a "taste of gold" or a gold/platinum challenge to get yourself quick status, that way you maximize the bonus points earned during these next two heavy travel years. Additionally, you will get the benefits of enjoying platinum or gold status that much sooner ... lounges, late checkouts, guarantees, arrival gifts (points) etc.
Lastly, I would encourage you to use some points along the way. Some of my best memories are of family trips that were "powered by points!" You will go places you might not have, or do things on a level you might not have, if you were paying in cash out of pocket. Take a friend, a significant other, or a family member on a dream trip - it's a great reward to you for your time on the road, and for them for their time away from you.
Safe travels my friend! See you out on the road sometime!
Nationwide, thanks for the great advice... as clarification... if I will be Platinum by August this year, should i still apply for the Taste of Gold/Plat challenge...and how do I do that?
Additionally, what and how do i get Quarterly Mega Bonus Offers? I have read about them but not sure how to make them work for me??
ilfordboy if you already have your 75 nights lined up by August, then you may not need to take a challenge at all. However, if you are going to be in a Marriott for a big portion of July, then it makes sense to do it sooner as you will earn a 50% bonus on your points, versus a 25% bonus as a Gold Elite.
As soon as you hit Gold, reach out via direct message to one of the moderators here on the site... carat , lindseyh are always so helpful on these types of things. They can get you signed up for the Platinum challenge --- you will have to choose 9 stays or 18 nights (to be completed in the next 90 days). Given that it sounds like you are on some extended stay obligations for work, the 18 nights will probably work best if you aren't checking out of one hotel and into another (moving cities). You want to take the option that gets you to Platinum quickest.
As for the Mega Bonuses, there is a summer bonus going on now where you can earn up to 12,000 points (if you have the credit card we spoke about) or 10,000 without the card. In mid September, we will likely see a Fall Mega Bonus, and you will be able to sign up for it shortly before. These options appear under your "Promotions" tab when you click on "My Account." You should be able to register for all promotions available to you there. If you don't see them, talk to one of the moderators about that too.
Hope this helps! Happy traveling!
ilfordboy The only comment I would add to the excellent advice from nationwide is to stay active on this travel forum and benefit from the wealth of information, news and advice offered here. Just discovered it last year and wish I had known of it when I was a road warrior like so many here. Have only recently learned of the Mega Bonuses, birthday credits, and point earning strategies that I had been oblivious to. Not to mention the opportunity to vicariously enjoy fabulous travel destinations through the reports and photos provided by those who graciously take the effort and time to share them.
AZDesertRat I completely agree with you... I wish I had the benefit of all the advice on Marriott Rewards Insiders years ago! Great point! If only we looked to learn from other people that way in every facet of our lives... We would all be better for it!
I've taken a bit of a different approach since I became Lifetime Plat. When staying at a lower end property (FFI, RI, etc) where the breakfast is done for all, I book the room on my wife's account trying to get her status for when she travels alone. If staying at Marriott, JW, etc where status is required for concierge access, I book under my account. When my wife gets to 50 (4 nights away) I'll book all on her account to get her to Plat. I agree with others that the stress is gone to get the required 75 every year, especially since I only travel for leisure. Looking to see what happens with the Starwood deal...