So, first of all, I would post this as a Poll if the MRI website allowed you to post a poll in the MR topic string (which it does not for some insane reason) and this question really only belongs here. So, I will post the poll over in Travel Tips too, in case you want to vote. I would be curious about the achievement of LTPLat...
So, my question is this, if you have LTPlat (or are heading there very soon) what do you consider the most difficult hurdle to achieve?
And, most importantly why?
I don't know that this will deteriorate into a discussion about the value of LT Plat and the ease of achieving versus the old method, but I am curious about the communities' thoughts. I appreciate your comments... in advance!
Also posted this on poll, but will double up in case the poll drops off:
Both have their positives and negatives. I would assume the business traveler usually has more trouble hitting lifetime points (my scenario), while the leisure traveler has more trouble hitting lifetime nights.
Good strategies for points are to get Marriott credit cards early and use as often as possible (although many biz travelers are forces to use their corp card, even using the Marriott card for sporadic leisure travel can add up quick). I also signed up for the Starwood card anticipating getting a nice conversion ratio after the acquisition.
The credit cards also provide 15 nights per year (in the US). Having one big year where you accumulate enough nights to have significant rollover nights can go a long way!
I mainly do leisure travel, very rarely travel for work when I have the choice of hotel, and have really only been focused on the MR program for maybe 5 or 6 years - and for me the nights are accumulating faster than the points. In part because alot of my stays are from roadtrips, hitting the Fairfield and Springhill and Townplace end of the spectrum, where the rooms are not that expensive and you don't have additional spending being credited. So I probably only average about 2,000 to 2,500 points stay including the credit card bonus, and of course get a healthy block of nights each year from the card that have almost no points attached.
I'd like it if you could reach lifetime levels by either X nights or X points and not the combo. It will take another 12 years of 40 nights to get me to 750 nights as a leisure traveler, which is tough but possible (even more possible with redemption nights counting), but I don't see averaging the 125,000 points per year over that span I'll need for 2 million points. Which is OK, the program is really focused on those who travel for business and use the full-service city properties and give Marriott the most revenue.
That is the real drawback on the Marriott CC. It is actually one of the weakest products on the market. No bonus points for any spending other than at Marriott. Whereas most other cards offer 2x points on other travel expenses, dining, etc. Makes gathering the points that way difficult. I have been a MR member since 1999 and Platinum every year since 2002. So under the old system when I hit my years in the program I made Lifetime Platinum that year easily as I had accumulated points and nights through butt-in-bed and had the 1,000 nights needed under the old program. I did not get the CC until a few years ago after I had already made the LT Plat. At this point (and who can know for sure since the site is not working) I think I am over 2.8MM lifetime points... so you will get there. You can always play the "churn" game for bonus points on credit cards or open another business CC for the bonus if that helps push you over the top!
But Marriott does offer 2 X points on dining and air fare!
I consider my Marriott Premier card to be my "go to" card. It has gotten me to lt Gold and has gotten me to Plat. for about 7 straight years. It has taken me to less than 100 points shy of LT Plat and I shall be at LT Plat sometime in 2017. I've had enough points for LT Plat for several years now! So obviously, the credit card made it easy for me to accumulate the points but not as easy to get the nights.
Nice question mrbmbrown
From the EU perspective the problem is nights. Up to about 2013 most Marriott properties in Europe were city-centre Full Services (with the exception being Germany where about half of properties were Courtyards) so most EU properties command higher prices than the multitude of FFI/SHS/RI/CY that dominate Marriotts US inventory. As a result although this time last year I reached 2million points, I was still well short of 600 nights, and around 200 nights of those were bonuses from double night promos, rollover and credit card nights.
As a matter of fact I should reach LTplat next year, in mid January, somewhere around my 50th birthday
One correction to what mrbmbrown mentioned about the Marriott CC. This credit card DOES offer 2x points for airline tickets, rental cars and dining. I made it to LTP and PP on the strength of this CC.
mustanggt I agree - I needed the card to push my points total up... Frugal stays at CYs and FFIs over the years just don't add that much in point value. I've had the card for less than a year, and realize I should have picked it up sooner, if only using it periodically to augment my other cards. The card is by far and away the best way to accelerate earnings on both ends - nights and points.
In the last couple of months I started using the Marriott Visa since Costco switched from Amex to Visa. I personally like that I can earn Lifetime Platinum just by using my card. With my Starwood Amex I had to stay at least 50 nights a year to hit Platinum. And after 10 years of Plat I could then become Lifetime Plat.
I'm blessed that I buy a lot of equipment for my business using my card so I'm getting a lot of points very quickly. I think I hit Platinum in the first three weeks. I can't wait to see how Marriott treats their Platinum members vs. how Starwood does. Hopefully just as well.
Nights are easier than points IMO. But then I earned my LTP status before CC gave 15 nights, before roll-over nights, before the tiers were lowered, so I really cannot be certain under the new rules.
Given most of my nights over the years were super-negotiated low rates, I earned nights much faster than points.