Last year I asked the group if I should use points to renew my platinum status since I thought I would not get enough stays. Turns out I did have some unexpected trips at year end that got me up to platinum for 2016. But I don't think I'll get there again this year. I'll probably be at gold for 2017 unless MR offers a points option to bump up to platinum. Last year I think it was 40,000 to renew platinum. The group didn't think it was worth it.
With the new SPG properties on board and a status match with SPG, is there more value to platinum?
Seems like the good MR benefits kick in at gold and I should not waste 40,000 points on platinum.
Having said that, we have 5 nights at Sydney Harbour Circular Quay and 3 nights at Sheraton Port Douglas and could really use an upgrade or perks at those properties. Wondering if platinum would make much of a difference.
Also I am a points hoarder (trying to break the habit) and have almost 600,000 points so probably not a hardship to spend 40,000 on a renewal.
clebert, This year I would pay the points to hedge against a watering down of gold status at transition. However how close are you? I retained status last year with a mere 67 nights. It seems that they average the last three years. I don't know that for sure. purchasing also gets you a soft landing for 2019.
Last year I made the decision to cash in points for the first time to maintain my platinum status and don't regret the decision. I also had a upcoming trip to Australia and plans to fly United Airlines so I wanted to preserve all of the upgrade perks available to Marriott Platinum members. Thanks to my platinum status we were given an upgrade room at the Sydney Harbour Marriott where we had an opera house view.
With the upcoming merger Marriott Platinum members can also now get airline perks with Delta through Starwood's Crossover rewards. So if you value room upgrades and additional airline perks with United & Delta I think its worth while to use points to maintain status.
clebert, I have been faced with this dilemma a couple of times along the way. Once, I paid the 40k points, justifying it as I would more than make it up the next year with the added 25% points premium given to platinum vs. gold members. More recently though, I slid back to lifetime gold and decided I would take advantage of a platinum challenge rather than spend the points, because I knew I had early travel plans sufficient to quickly accomplish it. I like the advice of vaboywnder and peymanagement, I think 2017 is a year you want to be platinum as the programs merge. Whether you spend the points, or quickly take a challenge, something tells me this is status worth having. Happy Thanksgiving!
With your points balance, I would buy back status.
One way to think about it is to look back at the past year and recalculate what you would have earned had you been Gold instead of Platinum. For me, the difference was about 38k, so in retrospect, a decision like this (had it been necessary) would have essentially been points neutral (I earned almost enough extra points as Platinum to offset the cost of buying back status).
But that's not why I'd do it. The additional perks at Platinum, while minor, are sufficient (in my opinion) to spend what amounts to ~7% of your total points. If your balance were significantly smaller (say under 100k), it might be a bit harder to justify. As others have pointed out, keeping status in MR carries over to SPG, and as I understand it, the benefits there change more between tiers.
A side note to other Insiders who are considering buying back Platinum status with points for next year. If you are low on points you may consider this option. Starwood is currently having a sale on SPG points. The discount range is anywhere from 25% to 50% through Dec 31, 2016. You have to log into your SPG account to see what discount you are eligible for. My offer is for 30%.
So if I wanted to I could purchase 10,000 Starpoints for $245 and then transfer them to Marriott and have 30,000 points since Starpoints transfer at at 1:3 ratio. This would be way cheaper than buying 30,000 Marriott points for $375 as Marriott Points are sold for $12.50 per 1,000 points. Also if you make the purchase with a Starwood Amex you get the additional Starpoints from the purchase transaction as in this example would be 245 Starpoints which is equal to 735 additional Marriott Points.