A lot depend on how many nights "just short" is. If you're talking one or two nights, the best option is to make an extra stay or two. Now that redemption stays count, you could even spend a few points to cover the cost of the stay(s).
If, on the other hand, you've got a little further to reach 50 nights, don't forget that Marriott usually allows you to "buy back" your status. Of course, sometimes Marriott will extend your status without reaching the number of nights needed. I'm not sure how they determine this, so I'll let others chime in if they have the answer. Regardless, let's assume you don't make Gold and Marriott bumps you back to Silver. With the "buy back" offer, you'll likely be given the chance to stay Gold, though it will cost you 25,000 reward points (that's the "buy" portion of buy back). At least that's what is has cost the last few years. Look for detail around the beginning of February. Marriott normally gives you a month or two window during which you can take them up on the offer.
Given the benefits offered at the Gold level, buying back Gold status is a almost always a good investment of points.
Hi scooter17 and welcome to Marriott Insiders! Do you by chance have the Marriott Rewards Premiere Visa Card? Each year the card adds 15 Elite night credits towards your status. You also get one additional elite night credit added to your account with every $3,000 spent with the card.
Another option for consideration is the Ritz Rewards Credit Card. You get automatic Gold Status with your first year of membership.
I think the Elite night credits are added around the anniversary date of your credit card. If you call Chase Customer Service they should be able to tell you when your Elite Night Credits will post.
Let me join vaboywnder in welcoming you to the Insiders Community!
vaboywnder is correct; the 15 Elite Nights credits are awarded annually around the time of your account anniversary. If your account was in fact opened over a year ago, you should expect to see these Elite Nights credits added to your account within 6-8 weeks after the anniversary date.
Card members also earn 1 Elite Nights credit for every $3,000 spent on the card. These points are credited to your account within 6-8 weeks of the end of that qualifying month.
For full details, please visit the following link: Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card | Elite Status
Best of luck retaining Gold status! Feel free to direct message me, or any of my fellow Community Managers (listed on the right side of the home page) with any additional questions you may have.
Reward Stays including Certificates now earn elite night credits toward your status.