All the time I hear people complain about Marriott and how impossible earning Platinum status is… they must not listen! They don’t really have a status match, much better, they have a challenge. Someone who’s never stayed at a hotel a day in their life could call and be Platinum for 90 days and complete and keep the status if they stay 18 nights in the 90 days (or whatever the challenge- you get it).
Better yet, the 90 day trial starts at the end of the month you started the trial. So if you start Jan 7th, you’ll be platinum all the way though April – in my experience. Simply call and ask to do the Taste of Platinum challenge! That’s it. You’ll be Plat starting the following day.
Marriott is very rewarding if you know how: Read How to Earn Free Nights With Marriott. To summarize -use the refer-a-friend bonus to get yourself and the account that referred you, 2,000 points per stay each. Then do a Platinum Challenge which will give you 50% more bonus points as well as lounge access and better upgrades. Then register for the Megabonus.
I can’t figure out why Marriott isn’t the most rewarding program of the major chains right now. Very sorry to say this but, Hyatt and SPG promos have sucked lately. Meanwhile Marriott is always offering a free night at a category 4 for every 2 stays you have. It’s really not bad if you can use a category 1-4 cert. I’ve stayed at the Courtyard Hong Kong, Renaissance Bangkok, Renaissance Saigon and the Guam Marriott Resort from these certs. Great uses of these certs as executive lounges in Asia are awesome. Each time we are Platinum members on the challenge, but the hotel doesn’t know the difference. I also can’t help but notice that the JW Marriott in Kuala Lumpur, Bejing, Hanoi, Quito, Caracas, Cairo and Ankara are all on this list. It seems any of these hotels are worth 2 nights at a cheaper hotel. Still, that’s from one promotion and you still earn points at the normal rate.
Let me break it down. 4 months of the year I’m a Platinum member solely from the challenge and my wife is Platinum a different four months. 8 months of the year we’re Platinum for doing nothing more than calling.
One more thing: Durring the challenge, log onto Marriott and send a replacement card showing your Platinum status. Scan it and do a status match with Priority Club to Platinum; Club Carlson to Gold; Accor to Platinum; Hilton to Gold and possibly Hyatt to Platinum. Free Marriott Platinum Status turns into free status with everyone.