I graduated college in 2005 and took a job at a large consulting firm. I lived the 3-4-5 lifestyle where I slept at a hotel 3 nights a week, worked at the client site 4 days a week, and spent the fifth day (Fridays) at my local office (or really just working from my couch!). This meant I was spending a lot of nights in a hotel. I was traveling to Bentonville, Arkansas (home of Walmart) and at the time the only nearby hotels were lower level Marriott’s. Needless to say, I ended up racking up a good amount of Marriott nights and points during this project! Unfortunately though the nightly rate was pretty inexpensive so I definitely did not earn as many points as my colleagues on projects in larger cities, oh well.
I was recently looking at my Marriott account and realized that obtaining lifetime Gold or Platinum status is actually do-able. I am already lifetime Silver, but let’s be honest – that gets me close to nothing. I never really cared in the past since I somehow always maintained Gold or Platinum status and this is the first year I’ve actually dropped down to Silver.
With Marriott, earning lifetime status takes a decent amount of nights and points, but the good thing about it is that ALL nights and points earned count towards status. This is very different then the other hotel chains which really only include “base” points and “earned” nights. This means that the 15 nights you earn with the Marriott credit card count! As well as the points earned from every day spend and the sign up bonus with the credit card.
So right now I am at 737 nights and about 1.3 million points. That does not mean that is what I currently have in my account, but what I have earned in my lifetime. I am 262,000 points away from Gold and 662,000 points away from Silver. A lot of points away by definitely do-able! And only 13 nights away from Platinum which is easy to earn.
So I am definitely not going to earn 262,000 points or more by staying at Marriott hotels! I no longer travel for business like I used to so most hotel stays these days are on my own dime. And typically I am burning points, not earning points from hotel stays. Fortunately though, ALL points earned count towards status! This includes:
- Transfers from other members. You can receive 50,000 points a year from other members. Or even more if you need the points to book an award stay and you do not have enough points in your account. Fortunately my husband has some points as well as some other family members so I can transfer those points over. Assuming they allow me to transfer all of the points over, that actually might push me over the requirements needed. Keep in mind though when transferring points out of your account that will deduct points from that accounts lifetime status.
- Purchasing points. While an expensive method, if I am desperate I can always purchase up to 50,000 points a year. Not what I really want to do, but might be an option if I get close.
- Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards. Transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Marriott is a horrible value, so I would only do this IF push came to shove. Hyatt is typically the only worthwhile hotel partner.
- Credit card spend. While I have the Marriott credit card, it is not a card I use for everyday spend. Although I can always transfer my spend over there for a little while if need to.
- Credit card bonuses. The bonus offers for both the Marriott credit cards are really good right now, so those are definitely an option. Although I cannot apply for the business credit card yet since it has been less then 24 months since I last applied! And I have had the personal card since 2005 so I really do not want to cancel that card due to it being the first card I ever applied for.
*One thing to note is that transferring points from your Starwood account into your Marriott account does not count!
While I am pretty confident I will earn Marriott Gold for life with some of the methods above (which I will definitely pursue!), lifetime Marriott Platinum might be a little more challenging, but I am going to work on it. My main hesitation right now on doing anything too drastic (i.e., spending money or applying for more credit cards) since I am not yet sure how lifetime status will be calculated once Marriott and Starwood fully merge. If points earned from Starwood count, then I am golden! But as of now, no information has been released.
Earning any status for life is always a nice benefit!