15 shortcuts to Marriott Platinum Elite status

Breakfast shown here is from the US Grant Luxury Collection (SPG) hote. This is one of many properties where Platinum Elites get free breakfast.

Marriott, SPG, and Ritz-Carlton’s rewards programs will merge into one program (but still with three different names) in August.  With regards to elite benefits, they’re mostly getting better for Marriott elites, but they’re getting a bit worse for SPG elites.  Meanwhile, elites will continue to get no meaningful recognition at Ritz properties (boo).  For details about the upcoming program merger, please see our guide: Marriott SPG Ritz Transition Guide.

The following chart shows how your current elite status will change in August.  It’s important to note that current status matches between SPG and Marriott will not help.  In other words, if you earned SPG Gold status through stays, a credit card, whatever, you can currently match that to Marriott Gold, but you’re August status will still be Gold Elite unless you also earned Marriott Gold directly.

The sweet spot elite status in the new program is Platinum Elite.  This will get you the vast majority of the best benefits: 4pm late checkout, 50% point bonus, welcome gift, free breakfast at most properties, and lounge access.  And, when you earn 50 elite nights you also get a choice benefit such as 5 suite night awards.

Of course, you might not have the opportunity to actually stay 50 nights at Marriott & SPG properties.  But all hope is not lost.  There are quite a few shortcuts to status that you can pursue instead…

Two Distinct Shortcut Paths: Elite Nights vs. Other Shortcuts

There are two types of shortcuts to elite status.  One type of shortcut offers a way to get elite nights more quickly or easily.  Elite night shortcuts are stackable.  That is, you can mix and match these shortcuts in order to earn whatever level of status you want.  The other shortcuts are not stackable. Each offers a way to get to a specific level of status, but if you want to go for a higher level of status, these generally won’t help.

Elite Night Shortcuts

The following shortcuts are stackable.  You can earn elite nights from one or more of these options in order to add them up to the 50 nights you need.

The credit card options are stackable in 2018 only:

  1. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card: 15 elite nights.  If you have this card, then you either already received 15 elite nights or you’ll get 15 elite nights added to your account upon your card anniversary.  If you received an offer to upgrade to the new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus, make sure not to upgrade until after the 15 elite nights post.
  2. Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card: 15 elite nights.  Sign up for this card to get 15 elite nights.  If you already have this card, then you either already received 15 elite nights or you’ll get 15 elite nights added to your account upon your card anniversary.
  3. Big spend on above cards earns elite nights: 1 elite night per $3K spend.
  4. SPG personal card: 5 elite nights. SPG and Marriott elite nights will combine in August.
  5. SPG business card: 5 elite nights. SPG and Marriott elite nights will combine in August.
  6. Host Marriott meeting: 10 elite nights per meeting.  Make sure the elite night benefit is listed in your meeting contract.
  7. SPG: Earn elite night credit for up to 3 rooms at once (until August)
  8. Book award nights.  Marriott hotels are available for as little as 7,500 points per night (6,000 points per night when point saver awards are available).  SPG free nights are available for as little as 2,000 Starpoints per night (6,000 Marriott points) on weekends, or 3,000 Starpoints per night (9,000 Marriott points) on weekdays.
  9. Book 5th night free awards (even if staying 4 nights).  Both programs offer 5th night free awards, but until August SPG offers them only for categories 3 and higher.  Best deal for mattress running: Book a Marriott category 1 hotel for 5 nights.  For 30,000 points, you’ll get 5 elite nights.  Note that you do have to check into the hotel to get credit.

Once you earn 50 elite nights this year, your status will be good for the rest of this year, all of the next, and through February of the year after that.

Other Shortcuts

The following shortcuts will get you to a specific elite level, but you can’t stack them with elite nights to get higher status.

  1. Chase Ritz-Carlton Card (sign up before August): As long as you sign up before August, you’ll get Marriott Gold status which will convert to Platinum Elite status.  If you sign up August or later, you’ll only get Gold Elite in the new program (unless you spend $75K).  For complete details see: Consider getting the Ritz-Carlton card right now.
  2. Marriott Status Challenge. UPDATE: A few readers have posted that this is no longer available. YMMV.
    If you enroll before August:

    1. 6 paid stays will give you old Gold / new Platinum Elite
    2. 9 paid stays will give you old Platinum / new Platinum Elite Premier
      (Note that you must have Marriott Gold status to enroll in the 9 stay Platinum challenge)
  3. SPG 25 stays by December 31 2018 (SPG cards add 2 stays each). Stays must be with Starwood properties.
  4. SPG Lux Card (spend $75K).  The new SPG Luxury card that will premier in August will allow earning Platinum Elite status with $75K spend.
  5. United Gold elite or higher: Enroll in RewardsPlus before August (but status will only last through Jan 2019).  See: United Premier Elites: Sign up for RewardsPlus before August.
  6. Timeshare Ownership: Both Marriott and Starwood have affiliated timeshare ownership programs, and each offers elite status under certain conditions.  In the new program, if your timeshare promises Platinum status, you’ll get Platinum Elite status.  For those given Marriott Gold status, you might match up to Platinum Elite in August, but in future years I believe you’ll go back to Gold.

My Take

The easiest option for most is to simply sign up for the Ritz card before August.  Done.  In my case, I have all four credit cards that offer stackable elite nights in 2018.  That means that I’m starting with 40 elite nights and so it will be really easy to reach 50.  In fact, I’m interested in going for Platinum Premier Elite 75 night status (see why in this post).  The Ritz card won’t help with that unless I get it and spend $75K really fast.  I don’t plan to do so.  Instead, I’ll earn the extra 25 elite nights through actual stays and maybe a meeting or two.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

99
Leave a Reply

avatar
27 Comment threads
72 Thread replies
22 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
37 Comment authors
Nick ReyesAliff SabriSusanGreg The Frequent MilerChristine B Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Preacher
Guest
Preacher

So the Marriott Status Challenge requires 6 paid stays to get Gold. That really means paid stays, right? Award/points stays don’t count?

Alan
Guest
Alan

From the t&c of the Marriott Rewards Premier Business card, “You will automatically receive Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year as a cardmember,” it seems that the card is not giving 15 EQN but rather an outright silver status. If applying for the card now, can anyone confirm that the new cardholders can still receive the 15 EQN?

Christine B
Guest
Christine B

Will Aug 1- Dec 31st stays count toward this total?

I have 23 with Marriott (CC + 8 nights) plus 11 with SPG (CCx2 + 1 night) = 34 total. Then I have 11 more Marriott nights planned in August, which brings me to 45 if they count. It would then be worth redirecting my stays or even a mattress run at that point.

My attempts to book a meeting have so far been unsuccessful…none of the Marriott sales folks seem to know what I’m talking about.

losingtrader
Guest
losingtrader

How about just not staying at these properties and getting free breakfast at Hilton as a gold in many different ways instead of sometimes in getting it at Marriott?
I’d just pay for breakfast versus any of these.
Better yet, as you know , I should skip breakfast,. So, carry on and ignore me

Sapito
Guest
Sapito

Do the 7 nights from hotel +air packages count towards elite status??

Nun
Guest
Nun

MR gave me an elite night as a birthday gift. Maybe you can watch for that 🙂

David
Guest
David

Just to verify, the Marriott business card still offers 15 elite night credits for this year? If so Greg, any idea if that offer will end in August?

SteveH
Guest
SteveH

For new sign ups, it states that the 15 elite nights are on card anniversary. I signed up in December and do not see any additional elite nights on my account:
“With your Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, you earn 15 credits toward Elite Status annually, after your account anniversary, qualifying you for Elite Status7 (Silver Benefits) each year.”

Brett W
Guest
Brett W

I have Marriott Gold via my AmEx Platinum card. Will that Gold status convert to Platinum Elite come August 1st? ( I also have 45 nights this year via both Marriott cards, both SPG cards and a few nights actually stayed).

Gabe
Guest
Gabe

If I understand correctly from previous readings, you will remain as Gold. Only signing up for the Ritz card will convert the Gold to Platinum status.

Eason
Guest
Eason

A question: If enrolled in the platinum challenge before August, but complete the challenge after August, what elite status will be? Platinum or Platinum Premier?

Theresa
Guest
Theresa

How long is the ritz before Aug plat elite good for? 1 year? Then following year I’d have to spend 75k to get it again?

HLC
Guest
HLC

If my “1st” anniversary for my Marriott business credit card is in Sept will I get 15 night credits to use towards the new platinum, or does it need to post before August 1st?

Nick Reyes
Editor

You’ll get the 15 nights for this year.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Is anyone else considering this card to get United silver status for $150? Seems like a decent deal.

Greg The Frequent Miler
Guest
Greg The Frequent Miler

You would have to complete $75k spend on the Ritz card before August to get United Silver

Julian
Guest
Julian

Why? I just need Platinum elite status, which I should get just by signing up for the card. What am I missing?

Angie
Guest
Angie

If you sign up for the Ritz before August, do you also have to meet/finish the min spend before August to maintain platinum?

Do we know if the challenge will still be around after August? Probably won’t know that yet I assume…

Nick Reyes
Editor

The Ritz card comes with Gold in year 1, which will convert to Platinum in August. No need to meet a spending requirement.

We don’t know on the challenge. If you sign up for it before August, stays after will count. I assume they will likely continue to offer a challenge.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Actually, maybe I take that back on singing up for a challenge before August as per the comments below this.

Angie
Guest
Angie

Thanks Nick. Sorry, I just realized my question was confusing. I think my question will be too hard to answer as well now that I think about it. I’d like to know if we need to meet/finish the minimum spend before August to get the 2 free nights or if we’re safe if we utilize the full 3 months. I’m guess it’s okay since the certificates will turn into points?

Nick Reyes
Editor

You’ll be fine with waiting the full 3 months.

We don’t yet know for sure what will happen to the certificates. We think the certificates will still be certificates, they’ll just be valid at more properties (in fact, at all properties in the Ritz/Marriott/SPG porfolio if we’re right). I’d put the chance of them becoming points at about 20% — but if they do, that’s an even better outcome since you can then enjoy greater flexibility.

See this post for more:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/06/04/consider-getting-the-ritz-carlton-card-right-now/

Jay
Guest
Jay

Marriott Status Challenges are no longer available (may be until after August?)
Literally just tried this afternoon by phone twice, chat once, and email twice.
One of the CSRs said they ended the challenges on June 11.

If anyone has a specific point of contact that will work, I’m all ears.

Gary
Guest
Gary

Yep, I was told the exact same thing last night.
Challenges are currently on hold. I tried to do a platinum challenge yesterday.

Kalei
Guest
Kalei

Do closed accounts count? I had the personal SPG but closed it to get the SPG Biz 3 months ago. My SPG account says I have 4 stays YTD & 10 nights YTD, even though I haven’t stayed at an SPG property in 2018. Will all 10 nights count for the August 1?

I also have the Marriott Personal card so that’s 15 more nights + 2 nights (even though Marriott doesn’t list the 15 nights from the CC on my account?

So worst case, I would have 5 nights from SPG, 17 nights from Marriott…best case + 5 more from SPG = 27, so I’d have to stay 23 nights before August 1?

Or just get the Ritz card & avoid that all?
Is that right? I’m nervous about Chase these days but Platinum status doesn’t seem possible for me without this Ritz card….

Thanks in advance for your help

Nick Reyes
Editor

You said that your SPG account shows 4 stays and 10 nights YTD. Those won’t disappear – they count whether the credit cards are open or closed.

When did you open your Marriott personal account? You get the 15 nights at anniversary. For example, my wife got 15 nights (if I remember correctly) when she opened her account in ~Oct 2017. She therefore won’t get the 15 nights credit for 2018 until her anniversary in ~Oct. If your account isn’t showing the 15 nights, I’m betting your anniversary date hasn’t arrived yet.

So it sounds like you’ll have 27 nights between the 3 credit cards you have and two more nights in hotels. You need credit for 23 more nights. You don’t need 23 nights before August — you need 23 nights by December 31st.

August only matters for those taking a shortcut to status by finding a way to get current (old) Marriott Gold or Platinum so they can get transitioned to something “better” in the new program (I put better in quotation marks because the new Platinum is really just about equal to old Gold). One such shortcut is getting the Ritz card now because that gives you current (old) Gold which will become new Platinum.

For the record, you don’t necessarily need to stay 23 nights. You need to get credit for 23 nights. Holding a meeting at a Marriott can get you 10 nights credit. Spending $3K on your Marriott card can get you 1 night of credit. Using your annual Marriott free night cert will get you a night. Stacking just a few of those things can easily cut the number of nights you need to stay in half. And remember that SPG nights also count (and award nights can be as cheap as 2K points per night..award stays count).

The Ritz card is the path of least resistance, but this post has other options if that one doesn’t appeal to you.

Kalei
Guest
Kalei

Thanks for your reply. I opened my Marriott personal in 11/16, so yes, I guess my anniversary nights for this won’t happen til November, so I’m thinking the only way for me to get quick status is the Ritz card….just so worried about Chase. I really want to get it though, I think that’s an awesome shortcut.

Rick
Guest
Rick

Hi Greg, I assume getting Marriott gold in August by Ritz Carlton card is automatic and doesn’t require additional action, correct? Thanks in advance!

matt
Guest
matt

Greetings, I’m in need of advice. I currently have 660 MR nights and 1,470,000 points and have been a MR gold elite and higher for 7 years and have MR lifetime Silver. I have the MR chase business card and premier card already. I’m trying to come up with a way to get MR Gold or the new Plat for lifetime. I read about a loophole in transferring point to SPG – to wife account – and back again. I currently have 39 stays. Any thoughts on getting lifetime Marriott Platinum. I no longer travel for work and have 900,000 points to spend. Thank You in advance for any guidance you can provide. v/r. Matt

Matt
Guest
Matt

Any idea how long it is taking for Marriott/Ritz status to change to Plat after meeting the 75k spend on Ritz card? I met the spend at the end of April, my statement posted mid May, but so far my status still remains unchanged at the Gold level. Wondering if I should call in, or if it normally takes longer than the 5 weeks that it has now been since statement closed?

Nick Reyes
Editor

I believe the terms state 6-8 weeks, but I’m not sure how long it typically takes.

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

I don’t have a Marriott card only SPG. Would only Business card give 15 nights in 2018, but not Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Correct.

LAC LONG QUAN
Guest
LAC LONG QUAN

Hi Greg:
I need your advice about getting Marriott credit nights to meet required credit night before the end of this year.
You wrote that “…Note that you do have to check into the hotel to get credit…”.
Does it mean I make reservation, my friends will stay. but I will get credit nights?
Or nobody needs to show up/checkin at all and I still get credit nights for the reservation?

Thank you.

Nick Reyes
Editor

It says “you do have to check in”. In other words, “you have to check in”. I think you misread it.

Fresh
Guest
Fresh

I have to ask the same since some are saying the Marriott Platinum challenge isn’t working. What if I did the spg platinum challenge which is still available? Would that match give me Marriott Platinum primiere elite?

Fresh
Guest
Fresh

Also for having the Amex platinum giving me Marriott gold shouldn’t that give me Marriott Platinum elite in August then instead of doing the challenge?

Neil
Guest
Neil

I’m a current SPG Plat but likely won’t requalify for 2019 considering the upcoming change to multiple room credits. SPG and MR account are already linked. If I acquire the Ritz card this month, I understand it gives me automatic MR Gold, but will my currently-matched MR Platinum somehow mess up this maneuver since my current MR status is “higher” than the comped status from the card?

Nick Reyes
Editor

That scenario is hard to predict. I could see it going either way and I think it would be hard for anyone to guarantee one way or the other.

I think since your MR GOld status would be set to expire later, maybe that expiration date would take precendence? Hard to say. I know you’d like a more conrete answer, but I think it’s going to be a leap of faith if you go the route of the Ritz card, and it’s about 50-50. Maybe even 40-60 that it won’t work.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Hmm, thanks for the input. I’m think I’m going to reach out to SPG and see if there’s some way to unlink my accounts and thereby clear my MR status. I don’t have any MR stays in July so seems like that might be the safe option if it works.

LeoM
Guest
LeoM

Hi Greg and hi Nick,

No Mas Coach re-advertised yesterday the meeting route with low spend (if one finds the right properties of course), but pushing to meet the “spend” or meeting dates by July 19th to be sure the nights post by Aug 1st. I read on your master thread that the 10 Elite Nights per meeting will continue after Aug 1st. Can you confirm? If so there’s no need to hurry and meet the Meetings “Spend” by July 19th correct?
Thanks!

Nick Reyes
Editor

No hurry unless you need breakfast status soon after the programs merge. Truth be told, we don’t even know the date when the programs combine. No Mas Coach cited August 1st because that’s what Marriott had been saying — but they have since become more coy in referring to when things combine “in August” — i.e. without a set date in August. View from the Wing recently reported that it’s not likely going to be August 1st.

The rush is really just for those who, for example, only have Marriott Gold (free breakfast today) because of a match from SPG. That will remain Gold (no breakfast) whenever the programs merge unless you have 50 nights. So if you’re in that boat and you have a stay planned in mid-August, you’d want to make sure to wrap up your 50 nights before then in case they merge before you check in.

LeoM
Guest
LeoM

Perfect thanks Nick!

Christine B
Guest
Christine B

Similar situation. I’ve 46 Marriott (15 from cc, 11 nights stayed, 20 Rewarding Events) plus 11 SPG (10 from cc, 1 night stayed) = 57, which gets me Platinum 50. But will this be combined in time for my fancy Marriott Resort stay August 4-14 where the hotel breakfast is amazing but expensive is anyone’s guess.

Thinking I need to do one more rewarding event to put me at 56 Marriott. Combine that with 11 SPG + 10 more nights from my trip gives me Platinum 75 until end of 2019.

Sigh

Nick Reyes
Editor

That’s a bummer. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

I wonder what will happen to folks who are mid-stay when things convert…

Dushyant
Guest
Dushyant

Other way to get a quick Platinum Status is via Founderscard, It gives 3 months of Marriott Gold status instant and if you stay 6 paid nights consecutive within 3 months, your gold status gets extended until Feb 2019.

Susan
Guest
Susan

I need some advice. I have the Marriott Platinum status after the merge. For 2018, I have the Marriott Rewards Premier card and my 15 elite credit nights have been posted months ago. I only have 36 nights from stay and cc spending so far. I expect to have several more nights accrue for the next few months, but possibly running short of the 50 to stay as Platinum in 2019. wondering if I upgrade to the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card now, will I get an additional 15 nights for this year? Also, if I stay with the Premier (not upgrading to Premier Plus), will the card continue to get one Elite night credit per $3K spend in 2019? Thanks in advance for your help!

Nick Reyes
Editor

1) No, you won’t get an additional 15 nights for the upgrade.

2) We haven’t yet heard about the elite night credit per $3K spend going away on the personal card. Since they got rid of that benefit on the business card as of August 26th, I could imagine that benefit eventually getting eliminated on the personal version as well. I don’t know whether or not it will last into 2019.

If you haven’t hosted any meetings, you could consider booking a cheap meeting for 10 nights’ credit. Also keep in mind that the 5th night is free on Cat 1 stays now (wasn’t previously the case for SPG properties), so a 5-night Cat 1 stay could be a cheapish way to pick up 5 nights of credit. Also, if you have any free night certificates, those are elite qualifying nights.

Susan
Guest
Susan

Nick, many thanks for your reply!!

Susan
Guest
Susan

Hi Nick, after reading this on Marriott.com, I wonder if the meeting/event spending needs to actualizes to minimum of 10 rooms for 1 night. Excerpt from Marriott FAQ page:

“As a Rewards member, you are qualified to earn points or miles with your signed Group Sales agreement or contract for any social event, meeting or room block that actualizes to at least 10 rooms for one night.”
..
“As a Rewards member, you will earn 10 Elite nights for each group, meeting or event in addition to the points or miles earned for any qualifying charge”.

Your thoughts?

Nick Reyes
Editor

I’m not sure. I know there’s a Flyertalk thread on this and many people have used the benefit over the years. I haven’t as I haven’t chased Marriott status.

Aliff Sabri
Guest
Aliff Sabri

Hello, i have one question that you might know.
If i managed to get Platinum Elite in 2018, is it possible to maintain this status in following years? If so, how?
Thanks in advance

Nick Reyes
Editor

You need 50 nights per year to maintain status. This post lays out some shortcuts for getting to 50 nights.

Starting next year, you’ll only get 15 nights of elite credit from one credit card (they won’t stack), so you’ll need 35 nights + the 15 credits from one credit card.