In the past, I’ve made it a goal to keep top tier status on a single airline and a single hotel chain. Historically, that’s been United and Marriott. This year I decided i would go for Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum status, in addition to Marriott Platinum, and I got the former a few months ago.
At 75 nights, Marriott Platinum status has the highest amount of required nights of any hotel chain. That has a tendency to scare people off, but there are two things that can make Marriott’s top tier status much more attainable: rollover nights and the Chase Signature Premier VISA card.
Rollover nights are a simple concept to understand. Once someone hits a qualification level, any additional nights that year will credit as an advance to the next year. A Marriott Platinum member with 85 nights will start the following year with 10 qualifying nights. A Marriott Gold member with 74 nights will start the following year with 24 qualifying nights. A bunch of rollover nights make it much easier to qualify the following year!
The second thing that makes it easier to qualify for elite status with Marriott is the Chase Premier Signature VISA card. I’ve posted about this card before, but in terms of helping with elite status, the card offers 15 elite qualifying nights at the anniversary of the card, and every $3000 spent on the card is rewarded with a bonus elite night. So with $30,000 of annual spend, you’re already at 25 nights.
Toss in 25ish rollover nights, and you’re already at 50 nights. If you can up that credit card spend a bit and actually stay at some Marriott properties, then it’s not too difficult to get that top tier Platinum status with Marriott. While we could spend quite a long time debating Marriott vs other programs, one of the great things about Marriott Rewards is that they offer lifetime platinum status. It is achieved after the following qualifications are met:
- 2,000,000 total earned points (credit card points, stays, and bonuses all count)
- 12 years in the Marriott Rewards program
- 1000 nights
I don’t suspect that I’ll travel as often as I do now for the rest of my life, and lifetime Marriott Platinum will be a great thing to have later on. All of the credit card bonus nights that I mentioned above count toward lifetime status, which is fantastic.
Anyhow, back to the topic of the post, here’s my stay breakdown for this year:
Even though the picture shows 21 nights stayed, note that I crossed Platinum Elite status at 76 nights, with only 19 actual nights stayed.
The point of this post is that if you’re willing to spend a decent amount of money on the Chase card and stay a handful of nights at Marriott properties, making Platinum Elite isn’t that tough. Now that I’ve already qualified for Starwood Platinum, I’ll spend the rest of the year primarily staying at Marriott properties, boosting my night count so that I’ll have more rollover nights next year, making next year’s re-qualification even easier.