Please note that this night based challenge has now expired. I have a new post about the latest requirement of getting fast track to Silver/Gold/Platinum status with Marriott. You can access it here.
You can get a temporarily match to Gold or Platinum status with Marriott rewards, and then you have at minimum three months to complete 12 nights for Gold or 18 nights for Platinum status depending which challenge you requested/were targeted for. The normal Gold status requirement is 50 nights and Platinum status 75 nights within a calendar year. Both Starwood and Hyatt have similar programs available. You can read about Starwood options here and Hyatt’s procedures here.
Marriott uses somewhat interchangeably words Taste of Gold/Platinum, status match, and challenge when it comes to accelerating the status with the program.
The key is to start the challenge after the 1st of the month. If you start the taste of challenge on May 1st, you have only May, June, and July time to complete it. By starting May 5th you would have not only May, June, and July, but also August to complete it.
Marriott will give you an instant Gold or Platinum status for the duration of the taste of period and will extend it upon completion of the required number of nights.
It is somewhat ambiguous whether you can do challenges year after year, but I would definitely not count on it.
The best time to apply for a challenge would be right after beginning of next month. Then you would have the Gold or Platinum status until the end of August, 2012 and, if you successfully completed the challenge, the status would be valid until February 2014.
Then in 2014 you can probably do another Taste of Gold/Platinum or simply buy back the Gold/Platinum status for additional year. Marriott Rewards has offered every year a chance to buy back the previous status, if you have been downgraded. You can read more about the process on a recent piece that I wrote.
To request the taste of Gold/Platinum just send an email to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or elite.member@Marriott.com. Alternatively you can send them a message through Marriott.com, or give them a call. If you get shot down by email, it doesn’t hurt to give them a call or vice versa.
Here’s a typical reply that you can expect:
The Platinum challenge requires that a member must stay 18 paid nights beginning with the date the upgrade is processed till the end of the promotional three month period and is a one-time offer.
Once the member has stayed 18 paid nights, the Platinum Elite status will be extended until February 2014. To retain this status for all of 2014, the member would need to stay the qualifying number of nights during 2013. The Silver Elite level requires 10 personal paid nights, the Gold Elite level requires 50 personal paid nights, and the Platinum Elite level requires 75 personal paid nights.
Should the member be unable to stay the 18 paid nights during this trial period, the member’s account would be returned to the member’s original status, and the member would need to stay the normal night requirements to regain this Platinum Elite level.
Elite nights earned through promotions that appear as non-stay nights in the member’s account do not qualify for this offer.
Have you experiences the Taste of Gold/Platinum program, status challenge, or status march with Marriott Rewards? When did you apply and how long were your status valid? Please leave a comment below.