As I wrote yesterday, the requirements for lifetime Marriott Silver, Gold, and Platinum status are changing in 2013 and the program becomes official.
It is important that you know:
1. How many nights you have with Marriott Rewards
2. How many lifetime Marriott Rewards points you have earned
It is easy to check the number of nights you have with Marriott. You just need to log into your Marriott Rewards account and click View Rewards Activity. You then have access to a summary that shows the number of “Total Membership Nights” that are used for the lifetime requirement qualification.
Founding the number of Marriott points that you have earned during your account existence is more difficult, however. This information is not available online right now, but probably is sometime next year once the lifetime program has officially kicks in. You need to either call or email Marriott Rewards customer service using the Contact Us web form. I was surprised to get a response back in less than an hour yesterday, when I inquired about my lifetime point total.
So, here’s my case
I have few stays more than 500 nights with Marriott Rewards that qualifies me for lifetime Gold status under the night criteria. I do need to fulfill the number of points earned during the membership as well. According to Marriott Rewards, I had earned 1,421,793 since joining Marriott Rewards back in 2005. I would need to have 1.6 million points.
What I will do to get my lifetime points up
Marriott counts all the points that have deposited to account for the lifetime points earned calculations. Base points, elite bonuses, possible extra points that hotel is offering, MegaBonuses, Shopping online through Marriott Mall, buying points, points earned from Marriott branded credit cards etc.
The fastest way for me to get the tally up is to buy the maximum number of point allowed during the calendar year of 2012 and then again in early 2013. The price that Marriott charges for their points is rather reasonable $12.50 per 1000 points. You can only buy or be gifted 50K Marriott Rewards points during a calendar year.
Marriott is also awarding bonus Marriott Rewards points for gift card purchases. You could earn 10 points per dollar loaded for up to 20K bonus points until the end of 2012.
What you can do to get your lifetime nights up
The easiest and fastest way is to start arranging meetings at Marriott properties. You can schedule an hour long meeting and rent a space for it. This qualifies you for 10 night credit. I will write about this in the next few days.
The new constraint to qualify for lifetime status for many is the number of lifetime points earned vs nights. Especially, if your average daily rates have been rather low OR you have been crediting your Marriott stays towards airline miles instead of points (crediting straight to airline miles make very little sense).
In my case, it makes sense to start buying the maximum number of Marriott Rewards points per calendar year that is allowed under the program. When I do it in 2012 and again early in 2013, I am very close to meeting the 1.6 million earned point requirement as well.
I have enough points sitting in my account that, when I add two purchases and points coming in, it would allow me to issue a Travel Package with 120K mile air component. I would wait until an airline offers significant bonus for hotel points transferred/converted before doing that, however.