Marriott has run this promotion yearly, where you can buy back the elite status you had the previous year, but lost due to not enough stays. As always the promotion runs from February 1st to April 2nd.
40000 Marriott Rewards points to buy back Platinum status
25000 Marriott Rewards points to buy back Gold status
7500 Marriott Rewards points to buy back Silver status
You can only buy back the elite status that you had the previous year. If you were Gold in 2011, you cannot buy back Platinum in 2012. You can buy Marriott Rewards points up to 50K per year in increments of 1000 points at $12.50 per 1000 points.
Does it make sense to buy back the status?
1. I would only buy back Platinum, if I had high number of planned stays at international properties where Platinum treatment is superior to that in the United States. Although suites are not officially part of the Platinum upgrades, you can get them regularly at international properties. Also the welcome amenity of bottle of wine and a cheese plate is quite common.
2. Buying back Gold status is easier choice. I would most likely do it because then you would be eligible for concierge floor upgrades and lounge access/breakfast.
3. Buying back Silver? Nah. Just get the Marriott Rewards credit card and you will get the Silver status automatically.
Another suggestion for keeping the 2011 status.
Marriott Rewards is known for not downgrading their elite members automatically even when you haven’t had enough stays. If you did get downgraded, it doesn’t hurt to give them a call or send an email and plead your case. You might be positively surprised.