Marriott is the only hotel loyalty program that allows you to buy back the status that you had the previous year for a set number of points. This Elite Buy Back Promotion has again returned. You can access this offer here (note that you first need to sign to your Marriott Rewards account).
You can buy back the status you had in 2012 through April 1, 2013. The number of points requires is dependent of the status level that you wish to maintain.
Number of Marriott Rewards points required to buy back the status:
Platinum- 40000 points
Gold – 25000 points
Silver – 7500 points
Does it make sense to use points to buy back the status?
It really depends what your travel requirements are for 2013. Dropping from Gold to Silver is a big change as you no longer have access to club lounges or complimentary breakfast. There is no such a big difference between the Gold and Platinum, however.
Alternatively, you could consider doing a Taste of Platinum or Gold challenge that I have written about. You would need to do 6 or 9 stays within the month you sign up + 3 following months.
This is a great feature of Marriott Rewards program. You can always buy back the stays that you held the previous year, if you don’t qualify or Marriott doesn’t extend your status, for set number of points.