Marriott Rewards has several Gold & Platinum Status Match, Fast Track, Taste Of and/or Road To offers that sometimes are open for all and other times targeted.
The main difference is that the Taste Of and Road To-offers usually give the Gold or Platinum status up front for the duration of the challenge. You get to keep the status *if* you fulfill the requirements. The others won’t give you the status up front, but only after you have completed the required number of nights or stays.
You can access Marriott Rewards page for Gold and Platinum benefits here.
“Taste Of” Or “Road To” Gold & Platinum
Marriott Rewards often targets accounts for “Taste Of” or “Road To” promotions. You may find the status upgrade by signing in to your account, after receiving an email from Marriott or sometimes they mail out a flyer.
The requirements usually are 6 stays for Gold and 9 stays for Platinum over three month period.
Note that these are based on STAYS and not on NIGHTS. You must switch between hotels if you want to get the number of stays in fast.
Note that you can only do one of these very 12 months. If you complete a Gold one, you cannot do Platinum one for a year.
Status Match or Fast Track
Marriott used to easily grant Gold or Platinum status for the duration of the status match/fast track. There were some that misused this only to get the elevated status in for few stays without ever contemplating to actually complete it.
So, now you can request the Gold or Platinum challenges that require 6 or 9 stays over three month period. Once you have successfully completed the challenge, your status will then be upgraded.
How to request Gold or Platinum offer?
You can either do it by contacting Marriott Rewards customer service by filling out the online form (access here) or by calling the number. If you get turned down over the email, I would suggest that you give them a call. There appears to be quite a bit of leeway what the agents are allowed to do.
Keeping the Gold or Platinum status?
The Gold usually required 50 nights and Platinum 75 nights during a calendar year. Marriott has a yearly Elite Status Buy Back Promotion for 25,000 points for Gold or 40,000 points for Platinum.
Marriott Rewards is still rather easy to get Gold or Platinum status if you are willing to switch hotels every nights as these challenges are based on STAYS and not on NIGHTS.
Once you have got the status, you an keep it indefinitely by buying back the status yearly using Marriott Rewards points (at least they have allowed this as long as I can remember).
Marriott Rewards Gold or Platinum status is worthwhile and will become even more essential once the now Starwood hotels are integrated to the program that is likely to happen late 2017/early 2018.