Marriott is the only program that lets you buy back your elite status if you didn’t re-qualify at the same level as the year before (or re-qualify at all).
They’ve been making this offer for years, every year and at the same pricing.
- Platinum: 40,000 points
- Gold: 25,000 points
- Silver: 7,500 points
The offer is available until April 1 so you don’t have to decide right away.
You cannot buy ‘up’ to a higher level than you’ve qualified for in the past. If you were a Gold you cannot spend points to buy back to Platinum.
This offer is valid through April 1, 2016 and allows only one level of buyback, which must match the Elite level you enjoyed in 2015. All Marriott Rewards program terms and conditions apply. Once your status has been reinstated for 2016, you can see your updated mobile Elite membership card in the Marriott app. If you don’t have enough points in your account, you can always buy up to 50,000 points every year.
I believe Gold, for lounge access, is the sweet spot in the program. United Golds and above get Marriott Gold for free. There’s not much incremental (published) benefit to Platinum over Gold. Platinum doesn’t even get guaranteed late checkout, breakfast at resorts or Courtyard properties, or promises of a suite upgrade when available. Platinum does receive United Silver status and more bonus points for Marriott stays though. Silver is not worth much.
Marriott SkyCity Hong Kong Airport
Whether spending points to retain your status is worthwhile to you likely depends on how much you plan to use that status in the coming year. Think about the number of nights you’ll do with Marriott, the incremental benefits of the status, and allocate the cost across those nights to see whether it’s subjectively worthwhile to you.
Roughly speaking I view buying back Marriott Gold status as costing $200 worth of points. If you’re going to do 25 Marriott nights even in the coming year (Gold is 50 nights to qualify) that’s prepaying $8 a night for incremental bonus points and lounge access/breakfast.