A decade ago I wrote about the meetings and events trick to earn cheap Marriott Platinum status.
- Marriott Rewards gave 10 elite night credits for every meeting held
- There are reports of meetings as cheap as $20 at limited-service properties in Southeast Asia, but a couple hundred bucks in the U.S. was normal.
- That made this the cheapest mattress run going, and it was quick and easy
In fact, someone earning 15 elite nights with a credit card needed 60 more for Platinum. Six meetings did the trick. Do it at the start of a year and status was good for basically two years.
The Marriott Bonvoy program did away with this leveraged play, limiting you to one meeting per year earning 10 elite nights. Still, with 15 nights from a co-brand credit card and 10 from a meeting that makes 50 night Platinum status achievable after just 25 nights in hotels.
A Marriott meetings sales manager shared that they learned from headquarters that the elite qualifying night benefit exists “at least through the end of this year, I believe it will not exist next year.”
I asked Marriott about an impending change and a spokesperson shared, “We have no updates regarding the benefit at this time. If that should ever change, we would communicate it to our members.”
Let’s parse this.
- “No updates” means they aren’t sharing anything, it doesn’t mean no plans to make this change.
- Indeed, instead of suggesting no change is on the horizon they’re saying that they will communicate anything they do change.
Marriott did not deny that the 10 elite nights for any event benefit is changing, although it’s not clear when or what the change will be (they simply promise to tell us if they make changes).
My read is this: if you want to take advantage of this opportunity in 2020 it might be a good idea to do it early in the year. Marriott has already made changes to its terms and conditions (without notice!) since the new program launched less than a year and a half ago.
We’ll have to see how this develops for future years.