LoyaltyLobby reports that Marriott has changed the requirements for its elite status challenges.
Marriott will offer almost anyone and everyone a status challenge just for the asking. They do not ask you to prove that you have any existing status. You just tell them, for instance, that you are a current top tier elite with a competing hotel chain and are interesting in moving some business to Marriott and it would be a lot easier to do that if they would match your current status.
They won’t “match” status, they’ll usually tell you, but as an exception they will register you for a status challenge that will give you temporary status — the rest of the current month and then an upcoming three months.
You can request the status challenge via telephone or e-mail. In my experience and understanding, that request is most likely to be met by a willingness to offer temporary Marriott Platinum status and a Marriott Platinum challenge when you call Marriott Rewards, while they tend to be more likely to offer a Marriott Gold challenge over e-mail.
Frequent Miler is in the midst of a Platinum challenge with Marriott and was told that he could do a Platinum challenge “once per year.”
When I did a Marriott Platinum challenge earlier in the year — which I abandoned after being confronted through stay experiences with just how unrewarding elite status is with Marriott — they told me that you could do the challenge every 15 months.
Back at the beginning of the year the requirement to keep Platinum status was to do 18 nights during the three-plus months I was given the status from my Marriott Platinum Challenge.
Now, as Frequent Miler and Loyalty Lobby indicated, keeping status is based on stays rather than nights:
- Silver status for 3 stays during the challenge period
- Gold status for 6 stays during the challenge period
- Platinum status for 9 stays during the challenge period
That means you can keep Platinum status for as little as 9 one-night stays when doing a Marriott Platinum Challenge. Which strikes me as crazy in a way since Marriott’s ‘regular’ mechanism for status qualification is the most stringent of any chains, Gold requires 50 nights whereas that same number of nights in any other chain would mean top rather than mid-tier status.
And of course since you can continually re-challenge for status, it would appear that under current rules you can have whatever (un-earned) status you wish with Marriott for three-plus out of every 18 months or so with a given account.
Loyalty Lobby offers the following email addresses for status challenge requests: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or elite.member@Marriott.com. I personally prefer the calling method. When I called for my own status challenge they did not ask me to send them any proof of my current status with a competing chain, even though I would have happily done so.
Some folks will wonder whether you can leverage Marriott elite status into status with another chain, and in some cases you can. Certainly you’re likely to have success with Club Carlson if you want their status, or with Best Western. Folks really like trying with Hyatt, and sometimes are successful (Hyatt offers status challenges as well for 90 days, those status challenges come with confirmed suite upgrades which is great, but generally Hyatt actually wants to see not just that you are an elite member in another program but also wants to see your account activity in that program which is why it no longer usually works to ask Hyatt to match).
Sometimes requesting the challenge will lead to a rejection, if that happens over email then call to make the request instead. If it happens by phone, hang up and try another agent or shoot off an email.