Marriott Lets You Call Up and Request Top Tier Elite Status

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: rewards.procedures@marriott.com, marriott.concierge@marriott.com, 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.

marriott platinum challenge

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The challenge period is the rest of the current month plus 3 months. You can re-request a challenge 12 months after your last challenge lapses. 12+3=15. That portion of the policy is unchanged. For folks who can hotel hop the stay based challenge is much easier.

  2. @Ann – as I say it’s much easier over the phone. Most recent personal and direct experience was earlier in the summer when an email request yielded Gold for a friend.

  3. Yesterday I called (801) 468-4000 and requested the Platinum Challenge (PLC). I was immediately enrolled in the PLC and was told that this morning my status would be upgraded from Silver to Platinum. I did check online and my status is now indeed Platinum. I have until December 31 to complete 9 stays, not nights. Next week I was suppose to spend 3 nights at one property. This would have counted for 1 stay. This morning I changed my reservation to 2 nights at the original location and will relocate to different property closer to the airport for my 3rd and last night. This should now count for 2 stays. 2 down… 7 to go…

  4. @Michael, Marriott Rewards Customer Service in the United States and Canada (801) 468-4000 (8:15am – 9:00pm, Monday – Friday, US Eastern time)
    1 800 450 4442 (toll-free, 24 hours/7 days per week)
    Please note: the toll free number is an automated line, so you may have to wait until Monday morning to get a hold of a customer service agent.

  5. If you take the Platinum status challenge, but come short and hit enough stays for gold, will you be able to keep gold? …or should I only do the request for what I am absolutely sure I can make…?

  6. I e-mailed Marriott stating that I was a Diamond member with Hilton and Platinum member with SPG, and I’d like to move my business over Marriott.

    They wrote back with this:

    Thank you for contacting Marriott Rewards.

    Our program does not have an aspect that provides Elite status for nights spent at our competitors.

    The Elite status of a Marriott Rewards member is normally calculated each year based on the number of Elite nights accrued in a calendar year, January 1 to December 31. Marriott Rewards members need to reach 10 Elite nights for the Silver level, 50 Elite nights for the Gold level, or 75 Elite nights for the Platinum level.

  7. If you go for the Gold challenge, but come up short, will they give you Silver? I’m former Silver, and know I can get silver again through the challenge, but think there’s a good chance I can actually get Gold too. I’m considering going for Gold, but it would suck to come up short and end back up at nada.

  8. I originally tried to do this via email and received the same unhelpful email from the rep, who said they don’t do this but if I send proof of my status and stay history with other hotels, they will consider something.
    So I called just now and got the platinum challenge for 9 stays without any problem.

  9. Would do Gold but not Platinum–and I am fine w/that. Free wi-fi was my main goal. 6 stays (not nights) by 12/31 to stay Gold….it could happen.

  10. I am doing the PLC now. I will have 8 paid stays by this weekend, and I also had a reward stay ( free). Does that count towards the 9 stays, or should I book one more stay till end of the year? TIA.

  11. I just phoned and they’re supposed to set me up for a challenge based on this thread, so I’ll try to come back and report in a few weeks on if my status has changed online and I get the upgrade! I miss my platinum status.

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