Marriott Offers Elite Status Buyback for Members Who Did Not Requalify

In March 2008 I posted an offer to sign up for Marriott Rewards with instant gold status. The offer was even around for a few months.

Well, I signed up, and my status was valid through February, 2010. I took advantage of it a bit, but am just not much of a Marriott guy. So my status is about to end… or is it?

Yesterday I received an email offering me a chance to keep it. Through April 1 I have the following option:

Limited-time only! Buy back your Gold status for just 25,000 points – a 15,000-point savings. Use points you already have, or purchase points.

Anyone with status in 2009 can redeem points to keep that status through February, 2001. And Marriott will sell you up to 50,000 points per year for 1.25 cents per point.

I’ve got to think long and hard on this one, I will probably get just enough use out of my Gold status to make this worth it.  Barely.  At least I have a bit more than a month to mull it over.  Should I go for it?

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, 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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I don’t have any status with Marriott and apparently wasn’t following your blog when you made that 2008 post.

    That said, while I have stayed at a few Marriott-affiliated hotels over the last few years, I don’t think I have ever *had* to stay there. It was usually just an option I picked before I was seriously looking at hotel status as a useful thing. So if I had received this offer, I probably would pass as I don’t think I’d benefit from it.

  2. Or just call Marriott Rewards customer service like I did and tell them a story about how your company froze business travel or whatever last year and that is why you couldn’t accumulate enough nights to requalify. More than likely they will offer you a Chase For Gold challenge – you get Gold status right away and get to keep it until next February if you stay 12 nights within 3 (or was it 6?) months.

    If you have travel plans in the coming months, I think this is a better way than giving them a bunch of points.

  3. I’m facing the same quandry.

    I got my status thru that promo but can never accumulate 50 nights on my own dime.

    On 1 side, I don’t reap many benefits from my Gold status…as no lounges are open on weekends and iirc I never received a noticeable upgrade.

    Still…..I do often find myself at Marriotts especially using a great LNF rate.

    Plus, even buying the 25K points is waay cheaper than paying for stays to obtain status on the challenge.

    Finally, there are some promos (especially EEO BOGOs) that are only offered to Gold+Plats

    It’s tempting…

  4. I do 100+ hotel nights a year, but they’re too scattered to get Gold on my own. I’ve had it this year (from this promo or similar), but I’m not directly seeing the benefits, maybe some combination of no free breakfast at Courtyards and doing most of my Marriott stays via Priceline rates.

    Maybe I’ve gotten some late checkouts and a slightly better room here and there…

  5. ooops, let me rephrase that rather than “tempting”….what i meant to say was that despite not always reaping the bennies (limited as they may be) it still sucks to lose status that can be so easily reobtained

    decisions decisions….

  6. Big fan of your blog Gary. I emailed Marriott last week and got Marriott to match my SPG Gold status and Marriott gave me platinum. I just wrote a article about it on my blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *