Marriott Rewards elite status challenges available again

16 nights in 3 months for Platinum, 8 nights in 3 months for Gold.

Marriott’s integration with Starwood has been something of an IT nightmare, and 19 days after the supposed merger members are still reporting issues with disappearing points, incorrectly combined nights and status and all other kinds of hi jinks.

If the abysmal manner in which Marriott has handled this merger hasn’t put you off the brand completely, you’ll be pleased to know that Marriott Rewards is once again offering status challenges.

As per God Save the Points, the new Marriott Rewards status challenge requires:

  • Platinum: 16 nights in 3 months
  • Gold: 8 nights in 3 months
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For comparison’s sake, the old Starwood challenge required

  • Platinum: 18 nights in 3 months
  • Gold: 9 nights in 3 months

The old Marriott Rewards never had an official status challenge program, but you could request for a “Taste of Gold” or “Taste of Platinum” status challenge which involved earning

  • Platinum with 9 stays in 90 days
  • Gold with 6 stays in 90 dayas
  • Silver with 3 stays in 90 days

In theory you could have attained Platinum status in the old Marriott Rewards program with just 9 nights, assuming you did 9 x 1 night stays (eg. by shuttling between neighboring properties every night), so this new threshold is significantly higher. That said, I think the majority of travelers aren’t the “switch each night” variety and in that respect, 16 nights might be easier for them to attain.

Registering for this challenge

To start this challenge, you’ll need to call Marriott Rewards (801-468-4000, use Skype) or Starwood Preferred Guest (888-625-4988, ditto). You should get an email confirming your enrolment and the qualifications you need to finish the challenge.

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Unlike a status match, it is unnecessary to demonstrate prior status with a competing chain. That’s to say, you can sign up for a challenge without any status at all. If you get a CSO who insists you need to have status, simply hang up and call again. Do note that you are limited to doing one challenge every three years.

There’s a lot of contradicting information out there as to whether award nights count towards this challenge. My first instinct was “no, of course not, what kind of stupid question is that” because I can’t think of any status challenge that has counted non-revenue nights. Apparently, however, this is what some members have been told by CSOs so we’re going to need to wait and see what happens there.

Conclusion

If you’ve got an extended period of business travel coming up, it definitely makes sense to see if you can fit this into your schedule. Marriott Platinum benefits include goodies such as room upgrades, free breakfast and late check out, so there’s definitely value to be had here.

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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S

Called Marriott. They insisted one can only apply for a challenge to the next tier (eg must be Gold to apply for Platinum challenge). That said they couldn’t even register me for the Silver challenge (yes there’s apparently one too) – I have no status now – and they weren’t sure why I was ineligible. Strange.

MX

Yes. It used to be that way. That’s why previously the old programme. People use the 1night mastercard promo to get to GOLD in SPG. Link to Marriott, then use Marriott Gold & request for Platinum Challenge. That’s how it used to be in my experience.

Jason

Could we call the Asia-Pacific number to register instead? Not sure if the US number is toll-free to us.

Hendrick

I normally use skype to call US toll free numbers. No skype credit required

Yar

How long does the status last?

Hendrick

Typically the year you get the status plus another year until 31st Dec

freedom

Hope it continues next year. I have a 7-day certificate for next year. Easier to achieve next year.

JonL

Multiple room bookings will not count as nights, only one room will count towards eligible nights.

mr m

If I had recently stayed for 6 nights (In aug), will I still be able to register for the challenge and attain the status in retrospect?

ej

In your opinion, is it better to get Hilton Gold or Marriott Gold? Just purely in terms of the benefits offered.

(I’m not likely to get either Diamond or Platinum)

David Tan

Am currently a platinum premier now and would not make platinum base on travel plans this year… W
I called them up and they let me register for this challenge but not email was sent though I asked for one question is.. since I am platinum now.. if I were to get 16 dyas within the 3 months.. do I get to continue platinum for 2019? Am a year short from lifetime platinum ..

Hendrick

Exactly what i want to do. Prefer to do the challenge with the current status. At least i still have the perks while doing the challenge

[…] you’re not able to earn elite hotel status through frequent travel or status challenges, it is possible to get status by virtue of holding a high-end credit card. AMEX Platinum Charge […]

[…] to want to work this into your year-end travel plans, and for those of you thinking of doing a Marriott status challenge, this is another way of reducing the overall […]

mm

does anyone know if the challenge must be completed within 90 days OR by 31 dec 2018? i am reading conflicting feedback on this. and if it is within 90 days (ie challenge completed by early next year), then i suppose the status will be valid for the rest of 2019 and 2020?

DK

Hi does anyone knows if I can request a status match for marriot using Hilton gold? What status would they matched me to? Thank you.

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