|Update: Marriott has ended this scheme.|
SPG loyalists will remember that it used to be possible to requalify for Gold status with 10S/25N, and Platinum with 25S/50N. That will still be an option for 2018 as SPG and Marriott rewards merge, but from 2019 onwards the unified entity (which has yet to be given a name) switches to requalification by nights only.
From 2019, you’ll need 50N to earn Platinum status, 75N to earn Platinum Premier Elite and 100N with US$20K of annual spending to earn Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador.
Despite my RTW trip in January, I’ve not actually traveled a whole lot for business this year, and that’s left me somewhat short of requalification for status in 2019.
I’m currently on 23 stays and 44 nights. I can just about hobble to Platinum requalification with 25 stays, thanks to my October whirlwind New York trip where I’ll review the world’s longest flight.
The thing is, 25 stay Platinums don’t get the gift options that 50 night Platinums get. 50 night Platinums can choose one of the following:
- 5 Elite Night Credits
- 5 Suite Night Awards
- Gift Silver Elite Status
- $100 Gift to UNICEF
- 40% off “the Marriott/SPG/RCR bed”
I imagine that suite upgrades will only get more difficult now with the combined program, so I’ve been racking my brain to figure out how to get myself over the magic 50 number. That’s where Marriott’s Rewarding Events comes in.
Marriott Rewarding Events
Marriott Rewarding Events program is designed to incentivize members to book meetings, conferences, weddings and other events with Marriott properties.
Simply put- book an event with Marriott and earn 2 points per US$1 spent, up to a maximum of 60,000-105,000 MR points depending on your status.
Objectively speaking, that’s a pittance. 60,000 MR points is barely sufficient for one night at a Category 7 property (and until 2019, a Category 8), and you’d need to spend a whopping US$30K to get that!
From a points earning angle, this is clearly a bad deal. However, Marriott Rewards members also earn 10 Elite Qualifying Nights when they book their first event, plus an additional elite qualifying night for every 20 rooms they book (max 20 elite qualifying nights per contract).
I’m not in the market to book any rooms, but I am looking for space for Milelion Events. So I sent in an RFP to three properties:
- Sheraton Singapore
- Four Points by Sheraton Riverview
- Courtyard by Marriott Novena
Four Points was the fastest to reply, and by far the most responsive. Their cheapest room cost S$500++ for a four hour event, with a maximum capacity of 60 people.
Sheraton’s prices were much more expensive at S$75++ per person for a 4 hour event with a minimum requirement of 40 people & maximum capacity of 54 people (this did come with three choices of snack items for the break, whereas the Four Points quote was venue-only).
Courtyard Novena had the worst response time, taking almost 2 weeks to get back with an RFP. I responded immediately with more questions, then waited another 9 days while my mail got lost in their system. It was only after calling them up directly that I got a preliminary quote, and even that had some pretty glaring typos. The overall experience was really unprofessional, and you won’t see a Milelion event there anytime soon. In any case, their best quote was S$700++ for a 3 hour booking, with a maximum of 50 people.
I went with Four Points in the end, and was careful to confirm that I would get the 10 elite qualifying nights plus Marriott Rewards points for the event. This was inserted into the contract, and if you do intend to host an event you should make sure it’s spelled out in black and white.
All in all, booking my first Marriott event was pretty painless, and come 6 October, we’ll be running a double header session of Advanced KrisFlyer and Power Award Searching at the Four Points- get your early bird tickets here, and look out for a more detailed post soon!
Some people may be wondering if they can book a small meeting room for a couple of hours and earn the 10 elite qualifying nights at minimal cost. There are some pretty incredible tales on Flyertalk about this, and I’m sure the more resourceful will be able to work out something (after all, all these agreements are on a negotiation basis with the hotel).
It appears that after the merger, you can only take advantage of the 10 elite qualifying nights offer once. Given that I could have requalified with 25 stays this year, why didn’t I wait to use the boost next year instead? Because honestly speaking, there’s no way I’m going to hit 40 nights next year with Marriott. Retiring from management consulting and settling down with the Milelioness means far less travel, but that’s a trade off I’m happy to make.
I’ve already come to terms that I’m going to lose my KrisFlyer Elite Gold come March 2019, and Marriott Platinum status come December 2019. Fortunately, my old job allowed me to make some hay, and I’ve already secured Lifetime Gold status with Marriott (though sadly Gold is a rather neutered tier in the combined program).
That said, at least I’m now guaranteed the benefits of Platinum for my honeymoon year, which is more than I can ask for anyway!
Has anyone else been successful in booking a Rewarding Event?