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Marriott has an interesting promotion where you can actually buy back your elite status if you didn’t re-qualify in 2010. While I think it might make sense to buy back to Platinum or Gold simply because of the free breakfast, internet, and room upgrades, Silver doesn’t get much besides a 20% point bonus. (Full list of Marriott Elite benefits).
Overall, I like what Marriott is doing – giving people who may have been laid off in 2010, but returning to work in 2011, a chance to get back in the traveling game without slumming it with no status. In the meantime, they take a bunch of points off their books and engender loyalty with top customers. “Buying” back status seems like it could create more value with the consumer instead of randomly extending status (which some chains do). This feels like win-win for all and I suspect other chains will copy Marriott’s model in the future.
Tip of the hat to Ric at Loyalty Traveler, which is a great blog for detailed analysis on hotel loyalty programs.
Per this promotion link:
“As one of our valued Elite members, we understand that your travel needs vary from year to year and that occasionally you might not have the required number of stays to maintain your Elite status. But we know how important Marriott Rewards benefits are to you – so we are offering you a limited-time opportunity to buy back your status for 2011 using points that you may already have.
Here’s all it takes to reinstate your level:
Points required to buy back Platinum status – 40,000 (a savings of 20,000 points)
Points required to buy back Gold status – 25,000 (a savings of 15,000 points)
Points required to buy back Silver status – 7,500 (a savings of 12,500 points)
Remember, if you don’t have enough points in your account, you can always
buy up to 50,000 points every year.
This offer is valid through April 1, 2011 and allows only one level of buyback, which must match the Elite level you enjoyed in 2010.
Once your status has been reinstated, Marriott Rewards will send you a new valid membership card for your restored Elite level.
How to Do It: Two Ways to Buy Back Your Elite Status
- Simply call Guest Services at 1-800-321-7396 (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada),
- Email us at Marriott Rewards with your information.
- If emailing us, include your name and Rewards number, then copy (or cut-and-paste) one of the three options below:
- Switch my Elite status from Gold to Platinum status for 40,000 points
- Switch my Elite status from Silver to Gold status for 25,000 points
- Switch my Elite status from Basic to Silver status for 7,500 points “
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards