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Didn’t quite re-qualify for Marriott elite status by the end of 2016? Well, the hotel brand is offering a workaround. Now through March 31, you can buy back your 2016 elite status starting at just 7,500 Marriott points. Subject to limitations, you can buy back Silver status for 7,500 points, Gold status for 25,000 points and Platinum for 40,000 points.


If you qualify, you can buy back Marriott elite status starting at just 7,500 points.
If you qualify, you can buy back Marriott elite status starting at just 7,500 points.

Before you get your hopes up, not all current Marriott elites are eligible for this offer. Only members who previously earned status through nights and stays at Marriott brand hotels are eligible — unfortunately, SPG members who matched to Marriott status aren’t. Also, this is a “buy back” program; not a “buy up” program. So, you can’t use it to gain status higher than the level you had in 2016.

Is It Worth It?

Elite status value is always going to be subjective based on your staying habits and your personal valuation of the elite perks. With that said, based on TPG’s most recent valuations of Marriott points and Marriott status, each buy back option is certainly worth considering further:

  • Silver ($70 value) for 7,500 points ($68 value)
  • Gold ($1,845 value) for 25,000 points ($225 value)
  • Platinum ($3,245 value) for 40,000 points ($360 value)

Note that our valuations assume usage of the benefits. If you didn’t re-qualify for status in 2016, that means that you didn’t get as much use out of the benefits during 2016 as we factored into our valuation. However, if 2016 was just an off year and you’re back on the road in 2017, this buy back could make a lot of sense.

Need Points?

If you're going to get value out of Platinum status but find yourself short of points, you can buy enough points to buy back Platinum status for just $500.
If you’re going to get value out of Platinum status but find yourself short on points, you can purchase enough rewards to buy back Platinum status for just $500.

In the buy back email, Marriott is glad to remind you that you can “buy up to 50,000 points every year.” Assuming you buy all the points needed for the buy back offer, Silver would cost $100, Gold would set you back $313 and Platinum would require $500. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to earn bonus rewards on this purchase of points. The terms of the points purchase offer state “Purchasing points with a Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card will result in earning one point per dollar spent on these transactions.”

Another way to top off your Marriott account would be the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, which is currently offering a 80,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You’d need to hurry up to meet this minimum spend in order for the necessary points to post before the March 31 buy back deadline.

Bottom Line

If you had a light travel year in 2016 and plan to hit the road again in 2017, this promotion could make a lot of sense. Marriott is offering the chance to buy back your 2016 status for very reasonable rates.

Featured image courtesy of Marriott Madrid.

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  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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