Just want to report a data point. We’re a few days into the Marriott Bonvoy era and I am still a Platinum Elite despite zero stays in the last couple years and no lifetime status.
My Marriott elite status comes from RewardsPlus, the partnership between Marriott Bonvoy and United Airlines.
Ostensibly, by virtue of my 1K status on United (actually available to Premier Gold members and above), I can receive complimentary Gold Elite status at Marriott, the second elite tier for guests with stays between 25-49 night per year. That used to include lounge access or breakfast, but since the merger with Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott now has five elite tiers:
- Silver Elite: 10-24 nights per year
- Gold Elite: 25-49 nights per year
- Platinum Elite: 50-74 nights per year
- Titanium Elite: 75-99 nights per year
- Ambassador Elite: 100+ nights and $20,000 in annual qualifying spend
Gold Elite now only includes high speed wi-fi, 2:00PM checkout, and a 25% bonus in stay points.
Ok, so how do I have Platinum Elite status?
When Marriott Rewards merged with Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott Gold members were mapped to Marriott Platinum in the new program. The benefits themselves were largely unchanged (free lounge access or breakfast being the most important benefit), though suites upgrades were added. That’s a nice potential.
But the catch was that this higher elite tier, 50-74 nights per year, would only be available on a complimentary basis until last month, when the new elite year started. Then, United MileagePlus Gold (or higher) members would drop to Gold Elite, absent sufficient stays.
But several days into the new program, I remain a Platinum Elite. As shared on Flyertalk, others do as well. In fact, there is even evidence on Flyertalk to suggest that this was a deliberate choice by Marriott to stem the loss of elites.
So at least for now, I’m still Platinum Elite despite no stays at Marriott the last couple years. You can see how many points I have…
Now it could well be simply Marriott’s horrific IT department at work…time will tell…but I’m probably missing out by not taking advantage of the free breakfast and potential suite upgrades while still a Platinum Elite. For those who earned status the hard way, I can only imagine your annoyance.
But I’m a bit hesitant to merge by Starwood account and risk messing this up.