Posted by Ric Garrido

Marriott Rewards changed their Taste of Gold, Taste of Platinum elite challenge requirements from nights to stays over the summer. This lowers the number of hotel nights needed to successfully complete the challenge for persons who book lots of one night stays.

Marriott Rewards Challenge Levels

  • Silver = 3 stays (formerly 6 nights)
  • Gold = 6 stays (formerly 12 nights)
  • Platinum = 9 stays (formerly 18 nights)

You have three full months to complete the challenge. A person who enrolls for a challenge now will have until December 31, 2012 to complete the stays requirement to maintain status through February 2014. As long as you avoid registering for the challenge on the first day of the month, then you have more than three months to complete the stay requirements.

Another great thing about the Marriott Rewards elite challenges is you are upgraded to the new status when you enroll for an elite challenge.

A Hot Topic

LoyaltyLobby.com (Sep 7) wrote about the Taste of Gold/Platinum Challenge last week and listed email addresses for requesting an elite status challenge. I concur with his opinion that applying through email is better than phone in that you have written documentation for your challenge terms.

LoyaltyLobby also lists reasons why you might be denied. Lack of evidence showing any prior loyalty with Marriott Hotels can be a deal killer.

Email addresses that you can use for requesting a challenge are rewards.procedures@marriott.com, marriott.concierge@marriott.com, or elite.member@Marriott.com.

The Marriott Rewards Taste of Gold/Platinum has been a hot topic this past month. Here are several other articles about these challenges.

Frequent Miler is documenting his current progress after enrolling in the Taste of Platinum Challenge.

Frequent MilerPursuing Platinum @Marriott (August 9); Marriott Savings & Status(Aug 15); Marriott Challenge Checkpoint (Sep 7)

View from the WingMarriott lets you call up and request top tier status(Sep 8)

Points, Miles & MartinisMarriott Platinum Status after only 9 stays(Sep 10)

FlyerTalk – Marriott Rewards forum thread “Taste of Gold/Platinum and Platinum Challenge” Note: this thread is 33 pages long and started in Sep 2011. Page 24 are August 1 comments and the start of discussion with the new ‘stays’ requirements.

 

No Taste of Marriott Gold or Platinum for Me

Marriott Rewards customer service denied my phone request today for a challenge based on my lack of stay history with the chain. I have no Marriott stays in my account for several years.

I have status with Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, Starwood Preferred Guest, IHG Priority Club and Best Western Rewards.

Working Marriott hotel stays into that mix when the normal elite status requirements are so high is my perpetual challenge with Marriott Rewards.

I will be in Spain next week for two weeks. Marriott is king of the hotel chains in Spain with their acquisition of AC Hotels. There are over 90 Marriott brand hotels in Spain.

I still have not booked any hotel stays for my Spain trip. The Marriott Rewards elite challenge could have me bouncing around AC Hotels.

Perhaps I will make a bunch of AC Hotels reservations for Spain and then try the challenge request again.

Or I may just go with InterContinental Hotels Group 2 nights for the price of 1 rates and keep my hotel costs lower.

I’d better get on it though since I realize I will be landing in Barcelona in less than one week.

Loyalty traveler post link: http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2012/09/11/marriott-rewardselite-with-a-stays-challenge/

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

 

 

 

10 Responses

  1. Ric: Do you have the Marriott credit card? When I called for the challenge I think I had only one real stay under my belt this year (and that was with a free night cert), but they seemed to also count the stay credits that the credit card gave me.

  2. I’ve heard recently that people have been more successful with calling. I’ve had four friends in the last two weeks successfully get the challenge with only 2 nights stayed in the past two years.

    I just emailed about one for myself. Will let you know what happens.

  3. Do reward stays count or only paid ones?

  4. As with everything else, you should try calling back. There are plenty of reports that people got in on the challenge even with no Marriott stays.

  5. If you are silver but within a few stays of gold can you take the platinum challenge or do you have to achieve gold first? I have status with Marriott and Hilton but have recently received inticing offers from SPG and Hyatt. SPG is really sweet when you get club access. I received a complimentary club/room upgrade simply by being nice and flashing an expired Gold SPG card this past weekend. With Marriott I’m lucky to get an occasional room upgrade and they love putting you on “club” floors when the lounge is closed for the weekend. With the bulk of my vacation left this year, Gold with Marriott is all but certain but would Gold with SPG or Platinum with Hyatt be even more valuable?
    I don’t see much on hear about Omni Select Guest. The morning beverage delivery they had set them apart. Is it still offered. While Omnis price and limited locations are a drawback, I really enjoyed past stays just none lately.

    Comment by Dave From BNA on September 12th, 2012 at 1:30 am
  6. @Joe – Marriott only counts paid stays for elite qualification. SPG, Hilton and Choice count reward stays for elite qualification.

    @Dave from BNA – The way I read the reports indicated people were able to go for Platinum Challenge with no elite status with Marriott. Obviously you will be more likely to get a Platinum Challenge with Marriott Rewards elite status.

    I do not write much about Omni. Too few properties unless you are in Texas.

  7. @Ric Try calling in again after booking a couple stays. That’s what the agent told me to do when I inquired about the Platinum Challenge. She said that it might need to go to a manager to approve, but booked stays will definitely help. Good luck!

  8. Thanks for the reply will try to get platinum challenge… planning a week on west coast in both late Oct.& early Dec.
    Omni is building a new hotel 800 room in Nashville adjacent to a gigantic convention center nearing completion. Both scheduled to open next year.

    Comment by Dave From BNA on September 15th, 2012 at 9:54 pm
  9. Hello Ric – thanks for the informative post. Once the challenge is completed successfully, will Marriott automatically change your status through Feb 2014? Thanks!

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