Hotels Travel Hacks

Would you pay $86 to get to Marriott Platinum Premier Elite status?

The Westin Chaoyang, Beijing
The Westin Chaoyang, Beijing

If you had accumulated 74 nights on your Marriott Rewards account and no additional stays planned before the end of the year, would you book and pay for one additional night, that you really don’t need, to achieve Platinum Premier Elite status?

Well, that’s exactly what I did. Call me crazy. However, I think it was well worth it.

For 2018, I would have ended the year with 74 nights, which is one night shy of Platinum Premier Elite. To get to 75 nights, I booked a room for one (1) night and paid a total of $85.99. I checked-in and out like every other stay. However, I did not occupy the room at all. To be honest, this felt weird especially that the hotel is literally 5 minutes from where I live.

The charges for one (1) night at the SpringHill Suites, which made it possible for me to achieve Platinum Premier Elite

But wait, why did you do it?

This is a legitimate question, thank you for asking. In addition, to the Platinum Elite benefits, as a Platinum Premier Elite I would get the following:

  1. 25% more bonus points on every stay, for a total of 75% bonus points.
  2. Guaranteed room when I book by 3 p.m., 48 hours prior to arrival.
  3. After achieving 75 nights, I get to chose an Annual Choice Benefit. One from the following options:
  • 5 Suite Night Awards™
  • One Free Night Award
  • Gift Gold Elite status to someone else
  • 40% off Heavenly™ Bed mattress
  • 5 Elite Night Credits
  • $100 charity donation

Bottom Line

The $86 I paid to achieve Platinum Premier Elite will get me additional benefits in 2019, I estimate the value of which to be more than $1,500. This estimated value is the difference in benefits between Platinum Elite and Platinum Premier Elite considering my 2019 projected stays at Marriott hotels. This is a 1644% return on investment – mind blowing, right?

Additionally, I got a total of 2,505 Marriott Rewards points for this stay, combined from Marriott and the SPG Amex card on which I put the room charges. This actually lowers the amount I paid by approximately $19 – I value Marriott Reward points at 0.75 cent a piece.

An argument could be made to using Marriott Reward points to book the room in lieu of paying out of pocket. The room was going for 17,500 points per night, which is equivalent to $131, using 0.75 cent per point. As such, paying for the room using points would’ve been more expensive. In other words, my 17,500 points would have been worth 0.49 cent each given the room was going for $86 ($86/17,500). This would not have been a wise use of my hard earned points.

Another strategy I could have employed is to let the 24 nights I earned above 50, to achieve Platinum Elite, rollover to 2019. Oh wait, Marriott changed their policy and stopped allowing this; the last year for Elite Rollover nights was 2017. Sigh!

Love to hear what you think