While I’m not personally loyal to Marriott Rewards, they’re pretty popular among frequent travelers given their global footprint and how consistent they are in delivering
the few benefits they offer elite benefits.
One of the really cool promotions that they seem to offer every year is an elite buy back opportunity, whereby you can redeem some points to “buy back” your status from the previous year.
Now, it’s pretty normal for airlines to offer status buy back opportunities nowadays, though you can usually only pay in cash, and it’s usually outrageously expensive.
Anyway, Loyalty Lobby notes that Marriott’s elite buy back promotion is now live for 2015. If you go to the promotion page you’ll see it still references last year’s promotion, though apparently all the details have stayed the same.
Marriott’s elite buy back offer
In the case of Marriott, they simply charge you points to maintain your status from the previous year. The costs are as follows:
Points required to buy back Platinum status – 40,000
Points required to buy back Gold status – 25,000
Points required to buy back Silver status – 7,500
Personally I value Marriott Rewards points at ~0.8 cents each. So while there are virtually no benefits for being Marriott Silver, I’d totally pay the equivalent of ~$200 for Marriott Gold, and might even consider paying the equivalent of ~$320 for Marriott Platinum status (that being said, at least on paper, the difference between Gold and Platinum is marginal at best, though many hotels will offer preferential upgrades to Platinum members.).
How to take advantage of the offer
There are two ways to take advantage of an elite buy back offer.
The first option is to phone up Marriott Rewards at 800.321.7396 and say you want to buy back your status.
The second option is to email Marriott Rewards with your name and Rewards number, then copy one of the three options below:
- Buy Back my Elite status from Gold to Platinum status: 40,000 points
- Buy Back my Elite status from Silver to Gold status: 25,000 points
- Buy Back my Elite status from Basic to Silver status: 7,500 points
Just to clarify, you can only buy up to the status you had in 2014. So if you were Gold in 2014, for example, you couldn’t redeem 40,000 points to get Platinum status.
While Marriott does have among the highest qualification tiers for status, at least they make requalifying much easier by consistently offering buy back offers, for those inclined to redeem points.