Marriott 2015 Elite Status Buy Back Offer

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-Status-Buy-Back

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.

Bottom line

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.

Comments

  1. I think your missing a big value of Marriot Plat is you get United Premier Silver Status as well! Basically 40K MR for MR Plat and UA Silver is worth it in my eyes.

  2. So could you buyback the buy back status each year or would you have to re qualify on nights? In other words is this perpetual status by just buying it every year?

  3. @ Bruce — You could, but it’ll cost you 40,000 points per year. Might not be worth it if you’re not actually staying enough to ever earn the status. And there’s no guarantee they’ll keep offering it in the future.

  4. I am a Plat till Feb 2016 and am def. interested in this Buy Back “IF it’s still alive next year” (I truly hope so !). 75 QN to renew/keep the status is too much for me this year so I feel pleased to have an easy option to renew it. I found Marriott Plat treatment in the Middle East is quite worth it.

  5. Wait, so do you have to qualify at the next lowest level in order to buy back? What if you didn’t even reach Silver in 2014, can you still buy back to Gold?

  6. @ DBest — Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think it matters how far you “fall.” You should be able to buy up to whatever status you had the prior year.

  7. @Lucky:

    Do you need to have the points available in your account or, alternatively, could you borrow them against future stays? I have been a Platinum for the last two years, but my travel pattern changed in 2014 and, as a result, did not stay within the Marriott cohort that many nights. I also depleted my account to basically zero points. Thanks, D

  8. Hi Lucky,
    Is this promotion only valid for US/Canadian based Marriott Rewards members? Or are Europe members also eligible to do this?

    Thanks

  9. So here’s a question, could you combine points from spouse account to maintain status?

    Or, does it have to be same level? Can a Platinum re-up as a Gold?

    I am Plat through Feb 2016 thanks to a challenge. But there’s no way I’m going to maintain that, and I plan to spend off the bulk of my points on family summer vacation. However if I could siphon off points from the spouse account I’d have enough to maintain it to Feb 2017.

    I suppose another option would be plan to get some new Chase points start of 2017, transfer them to Marriott, and use that to re-up?

    There are certain properties where they really do seem to treat Plat’s well enough for me to bother. Like Marquis in Atlanta, I can usually get into the Murphy-bed “Diplomat” suites on 11th floor which are LARGE and when travelling with small children it’s always better to have more space. It doesn’t really make a difference to me on Fairfields and similar, there Gold would do fine.

    We are leisure travellers, so no organic 75+ nights paid for by someone else.

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