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I was slowly happily making my way towards Marriott Lifetime Platinum status before the Marriott/Starwood merger was announced but a combination of not knowing what the combined loyalty program would look like and the fact that I was reasonably close to hitting the Platinum Lifetime milestones saw me intensify my efforts.
Before any announcements were made I was reasonably sure that, whatever changes came about as a result of the merger of Marriott Rewards and SPG, Marriott would grandfather in lifetime Platinum benefits for those holding that status before the programs were merged.
I’ve enjoyed Marriott Platinum benefits for the past few years so the idea of locking them in for future years without having to hit yearly thresholds appealed quite a bit…especially as I also suspected that the benefits may get better when Marriott Rewards and SPG were combined.
For the past year or so I’ve been throwing more of my stays Marriott’s way and I passed the 750 lifetime nights requirement back in March…but I was still a little way off the 2,000,000 lifetime points that I also needed to lock in Marriott Lifetime Platinum status.
In April of this year Marriott gave us a lot more information about the combined loyalty program and confirmed that the lifetime status program would continue. That wasn’t a surprise but a few of the details certainly were.
- Marriott’s loyalty program will be getting more official tiers from 18 August 2018:
- Members earning Marriott Lifetime Platinum status by 31 December 2018 will be given Platinum Premier Elite status for the life of the new program.
- There will be no way of earning Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status from 1 January 2019 onwards. From 2019 the highest achievable Lifetime Elite tier will be the regular Platinum Elite tier.
Marriott also let us know what the differences between the two tiers would be:
For members earning status each year the differences between these two Platinum levels can be significant – Platinum Premier elites get 5 more suite night awards per year, 50% more bonus points on stays and a 48-hour room guarantee…but there’s a sting in the tail for Lifetime Elites.
While I have yet to see this in any official documentation the indications coming out of Marriott suggest that Lifetime Elites will not be receiving annual suite upgrade awards unless they earn them like everyone else through stays made in the year.
That bit of information makes the difference between Platinum and Platinum Premier status considerably less pronounced….but that didn’t put me off.
Even if suite night awards are not awarded to Lifetime Platinum or Lifetime Platinum Premier Elites, members at the higher status level will still earn considerably more bonus points on their stays and will be more likely to earn good upgrades at properties around the world….that’s good enough for me.
With the new information to hand I decided to see if I could cross the 2,000,000 lifetime points threshold before Marriott Rewards and SPG were merged.
I didn’t want to wait until the end of the year because, even though that’s what we’ve been told the deadline for earning Lifetime Platinum Premier status is, I wanted to be doubly sure of locking it in – why would I risk Marriott changing its mind if didn’t have to?
With the nights requirement already sown up I’ve been closing in on the 2,000,000 points mark by putting more spend on my Chase Marriott Rewards Premier credit card over the past few months and by making sure that any stays I was booking were being booked though Marriott.
The extra effort paid off.
When the points from my July Chase Marriott Rewards Premier credit card statement hit my account a few days ago I noticed that I had crossed the final milestone:
In the grand scheme of things this probably isn’t going to be a massive deal as I’ll probably keep earning 75-night Platinum Premier status organically each year….but it’s very nice knowing that I don’t have to.
In truth I’m not all that bothered about the suite night awards because they weren’t a benefit I was entitled to when I decided to make a final charge towards Lifetime Platinum status – I’m just happy to have locked in the benefits that are important to me whether I earn status organically or not.
Earning a good number of bonus points, a 4pm check-out, complimentary breakfast, upgrades to better rooms and lounge access are the benefits that I truly value and, while most of those would have been covered by regular Platinum Lifetime status, I feel that having Platinum Premier Lifetime status gives me a better chance of impressive upgrades and little bit of insurance against future devaluations.
My Marriott Lifetime Platinum Premier status now joins my American Airlines Lifetime Platinum status in my miles & points arsenal and I suspect those will be the only two lifetime statuses I earn…but that’s good enough for me.
A mid-tier airline status and a high-tier hotel status isn’t a bad haul going forward.