Since merging the Marriott and SPG loyalty programs on August 18, Marriott recently updated their status challenge. In the past, you could request a status challenge every year. With the program refresh, you can only request a status challenge every three calendar years.
For example, if you request a status match in September 2018, you won’t qualify for another one until December 31, 2021.
Marriott Status Challenge
The new Marriott status challenge is for Gold or Platinum status.
Gold status: Stay 8 nights at qualifying Marriott properties in the next 90 days
Platinum status: Stay 16 nights at qualifying Marriott properties in the next 90 days
If you do plan to request a status challenge, I recommend going for the Platinum status to get free breakfast and lounge access at select hotel brands. In the past, Gold status would grant you access to breakfast, but with the new program changes, you need Platinum status.
For frequent business travelers, I think the status challenge makes sense, especially if you can stay enough nights to maintain the status.
For casual travelers, I recommend completing the challenge if you have a handful of cheaper stays lined up, and use the status and points for a vacation at an aspirational property. Having Platinum status at a higher category hotel can grant you access to free breakfast and executive lounges, where available.
How to Request a Marriott Status Challenge
Create a Marriott Rewards account or have your loyalty number ready
To request a Marriott Platinum or Gold status challenge, call the Marriott or SPG customer service line:
Marriott Rewards: 801-468-4000
You don’t need to have status with any competing hotels; just complete the challenge to earn status.
Which Marriott Properties Offer Free Breakfast?
Since Marriott and SPG merged, the new Marriott hotel portfolio includes a wide range of brands from budget hotels to luxury resorts. Be aware that not all hotel brands will give you free breakfast, even with Platinum Elite status.
Below is a chart that explains which hotel brands will give you free breakfast or not. Check Marriott’s website for the most up to date version.
Which Marriott Properties Offer Lounge Access?
Having Platinum Elite status will grant you lounge access at select properties for you and a guest. If the lounge is closed, the hotel will usually offer a complimentary breakfast in it’s place. Check Marriott’s website for the most up to date version of the chart.
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