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How holding a 1-hour 1-person meeting at Marriott can get you elite status

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I have always struggled to get excited about Marriott Rewards.  It is probably truer to say that I have struggled to get excited about Marriott hotel brands (although, ironically, I will be in one tonight) and therefore the rewards programme has never done much for me.

I must admit that people who have Marriott elite status are generally positive about it, especially about the delivery of elite benefits.

Of course, that shouldn’t be surprising.  Marriott status is VERY difficult to earn – Platinum requires 75 nights or, slightly easier, 30 stays.

Marriott meetings

The Marriott Rewards elite levels are:

Silver – requires 10 nights.  Benefit is a 20% bonus on base points.

Gold – requires 50 nights.  Benefits are 25% bonus on base points, free internet access, room upgrade and lounge access.

Platinum – requires 30 stays or 75 nights.  Benefits are 50% bonus on base points, free internet access, room upgrade, lounge access and a welcome gift.

There is an interesting quirk to the Marriott Rewards programme which I have never focussed on before but is worth knowing about.

If you book any sort of meeting or event at a Marriott group hotel, you earn 10 nights towards elite status qualification.   The Marriott website confirms it here.

You also earn Marriott Rewards points for your spend at the rate of 3 points per US$1 equivalent.

What would your local Marriott charge to hire a tiny meeting room for an hour?  A lot less than the cost of staying 10 nights to earn 10 elite night credits, that’s for sure.

This is a global promotion.  If you are in a low cost country in Asia, booking a meeting room for an hour in a Marriott property would be very cheap indeed.

You would only need to book eight meetings (on separate days) to earn Platinum status from scratch.  You would have Silver status after booking just one meeting.

This is obviously at the more extreme end of things you might do to earn or retain hotel status.  If you have a suitable Marriott property near you, however, it shouldn’t be too difficult to organise.

With only four months left in 2016, if you were getting close to Gold or Platinum status but doubt you will make it then this may be an option worth considering.

You can find further details on the meetings and events page of the Marriott website here.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (20)

  • James A says:

    Also you get 10 nights credit for taking out their credit card

  • Bob Pape says:

    Marriott doesn’t have a stay alternative. So Plat is 75 nights. As mentioned by James A above the UK Marriott Credit Card gives 10 nights annually but no new applications are being accepted.
    I can vouch for the meeting getting 10 nights credit and have held 3 or 4 1-to-1 meetings at Marriotts over the past decade, each costing £50-£100 and have always got the nights credit. It’s a cheap way to maintain Gold (where the meat of Marriott lies) if you’re falling a few nights short.

  • Oliver says:

    If I go through the pain of these meetings to get platinum or gold, which hotel chains are lie likely to status match ? I would like Hilton and IHG diamond/platinum

    • Rob says:

      IHG doesn’t usually match and IHG will give you Platinum with the £99 credit card. Hilton would give you a Diamond challenge (3 months of Diamond plus a requirement to do x nights in those 3 months to keep it) on the back of that.

      Note also that Virgin miles transfers to IHG count towards status so you can get Spire by moving over 75,000 Virgin miles.

      • Alex W says:

        When is the optimum time to do the virgin to IHG transfer, to get the status for longest?

        • Rob says:

          January 1st. You would get Spire for all of 2017 and all of 2018.

        • Genghis says:

          Ive researched this myself recently. If doing the full 75k from Virgin, at the start of the year (ie Jan 17) so status is valid until end of next calendar year (ie Dec 18). I did it recently however as I wasn’t doing the full 75k from Virgin and didn’t want to lose qualifying points already accumulated this year.

          • Rob says:

            Agreed. If you have, say, 50,000 elite points already it makes more sense to move 25,000 Virgin over in 2016 – rather than move 75,000 Virgin in 2017 and get the extra year.

            Remember that you get 25,000 bonus IHG points for reaching Spire so you are effectively getting a good transfer rate from Virgin.

          • AndyS says:

            Don’t suppose you can move ihg points back to virgin afterwards?

          • Rob says:

            Yes you can but only at 5:1.

            At most extreme, you move 75k to IHG and then, with the Spire 25k bonus, move 100k back for 20k Virgin.

            Massive value loss:

            75k Virgin = £750
            75k IHG plus 25k bonus = £500
            20k Virgin = £200, based on my valuations

  • Fenny says:

    If I booked a meeting room, what’s the chance of being able to use the pool after my meeting?

  • S879 says:

    I got IHG platinum via virgin transfer which is valid till dec 2017. If in December 2017 I transfer more virgin miles and become Spire, will my status only be valid till dec 2018? If I wait till 1st jan 2018 to transfer, my platinum status would have expired. Am I understanding this right?

    • Rob says:

      Correct. You either s transfer a small amount now to get Spire to 12/17 or 75k in Jan to get it to 12/18.

  • Mahomed says:

    Since its only 4 months left of the year . based on the above comments If I focus on 2017 and book a few 1 on 1 meetings in 2017 and make the balance by stays my status will be too 12/ 2018 . is that correct ?

    • Rob says:

      Yes, you get status for the current year (which would be 2017) and all of the following year.

  • MAHOMED says:

    Hi Raffles
    thank you for your reply. Currently in south africa you cannot get any elite nights / points for meetings. can you suggest a few places for me / countries that are not very expensive so that i can plan ahead and maybe see if a friend can assist in booking it for me .

    • Rob says:

      I get a feeling that Asia, specifically Thailand, China etc, would be your best bet – although if you are only booking a one hour room for an ‘interview’ I doubt it costs much even in the UK outside London.

  • Rob says:

    Rules may vary by country but there is no need to book rooms in general. The paragraph above discussed miles and not stay credit anyway.

    • Talay says:

      I think the problem will be to get them to book it as an event and book it formally so it does accrue benefits.

      The online reservation / price system simply doesn’t work as the hotels don’t get the messages.

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