Marriott International mailed out Elite tier notices for 2018. I’m short of the 75 nights required for Platinum, but was granted the level anyhow. I appreciate it, Marriott!
The perks of Platinum Elite level are listed under the heading “Benefits You’ll Love.” Wow, that’s ambitious. Let’s see how much I do love them.
There are four added Benefits for Platinum Elites that aren’t available for Gold Elites:
1/ Complimentary United MileagePlus Premier Silver Status
2/ Platinum arrival gift
3/ 48-hour reservation guarantee
4/ Dedicated Platinum reservation line
In addition, Platinum Elites get a 50% bonus on Rewards base points (vs. 25% for Golds), and Five Star status on Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (vs. Gold for, well, Golds).
Of these, I think I value most the incremental 25% bonus on Rewards points. But I find Rewards points to be a bit confusing, and I don’t ever do the math on what 50% is vs. 25%. I think if I ever went back and added up the bonus points I got as a Platinum vs. if I were a Gold, it wouldn’t add up to a free night at a property I frequent. I guess this is a perk that just sounds good to me.
The others…don’t even sound good.
1/ I have MileagePlus 1K status, thanks mostly to my home airport being a United hub, so Silver is hardly a sweetener.
2/ The Platinum arrival gift is 500 points or a bottled beverage (or similar treat). Some properties give one or the other, some give both. It’s not consistent. Some desk agents look totally unimpressed when they offer the benefit, which further diminishes the experience of getting the “Benefit.”
3/ I’ve never been able to not get a reservation, inside or outside of 48 hours. I guess it’s because I’m not tied to a particular property at a destination. Most cities offer many good options, and I’m fine not staying at a Marriott.
4/ I think a dedicated reservation line would be valuable if I called in my bookings, but with one exception, I always use the website. So that’s another miss.
As for the Hertz tier, that’s potentially useful, but I’m not brand loyal when it comes to rental car companies. Maybe it is useful? Sounds like it’ll require some work to determine – i.e., time that I’m not eager to spend.
Marriott is perhaps the only business that I frequent whose top loyalty tier isn’t particularly better than the second tier. That’s too bad. If it were better, I’d try harder to actually stay 75 nights.
The image is my own photograph of the brochure I received by mail.