Buy Back Your 2016 Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards Elite Status Level by March 31, 2017!
Expiration Date – March 31, 2017
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If you weren’t able to achieve the necessary nights or stays to retain the same Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards Elite status level you enjoyed in 2016, Marriott and Ritz are once again allowing you to buy back your 2016 Silver, Gold or Platinum status with Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards points!
We are not aware of any other major hotel program that allows you to buy back your status with points – way to go Marriott and Ritz-Carlton!
You can only buy up to the status you attained in 2016 (e.g. if you were Gold in 2016, you can only redeem points to “buy back” Gold status and cannot “buy up” to Platinum status). This buy back promotion is available until March 31, 2017.
We value Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Rewards points at .7 cents per point, which is the minimum value we suggest you seek before redeeming your points.
Here are the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Rewards points required for various buy back levels as compared to our estimate of their value in dollars:
Buy back Platinum status for 40,000 points ($280 in Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards value)
Buy back Gold status for 25,000 points ($175 in Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards value)
Buy back Silver status for 7,500 points ($52.50 in Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards value)
To Buy Back Your Status:
Email Marriott Rewards with your name and Marriott or Ritz Carlton Rewards number and specify whether you desire to buy back to Platinum, Gold or Silver level. Or call Guest Services at 1-801-468-4000 and tell them you’d like to buy back your status.
While there is not a specific buy back offer page for Ritz-Carlton, you should be able to buy back your status with the same terms as the Marriott offer. If, for whatever reason, you are denied, you can ask Guest Services to have your status converted into Marriott Rewards, complete the buy back and then request a conversion back to Ritz-Carlton Rewards. To learn more about how the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs work together, check out the great Tip we have on the topic.
Should You Buy Back Your Status?
Silver status provides relatively few benefits within the Marriott or Ritz brands. But the difference between Gold and Silver is significant. With Gold you have access to club lounges or complimentary breakfast (in hotels without a lounge), upgrades and enhanced internet. So, if you plan to stay in Marriott hotels often, the 25,000 points needed to buy back to Gold status will pay for itself pretty quickly.
We don’t feel there is enough difference between Platinum and Gold status to justify paying 40,000 points to remain at Platinum UNLESS you have plans to fly United Airlines frequently in 2016. Marriott Rewards Platinum members enjoy great benefits with RewardsPlus. You will enjoy complimentary United Airlines Premier Silver status – including complimentary upgrades, access to Economy Plus seating (when available), one complimentary checked bag, Premier bonus miles and more!
Linked Accounts and Starwood Status:
This Buy Back offer is available to members who have earned their status through nights and stays at Marriott or Ritz brand hotels. SPG members who earned Marriott Rewards Elite status in 2016 by linking their SPG and Marriott Rewards accounts are not eligible to participate in this Buy Back offer.
While Marriott Rewards Gold status rewards you with Starwood’s SPG Gold Status if you link your accounts, SPG Gold rewards you with upgrades and 4 p.m. check out when available, but you will not typically receive free breakfast or lounge access.
Marriott Rewards Platinum gets you SPG Platinum status, which is very rewarding and has comparable benefits to Marriott’s Platinum status plus rewards you with extra benefits with Uber, Delta, Emirates and China Southern.
And Here is a Valuable trvlvip Tip:
Unless you plan to travel a lot between now and the end of March, we suggest you wait until early March to buy back your status because Marriott Rewards has been known to allow some members to maintain their status even if they have fallen short of the re-qualification criteria. If your status drops at the end of February, then go ahead with your buy back plans!
The value of buying back status is highly dependent on each traveler's preferences and plans to stay at a Marriott, Ritz or Starwood hotel. It will also depend on 2017 plans with United, Delta, Emirates, China Southern or Uber.
And if you do buy back status and don’t have plans to travel until March, you may want to wait to see if Marriott rewards you with the gift of status retention at the level you achieved in 2016.
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