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Old Nov 18, 10, 11:36 am   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: DCA/IAD
Programs: AAdvantage, HHonors, Marriott, United
Posts: 121
Marriott Gold versus Platinum

I am currently a Gold and have an opportunit to make Platinum. Based upon some of the posts it does not appear that there is a big advantage to Platinum other than 50% bonus points and an arrival gift. Can someone who was a Gold tell me whether they feel they received better treatment as a Platinum? Also, what do Platinums generally receive as an Arrival gift? Thanks.
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Old Nov 18, 10, 12:07 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: McKinney, TX, USA
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As far as different treatment between Gold/Plat, I really didn't notice much difference for stays in NA. If you have a lot of non-NA travel planned, it is possible that you might get some better upgrades as a Plat. But other than that, I never noticed a strong difference in treatment.

As for general benefits of Plat over Gold, as you mention you will get an arrival amenity and more points. Also, Plat gets a little better elite benefit Guarantee and the 48 hr guaranteed room availability.

The amenity is usually some points (between 200-500pts depending on the hotel brand), or some snack items. At non-FS hotels it might be a bottle of water and some cookies or possibly a choice of one or two items from the hotel's little grocery area. At FS hotels, you might get options like peanuts/beer, ice cream/milk or soda, half a bottle of wine/fruit or something along those lines. Unless I'm with the kids and they want the ice cream or sodas, I usually just go for the points.
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Old Nov 18, 10, 12:11 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: ATL
Programs: DL:DM, Marriott:PP/LTP, Hilton:G, NatCar:EE+, Hertz:PC
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Better treatment? Nah. Worth being Plat? Yeah. The hotels that go out of their way to show they appreciate that you're Plat are doing the same for Gold, Silver and non-status. The ones that don't give a hoot that you're Plat are also not giving a hoot about Gold, Silver or man-off-the-street. I truly believe service given reflects the hotel more than the guest's status.

By the numbers: Recent stay points: 1,810 Base, 905 Bonus and 500 Welcome. (I always select points, as I can expense anything else anyway.) Total Earned: 3,215.

If I were Gold: 1810 Base, 453 Bonus, 0 Welcome. Total Earned: 2,263.

Approximate Difference per Stay, Plat:Gold - 1,000 points per stay.

Seventy Five Stays per Year Difference, Plat:Gold - 75,000 points. That is three additional free nights in a Level 5 Hotel per year. (Assumptions - FS hotel, this represents an average rate per night, one night stays and no room service or other charges that get points. Sometimes I have JW stays, other times CY or SHS, so 500 Welcome Bonus is probably a little above average, and I probably have 50 unique stays per year for 75 nights total, so the additional 75k bonus points per year for being Plat may be a high estimate, but it's gotta be at least 55k extra points.)

In addition, the Platinum Override (48 Hour Guaranty) is something I use a few times per year. Knowing that even at the last minute, I can get a room near a customer gives me freedom to meet a last minute request without worrying about getting a room. i used the Override just last week in Charlotte. I've also used it this year in Pittsburgh and Washington.

One more thing - when checking into large Marriott properties, the blue carpet has sometimes saved me having to wait in a long line. A couple times someone has come out from the back and checked me in when there is a long line. (In Chicago a couple months ago, the person next in the regular line grabbed my arm and said, "I'm next." I just kept walking. The manager explained but the woman grumbled that I should have to wait in line like the rest of them.)

Last edited by CJKatl; Nov 18, 10 at 12:23 pm.
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Old Nov 18, 10, 4:23 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Programs: AAdvantage, HHonors, Marriott, United
Posts: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by hhoope01 View Post
As far as different treatment between Gold/Plat, I really didn't notice much difference for stays in NA. If you have a lot of non-NA travel planned, it is possible that you might get some better upgrades as a Plat. But other than that, I never noticed a strong difference in treatment.

As for general benefits of Plat over Gold, as you mention you will get an arrival amenity and more points. Also, Plat gets a little better elite benefit Guarantee and the 48 hr guaranteed room availability.

The amenity is usually some points (between 200-500pts depending on the hotel brand), or some snack items. At non-FS hotels it might be a bottle of water and some cookies or possibly a choice of one or two items from the hotel's little grocery area. At FS hotels, you might get options like peanuts/beer, ice cream/milk or soda, half a bottle of wine/fruit or something along those lines. Unless I'm with the kids and they wanI t the ice cream or sodas, I usually just go for the points.
Thank you. I appreciate the information.
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Old Nov 18, 10, 4:25 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
Better treatment? Nah. Worth being Plat? Yeah. The hotels that go out of their way to show they appreciate that you're Plat are doing the same for Gold, Silver and non-status. The ones that don't give a hoot that you're Plat are also not giving a hoot about Gold, Silver or man-off-the-street. I truly believe service given reflects the hotel more than the guest's status.

By the numbers: Recent stay points: 1,810 Base, 905 Bonus and 500 Welcome. (I always select points, as I can expense anything else anyway.) Total Earned: 3,215.

If I were Gold: 1810 Base, 453 Bonus, 0 Welcome. Total Earned: 2,263.

Approximate Difference per Stay, Plat:Gold - 1,000 points per stay.

Seventy Five Stays per Year Difference, Plat:Gold - 75,000 points. That is three additional free nights in a Level 5 Hotel per year. (Assumptions - FS hotel, this represents an average rate per night, one night stays and no room service or other charges that get points. Sometimes I have JW stays, other times CY or SHS, so 500 Welcome Bonus is probably a little above average, and I probably have 50 unique stays per year for 75 nights total, so the additional 75k bonus points per year for being Plat may be a high estimate, but it's gotta be at least 55k extra points.)

In addition, the Platinum Override (48 Hour Guaranty) is something I use a few times per year. Knowing that even at the last minute, I can get a room near a customer gives me freedom to meet a last minute request without worrying about getting a room. i used the Override just last week in Charlotte. I've also used it this year in Pittsburgh and Washington.

One more thing - when checking into large Marriott properties, the blue carpet has sometimes saved me having to wait in a long line. A couple times someone has come out from the back and checked me in when there is a long line. (In Chicago a couple months ago, the person next in the regular line grabbed my arm and said, "I'm next." I just kept walking. The manager explained but the woman grumbled that I should have to wait in line like the rest of them.)
This gives me something to take into consideration. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Nov 18, 10, 8:14 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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If Gold members are not allowed to switch to promotions with another target, than Platinum tier offers a significant valuable unpublished benefit.
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Old Nov 18, 10, 11:04 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Platinum (former PP), Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Gold, UA 1P, Hertz 5*
Posts: 3,728
Unlisted benefits of platinum membership :

1. Soft landing - if you fail to requalify for platinum or even gold, you will drop only one level to gold in the following year.

2. Multi-year platinum members who fail to requalify (usually 3+ years of platinum membership) will have their account reviewed manually by Marriott to determine if they will keep platinum status for an extra year to encourage them to stay more in the following year. I have actually met people in the CL who have gotten this favor in the past.

3. Late checkout - there have been times in prior years as a platinum member where I asked for a late checkout, got a no and then a wait a minute you are platinum so it is okay. Would this have happened as a gold member? Possibly, but I knew being platinum gave me a higher priority in getting the late checkout.

The difference in treatment is more pronounced with properties in Europe and Asia. You get better upgrades. My personal experience outside the US has only been in the UK, but I definitely saw a benefit to being a platinum member.
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Old Nov 19, 10, 7:24 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA1379 View Post
Unlisted benefits of platinum membership :
...
2. Multi-year platinum members who fail to requalify (usually 3+ years of platinum membership) will have their account reviewed manually by Marriott to determine if they will keep platinum status for an extra year to encourage them to stay more in the following year. I have actually met people in the CL who have gotten this favor in the past.
....
IME, this is true. Last year, after several as Plat, company-wide travel restrictions kept me at home for six months. I only had fifty nights for the year, but was still given Plat. This year, it's not an issue, as I've crossed the 75 night threshold already.
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Old Nov 19, 10, 4:52 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: UA 1MM/*Gold, WN CP/A+, MR Plat, PC Plat
Posts: 2,067
I was gold for a few years and have been plat for a few years. I haven't seen a big difference in upgrades. It strikes me that upgrades depend more on the hotel and the length of your stay than they do on the difference between gold and plat. One colleague of mine, who's gold, gets more upgrades than me at the same properties. He's typically staying for 1 night at a time whereas I'm often staying for 4-5 nights.

The platinum check-in amenity is nice overseas. I usually get a small snack and 1-2 bottles of beer or 1/2 bottle of wine. That saves me upwards of $25 at FS restaurant prices. In the USA I usually take the points.

The increase to 50% bonus points is nice. As Jerseygirl17 showed, it can be worth a few awards nights per year.

The 48 hour guarantee is nice. I have used it twice this year. Both times it enabled me to stay multiple nights in a desirable location without having to hop between hotels.

These benefits are all nice, but one always has to ask, compared to what? If the alternative to MR Plat is MR Gold + low tier in another hotel program, I would generally take MR Plat. If the alternative were MR Gold + Gold (middle tier) in another program, I'd consider the dual Gold route. Analyze your travel patterns to understand your realistic alternatives.
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Old Nov 19, 10, 6:44 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
IME, this is true. Last year, after several as Plat, company-wide travel restrictions kept me at home for six months. I only had fifty nights for the year, but was still given Plat. This year, it's not an issue, as I've crossed the 75 night threshold already.
Not a bad deal!
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Old Nov 19, 10, 7:07 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
I was gold for a few years and have been plat for a few years. I haven't seen a big difference in upgrades. It strikes me that upgrades depend more on the hotel and the length of your stay than they do on the difference between gold and plat. One colleague of mine, who's gold, gets more upgrades than me at the same properties. He's typically staying for 1 night at a time whereas I'm often staying for 4-5 nights.

The platinum check-in amenity is nice overseas. I usually get a small snack and 1-2 bottles of beer or 1/2 bottle of wine. That saves me upwards of $25 at FS restaurant prices. In the USA I usually take the points.

The increase to 50% bonus points is nice. As Jerseygirl17 showed, it can be worth a few awards nights per year.

The 48 hour guarantee is nice. I have used it twice this year. Both times it enabled me to stay multiple nights in a desirable location without having to hop between hotels.

These benefits are all nice, but one always has to ask, compared to what? If the alternative to MR Plat is MR Gold + low tier in another hotel program, I would generally take MR Plat. If the alternative were MR Gold + Gold (middle tier) in another program, I'd consider the dual Gold route. Analyze your travel patterns to understand your realistic alternatives.
Hmmmm---decisions---decisions...I'll probably go for Platinum and see how much I like before deciding if I want to stay at that level next year.
Thanks.
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Old Nov 19, 10, 7:43 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DCA
Programs: UA LT 1K, AA EXP- LT Gold, Marriott LT Platinum, Hyatt Platinum, Hilton Gold, Avis PC
Posts: 7,894
The big benefits - lounge access, EEO free second weekends, and free internet are available to both Plat/Gold.

Marriott has few suites, so little upgrade potential. I have had to change room several times when my Plat room was not satisfactory. Extra points for Plat is nice and 48-hour guarantee is nice - but it is not always available for a Plat.

I am trying to book a hotel next May and no Plat rooms available.

I think Gold is almost as good as Plat.
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Old Nov 20, 10, 2:49 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Originally Posted by Smart Shopper View Post
If Gold members are not allowed to switch to promotions with another target, than Platinum tier offers a significant valuable unpublished benefit.
Another nice bennie!
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Old Nov 20, 10, 2:52 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cova View Post
The big benefits - lounge access, EEO free second weekends, and free internet are available to both Plat/Gold.

Marriott has few suites, so little upgrade potential. I have had to change room several times when my Plat room was not satisfactory. Extra points for Plat is nice and 48-hour guarantee is nice - but it is not always available for a Plat.

I am trying to book a hotel next May and no Plat rooms available.

I think Gold is almost as good as Plat.
I understand what everyone has cited as a Platinum benefit except the 48 hour guarantee. What does that mean?
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Old Nov 20, 10, 3:10 pm   #15
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I'm a Plat, and while I enjoy the point benefits, I also enjoy the unpublished things.

For example, I had a nearly pre-paid week-long stay at a European FS Marriott. I was supposed to fly from The States on the day all hell broke loose with the cancellations from the Icelandic volcano.

Would the hotel have changed the supposed non-refundable, no-cancel, no changes policy to that reservation for a Gold? I really don't know, it's the individual hotel's decision. But it's things like that which keep me striving for Platinum every year.

Another thing: I had two reservations at a FS Marriott, one was a two-night pre-paid, but I also added a standard reservation after my stay needed to be extended by three more days. When I checked-in, they said that I was upgraded to a Suite. Then the agent noticed the second reservation, she went and checked with her boss, said I was Plat, then cleared it for all five nights. Again, I don't know if that would have been done for a Gold, but another reason I prefer being Plat.
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