The Deal Mommy

Marriott Platinum Challenge Completed! $467 = Four Status Bumps

A few weeks ago I shared my thoughts on the Marriott Platinum Challenge. I decided that even though I was tossing most status aside in the new year that the value of the Marriott Platinum Challenge was just too good to pass up. 

A Quick Recap: What is the Marriott Platinum Challenge?

Once you sign up nine stays in three months takes a Marriott Gold to Marriott Platinum. That Marriott Platinum equals United Silver. It also equals Starwood Platinum thanks to the recent merger. The Starwood Platinum earns “Crossover Rewards” on Delta, which carries Silver-type benefits. All of these statuses will be in effect until the end of January 2019. 

To complete those nine stays I spent $634 and earned 16,700 points (at a penny/point) for a net cost of $467. We slept in the rooms five of the nine nights and used them as SSMRs during the day all but two. We got four family weekend buffet breakfasts that were worth at least $30/each even by IHOP prices. Deal Girl even got to take her BFF on a pillow fort/swim/gigglefest adventure- what could be better than that for two fourth graders? 

I sped up the clock on my nine stays for a reason: Deal Kid and I are flying United to Puerto Rico in two days. Just this morning (with an assist from an extremely sympathetic Marriott Rewards agent) my final stays posted and the following shows up at login:

Marriott Platinum: One of the Four Status Bumps I'll Get with just nine hotel stays.

The MR representative -again going the extra mile- expedited my United Silver match so it showed up in time for us to get some extra legroom in Economy Plus. At Silver we’re technically eligible for an upgrade but I’m not even gonna let myself go there. Even so, 2 tickets x Economy Plus round trip x $54/each leg= $216 in value. On a four hour flight to San Juan from Dulles we’ll definitely appreciate the extra space. 

How we’ll use the status

I’m also pretty excited about what Marriott- OK particularly Starwood- Platinum will do for us in Chile and Argentina. I just cashed in the seven night Marriott travel package and after that we’ll have about 100K Starwood (300K Marriott) left over from some credit card sign-up bonuses. Some are set aside for the Sheraton Iguazu but other than that our plans are pretty open. 

I never thought of Brazil for wine, but doesn’t this look beautiful?

One property I keep returning to- just because it seems like an amazing value- is over the border in Rio Grande do Sul (Southern Brazil). At 15K Marriott (5K Starwood) and the 5th night free it seems like a steal.  Does anyone know anything about the Hotel and Spa Do Vinho? Of course it’s in the middle of nothing Americans talk about, so if you have any info, please share! 

The great thing about 21 months of status is that there are so many possibilities. Our schedules are wide open after Camp Mom this summer. Next year is my solo year- who knows where SPG/Marriott Platinum (not to mention the United/Delta benefits) may come in handy? What I do know is at less than $500 to achieve, I’m sure we’ll get more than our money’s worth. 

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network. 


20 thoughts on “Marriott Platinum Challenge Completed! $467 = Four Status Bumps

  1. tony manzi

    Just a heads up on the Sheraton Iguazu – there has been an ongoing “hunt” for a puma considered dangerous and some of the trails have been closed, and the entire park was closed recently for two days in a row.

  2. Rob

    Did you do your stays around the DC area? What hotels did you stay at that were like $70 a night including taxes? Did you rent them as a day room?

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Rob,
      Yes, my stays were here around DC. I rented all overnight. On weekends many in Northern Virginia go around or under $70, esp. on a AAA rate (which is eligible). My favorite, which I did three times, is the Fairview Park Marriott which is consistently around $82 including 2500 bonus points (look under “member offers”). They have a really nice breakfast buffet on weekends that is included for Golds- for as many as are checked into the room. (I did 2 adults and 2 kids without changing the rate.)

      Another good rate was the Tysons Corner Marriott for $67 (free parking on weekends). The Courtyard Tysons goes even lower but charges for parking. There are also a bunch in Chantilly (three within a block of each other) that are in the $60s on AAA hot rates most weekends.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Tim,
      My local (Fairview Park, VA) Marriott has a 2500 bonus points rate for only $10 above the AAA rate. That plus the 2x 1st 3 stays promo added up quickly!

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      I’ll defer as I’m so newly minted but don’t see why it wouldn’t. Silver does limit Business upgrades to US/Mex/Latin America/Caribbean but I think E+ is everywhere.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      I value most you can transfer from Ultimate Rewards at a penny- with the exception of IHG because you can buy those at .7. It’s just easier that way.

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    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Marsha,
      No. Only “qualified rates” count, which do not include things such as Hotels.com or Expedia. Rates such as Virtuoso or Amex Fine Hotels or Resorts should count, as do discounted rates (such as AAA) booked on Marriott.com.

  4. Joe Dunne

    I have stayed at the Sheraton Iguazu Falls. Very nice hotel. One thing to try for: only a very limited number of rooms have a actual view of the falls. It IS worth it to upgrade to one of those rooms. Also, be sure to see the falls from both sides and to take the boat ride right up to the falls. You will get wet!

  5. Boonie

    One thing to consider is where you live and time of year. With summer holidays and warm weather finding cheap rates in the Midwest is tough:(. Question – can I book the room for a family member or do I need to check in and they can stay in the room?

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Boonie,
      Most properties are pretty good about letting someone else check in on your behalf. Just add their name to the comments. I usually follow up with a call day of arrival- I don’t advertise that I’m not showing up at all, just say that X will be checking in. If they ask directly I don’t lie, but I don’t bring it up first. I’ve never had a problem even with friends, but if it’s a family member and you tell the hotel you’re buying the room for them I can’t see why they would care.

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