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:
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.
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.
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