How to QUICKLY get Marriott Elite Status before July 31
August 1st is the magical day for the new Marriott Rewards program. SPG will be no more, Marriott will reign supreme, and while some benefits will stay, some will go away. Getting your Marriott Elite Status before the change on August 1st should be on everyone’s list. While some things are staying the same and many are changing, one of the ones that is a big grey area is Marriott Meetings.
If you haven’t heard about this feature, you’re gonna want to pay attention. This is going to be your lifesaver for elite status before the new merger.
I know it’s running close on time (only three and a half weeks left as of July 5th) but there is still plenty of time to get your status in quickly. Let me ask you a question. Don’t you need to hold a meeting? No really, don’t you need a meeting space at a hotel? Because IF you do, you could be earning a huge number of nights in a short amount of time.
We all know that almost every Marriott hotel in the world has at least 1 meeting room. Often there are conferences for acronym laden organizations that you’ve never heard of and you probably never will. Perhaps there is the latest “Flip Homes for Cash” scheme that is free to attend in the hopes that you’ll sign up for the $999 master class.
Perhaps, it’s just one person, sitting at a desk with their laptop, on Skype with a business colleague. This is what you need to do, and you need to do it fast.
Nights and Points
For every meeting that you hold with any Marriott Hotel and Resort (not SPG… actual Marriott) you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent before taxes and fees AND 10 elite nights credit towards your qualification.
Let’s make that point one more time. For every meeting you book you’ll earn 10 nights credit towards your elite status. 5 meetings equals 50 nights and Gold Status. Eight meetings (or 7 and 5 hotel nights) gets you Platinum status.
If you’re already accumulating some points from normal stays then you can use the meetings to “top off” and get you to where you’ll need to be for the year.
How to find cheap meeting space?
There are PLENTY of hotels around with empty meeting rooms that I am sure would love some ancillary revenue. After all, just like the hotel rooms manager has their quota to fill, the events manager has their own sales goals, and if rooms go empty then they miss their numbers. Being in sales for as long as I have, I know that missing your sales numbers is never a good thing.
My suggestion would be to call your local hotel and ask them if they’d be willing to work with you on a meeting space.
When I travel for work, one of the constant struggles that I face is finding a quiet space to work. Sure, there are Starbucks all over the place, but if you’re looking to have a highly sensitive conversation, or perhaps a heated sales call, a Starbucks isn’t the place for that.
I would call and suggest that you need a room for 2 hours at the most set up with a table and two chairs. It’s important to let them know that you’re flexible and are willing to work with them on the dates at the time to get the best rate. You can rearrange your work schedules to accommodate the hotel.
Do you have to show up?
Yes, you need to show up. Don’t think that you can book this and then do a No-Show because the hotel will report that you didn’t show up and report the meeting as such.
Chances are that you’ve got a Marriott near you (or a Courtyard/Fairfield/etc) within driving distance.
What’s the going rate?
I was able to secure some meeting rooms for $100 and another for $75. The ones in Seattle wanted to charge $200 for a half day, which was a bit too steep for me. Depending on the metropolitan market that you’re in, prices vary.
Don’t forget that you’ll have to pay a 20% service fee on top along with taxes and fees, so that $100 room is really $100++.
I would suggest not booking the rooms on consecutive dates. Chances are if you book a room for July 11 and July 12 you’ll only get credit for one meeting. This happened in the past where the hotel manager bundled the two of them together and I saw only a 10 night credit instead of a 20 night credit. It took a while to work out but eventually we got it straightened out.
Also, it’s important to note that the points/nights typically post 10 days after the end of the meeting. If you want to hit that mark before July 31st, then you had better get to making the bookings… today.
Think of July 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19. That’s 7 bookings right there, spread a day apart each, and huuzah! You’re at 70 nights. Those points should post by July 29th, just 2 days before the official deadline. With 5 hotel nights as well for some vacations congratulations, you’re Platinum!
Stop reading and call your hotel
Seriously, you can’t wait any longer. Most hotel sales departments are open Monday to Friday from 8-5, so get calling right away. You’ll want to get these secured ASAP.