I found this today on Loyalty Lobby and wonder if any Insiders have seen this or had the offer?
Reader Question: Online Offer Marriott/SPG Platinum Status For $399 - Legitimate? | LoyaltyLobby
Maybe our excellent sleuths carat, andrewt, deannad or lindseyh can pass this along to the Fraud Department and put this particular issue to bed.
Appreciate you sharing this with us, iahflyr! We have a team looking into this!
Thanks lindseyh,...hope nobody has taken the bait on this thing.
Hi all - just to follow up on lindseyh's comment, this definitely looks like a scam. We do not offer a way for a members to purchase Elite status or night credits. Thanks again, iahflyr!
For $399 I'll sell some of my pens...
Well reading this beyond the headline shows how it's done.
carat is of course right (we expect nothing less m'lady ) when she says Marriott doesn't sell Plat, but of course, Marriott isn't selling Plat or nights credits here, instead an enterprising individual is. We'll call him our facilitator.
You see, if you reserve a meeting room at a Marriott the person planning the meeting qualifies to receive 3 points per $ spent AND, far more impotantly, 10 elite qualifying nights (EQN) per booking which post to your account as bonus nights, like the credit card nights. I've done this a few times when needing to meet a particularly confidential client by booking the smallest meeting room for an hour or two. I've paid anything from £50/hr at the Peterborough Marriott to £125/hr in London. No need to stay overnight - 10 EQN bonus credits a few days later for each meeting.
It seems likely our facilitator has found a hotel that will "sell" him a meeting room for just a few bucks each time, say $25 per "meeting", agreeing not to record no-shows. So the "wannabe Plat" gives the facilitator their MR number and $399 and our facilitator reserves 8 "meetings" at his "tame" hotel paying the hotel $200 ($25 per meeting) quoting the wannabe's MR number for each meeting. When they've cleared through the Marriott system our wannabe gets 8 bonus postings of 10EQN credits per meeting, thats 80 nights - BANG - Platinum status!
Hotel gets $200, facilitator gets $200 and our wannabe gets Platinum for the year. To be honest this is no secret, there's been a Flyertalk thread about it since 2010 here Platinum Status in Eight Days and $800 - No Stays Required - FlyerTalk Forums. The only difference here is that our facilitator has found a very cheap place to buy the meetings, whereas the Flyertalk thread assumes $100 per such meeting. It's clearly a legal "travel hack" although systematically selling it like that will be a breach of the Marriott Rewards program T&Cs by the facilitator, who I suspect couldn't care less, the hotel, that I'm sure will, and the wannabe who if discovered will probably lose his account and accumulated points, not to mention that status to which he so aspired!
BUYING PLATINUM OFF THE INTERNET - DONT GO THERE!!!
Good stuff bbob. One of the benefits of Lifetime Platinum is the luxury of not having to learn all of the various hacks and issues of obtaining Platinum. I can now invest intellectual energy in learning the Starwood web site (just in time for it to be amalgamated into the Marriott Mothership) and now my new quest - "Experiences" .
All this edu-ma-cation is one of the reasons I have held off learning all those appy type things (although even I will be forced eventually; thank goodness for Marriott's ineffective IT, it buys me time), an old geezer can only take so much brain strain .
Noting like being a "Lifer"!!!
brightlybob, I seem to like the term "facilitator" quite nicely......sure hope they find out who the "facilitator" is in this instance and punch him right in the tummy like what happened to our man Fife after a lesson on rowdies!
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