Marriott Rewards had several programs to extend members’ elite levels, from extending them indefinitely to offering status buyback programs.
Even when Marriott Bonvoy was launched, a soft landing policy was still in place. The question of this policy’s status has been raised again, as member tiers were extended several times due to the covid pandemic. The status support is now, however, ending for most.
You can access Marriott Bonvoy here.
READ MORE: Marriott Bonviy Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Marriott Rewards status buyback program:
You could keep rolling your Platinum status by redeeming 40,000 points. There was no need for this in many years if your travel had dropped because Marriott often extended the level regardless.
Marriott soft landing policy in 2020:
If an Elite member does not meet their existing tier’s annual requirements in a calendar year, they will downgrade one or two Elite tiers below their existing Elite level for the following year.
The member will continue to move down (downgrade) tiers each year if he or she does not meet the tier’s annual requirements.
For example, a Platinum Elite member with 40 qualifying nights in 2020 will move to the Gold Elite tier in 2021. If the member does not meet the Gold Elite requirements in 2021, they will then downgrade to the Silver Elite tier in 2022.
Marriott Bonvoy downgraded elite members one or two tiers in 2020.
Marriott Bonvoy soft landing policy in 2023:
A reader was in touch with Marriott, who then sent a link to the following page that discloses the 2023 soft landing policy.
Will all members that do not reach status in 2022 be downgraded to the next Elite tier?
We are pleased to offer Titanium Elite status to our current Ambassador Elite members who do not achieve the 2022 published criteria to maintain Ambassador Elite status.
As part of Marriott Bonvoy’s annual business processing, all other Elite Members with a status expiration date of February 2023 that did not achieve a higher Elite Status or renew their existing Elite Status during 2022 will be downgraded in early March 2023.
Ambassador members can see one tier downgrade to Titanium, but all others would be downgraded based on their 2022 activity come March 2023.
I would not be shocked if there were exemptions to this blanket policy in markets where covid restrictions were in place this year (think of Asian countries such as Australia, New Zealand & Taiwan) or where lockdowns are still in place (China).
Programs, not just Marriott, need to walk a fine line when downgrading elite members.
On the one hand, it is not good if too many elite members haven’t really qualified (dilution of status); on the other hand, there can be fluctuations in stay activity, and blanket policy may not capture them.