Marriott Downgrades My Elite Status For No Apparent Reason

by Miguel R. Quinones


Back in March I wrote about how Marriott had decided to renew my Gold Elite status “[i]n thanks for [my] loyalty as a Marriott Rewards Credit Card member.” I’ve had Marriott Gold or Platinum elite status since October 2010, so I was extremely happy about being able to keep a high-level elite status with them for another year. Well, it seems like someone at Marriott forgot about the letter which included the aforementioned quote.

Earlier today I received a promotional email from Marriott which identified my status as “Silver”. I immediately logged in to my Marriott Rewards account and was able to confirm that my status had indeed been downgraded to Silver. I proceeded to call Marriott Rewards customer service. I made it clear that I had not met any requirement on my own that would have renewed my Gold status for 2016, but that Marriott had sent me a letter earlier this year in which they informed me that they were renewing my status anyways.

Not surprisingly, Marriott had no record of said letter on my account. I offered to email or fax it to them, but they did not appear to be interested.

After going over my account, the agent tried to argue that my status was possibly downgraded as a result of the cancellation of my Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card. While I had recently cancelled said card, the explanation provided made no sense given that Gold status is not a benefit provided by said card beyond the first year unless you meet certain spending requirements, which I had not met. On the other hand, I emphasized that the letter sent renewing my status clearly identified that said renewal was the result of my loyalty as a Marriott Rewards Credit Card member, a credit card I still have, not the Ritz-Carlton card.

I did not get anywhere with the first agent so I asked to be transferred to a supervisor. The supervisor eventually upgraded my status back to Gold, but it was not easy. What was particularly frustrating about this situation is that I remember something similar happening a few years back. I had Platinum status at the time and received a letter from Marriott stating they were renewing my Platinum status even though I had not met the corresponding requirements. A few weeks later my status had been downgraded to Gold. Fortunately, it was upgraded back to Platinum after calling Marriott Rewards customer service, but I remember that it was not easy to get them to do so.

Bottom Line

If I do not meet the requirements to earn or renew certain elite status levels, I am perfectly fine with having my status downgraded. Nonetheless, if Marriott or any other company is going to send me a letter indicating that my status had been renewed anyways, I fully expect them to follow through with said renewal.

Has anyone had any similar experiences with Marriott or other companies?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Elijah May 3, 2016 - 2:41 pm

Marriott has twice extended my status w/o minimum stay for additional years. Not this year. I am a card-carrying “member” now. :-/

Shubhayan Mukherjee May 3, 2016 - 5:29 pm

I had the Ritz Carlton credit card. I met the $10,000 annual spend in the 2nd year and qualified for Gold till 2017. I even got a new card in the mail from Ritz Carlton showing I had Gold till 2017. Then suddenly last month, my account was downgraded to Member, not even Silver, just a Member and I lost my Suite Night Upgrades as well. When I called to check, the customer service said I had cancelled my Ritz Carlton credit card and so I was no longer Gold. I explained to them that I had met the annual spend requirements before cancelling the card and had already qualified for Gold, so they couldn’t take away my underlying qualification. The agent checked with a supervisor and then changed my account status from Member to Gold once again. Just for their professional behavior, I will be staying with Marriott in the future.


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