I'm currently just a Silver elite through the MR card that I recently got last fall. I've want to get to Gold elite, however, I don't travel as much as those in the business world and doubt I can reach it through credit card spend. I was thinking of getting the Ritz Carlton card which gets me there the quickest however, I don't really stay or have a need to stay at a Ritz. I prefer Marriott. That said, I know we need to merge accounts and pick one over the other and I would probably pick staying with MR. My questions:
1.Once I get gold status with the RC card, will the gold elite status reflect automatically if I use my MR card to book/use at Marriott hotels or will I have to book through the RC card and use that from now on? Will your MR account number be the same on the RC card for those who have both making this a moot point?
2. If I declare that I prefer staying a MR member when I apply for the RC card, do I still get the promotional nights at RC for signing up plus all their perks such as the airport lounge access, $300 travel credit, and accumulate points at the gold status rate for spend?
3. Is it worth keeping both or is this redundant? Do I need to keep both if there are quirky things I'm not aware of?
4. Do I need to be present on stays in order to get the benefits of the gold upgrades or can my spouse who will get a companion card under my account go on her own and receive the same privileges such as the room upgrades, access to lounges etc?
5. Do they still offer road to gold challenges and is that x number of different stays at one hotel to qualify in a certain time period (how long do you get btw?) or could I use a trip that I have planned soon where I'll be going to different cities in a short period of time where I can see at least 6 different Marriott stays but only for one night each. Will that only count for nights stayed but not count for their definition of "stay"
Thanks all. Enjoying learning and reading about people's experiences.