Well it happened. I reached my first milestone on the road to Lifetime Platinum. Roughly 6½ years after joining Marriott Rewards, I've reached Lifetime Silver.
Of course, since I hold the MR Visa, which grants automatic Silver status through its 15 elite nights each year, LTS is almost a meaningless status, unless for some unfathomable reason I decide to cancel the credit card (why on earth would I do something as foolish as that? ). The significance to me is being one step closer to LTG and eventually LTP.
Most of my progress came in the last few years. When I joined Marriott Rewards Insiders in June 2013, I was sitting on about 197,000 lifetime points and somewhere around 60 lifetime nights. Since then, I've added over 1M points and several hundred nights. The tips and techniques I learned from other Insiders helped me figure out how to take full advantage of MegaBonus promotions and rollover nights, as well as a slew of other strategies (see What's Your Strategy for Maximizing Nights and Points?).
The next step is Lifetime Gold. I want to achieve that before the combined MR/SPG program is rolled out, since no one knows if the criteria for Lifetime status will remain the same under a combined program. I'm hopeful they will, but as my former boss used to say "hope is not a plan."
Reaching the 500 nights will not be difficult. With just the stays planned for the rest of the year, I'll have over 450 nights. Depending on what I can do with rollover nights this year, I will easily hit 500 early in 2018. Even without rollover nights, I'll reach 500 lifetime nights by this time next year. The challenge will be how to accumulate 1.6M lifetime points. For a leisure traveler like me, earning 400k points in a year is a stretch. I'm up for the challenge. Besides, I still have almost 4 months left in 2017.
The extra points that come from being Platinum will help, as will any MegaBonus points. Using the MR credit card will also work in my favor. My "ace in the hole" is my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. If I fall short, I've got a stash of Ultimate Rewards points that I could transfer to Marriott Rewards. It may not be the best redemption strategy, so I'll only make that transfer if I can't earn the 400k in 16 months through other methods.
Lifetime Platinum still seems a long way off, though by following the advice of my Insider mentors (erc, jerrycoin, painedplatinum, nationwide, brightlybob, iahflyr, and many others), I should get there eventually. Thanks guys.