Gold Status Criteria
Gold - earn 50 nights in a year
Lifetime Gold - earn 500 nights (over your lifetime) AND 1,600,000 points (over your lifetime)
All benefits (Silver, Gold, Platinum): Marriott Rewards | Member Benefits At A Glance
These are the criteria under 2017 and probably 2018's rules, but note once the Marriott and SPG rewards programs merge, the year-to-year and lifetime requirements may change.
You could also get the Ritz Carlton Rewards credit card and get Gold status, and then spend $10k every year, and you have automatic Gold status. You also could get the Platinum AMEX credit card ($550 annual fee) or Platinum Business AMEX ($450 annual fee), which confers SPG Gold and then status match to Marriott Gold. Spend $50k on the Marriott Rewards Business card = instant Gold status, spend $75k on the Ritz Rewards card = instant Platinum status. If you easily spend $50k or $75k on business expenses, then that may be the way to go, but there are much cheaper ways to earn status. Staying 50 nights or 75 nights should easily be cheaper than spending $50k or $75k. There all multiple ways to skin this cat...
And you have all of the ways to "earn" nights to get to year-to-year 50 nights for Gold, getting the Marriott Rewards credit card and Business version of the card net you 30 nights (15 elite night credits per card), so you'd only need to earn 20 more per year to reach Gold.
Also, with the SPG AMEX card you can keep your SPG gold status by spending $35,000 annually (matched by Marriott). So, for members who don't have the Ritz card ($10,000 for Gold) or the Platinum AMEX (because of the high fees), this would be another option.
Unless it went up recently, SPG AMEX is $30,000 (not $35,000) annually for SPG Gold, which you can status match to Marriott Gold
My mistake, it is $30,000
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