March 23, 2017

SPG Platinum Shortcuts for Marriott Rewards Members

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SPG Platinum Status Shortcuts

The recent closing of Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood opens up a few shortcuts to obtaining Starwood Platinum status not previously available to Marriott Rewards members.  This article focuses on shortcuts to Starwood Platinum from the perspective of a Marriott rewards member at each of the three tier levels.

SPG Platinum Benefits

Starwood Platinum requires 25 stays or 50 nights annually.  SPG Platinum status benefits include the following:

  • Earn 3 Starpoints per dollar spent at SPG properties.
  • Room upgrades to the best available room, including suites at check-in.
  • Welcome gift options of additional Starpoints, free continental breakfast, or other amenities.
  • Free premium internet access.
  • Club and Executive level access.
  • Guaranteed room availability if booked before 3 pm and at least 72 hours in advance.
  • Platinum concierge service.
  • Earn Starpoints with Uber (need to register).
  • Earn Starpoints and elite benefits on Delta Airlines (Delta Crossover Rewards).
  • Starpoints on Emirates flights (Your world rewards).

SPG Platinum Shortcuts for Marriott Platinum Members

Existing Marriott Platinum members have the easiest path to Starwood Platinum status.  Marriott offers an instant status match with Starwood for all existing Marriott Reward members based on tier.  You can request the status match at any time and there is no stated expiration date.  The only requirement is that you sign up for Starwood Preferred Guest prior to requesting the status match.

Existing Marriott Rewards members are matched to Starwood at the following tiers:

  • Marriott Silver matches to Starwood Preferred.
  • Gold matches to Starwood Gold.
  • Platinum matches to Starwood Platinum.

SPG Platinum Shortcuts for Marriott Gold Members

Normally Marriott requires 75 nights to earn Marriott Platinum status.  Rather than stay 50 nights, Marriott Gold members can take the following shortcut:

  • Request a Marriott Platinum Challenge.
  • Complete the required 9 stays in 3 months to become a Marriott Platinum member.
  • Request the instant status match to become a Starwood Platinum member.

SPG Platinum Shortcuts for Marriott Silver Members

Shortcuts to Starwood Platinum status for Marriott Silver members is more challenging  but still possible.

Option 1 – Best for Business Travelers or for those likely to be at Marriott Gold status prior to year end

  • Achieve Marriott Gold status “normally” by reaching 50 nights in 2016.
  • Request a Marriott Platinum Challenge.
  • Complete 9 stays in 3 months to reach Marriott Platinum status.
  • Request the instant status match to become a Starwood Platinum member.

Option 2 – Cheaper than option 1 but takes longer

  • Request a Marriott Gold Status Challenge.
  • Complete the 6 stays in 3 months to reach Marriott Gold status.
  • Wait 12 months from the date you reached Marriott Gold status.
  • Request a Marriott Platinum Status Challenge.
  • Complete the 9 stays in 3 months to reach Marriott Platinum status.
  • Request the instant status match to become a Starwood Platinum member.

The downside of option 2 is that Marriott requires at least 12 months between any requests for a status challenge.  Since Marriott will be combining the two rewards programs into one single program in 2018, you might only earn Starwood Platinum for just 2 to 3 months before the program disappears (you would still retain the same status in the new program for the remaining 7 to 8 months).  The risk is that the new combined program starting in 2018 is less appealing than the current Starwood Platinum benefits.

Option 3 – Cheaper than option 1 and faster than option 2 but requires a credit card

  • Open the Ritz Carlton credit card and obtain Marriott Gold status for one year from the opening date.
  • Request a Marriott Platinum Challenge.
  • Complete 9 stays in 3 months to reach Marriott Platinum status.
  • Request the instant status match to Starwood Platinum.

The downside of this option is the $450 annual fee required with the Ritz Carlton credit card.  The Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card has a lower $99 annual fee, but Marriott Gold status requires $50,000 of annual spending.

  • For more information about the credit card options see this post from Dr. of Credit.

Option 4 – Cheaper than option 1 and faster than option 2 but requires United Airlines Gold status

  • Earn United Airlines Premier Gold status.
  • Sign up for United RewardsPlus and obtain instant Marriott Gold Status.
  • Request a Marriott Platinum Challenge.
  • Complete 9 stays in 3 months to reach Marriott Platinum status.
  • Request the instant status match to Starwood Platinum.

 

About First Class Travel Guide 113 Articles
Travel enthusiast that spent years flying in the back of planes and staying at cheaper hotels in order to save a little money. After learning how to leverage airline and hotel loyalty programs, I've developed an interest in luxury travel and write about my experiences with it.

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