The Ins and Outs of Earning Starwood Elite Status With The Amex Platinum and SPG Credit Cards

by on September 2, 2013 · 5 comments

in American Express, Elite Status, Starwood, Sunday Reader Questions

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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express have expired. View the current offers here – personal, business.

TPG Twitter follower Wildcat1 asked:

“Now that Amex Platinum gives you SPG Gold Status, do I then only need 25 nights to get to Platinum Status – or do I have to start from zero nights?”

The Amex Platinum Card.

The Amex Platinum Card.

One of the perks of the Amex Platinum card is that it automatically gives you Starwood Gold Status, which is normally attained after 25 nights or 10 stays and gets you a 50% bonus on Starpoints (so you earn 3 points per $1 spent at Starwood properties), space-available room upgrades, 4pm late checkout and overall better customer service.

While it’s a great benefit of the card, unfortunately, it isn’t a fast track to Platinum Status, as you would still have to complete all the stays and nights (meaning that same 25 stays/50 nights) required to get to Platinum just as if you were starting from scratch.

The added VIP benefits of Platinum are:

  • Earn 3 Starpoints per dollar spent (Same as Gold, but a 50% increase from the regular ratio for and 75-night Platinum guests earn 4 points per dollar)
  • Upgrades to best available room at check-in, including Standard Suites
  • Your choice of a welcome gift with each stay (choose from bonus Starpoints, continental breakfast or local amenities)
  • Club- and Executive-level privileges where available
  • Complimentary in-room WiFi
  • 4 p.m. late checkoutso you can sleep in, relax by the pool or see more of the local area you’re visiting
  • Guaranteed room availability when your room is booked by 3 p.m., 72+ hours prior to arrival
  • Signature Platinum Concierge service

SPG also now has even more upgrades for Platinum members who achieve 75 or 100 nights, including YOUR24 flexible check-in, suite night awards and 4 Starpoints per dollar spent. Check out the program enhancements from last year in this post.

If SPG Platinum status is your goal, one alternative route is to get either (or both) the personal or business Starwood Preferred Guest American Express cards, each of which gives you 2 stays or 5 nights credit toward elite status and earns you Gold status for spending $30,000 in a calendar year. Although again, with the spending bonus option, this is just status, not night or stay credit – so for Platinum, you would still have to do 23 stays or 45 nights more to reach the required threshold if you had one of these cards.

If you apply for either the business or personal SPG Amex by September 3, 2013, you can get in on the current limited-time bonus offer of 30,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 6 months. If you were to get both cards, you’d end up with not only 60,000 bonus points, but 4 stays and 10 nights worth of credit towards elite status, putting you well on your way to Gold and definitely helping along the way to Platinum.

Disclaimer: 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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  • DG

    I dropped from SPG plat to gold this year. As an SPG plat, I found upgrades to be nonexistent, besides with Amex plat card I was automatic gold so my required stays went from 25 to 0 and now I focus on more loyal programs.

  • Wildcat1

    TPG, thanks for addressing my question here, much appreciated and it certainly helps me understand this better. I am also exploring other options like the Platinum Challenges that Starwood offers (similar to competitors like Hyatt). At least hotel Elite statuses seem attainable whereas Airline Platinum equivalent statuses seem like a long way off :) Thanks again

  • The Conductor

    The SPG Gold status you get from Amex Platinum may not be a “fast track” to SPG Platinum status. But it *is* a cheaper track.

    Because SPG Gold members earn extra SPG points on every stay, and because reward nights count toward your status journey, having the combination of an Amex Platinum (for the Gold status) and an Amex SPG (for the stays/nights credited each year and for the additional points earning) is the perfect 1-2 punch to earn SPG Platinum status. Neither one alone is as powerful as the two combined.

  • Little Tea Blog

    I did the Starwood and Hyatt platinum challenge recently, so happy to answer any questions about it. The Starwood challenge is a little trickier, but you get longer to do it.

  • Nick

    TPG, any idea if canceling your Starwood Business Card loses you the 2 stay and 5 night credit you get for it at the start of each year?

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