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TPG reader Sam sent me a tweet to ask about elite benefits:

“Do I get a choice benefit if I complete the SPG Platinum challenge? How about the Delta Platinum challenge?”

Last year, Starwood Preferred Guest announced a new selection of benefits available to certain Platinum elites. These members used to automatically receive 10 Suite Night awards, but there are now a number of other options, including TSA PreCheck, free Uber rides and the ability to gift SPG Gold status. These SPG Nights Benefits are similar to the Choice Benefits offered to Delta Platinum and Diamond members on top of the standard Medallion perks.

Sam wants to know whether SPG Nights Benefits and Choice Benefits are available to members who complete a status match or challenge. Unfortunately, for Starwood the answer is no. You can reach Platinum status with either 25 stays or 50 nights, but SPG Nights Benefits are only available to members who reach 50 nights (affectionately known as P-50s in the Starwood vernacular). Completing a status challenge doesn’t give you credit for the normal night/stay requirements — your status will be bumped up, but your account will continue to reflect your actual hotel activity for the year. That means you’ll get Platinum status and all the normal benefits, but you won’t get “P50” status (or the SPG Nights benefit that comes with it).

Of course, you’re still eligible for the extra benefits if you reach 50 nights, and there are some shortcuts to earning hotel elite status that may help. The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express each offer credit for 2 stays/5 nights toward SPG elite status. Those credits stack, so you can get 4 stays/10 nights total between the two cards, which puts you 40% of the way to requalifying for Gold status or 20% of the way toward Platinum. Aside from that, you’ll have to earn your elite credits through actual stays.

For more insights into maximizing SPG Nights Benefits, check out TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig’s post on how he decided to redeem after reaching 50 nights in 2015.

Delta
Delta offers Choice Benefits to Platinum and Diamond elites, including those who complete a status challenge.

For its part, Delta offers the same Platinum Medallion benefits regardless of how you earn them. That means you will receive a Choice Benefit whether you earn status by flying or by completing a status challenge. However, you’re not eligible during the 90-day qualification period — you’ll only get the Choice Benefit when you meet the MQM or MQS requirements of the challenge. There are plenty of shortcuts to earning Delta status as well, but you won’t need them if you complete the challenge in time.

Check out these posts for more info on Choice Benefits, as well as Starwood Preferred Guest and Delta Medallion elite status in general.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

The best sign-up bonus we've ever seen from the SPG Amex is here, for a limited time only. Earn up to 35,000 Starpoints which can be used for hotel redemption around the globe, transferred to over 30 airline partners, and even transfer from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Limited Time Offer- Earn an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints® after you make an additional $2,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. Offer ends 4/5.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.74%-19.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Balance Transfer Fee
3.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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