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A couple weeks ago news leaked that Starwood would begin counting award stays towards elite status. For the casual traveler who struggles to maintain elite status, this was a huge enhancement to the program. To the road warriors who have no issue qualifying and don’t want more competition for suite upgrades, it was negative news.
Indeed, Starwood has officially announced that all award stays (including my favorite Cash &Points) will count towards elite qualification.
And this past weekend I hung out with a lot of frequent travelers and on more than one occasion I heard that Hyatt will soon announce a similar benefit. This is by no means an official inside scoop, but I take these people’s word on pretty good authority. I personally would look forward to this because I have so many points and I always feel guilty using them because I really value top tier hotel elite status and I don’t stay enough times to maintain it in all three of my top-tier programs: Starwood, Hyatt and Intercontinental.
Hyatt elite status from awards would be nice, but I’d rather see Hyatt roll out a really competitive cash & points style program with more availability than its competitors. Starwood, Marriott and Hilton all have cash & points programs, but they are generally very strictly capacity controlled. I’d love to see Hyatt be a leader and offer cash & points at all hotels who have standard rooms available for awards. A boy can dream!
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees