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TPG reader Mark sent me a message to ask about hotel elite status:

“I’m currently Hilton Gold, but am thinking of switching over to Starwood. What’s the easiest way to get SPG Gold status without the 25 nights/10 stays?”

The easiest way is to get the Platinum Card from American Express, which offers SPG Gold status as a benefit. The Amex Platinum has an annual fee of $550, but you get $200 in airline fee credits, which I personally use to get four $50 American Airlines gift cards each year, effectively bringing that fee down to $350. You also get a $100 credit toward a Global Entry application, and access to Centurion Lounges across the country, which are awesome. A new one just opened up in Miami, and another is coming soon to Seattle.

As an Amex Platinum cardholder, you can upgrade to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status without meeting any stay requirements. Simply call Amex Platinum Concierge and they can set things up for you. Amex doesn’t really advertise this benefit, but it does exist, and is really easy to obtain with just a phone call.

SPG Gold status gets you room upgrades, perhaps one with a view like at the W New York Times Square
SPG Gold status can get you room upgrades at properties like the W New York Times Square.

Even as a lower-tier elite status, SPG Gold can be pretty valuable. It gets you room upgrades (but not suites), premium internet, a 50% bonus on Starpoints from your stays, late check-out (when available) and more. If you’re considering the Amex Platinum card already, these benefits definitely make the card more worthwhile.

Another option is to get the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. You can earn SPG Gold Status after spending $30,000 or more in eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year. It also gives you two stays and five nights of elite credit annually, so you get a head start toward SPG Gold status if you do decide to earn it through hotel nights and stays.

Finally, you could always just email Starwood and ask. Explain that you have Hilton Gold status but you want to switch to Starwood, and see if they’ll offer you a status match or challenge. You can also try reaching out on Twitter. Although Starwood doesn’t officially have a matching program for SPG Gold, it can’t hurt to try.

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

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • 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.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
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.

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.