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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Credit Card from American Express

Starwood regularly offered elite challenges in the past — most recently, new customers had an opportunity to earn either Gold or Platinum status after staying at least 9 or 18 nights in three months, respectively.

Now, Marriott has introduced its first status challenge after launching the combined loyalty program on August 18. And the requirements are a bit easier to meet than they had been in the past.

As of this week, you can enroll by calling Marriott Rewards, at 801-468-4000, or SPG, at 888-625-4988. After registering, you’ll have an opportunity to qualify for one of two status levels:

There’s one big catch, however — you can only register once every three years, so if you register in 2018, you’ll need to wait until after December 31, 2021 before taking advantage of another challenge, should one be available again.

Still, it could certainly be worth participating if you’re expecting to spend a lot of nights with Marriott in the near future. We value Marriott Gold status at $725, and Platinum at $3,540, though you could end up getting far less or more value from your status, depending on where and how often you stay. Also note that Platinum members still need to accrue 50 qualifying nights before selecting a Choice Benefit.

You can also get Gold status with The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card. Luxury Card holders can earn Platinum status after spending $75,000 in a calendar year, so if you’re expecting to qualify by meeting a spend requirement with an eligible card, that’s likely a better bet.

Featured image of the Ritz-Carlton Langkawi by Eric Rosen.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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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