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Today brings some fantastic news for the newly combined Marriott and SPG program. In a move designed to recognize the two chains’ most loyal members, you’re now able to earn Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status in an additional way: by having 750 nights and 10 or more years of Platinum status by the end of 2018. This greatly expands the ability to reach Lifetime Platinum Premier, a status level that will only be available through the end of this year.
Full details on this change are available on the program’s FAQ page, but there are three key subgroups of travelers who stand to benefit from this update:
- Current SPG Lifetime Platinum members: One of the most vocal groups since the new program’s announcement was long-time SPG Platinum members. They felt like second-class citizens by being matched solely to Lifetime Platinum, while current Marriott Lifetime Platinums would enjoy Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite. With this announcement, a current SPG Lifetime Platinum member with 750 or more nights will now be Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite.
- Marriott members with 750+ lifetime nights but less than 2 million points: The other big group to benefit is those Marriott members who were close to Lifetime Platinum in the Marriott Rewards program. Under the current criteria, you qualify for Marriott Lifetime Platinum with 750 nights and 2 million points. With this change, the program is essentially softening that by replacing one of the criteria: instead of 2 million points, you need 10 or more years of Platinum status. If you’ve been Platinum for years and have completed 750 nights but wouldn’t have reached the 2 million point threshold, you’re now eligible for Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite.
- Current members of both programs with significant nights/elite status tenure(s): After initially receiving different information, we’ve since received confirmation from a Marriott representative that this new qualification method will look at combined activity across both programs once you combine your accounts in August. As a result, if you’ve already hit the 750-night threshold with a combined 10+ years of Platinum status across the two programs (or are able to reach those two thresholds based on your combined activity by December 31, 2018), you’ll enjoy Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status.
For this last group, here’s the example our Marriott representative provided TPG:
“If by 12/31/18 a member has five years Platinum with SPG and 250 nights, and five years Platinum with Marriott Rewards and 500 nights, they qualify [for Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status].”
In summary, there are four ways to earn Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status:
- Be a current Marriott Rewards Lifetime Platinum member
- Reach the current Marriott Rewards Lifetime Platinum requirements by December 31, 2018 (750 nights + 2 million points)
- Be a current SPG Lifetime Platinum with 750 or more nights
- Reach a combined total of 750 nights and 10+ years of Platinum status across the two programs by December 31, 2018
There’s no debating that the integration of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest was a massive undertaking, and the new elite status tiers did a solid job of rewarding loyal travelers from both programs. However, it didn’t make everyone happy, and this update is a very positive step toward addressing that concern. Many Lifetime SPG Platinum members will now have the same lifetime status as their Marriott brethren, and those members just short of qualifying for Marriott Lifetime Platinum will now have an additional way to snag this top-level status.
Just be sure to plan your nights carefully over the rest of the year, since Lifetime Platinum Premier will no longer be available for new members as of 2019.
Featured image courtesy of the JW Marriott Shanghai.
This story has been updated to note that combined activity across both programs will be used to determine qualification for Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite status through the end of 2018.
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