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“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week by TPG Associate Editor Brendan Dorsey.
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a whole host of travel benefits, including Gold elite status at Hilton and SPG hotels. However, now that we know the details of the new Marriott loyalty program, many TPG readers, including Jim, have wondered what status their Platinum card will give them at the mega-hotel chain when the two programs merge…
I have the Amex Platinum card which gives me SPG Gold Status. Will that still be the case in the new Marriott program or do I need a new card?TPG Reader Jim
There are a whole lot of questions about the new program out there — we’ve answered many in our FAQ post, but this is by far the one we’ve received the most frequently. Historically, Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders have received automatic Gold status at SPG hotels. When the two hotel chains joined forces in 2016, those with SPG Gold status could status match to Marriott Gold, even if they earned that SPG status through the Amex Platinum.
When the new program begins in August, American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders will earn automatic “Gold Elite” status.
Keep in mind that the new Gold Elite isn’t as good as it used to be (at least compared to the old Marriott program). Being matched from SPG Gold to Marriott Gold was actually a big step up and a nice, albeit temporary perk, from the merger, getting you free breakfast and other valuable perks at Marriott hotels.
Gold Elite is the second status tier in the new rewards program. It comes with a few benefits and will normally take 25 nights to qualify for. Perks include:
- Complimentary enhanced internet
- Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
- 25% points bonus
- Priority late checkout (2pm, subject to availability)
- Welcome gift (points)
- Upgrades to enhanced rooms
If you apply for the Platinum Card from American Express now, you’ll still be able to enjoy SPG Gold and Marriott Gold until August — after that you’ll become a Gold Elite. The card also offers complimentary Gold status at Hilton Hotels, which we value at $860. It’s currently offering a 60,000-point welcome bonus after you spending $5,000 in the first three months. Both the Business Platinum® Card from American Express and the Amex Centurion Card offer status at the two hotel chains.
If you don’t want to pay the hefty annual fee for the Amex Platinum, a few low-fee cards can still get you instant status at Marriott. Starting in 2019, the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express and the new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card will each award 15 free elite nights toward your account (although not stackable) — enough to automatically qualify you for Silver Elite status.
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), up to 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.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- 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.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees