Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) used to offer straight status matches from competitors’ programs but discontinued this couple of years ago. Now that the hotel company is merging with Marriott it is a good time to take advantage of this match/challenge opportunity (for the last time).
You can request “Gold or Platinum Challenge” (preferably both) that require 9 or 18 paid nights during 90-day window. This challenge doesn’t require you to have any status with other hotel chains.
You can access SPG’s web page for Gold and Platinum benefits here.
READ MORE: SPG Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions
There is an offer for Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status after one stay in the Asia Pacific region. You can read more about it on the article:
Starwood also offers Starwood Preferred Business status that comes with 4PM check out and some other benefits. You can read more about this on the following article:
You cannot do status challenges back to back, as this program is only applicable for those that haven’t had SPG Platinum or Gold status in the past five years.
Starwood doesn’t grant you any status for the duration of your challenge, but upgrades your status to Gold within a week after the 9 nights have posted to your account and to Platinum status after 18 nights.
Make sure that you sign up for both Gold and Platinum challenges at the same time to maximize the number of points that you earn and potential upgrades that you receive for reaching Gold status first.
You can choose the 90-day window as you wish and it can include the previous month as well.
As long as you complete the challenge on or after April 1st, the status is valid for the remainder of the year and the next one.
For example, if you complete the challenge successfully after April 1, 2016, your status will be valid until February 28, 2018.
Here’s how to request the challenge:
- You need to email: email@example.com and request the “Gold and Platinum Challenge”. Remember that SPG doesn’t do status matches. Alternatively, you can call the SPG call center closest to you.
- Make sure that the 90-day window is appropriate for you. It can include the previous month as well.
- Only paid nights count towards the 18 nights required. Award or Cash + Points nights are ineligible. You can, however, get credit for up to 3 rooms at a time.
TIP: If you are traveling with your friends or work group and can have all the folios under your name and SPG number, you can earn up to 3 qualifying nights every night, as you can earn credit for 3 rooms at a time.
Considering that Starwood is likely to become part of Marriott later this year and the loyalty programs probably merge late 2017 or early 2018, there is no downside to take advantage of this SPG status challenge now. You will probably end up with Marriott Rewards Gold or Platinum before the status runs out.
If SPG feel that they start losing member stays due to the Marriott merger, maybe they start offering straight matches to their Gold & Platinum status again just like both Hyatt and Hilton recently did.
The fact that you can get up to three rooms per night apply towards the Gold & Platinum challenge is not documented anywhere and some agents may say that this is not the case. The agents are wrong, however.
You can basically book three nights at the cheapest property you can find (there are some for $50 per night) for a weekend (Friday to Monday) and become Gold (9 nights). Do it again the following weekend and become Platinum member (total 18 nights).