Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) used to offer straight status matches from competitors’ programs but discontinued this couple of years ago.
Now, 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.
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.
Note that 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, 2015, your status will be valid until February 28, 2017.
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.
Let’s say that you have a weekend (Friday to Monday) coming up and you have reserved three rooms at Starwood affiliated hotel. You could get 9 qualifying nights for the challenge and reach Golf status on just this one stay.
This will be my eight year as a Starwood Platinum member and will reach 500 qualified nights. Two more years and should make it to lifetime Platinum. The SPG Platinum status is worthwhile IF you stay at their full service properties.
The Starwood Platinum challenge requirement of 18 nights within 90 days is bit on the high side, but note that it is not based on STAYS but on NIGHTS and that you can credit three rooms at a time towards it.