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Starwood Hotels has renewed its 2017 Status Challenge program for 2018, allowing some members to earn Gold or Platinum status with significantly fewer nights. Though not everyone is eligible for the program, it's an excellent opportunity for those looking to jump on the elite bandwagon who qualify.
While the promotion is available to all, if you have or have had elite status within the past 5 years or if you have previously completed a status challenge you may be limited to your eligibility.
- If you've previously completed a status challenge, you're not eligible
- SPG Preferred Guest – If you've never had status or have never completed a challenge you're eligible for either the Gold or Platinum challenge
- Gold Preferred Guest – You must not have held Gold or Platinum status in the last five years
- Platinum Preferred Guest – Must not have held Platinum status in the last five years
- Contact SPG Customer Care by phone (1-888-625-4988) or email (email@example.com) to register and validate eligibility.
- Select a consecutive 3 month period to meet the challenge. For example, if you register in February 2018, the Challenge Period options from which to choose are: January-March 2018, February-April 2018 or March-May 2018.
- Within your selected period, stay nine (9) nights to complete the Gold Challenge or 18 nights to complete the Platinum Challenge.
If you fail to complete the challenge, you could just start over by registering again for a different period. Full terms of the status challenge available at SPG.com.
Note: A good tip is to complete the challenge on or after March 1, 2018, as you'll stretch your status all the way through February 28, 2020, whereas completing the challenge before that would grant you status until February 28, 2019.
Also, do your best to maximize your SPG point earning by using your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or your Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, which earns 2 SPG per dollar spent at SPG/Marriott properties.
Normally you'd have to stay 25 paid nights in a calendar year for Gold and 50 for Platinum, and this program cuts it by about two-thirds.
Keep in mind we're already over a week into the first period, but you still have plenty of time if you want to start now. This program is perfect if you don't regularly get to enjoy Gold or Platinum status but want to grab it without the usual time and price commitment.
Though the timeframe is limited, the bar for Gold is set low enough that it's worth considering shifting your stays to Starwood if elite status is on your radar, especially if you can reap the benefits through February 2020.
If SPG status alone isn't good enough for you, consider the fact that you can match status with Marriott by linking your account, effectively doubling the value. Don't forget that with Marriott Platinum Elite, you'll also get United Silver Elite, and with SPG Platinum you'll reap additional benefits with Delta Crossover Rewards.
If you'd rather instant gratification you could always sign up for The Platinum Card® from American Express and enjoy SPG Gold Preferred Guest, and consequently Marriott Gold Elite as one of the many built-in benefits.
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