Chasing SPG Lifetime Platinum
I love Starwood hotels and after 8 years of Platinum, I finally hit Gold for life this year. While that's nice, what I'm really looking to get is Platinum for life which still requires another 211 nights and 2 years of Platinum status. The 211 more nights is still a few years away which had me thinking. Is it even possible for me to get Lifetime Platinum in light of Marriott taking over? Should I bother chasing Platinum Lifetime any more? I went looking for some answers.
Monitor your progress and many other stats on your SPG dashboard (just like the screen shot above).
How to hit the night requirement?
The really tough part is the 500 night requirement. You might be wondering how I got this far. I had a head start when I was working as a consultant and living in hotels for 3 years. At the time, Hilton got a lot of my business because the one Starwood hotel was a dump. After they started offering some crazy bonuses back then, it was an easier decision. Many of my co-workers slummed it and stayed at SPG hotel just to get the bonuses and platinum status.
Since then, I usually plan my vacations around Starwood hotel locations. Some people laugh when I tell them that. The same also goes for flights – if it's not a good deal in cash or miles, we're not going. I shoot for at least a couple nights at Starwood properties and then fill in the gaps with whatever other chain I have points with or Airbnb (which gives you $40 off your first adventure). It's been working out great and I've been able to clock anywhere between 25-50 nights in a year.
What will happen to my Lifetime Status when the programs merge together in the future?
Marriott posted this FAQ reassuring us that they will always recognize lifetime status.
“Rest assured we will always recognize your Lifetime Status, whether it is today in your earned program or in the future with a new, combined program.”
What if I'm close to earning the next Lifetime status? Should I continue?
Based on the answer below, I should continue. My real question is what if the new program requires another 1000 nights for example. At that point I might stop planning my trips around Starwood locations.
“Yes, you should certainly continue on your path to Lifetime Status qualification with Rewards or SPG. Lifetime Status is an accomplishment that we will always celebrate and recognize, whether in your earned program today or in a new, combined program in the future.”
What's so great about Platinum status?
There are many perks to being a Platinum member but my favorite are frequent upgrades to suites (without asking), free breakfast, lounge access, and late checkout. I had previously had the highest elite status in Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG… none came close to Starwood. As a Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, or IHG Platinum, I can't remember a single suite upgrade. It was like I just walked in off the street and they had no record of me. Hyatt Diamond was a bit better and now they have Globalist but I haven't tried it. Unless I go back to consulting gig, it is unlikely I will ever reach that status given the 60 nights required. Since I have a friend who has Globalist, they can make all my guest of honor bookings and I'll be able to use their perks.
In my experience, Starwood always treated me the best. Sometimes I would get surprised with nice welcome gifts like these snacks and wine at the Sheraton Poznan, Poland. This is the same hotel where we got trapped in the bathroom a week before I got a speeding ticket from an automated camera in Switzerland.
Extra benefits after 50, 75, 100 nights
Once you hit 50 nights, Starwood adds some extra perks. You'll get to choose from one of the following “50 night benefits“: 10 Suite Night Awards, gift a gold status to a friend/family member, one free night award (up to category 5), five elite-qualifying nights, SPG donation to UNICEF, or 40% off your favorite hotel bed (I love the W Hotel bed!).
Hit 75 nights and you'll also get 4 starpoints per dollar spent, Your24 (lets you check out a full 24 hours after checkin). After 100 nights, you'll get an SPG Ambassador.
Are you still chasing SPG Lifetime Platinum? How many more nights do you need?