Why it’s not worth earning SPG Platinum the first time around

While I’m on the topic of status matches, I figured I’d make a quick mention of why it’s typically not worth earning SPG Platinum the first time around. While I’m not really loyal to Starwood (I’m Gold, but isn’t everyone?), I’m sure I’ll switch over to them a few years down the road, since they’re a pretty good program overall. I’d say after InterContinental Royal Ambassador, they’re the best top tier program, at least if you stay at the right properties.

That being said, much like the airlines, most of the hotel chains match status, with the possible exception of InterContinental and Marriott. That being said, SPG will only match to Platinum if you’ve never been Platinum with them before, even if it was earned the hard way. That’s unusual, and a reason I’d never actually earn SPG Platinum the first time around, even though it can be quite easy with all the promos they have.

So if you’re thinking of going for Platinum on SPG and have top tier with another program that SPG will match, use that “once-in-a-lifetime” match, since it’ll be the only one you have either way.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. So… it’s not worth earning SPG Plat because once you’ve earned it, you can never again match to it. But once you’ve status matched to it, you can never again status match to it, either.

    In other words, you might as well status match it as soon as you decide you’re interested? That’s a pretty circular argument.

    By the way, do they give you Platinum just for having an equivalent status with another chain or do they actually check stay history? That would make a big difference for “collectors” such as yourself 😉

  2. xj47, I guess I didn’t make my point clear. A lot of people aren’t too familiar with the concept of status matching as such, and even some more savvy matchers might assume that they can status match to SPG Plat at any time.

    I was trying to clarify something in the scenario that someone already has status with another program (Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, etc.), and wants to switch to SPG. Many would take the approach of “saving” their once-in-a-lifetime-match, only to later realize that it’s no longer possible since they earned it the hard way. That’s all.

    While I’m flattered to be called a “collector,” I don’t think I deserve the title. I’ve status matched once in my entire life, and that was to NW, which I intend to fly next year. All the other status match mentions I’ve made have been suggestions, and nothing more.

  3. In particular you want to match just after March 1. SPG status lasts at least 12 months and expires the last day of February. A March status match can’t expire the following February because that would be less than 12 months of status. So you get 2 years of status with your match.

    SPG is cracking down, though, on matches and taking longer to process. They used to match in a matter of hours or days but now in many cases it’s taking a month. And they’re being more careful in reviewing what is sent to them, apparently they were receiving fraudulent match attempts (though SPG already required reciving an elite status card, not just a statement, and now they presumably want to see a certain level of activity on that statement and not just what you status is with the competing program).

  4. Thanks Gary, for your comment. I am top tier Hilton but tired of no upgrades. Most properties I frequent don’t even have executive floors. I could care less about breakfast. I have marked March 1st on my calendar and next year I will see how the other half lives. At least SPG has more promotions than HHonors.

  5. hi,

    im a spg platinum level and i earned it the hard way, though with the gfc i will loose evrything this year as i have not managed to make many stays at all, is there anyway arounf this?

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