One of my favorite benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express is that they each earn me two stays and five nights towards Starwood status annually (in the interest of full disclosure those are my affiliate links).
Between the two cards that’s four stays and 10 nights towards status annually, and that saves me quite a bit of money given that the annual fee is only $65 per card and I’d otherwise probably be mattress running for those stays/nights.
Anyway, I just noticed that for 2013 the four stays and 10 nights towards status already posted to my Starwood account, while in the past they only posted for me in February. So if you have either/both of the cards, double check and make sure that your elite nights/stays posted as well.
This is a great benefit for those going for hotel status, given that it essentially lowers the threshold for Platinum status to 21 stays or 40 nights (compared to 25 stays or 50 nights). Previously I qualified on stays but not nights, though last year I finally qualified on nights as well thanks in large part to these cards. The reason it’s now more valuable to qualify on nights rather than stays is that Starwood has introduced a new suite night award benefit for Platinum members with at least 50 nights. Those members get 10 suite night awards which can be used to confirm an upgrade five days before arrival, and that’s an extremely valuable benefit.
Also keep in mind that if you apply for one of these cards now you can still earn the benefit for this year.