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As the calendar year slowly comes to an end, I know many of us are looking at doing some last minute mileage runs and mattress runs to get us over the next elite threshold.
If you’re short on Starwood stays or nights, it’s worth remembering that both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express offer two stays and five nights towards status annually. That means if you have both cards (as I do), you start the year off with four stays and 10 nights towards status, which sure is a nice boost.
If you apply for either card (or both!) now, you should still be able to get those credits towards status this year, and they’ll post again early next year.
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, though last year I finally qualified on nights as well thanks entirely to these cards.
Starwood updated their program last year to include a new suite night award benefit for Platinum members with at least 50 nights, making Platinum status more valuable if you qualify on nights versus stays. 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, as every suite night award I’ve applied to a reservation has “cleared.”
SPG also offers additional incentives for Platinums spending either 75 or 100 nights in a calendar year:
While I love the Suite Night Awards you receive after 50 nights, I don’t feel that the marginal benefits for staying 75 or 100 nights are generally compelling.
The exception, however, is the 4 Starpoints per dollar for those spending 75 nights. If you have 65-70 nights this year, and know that you’ll have a similar amount of travel next year, it’s well worth picking up the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and/or the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express. Considering how valuable Starwood points are, this can be incredibly valuable.
At any rate, if anyone is in the same situation I am in, and is needing a boost in stays or nights to qualify for elite status, this is certainly an easy alternative to mattress running!