Fast Track To Starwood Elite Status With SPG Amex

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UPDATE: The offer for the SPG Amex is expired, though the other card benefits still apply. You can find the best current offers here.

I’ve had both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express for years. Last year both cards even underwent a refresh, where we saw American Express add several new benefits.

Elite stay & night credits with SPG Amex

Perhaps my single favorite long term perk of these cards is that you get two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards SPG status annually just for having each card.

Best of all this benefit is stackable, so if you have both the personal and business versions of the card, you start every year with four elite qualifying stays and 10 elite qualifying nights towards status. That’s a huge boost, and basically means that you need just 21 elite qualifying stays or 40 elite qualifying nights to earn SPG Platinum status.

In looking at my SPG account this morning, I noticed that I had more elite stay and night credits than I was expecting. So far this year I’ve made one stay at an SPG property which lasted two nights, so I was quite happy to see that I already had five elite qualifying stays and 12 elite qualifying nights for 2016.

SPG-Amex-2

In looking at my account details, it looks like those credits from the SPG Amex posted on January 4 and January 5.

SPG-Amex-1

Even if you don’t yet have the SPG Personal Amex or SPG Business Amex, you can still get the elite qualifying stay & elite qualifying night credits for 2016 by applying for the cards now. The credits should post within a few weeks of when you activate the card.

W-Guangzhou-Hotel
Use a Suite Night Award to confirm an upgrade at hotels like the W Guangzhou

Marginal incentives even above SPG Platinum status

Keep in mind that even if you’d otherwise earn Platinum status, there are additional incentives for getting elite qualifying stays and nights beyond that. On the most basic level, you can qualify for Platinum with 25 stays, but if you stay more you receive the following perks:

SPG-Ambassador-Status
Awesome welcome gift from my SPG Ambassador at the St. Regis Doha

The SPG Amex has many other perks

There are many other perks to the SPG Amex which make it worthwhile, in my opinion. Just last summer the card underwent a refresh, where we saw the following changes:

  • The elimination of foreign transaction fees
  • Complimentary unlimited Boingo wifi
  • Complimentary in-room premium internet access
  • Sheraton club lounge access (for those with the SPG Business Amex)
  • The annual fee being raised by $30 per year, from $65 to $95 (the first year’s annual fee is $0, though)

Starpoints are the single most valuable points currency on a per point basis, in my opinion, so it’s also an awesome credit card for everyday spend. I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so to me it’s like getting ~2.2% back on credit card spend, which is awesome.

Sheraton-Skyline-London-Heathrow-Hotel-29
Club lounge at the Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow

Bottom line

This elite stay & night credit perk can help anyone who is aiming for status with Starwood. This lowers the qualification requirements for Platinum status to a reasonable 21 stays or 40 nights, assuming you have both cards, as I do.

Of course with the upcoming merger between Starwood and Marriott we don’t know what will happen down the road, though it’ll likely be next year before any sort of integration of programs happens.

For that matter, we don’t know if American Express or Chase will take over the long term contract on the combined group’s credit card (or maybe they’ll peacefully coexist somehow), so you might as well get the SPG Personal Amex and SPG Business Amex while you still can, especially as the first year’s annual fee is waived.

Has the annual elite qualifying stay & night credit benefit on the SPG credit cards helped you qualify for status?

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Comments

  1. Too bad this isn’t stackable on top of Gold status, since a lot of us already have Gold status via AmEx Platinum and/or AmEx SPG spend. Forty nights is a pretty high hurdle unless you travel for business.

  2. The title is a little misleading. This is a standard card benefit, not fast track. A nice example of fast track is Hilton Gold status after 3 stays, rather than 10% or less of the stay/night credits needed to gain top tier status.

  3. Yawn… the same people who are deceptively calling Hyatt DSUs “confirmed” upgrade when there is no such thing are now bringing up some old and outdated SPG offer and trying to make it sound fresh…

    Let’s get real for a change!

  4. Will I receive 6 stays and 15 nights if I have one personal SGG and two different SPG Business cards, one for each company I run or is it limited to the two?

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