I’m not someone who usually cares about lifetime status with loyalty programs. There are just too many variables, and I think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment when you actively pursue something that takes 10+ years to earn, especially with the level of consolidation happening in the travel industry. I don’t know which programs I want to be loyal to this year, let alone for the next 10 years.
However, if you just happen to earn lifetime status from flights or hotel stays you’d make anyway, then that’s pretty awesome.
Today I’m celebrating one of those milestones. Only I’m not. Today marks my 500th night at a Starwood property. That’s what’s required for lifetime Starwood Platinum status. Unfortunately that’s only one of the two requirements, though.
Starwood’s lifetime status requirements
Starwood’s lifetime status requirements are as follows:
- Enjoy SPG Gold status for life when you achieve 250 eligible nights total and any five years of elite SPG status since joining the program
- Enjoy SPG Platinum status for life when you achieve 500 eligible nights total and any 10 years of Platinum SPG status since joining the program
I achieved lifetime SPG Gold status in mid 2015, as I passed 250 lifetime nights with Starwood.
I now have 500 lifetime nights with Starwood
After tonight’s stay posts, I’ll cross the 500 night threshold. Cool. However, I’m still a ways off from earning lifetime SPG Platinum status. That’s because you need to be a Platinum member for 10 years before you earn lifetime status. Stupidly I first went for status with Hyatt over Starwood when I turned 18, so I’ve only been a Platinum member for seven years. When I requalify for status within the next couple of months, I’ll have been a Platinum member for eight years.
Unfortunately that means I’m still two years from earning lifetime SPG Platinum status. Usually I wouldn’t think much of it since I’ll naturally qualify anyway, though what really stings here is that Marriott and Starwood will likely form a combined loyalty program within the next one to two years.
Let’s say they combine programs at some point next year. At that point I’ll have nine years of Platinum status, so I’d be one year off. Selfishly I hope SPG will continue to be run independently indefinitely, or at least for another three years, so I can first earn lifetime Platinum status. Actually, I hope that regardless of my personal situation.
But what about Marriott’s lifetime status requirements?
I guess there’s another potential silver lining here. Marriott’s lifetime status requirements are as follows:
- Enjoy Marriott Rewards Silver status for life when you achieve 250 eligible nights total and earn 1.2 million points since joining the program
- Enjoy Marriott Rewards Gold status for life when you achieve 500 eligible nights total and earn 1.6 million points since joining the program
- Enjoy Marriott Rewards Platinum status for life when you achieve 750 eligible nights total and earn 2 million points since joining the program
Given that I have to wait three years anyway to earn lifetime status, I imagine that I’d naturally make it to 750 nights by then, given my pace of about 100 nights with SPG per year. Marriott Rewards counts virtually all points earned towards the requirement, so assuming that they count SPG points once the programs are merged (they don’t presently), I’ll qualify on both metrics. I might even qualify sooner that way, as there’s no requirement to earn top tier status for 10 years.
Of course all of this assumes that they don’t raise lifetime status requirements even further, which wouldn’t surprise me.
Anyone else close to earning lifetime status with SPG and worried about the timeline for programs being consolidated?
(The featured image is of my bed for tonight’s stay, though funny enough the balloons have nothing to do with my 500th night, but rather this is just how the hotel greets guests)