So Close To Earning Lifetime SPG Platinum Status… Yet So Far Away!

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)

Comments

  1. I made lifetime Platinum at Marriott this past year. It was actually a surprise as I was not tracking it. Feels good not to worry anymore about always going there…now I can move forward to another chain possibly. The other great thing is that I am also SPG platinum after the link between the two.

  2. I will make lifetime platinum this year. I am assuming no program changes. My goal is to only stay at SPG properties and make it by June. Fingers crossed.

  3. At some point one starts making enough money that they no longer have to care about status, because they simply buy premium flights and premium hotels.

    You are at that point now. Acknowledge it, be thankful for your privilege and realize that there is absolutely no need to keep caring about status or miles.

  4. To whomever N is, He can just send them an email that says the following, I’m Lucky from OMAAT and I’ll be staying at ur hotel or Airline.

  5. Hey Ben,

    Do you know when the SPG Amex stays and nights post to your account after the New Year?

  6. Yes, I too am worried about just missing lifetime status when the programs combine, but I have the opposite problem. Last month I reached 10 years of SPG Platinum but have only 315 nights. I have about 100 lifetime Marriott nights (the vast majority of these being from the Visa card as I almost never stay at Marriotts). Even if they combined the nights, I still won’t have enough nights in 2018 to get to 500.

  7. Lucky, I am just like you.
    I also keep all the minute details about the things I am not interested in.

  8. Lucky – friendly reminder they DO currently track LT points earned behind the scenes (you can request a “master ledger” showing it), so it’s an easy conversion if they want to include them in a MR/SPG night/point retroactive combination.

  9. The missing element in your post is that there is absolutely no way of knowing whether an SPG Lifetime Platinum will automatically be a Lifetime Platinum in the combined program without meeting the Marriott criteria.

    I’m like you. There on nights but not on years with SPG. If I get Lifetime Gold from Marriott that will be good enough. But I would be pissed if I had Lifetime Platinum and then lost it in the merger.

  10. I am in exactly the same boat, I can see this post will touch a lot of people’s hearts especially as the merger gets deferred.

    Personally, my worry is that there will be a completely new metric for lifetime status following a merged program. Marriott’s current scheme of 750+2m seems unsustainable, given that it would be rewarding people who had stayed sporadically between SPG and Marriott long before the merger, particularly if merging Starpoints at a 3x rate. (Although I’d personally be delighted if this was the decision!).

    I see the SPG scheme as being more workable, since the 10 Years’ Elite requirement is mostly infallible. But ultimately it seems unlikely that either will stay, nor certain that past activity will count equally toward the new lifetime thresholds.

    Marriott has already seen fit to publicly reassure those who have earned lifetime status, I just wish they’d do the same for those on track for it.

  11. I’m also in the 8 year Platinum bucket.

    SPG started the lifetime program in 2012. Anyone who became a loyal customer because of this policy would need the offer to last through 2021 at least. It would be a great show of trust to have them honor this deal across the merger.

  12. I hit Lifetime Platinum at Marriott Last year and this will be year 10 of Platinum at Starwood so will be Lifetime Platinum at Starwood as well. Hopefully Lifetime Platinum in both programs will be grandfathered into the new program. I wonder how many double Lifetime Platinums there are?

  13. @Craig – Marriott in their FAQ has conclusively said that existing SPG Lifetime Plats will maintain that status in the combined program. Meeting any existing Marriott criteria is irrelevant.

    http://members.marriott.com/faq/#will-my-lifetime-status-be-recognized-in-the-other-program-via-status-match

    From the page:
    ​​​​​​​We appreciate your loyalty! We will continue to recognize your existing Lifetime Status in the program where you earned it today, and in any new, combined program in the future

    Of course, this doesn’t account for the possibility of say a newer, higher LT “Diamond” tier of say 1,000 nights and 2.5-3MM points.

  14. I will make it this year! I naturally hope MR will honor the status. I was thrilled when they said the programs wouldn’t combine until 2019 since that meant I could make it before then. I actually thought I was going to make it in 2106 but I evidently set out a year that screwed with my qualification.

  15. Waiting for my post w/ a Marriott link to appear, but Marriott has already confirmed if you are SPG LT Plat, that will be honored in the new program, so no need to fret.

  16. I’m in the exact same boat – need 2 more years of Plat. I will definitely qualify this year. And I Expect Marriott/SPG to merge in 2019. 🙁

  17. I made Lifetime Marriott Platinum in 4 years. Hoping the benefits don’t get watered down after the full merger.

  18. I got screwed because although I am close to 750 nights, most of them were at a Residence Inn which only earns half points, so my point earning is under-running. I figure I have a few years left to make it up.

  19. You can buy your way to Lifetime Gold or Platinum in SPG through their timeshares.

    2.5 units purchased gets you Lifetime Gold like I have and

    4.5 units gets Lifetime Platinum

    Although I am not sure since sold them off to Vistana. I still have my Lifetime Gold status as before the divestiture

    This is not cheap at $60K per unit, but you get almost 100,000 SPG points each year per unit if you do not use the units.

  20. @ Lucky- I’m in a similar boat as you just a little behind. Made life time Gold a few years back. Currently at 374 night and 6 yrs Platinum. I’ll have my 7th yr wrapped up by mid March. No tell what the merger will do for us in-between-ers.

  21. I’m about 15 nights from 500. I’ve had way more than 10 years of elite status but not 10 years of Platinum status – didn’t they change that requirement fairly recently? I also had elite status in SPG before 1999 when they started counting lifetime nights.

    I do worry that Marriott will move the goalposts. I hope that the 10 year Platinum requirement will be grandfathered for those who achieve 500 nights.

  22. I made it three years ago and it’s funny I find myself staying at every Hyatt I can to requalify for Globalist.

  23. I qualified with SPG points but was also two years away from lifetime. I had to make a decision because I had already switched loyalty to Marriott and Hyatt. I decided to not pursue SPG lifetime. Now I have sort of backed into it having made lifetime Marriott Premier.

    I agree with N. above. At some point you don’t need the status. I buy first class air travel. Since the rewards and international upgrade availabiliy on Delta is so bad, I will no longer pursue Diamond status. This year I am flying the best flight regardless of airline.

    However, the hotel rewards, particularly Hyatt’s, are still worth focus.

  24. Going for Plat lifetime seems like a laudable goal. Although in my 3 years of Platinum status, I have hardly noticed any difference in how I was treated other than a few more points and late check outs. I probably got an upgraded room at SPG about 10% of my stays, although Marriott was much better at recognizing my SPG status and I was upgraded about 35% of the time. Perhaps lifetime gives you more – I did once stay in Westin and the staff was fawning all over the son of a Plat lifetime in line in front of me – he was upgraded to a PH suite. Once I got to the front desk, I was just another number and they didn’t have any upgrades available.

  25. You are a celebrity and a VI-VIP in this space, im pretty sure they will read this article and just give you lifetime status if you agree to write a few additional pieces on how awesome SPG and Marriott are.

  26. @ Ray….Ray says:
    January 7, 2018 at 8:30 pm
    Don’t shoot the messenger… I don’t believe Marriott will combine the two programs.

    I don’t think ANYONE will shoot you…I think we will all kiss you if they do NOT combine the two programs! It would be like winning the lotto!!! 😉

  27. Probably a basic question, but do the nights one receives by having the credit card count for lifetime status? If so how do I get the complete number of nights I have credited to my account? I’m still trying to get lifetime gold. Doubt I’ll ever get to LT Platinum before the program is changed. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *