SPG Amex Annual Stay And Night Credit Benefit

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I’m primarily loyal to two hotel chains — Starwood Preferred Guest and Hyatt Gold Passport. I’ve had top tier status with both chains for several years now, even before I lived in hotels full time. While neither chain has the global footprint of Hilton, IHG, or Marriott, I find that they have significantly better elite benefits than the competition.

Before I lived in hotels full time it was a real struggle to qualify for top tier status with both chains, though. Each requires 50 nights for top tier status, so that’s a 100 nights in hotels, between the two brands.

Awesome Starwood Amex elite shortcut perk

One awesome perk that comes with both the personal and business co-branded Starwood Amex credit cards is that you get two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards SPG status annually just for having the cards.

This includes these two cards:

The benefit is stackable, so if you have both the personal and business versions of the card, that means 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.

For what it’s worth, the annual benefit has already posted to eligible SPG accounts.


In addition to the stays I’ve already made, I now already have eight stays and 14 nights towards SPG status for the year.


It’s not too late to get this benefit for 2015

Even if you don’t yet have the personal or business card, you can still get the elite stay/night credit for 2015.

If you apply for the cards now you can still have those credits posted to your account and qualify towards status for this year. Now is a great time to start thinking about your status goals for the year, and if they include status with Starwood, it might make sense to pick up these cards.

The credit can be valuable even if you qualify for status anyway

Even though I live in hotels and easily do more than 25 stays with Starwood per year, I still find it worthwhile to have the cards for the annual elite stay/night credit benefit alone.

On the most basic level, you can qualify for Platinum with 25 stays, but Starwood offers incremental benefits beyond that:

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

I ended up just missing Ambassador status for last year, though should make it without trouble this year.

Bottom line

Starwood Platinum is already one of the most valuable top tier elite status levels, and thanks to this trick you can make it even easier to earn.

The first year’s annual fee is waived on both the SPG Amex Personal and SPG Amex Business, and even beyond that the annual fee is a very reasonable $95. I’ll gladly pay $180 per year to earn four elite qualifying stays and 10 elite qualifying nights towards status annually.

Do you use the SPG Amex annual stay/night credit perk as a way of qualifying for status?

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  1. What happens if I have a card that had its annual fee post at the end of December. I was credited with the nights this week but now want to cancel the card. Will the nights be reversed?

  2. but if you use SPG overesees you pay foreign transaction fees? I have a reservation in Kyoto at the Westin, but now that I’m aware of these transaction fees maybe I’ll try a diff hotel (and card).

  3. Ben,

    I had these cards in the past, but cancelled them back in August 2014 before the annual fee kicked in. Can I apply again at a later date to get the bonus a second time? Thanks,


  4. @Lucky claims: “While neither chain has the global footprint of Hilton, IHG, or Marriott, I find that they have significantly better elite benefits than the competition.”

    No, neither SPG nor Hyatt has “significantly better elite benefits than the competition”, and we have been over this before. Small footprint is just that small footprint, and in the big picture it is even a negative since SPG has the worst spend-per-free-night of any chain ( http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/rate-spg.100155/#post-2447200 ), and Hyatt room rates tend to be on the pricey side compared to similar offerings from the competition. This means that SPG or Hyatt may actually offer limited options (small footprint) or be less affordable for many who play the mile/point game on their own dime, and might be better off patronizing, say, IHG.

    Since, by your own admission, you stay almost exclusively with SPG or Hyatt, I believe that your knowledge base or experience may be too limited for you to keep making such sweeping statements, especially as a ‘loyalty blogger.’ In fact, I believe that the effect of the sort of “brand advocacy blogging” that goes on in the blogosphere is to dumb down the mile/point game by providing an inaccurate or one-sided picture of what is available out there. I have stayed at some outstanding Hyatt properties around the world, including Park Hyatt Seoul, Park Hyatt Saigon, Park Hyatt Siem Reap (just last week), Grand Hyatt Jakarta and Grand Hyatt Taipei, and I thoroughly appreciated every stay, not because of the elite GP benefits, since I am just a GP Platinum, but because Hyatt, the company, has some of the most tastefully done properties around and their overall service is second to none. Their loyalty program, by contrast, is at best a work-in-progress and there is absolutely nothing about the elite benefits offered under Gold Passport that is better than the competition. Absolutely nothing…

  5. I noticed something interesting this year. In the past years I was able to get nights/stays credits for all three SPG cards. This year I only see credit for two cards. The website doesn’t indicate to which card the credit applies, but I’m guessing one personal, one biz. Has anyone with more than two SPG cards received credit for all of them?

  6. @ Papa Smurf — Have heard a few reports of that. Seems they’re doing at most one personal and one business card per account this year.

  7. @ Matt — The terms on the personal application page state that those that have or have had the card are not eligible, while the terms of the business application page state that those that have or have had the card in the last 12 months aren’t eligible.

  8. @ gina — Correct, so I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred for hotels outside the US to earn double points and avoid foreign transaction fees.

  9. I fully agree with DCS. Diversification is key to finding the right hotel for the location desired. IHG Platinum status is easily attained via credit card and their properties offer splendid amenities. You can’t beat Hilton and Marriott especially for airport hotel stays and having their gold status provides better amenities than the similar Hyatt tier. And while I possess Lifetime Platinum SPG status and love their brand, the best value is the transfer of SPG points to airline miles (as Gina well points out, using the SPG Amex card outside the USA is impractical as a result of the the transaction fees).

    Loyalty status achievement in two brands should not become the determiner of choice.

  10. What do you mean you can still get it for 2015..?

    Unless I’m having a bad trip, isn’t January the first of twelve months we’ll be having in 2015

  11. @ Jake from MSP — I’m saying if you apply for the SPG cards now you’d still get the stay credit this year…

  12. I have been loyal to Starwood for almost 20 years, these past two years I have noticed a significant difference in the formally excellent service. Due to this I am now looking at which other chain deserves my loyalty. When possible I will stay at a Fairmont, followed by Hyatt.

    I was wondering if you have noticed the difference in Starwood service much as you described in your Your24 article?

    Thank you for all the info,

  13. @ Peter — I can’t say I’ve noticed much of a difference, though I have found Starwood to be inconsistent for a long time. I’ve had some of my best elite recognition with them, and also some of my worst.

  14. I have SPG Platinum status this year and got both the SPG Business and Personal AMEX cards hoping for the stacked elite status benefits (2 stays and 5 nights per card stacking to a total of 4 stays and 10 nights to renew each Feb) SPG sent me emails a day apart each saying I was awarded 2 stays and 5 nights. I assumed this would total the 4 stays and 10 nights I have seen discussed. After a week only 2 stays and 5 nights appeared in my SPG account (half the anticipated amount). Any ideas on how to get the second awards in there to get the full stacked benefit towards elite?

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