SPG Gold Status With The Amex Platinum Card

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Now that it’s March, I think it’s worth posting a reminder about one of the lesser known benefits of the The Platinum Card® from American ExpressSPG Gold status for as long as you have the card.


SPG Gold status isn’t the most useful status in the world, though it does come with some cool perks. The most useful are as follows, in my opinion:

  • A 50% points bonus — earn three Starpoints per dollar spent on hotel stays
  • Guaranteed 4PM late check-out (even Hilton and Marriott don’t offer that to their top tier elite members)
  • Room upgrades (excluding suites)
  • A welcome amenity — choose between premium internet, bonus Starpoints, or a complimentary beverage

Receive upgraded rooms as an SPG Gold member

Starwood status expires at the end of February, so if you were previously an SPG Gold member and didn’t requalify, your status has probably been downgraded now.

One easy way to earn back SPG Gold status is with the The Platinum Card® from American Express. You’re eligible as long as you have the card. Just call the number on the back of your card, and they can register you for SPG Gold status, which should kick in immediately.

Here are a few of the most common questions I get about this benefit:

Can additional Amex Platinum cardmembers receive SPG Gold?

Yes, you don’t have to be the primary cardmember in order to get SPG Gold status. Even additional cardmembers are eligible for SPG Gold.

Do they take away SPG Gold if I cancel my Amex Platinum?

While the terms give them the right to do that, in practice it doesn’t usually happen. You get SPG Gold status through February of the following year, regardless of whether you renew your card or not. Then you’ll have to call back the following March if you want to renew it.

Can I gift the SPG Gold status to someone else?

Nope. When you call up Amex they’ll put you on hold to call Starwood and confirm all the account details match. Cardmembers can only have their SPG accounts updated to SPG Gold.

Do I get any stay/night credits when my account is upgraded to Gold?

No. While your status is upgraded to SPG Gold, you don’t actually get the corresponding elite qualifying stays/nights. In other words, it’s not a fast track to Platinum status.

That being said, keep in mind that the Starwood Personal Amex and Starwood Business Amex each offer two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards status annually, just for having the cards.


Bottom line

In and of itself SPG Gold status probably isn’t a reason to pick up The Platinum Card® from American Express, but there are lots of other awesome benefits which more than justify getting the card, in particular the first year (as there’s a $550 annual fee):

American Express Centurion Lounge Dallas/Ft Worth Airport

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  1. I have an Amex Platinum Card for year and I only had to do the initial upgrade to gold. I have never had to renew my upgraded status and I only stay at Starwood properties 2-3 times a year as they are not a preferred hotel group of my company.

  2. I feel like this is the next card that they’re going to work on. They’ve done enough to keep the Premier Rewards Gold in my wallet, now it’s time for them to do the same with the Platinum. It would be really cool to see some Gogo passes like on the Business version, or a bonus category here and there. As it stands they must realize that few people are actually spending money on this card (at least relative to their other cards). I’ll give them one more annual fee to make their move.

  3. Be careful. I am in China now and was making a reservation for a Westin as an SPG gold. On 28 Feb app showed Gold, on 1 Mar showed no status. Had to call AMEX to get reinstated as SPG Gold and it was done immediately.

    Bottom line: Check to see if you still have the status.

  4. I’ll point out that keeping gold status with SPG/Amex platinum requires a once-per-year phone call, as status expires and does NOT automatically renew, so you’re stuck calling into Amex every 12 months if you want to keep up the status year over year. It’s a pretty easy process, though – call Amex., they call SPG, then transfer you over, and it’s done in under 60 seconds.

  5. @Lucky sez: “Guaranteed 4PM late check-out (Hilton and Marriott don’t offer that to their top tier elite members)”.

    Why do you find it necessary to keep saying such silly things. Any Hilton or Marriott elite who requests a late check-out gets it. I have said this before: three times I requested a 6-pm check-out at Hilton Buenos Aires because the nightly UA flight out there leaves around 10 pm, and I was approved each time. Some of us simply take for granted some of the elite benefits that you seem to elevate to a mystical level simply because it says that they are “guaranteed” in the T&C. Are you so insecure about your program being found lacking that cannot state its benefits without feeling like you must put another program down for yours to stand out?

    Now let’s do a little reductio ad absurdum: I have the SPG Gold status through the AMEX Biz Plat, so I am guaranteed a 4 pm late check out at SPG properties. As a result,I will from now on be staying at SPG properties as Gold rather than at Hilton properties as a HH Diamond to take advantage of the GUARANTEED 4 pm late check-out perk. LOL 😉

  6. One other benefit that is potentially lucrative if you can use it: the Delta Crossover Rewards. As an SPG Gold you earn one Starpoint for each dollar spent on Delta. For frequent Delta flyers (say >$10K annual flight costs) this value alone could cover the cost of the card after netting the $200 airline credit.

  7. @ DCS — Not going to argue this. I’ve been denied late check-out at Hilton before as a Diamond when requesting it at check-in. Seriously, stop trolling.

  8. Can someone answer this question for me. If I sign up and get SPG Gold access through this card, would I have to start from zero rooms still to get Platinum or is this a short cut to that upgrade mark?

    Just thinking if I signed up for this + my SPG AMEX I could easily snag platinum in a year. Thanks in advance!

  9. I’ve never actually had to renew my SPG Gold status that I get through this card. I’m going on my my second year without having to call. Just double checked my account and it says Gold until 2016. I also have the SPG amex, but have never spent the $30k on it to get to gold.

  10. This doesn’t really have much to do with the post, but I love that you used the picture that has just a tad portion of my backpack showing. I wish I realized sooner that it was you in the Centurion Lounge at that moment.

  11. I have been denied late check-out as a Hilton Diamond and IHG Platinum Ambassador. The times I have received late check-out, latest was 2 PM. Never 4 or 6PM.

  12. @ Joey Redmond — Great question! 😉

    “Do I get any stay/night credits when my account is upgraded to Gold?

    No. While your status is upgraded to SPG Gold, you don’t actually get the corresponding elite qualifying stays/nights. In other words, it’s not a fast track to Platinum status.

    That being said, keep in mind that the Starwood Personal Amex and Starwood Business Amex each offer two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards status annually, just for having the cards.”

  13. Has anyone actually ever received an upgraded room due to their SPG Gold status? In my experience, that is a theoretical benefit only and no actual upgrades are ever given.

  14. @Lucky — There is nothing to argue about and there is no trolling here. I never do. I keep hearing about gurus like you who purport to provide advice on how to get the most out of this game, who fail to get complimentary upgrades or are denied late check out and that is really something. Coincidentally, it is always with programs that they have no regard for. Can’t you just say DYKWIA?

    Seriously, I have a near perfect record on suite upgrades and a perfect late check-out record beginning from the time when I was just a lowly HH Gold. The only requirement for a late check out is that one make a timely request, which is not much to ask…

  15. Echoing Paul W., I’ve had gold status for years via my SPG/AmEx card, and sometimes have gotten upgrades, other times not. I thought the program promised Gold members an “enhanced” room, e.g. higher floor based on availability, not a room upgrade.

  16. Guaranteed late check out? The website says “4p.m. late checkout, subject to availability at resort and conference center hotels”. The phrase is not clear what exactly it means, but there is no word “guaranteed” in it. If you read it optimistically, it might mean guaranteed at all hotels, except “resort and conference center hotels”, where it is subject to availability.

    From my experience, when I was staying at a resort hotel in Maui with SPG Gold from Amex Plat, I was told no Gold benefits whatsoever apply at the property.

  17. @ DCS — And I have been denied that several times. Not sure what you don’t get about that. I asked at check-in whether I could have late check-out, and was denied. Period. End of story.

  18. @Lucky, what do you mean $400 in airline credits for new members for the first year? I don’t have this card yet but was going to pick it up in the next week or two as I have a few international trips coming up and want the global entry fee credit and will have quite a bit of domestic travel where I’ll be using lounges, staying at SPG properties, etc. Are you saying if I sign up now I can get $400 in credits for 2015? How would that work? If the $200 airline credit is for calendar year but the card fee is based on date of sign up then I’d still only get $200 this year and then $200 next year even if I use the credit before my annual renewal date, or are you saying that I’d be able to do $200 now, $200 before my renewal date in 2016, then $200 more after I renew?

    Sorry if that’s a little convoluted but I’m a little lost on this point. Thanks for clarifying!

  19. @TravelinWilly – Thank you for that reminder. I just checked my status on the SPG App for Droid and there was a Preferred Guest Plus card where there a Gold card just a few days ago. Time to make that call! Interestingly, I did get a postcard from SPG by snailmail advising me to make sure that I had the status that I expected after Feb 28 and to call them if anything was wrong. So, they do know…

  20. @PaulW

    I recently used SPG points for an award in Toronto and used extra points for a suite. Upon check in, I was upgraded to a suite with a whirlpool due to my Gold status.

  21. I have SPG Gold status earned from stays. We have earned upgrades as a family. We have NEVER asked for them, but we politely accept if offered. I do like having the 4:00 check-out. We also have the Hyatt card and a 2:00 p.m. check out is also a nice perk.

    @Neer That’s hilarious!

  22. @Lucky – so be it. I have never been denied late check-out a single time and I was approved to check out as late as 6 pm, which no program guarantees. So, I guess I am just more charming. But my point remains. You can state the benefits of your preferred program without feeling like you need to put another down. As far as I am concerned, you are wrong because my experience has been different than yours. Why should your viewpoint then be promoted?

  23. @ Adam — You’d get a $200 airline fee credit in 2015 and a $200 airline fee credit in 2016. That means you could get $400 in airline fee credits before you have to pay your second year’s annual fee (if you sign-up now, you’d have to pay that in March 2016).

  24. @ DCS — Because my “viewpoint” is based on the actual terms of the program and what’s promised to members, as opposed to how overly charming you apparently are. 😉

  25. @Lucky:

    A better answer would be: “Well, this is my blog, and it represents my viewpoint. If you have trouble with that, you are free to start your own blog and promote your viewpoint. That’s what free speech is all about.”

  26. @Lucky — Here’s just one example of why it is better to go by one’s experience than by what is in the T&C, which properties are free to interpret. The powerful HH Diamond perk known as “Diamond Force” was amended in the T&C to where it would not be able to “force” the availability of standard award rooms ay overbooked properties. And yet, for 2 years since the language was thus amended “Diamond Force” continues to force the availability of standard award rooms at overbooked HH properties. Do I believe the T&C or what actually I have actually observed?

    Another example is that HH Diamonds are not supposed to get free breakfast at Waldorf-Astorias, and yet, every W=A I’ve stayed at in China offers Diamonds free breakfast… See the pattern and why one’s experience must trump what is written in the T&C?

  27. Being SPG Gold is better than nothing. I went on a trip to Hollywood beach with my girlfriend and was upgraded to a bigger corner room with a great view. I personally don’t care so much, but the reaction of the girlfriend was priceless. Probably worth several years of Amex Platinum fees. I also think I have gotten some high floors as well.

    You have to call to renew at the gold level. Also, with the National Executive benefits you also have to call periodically to renew.

  28. @DCS: Perfectly fine response. If you don’t care for the viewpoint, don’t visit.

    That is not to say you can’t disagree. But you make your point and move on.

    Unfortunately, some bloggers have such thin skin that they simply ban anyone who disagrees.

  29. Given that the fold card comes with 3 x points on flights I find it hard to justify swapping to the Plat or paying for both. If the Plat offered the poimts acrual rates of the gold and centurian access then I would do it.

  30. Thanks so much!!! I thought this was only for the Business Platinum and I only have the Personal Platinum this year. I called and got the upgrade. These reminders are always appreciated.

  31. @Darth Chocolate — you cannot advocate for free speech and then shun dissent in the same breath. If all you want is the comfort one hearing one view and similar views then maybe it is you who needs to go elsewhere because I am not sure that is what @Lucky is promoting here. As for my starting my own blog, well, I sort of have one where I report at length on my travels and other travel-related topics and there is a myriad of opinions expressed for or against what I write and that is what makes it fun. Try this post of mine and let me know what you think:

    It should (a) illustrate the sort if things that inform my views on travel/loyalty and the mile/point game, and (b) make the point that maybe I do not need to start my own blog to share my travel experiences with like-minded people. Also, I already have a different kind of day job 😉


  32. I called the number but they are saying that they are not offering the upgrade. I am guessing it is only for the US issued Amex Plat card.

  33. Adding to the late check out discussion…
    I’m a SPG Gold and Hilton Diamond. In the last year, I’ve experienced only one late check out of 4PM, but it was booked under Amex FHR rate which guaranteed it. Lately, I’m given 1PM as the latest, both at SPG and Hilton brands. I travel to mostly US locations, so perhaps late check out is more flexible internationally. It’s my experience folks. YMMV.

  34. Lucky, could you use the $200 airline credit to pay for single use lounge access or for a full year program (i.e. American Airlines)?

  35. Dear Sir/ Madam,

    Regarding the SPG Gold Status With The Amex Platinum Card, I have some questions:
    1. Is a Singapore American Express Platinum Card holder eligible for the free SPG Gold status too?
    2. If yes, which are the exact credit cards with the promotion?
    Thank you and I am waiting for your response as soon as possible.

    Best regards,
    Hoang Thuy

  36. Just returned this week from 5 nts at westin playa bonita in panama. (Thx Lucky for the points and miles tips to do this trip ‘on the house’). Have SPG gold thro AMX Plat. Rec’d upgraded room, club access, 3pm check out and 50% bonus points as gold gift. No complaints on any level! BTW, flew Copa C ORD-PTY and was great.

  37. I just contacted SPG to request that my Gold status through AMEX Biz Platinum be restored. They told me that they could not do it. Only American Express could and that I needed to call them. I called AMEX and they confirmed that the only way to have the complimentary SPG Gold status benefit every year is to call them. The procedure is to call AMEX Plat CS, who would call the SPG CS while you remain on the line. Then after a SPG CSR has been reached, s/he would take over to restore the Gold status; the AMEX person just says goodbye and hangs up. The SPG CSR asks a few questions (what is your full name, account #, zip code). If everything checks out, the account is immediately modified to reflect the Gold status…to be repeated every year one is an AMEX Plat member in good standing.

  38. @Hoang Thuy — The best way to have your questions answered, since you have an international AMEX platinum, is to log into your account and look at your cardmember benefits there. That would be by far the most authoritative source, as a number of US and int’l benefits tend to be different.

  39. @Lucky Don’t forget you also get access to Airspace Lounges with a Platinum card. I know there aren’t many of them but if your sole method of getting access to lounges is what your Platinum card gets you it’s nice to know.

  40. @DCS – “you cannot advocate for free speech and then shun dissent in the same breath.”

    He’s not shunning dissent, he’s telling you not to repeat the same damn thing OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER. There’s a difference.

  41. @Brian L — LOL. I have free speech but only if I do not repeat my favorite speech freely. There is truly flawless logic. But let me put it to you this way, insofar as I have repeated anything here at all, it has been in response to or to counter a claim that someone, often our host, has made. That means that you are barking up the wrong tree. You want to stop repetition? Then stop the continued repetition of claims that I feel compelled to challenge! It’s as simple as that.


  42. @ Sir Jim — With the Amex SPG you can add authorized users at no additional cost, but only the primary card members gets the annual stay/night credit.

  43. @ Sean — You can use it to pay for a day pass, though I’m not positive you can use it to pay for a membership.

  44. Oddly enough my experience as Gold thru my Amex was way better than my experience as a Platinum, after spending 60 nights with Starwood in 2014. I was upgraded many times as Gold, including into a sweet corner room for 4 nights at the W Hong Kong.

    I’d say I cleared upgrades as Gold for 60% of my stays, and currently around 33% as a Platinum, in many of the same hotels.

  45. @Neil — Are you starting the rumor that SPG Gold is more worth having than SPG Platinum? Beware because what you just stated could bounce a few time off the walls of the echo chamber that is the travel blogosphere and before you know it, it’ll become an established fact that will keep on being repeated for generations to come… 😉

  46. Kool! It looks like SPG decided to spare me the annual phone call in 2016 to restore my complimentary SPG Gold status. My just renewed membership e-card now says valid until 02/28/2017.

    Has anyone else noticed whether they got this complimentary membership renewed for 2 years rather than customary 1 year?

  47. Lucky, I have an AMEX Platinum Card and my wife is an *authorized user*. She called AMEX today and was told she could not be made SPG Gold unless she is an *additional cardholder*. Is the rep correct? Should we call again to another rep? Is there some specific reference we could use when we call?

    As an aside, I am aware that up to 3 *additional cardholders* can be added to the Platinum Card for $175, and you have written before of the value in that, especially when you have 3 family to use the cards. But it’s just my wife, she already has Global Entry, etc….

    I have been SPG Gold for years and always received a modest upgrade at check-in in Starwood city hotels, such as to a corner room. Not a suite, but a bit of extra comfort. (One’s expectations affects one’s gratitude.)

  48. @ Chaz — Correct, she does need to be an additional cardholder. But to clarify, in this context what does authorized user mean? She has a card, but somehow doesn’t pay the $175 fee, or…?

  49. Lucky,

    Thank you for your reply and for all you do for the rest of us!

    What I meant is that in our family, we have only one AMEX Plat card, and it is in my name. So that my wife can manage various aspects of the card over the phone, I made her an authorized user (there’s no charge for this but no additional benefits are gained) by calling AMEX to do so — something you’ll learn about if you make your mother happy and get married some day 😉 My wife does not have an additional card on the account. Thus, based on your comment, she was correctly informed by AMEX that to get SPG Gold status through the Plat card, she has to have an AMEX Plat card in her name (either her own card or as an additional cardholder on my account).

    You might want to edit your original post on this page because you used the term “authorized user”, which I believe has a specific meaning that is different from “additional cardholder”. As a single person, you would have no reason to know about “authorized user”.

    Thanks again,


  50. what epic trolling. I never was able to get a check-out time past 2pm when i was hh diamond, and often it was maybe an hour. I got particularly annoyed when it was on a sunday in cities where there is low sunday night occupancy. got a suite upgrade maybe twice over 2 years. this is pretty common if you check FT threads. moved most of my stays over to hyatt and never looked back.

  51. @Matt – It is indeed epic trolling to keep claiming that getting approved for late check-out as HH Diamond is a Mount Everest rather than the molehill that it is.

    What often happens with HH Diamonds who get denied low-level perks like late check-out is that with their inflated sense of self-importance they do not make a timely request (e.g. at least 24 h before check out) and their late requests get denied because the property had already made provision to check in the next occupant.

    Since this website has been going on and on about how tough it is to get late check-out at Hilton properties, I have been spot-checking to see how true or common this is. At Hilton Singapore, I had been upgraded to an executive suite when I decided to inquire about late check-out. I was told no problem at all; as valued Diamond member I could request to check out as late as 4 pm. I told them I’d let them know if I needed it. I went out all day and then when came back there was a voice message waiting: “We notice that you would be checking out tomorrow. Please let us know if you desire late check out by calling us back or by making the request in person in the Exec Lounge.

    Every August between 2011 and 2013 I traveled to Buenos Aires, where I stayed at Hilton Buenos Aires each time. Because I flew in and out of there with UA, which has a daily flight that leaves EZE at 10 pm, it would have been crazy for me check out at noon and just hang around waiting for the late departure. So, 3 times in as many years, I requested a 6 pm check out at Hilton Buenos Aires (I’d also been upgraded to suite twice), and I got approved each time. As far as I know, a 6pm check-out is not something that the T&C of any hotel loyalty program allow. And yet, I got approved for 6 pm check-out three times in a row at a Hilton property.

    Because of the ubiquity (large “footprint”) and diversity of Hilton Worldwide in which many properties are FRANCHISED, the HHonors T&C are written by NECESSITY in a way that affords the properties a great deal of interpretation flexibility. However, while as a result the HH T&C seem to under-promise by avoiding the word “guarantee”, the program almost invariably delivers. And when the word “guarantee” is used, like in “Diamond Reservations Guarantee”, which has also become known popularly as “HH Diamond Force”, HHonors delivers on the guarantee. In fact, to make sure that “Diamond Force” is not tempered with by the individual properties, it was removed out of everyone’s hands and simply programmed into the hotel search engine so that it would automagically deliver on the guaranteed promise!!!

    So, please forgive me if I find your and the host’s charge of “trolling” to be totally ludicrous and take with a large grain of salt the claim of having been denied timely requests for a late check-out . There has to be more to it. Either the “problem” is being exaggerated or it is yet another “urban legend” in a long list of such legends (“devaluation” anyone?) about the HHonors program.


  52. BTW, @Matt, you mentioned FT threads as some kind of authoritative source. Well, the folks there also believe that there was a cataclysmic “devaluation” of HHonors points in 2013, when it was no more than yet another ‘urban legend’ propagated in the echo chamber that is the travel blogosphere!!!

  53. “@Matt – It is indeed epic trolling to keep claiming that getting approved for late check-out as HH Diamond is a Mount Everest rather than the molehill that it is”

    @DCS Let’s be clear that I made one comment before this. Using your own logic, it would be epic trolling to to keep claiming that the reverse is true, evidenced by your half dozen comments claiming so. It’s epic trolling to make Mount Everest out of one molehill of a comment of a single person’s experience. Your personal experience does not make other’s untrue or exaggerated. The fact of the matter is your personal experience is contrary to what others including myself have experience. FT threads are examples of others who have felt similarly. It may not be an authoritative source, but is data showing the opposite of what you’re posting and seems much more compelling to me than the experience of just one person who feels to need to scream even louder and double down on his/her comments when presented with something contrary to his/her own.

    Also, I never said i was always denied late checkout. I was never able to get anything past 2pm, which is much different from my experience at Hyatt where i’m usually proactively offered 4pm checkout at check-in.

    To quote a random american millennial/snl skit, i literally can’t even.

  54. @Matt — Ad populi arguments are a well known fallacy. Just because a lot people make a claim does not make it right. That is especially true in the travel blogosphere echo chamber. Everyone went on and on and on about that awful 2013 “devaluation” of Hilton Honors points that would “kill” the program, except that very simple modeling using grade school math would show that the purported “devaluation” of Hilton points was no worse than that any other program, and that, in fact, the HH points offer in many cases one of the better redemption values out there. Please take a look at the link below, if you have any doubt, and do enjoy the glossy and easy to understand charts while you are at it:

    In short, spare me the “everyone says so therefore it must be true” arguments because one feature — not a bug — of the loyalty/travel blogosphere is for a falsehood to be repeated ad nauseam until it is turned into a truism. Here’s another example:

    “Hilton Diamond isn’t materially better than Gold” –Gary Leff

    “HH Diamond is only marginally better than Gold” –Scott Mackenzie

    “There’s not much difference between HHonors Diamond and HHonors Gold status in my experience…” – Lucky

    “[The requirement for the HH Diamond lifetime status] seems like a little much to us for a status that isn’t much better than their Hilton Gold status.” – Joe Caldwell

    They all sound alike, but the claim is demonstrably false, as I have shown time and again. A blogger created the HH Gold == Diamond myth, it was repeated ad nauseam, and now they have all fallen for it! That is why I am having so much fun and such an easy time debunking such claims: they are just part of a mythology that’s easily debunked by anyone with the facts…like I did the claim above and the one about Hilton “devaluation” … 🙂


  55. Anyone know how long it takes to get your SPG gold tier status when you get it from Amex ( UK) going on holiday soon and really need my membership number and have not received it yet , getting very worried after telling the whole family everyday for the last month of how great their stay is going to be due to my new fancy gold tier status !!!

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