Starwood Preferred Guest’s top status level is Platinum.
You can earn Platinum status with 25 stays, with 50 nights, or with $100,000 in meeting spend in a year.
The folks at SPG were brilliant when they added benefits two years ago that required staying additional nights to earn those benefits.
- 50 night Platinums get suite upgrade awards
- 75 night Platinums earn more points and get 24 hour check-in/out on a space-available basis
- 100 night Platinums get a dedicated concierge.
They didn’t create a ‘level’ above Platinum, and in the process didn’t alienate their 25 stay members as much as they might otherwise have.
Below Platinum is Gold which requires 10 stays or 25 nights in a year and gets you a 50% bonus on points earned, guaranteed 4pm late checkout (except at resorts and convention properties where it’s subject to availabiltiy); choice of free internet, beverage, or bonus points; and an ‘upgrade’ which may be a better view or higher floor (helps you avoid the worst room in the house).
Gold comes free with the American Express Platinum card.
Here’s the thing. There’s an unpublished level below Gold that comes with most of its benefits.
It’s called ‘Preferred Plus’. You get it:
- Just for having a co-brand American Express Card
- For being a AAA member
- For joining SPG’s business program
This level comes with the same 4pm checkout that Gold gets, and gets the same (extremely modest) upgrade benefit. It doesn’t get free internet or a bonus on in-hotel spend (but if you’re not staying enough to earn Gold, the points loss will be relatively modest).
Loyalty Lobby posted a link to sign up with the business program giving you instant Preferred Plus status.
Presumably the company whose business account gets tied to the offer will earn corporate points but you don’t lose any of your own points in the process.
Of course anyone who has an American Express Platinum card, a AAA membership, a Starwood co-brand American Express card, or signs up as a business in their business progam should already have the status or higher. So my guess is this will be most useful for those outside the U.S. [who don’t have as many easy avenues] and it is most useful for 4pm late checkout.
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