Soft Landing From Starwood Platinum to… Starwood Platinum

In 2016 I spent almost half the year in hotels. I earned Hyatt’s top tier status and I earned 100 night Starwood Platinum status. Here’s what Starwood does for you when you stay 100 nights a year.

I said at the time that I wouldn’t hit 100 nights with Starwood again. I just wasn’t going to travel as much, and I still wanted to earn top tier with Hyatt too. I also knew that I could keep Starwood Platinum by signing up for the Ritz-Carlton credit card and spending $75,000 on it.

I still spent about 100 nights in hotels total in 2017 but didn’t hit 25 stays or 50 nights with Starwood. I got a note from my Starwood Ambassador saying that I would lose that service after the end of February but would still be a Platinum member. I assumed this was a mistake, she was sending out emails from a template to each person in her portfolio that didn’t do 100 nights in 2017 and there probably wasn’t anyone else going from 100+ nights to less than 50.

Still I wondered, does Starwood offer ‘soft landings’ from Platinum to Platinum?

Starwood’s terms and conditions do say that if you don’t requalify for Platinum you are soft landed to Gold.

The Platinum Minimum Requirement must be achieved in the subsequent Qualifying Period to remain a Platinum Preferred Guest during such subsequent Qualifying Period or the SPG Member will be downgraded to a Gold Preferred Guest on March 1st of the calendar year following such subsequent Qualifying Period.

W Doha

In addition I have lifetime Gold status, I earned Gold through stays and nights, and I would still receive gold from my Platinum American Express card. I was pretty sure under the rules I should be Gold.

Starwood has four ‘tiers’ of Platinum status. All are deemed Platinum.

  • 25 stays earns Platinum status, upgrades to best available room including standard suites at check-in, club lounge access and an amenity choice which includes breakfast if there’s no club lounge available.

  • 50 nights earns Platinum status and a benefit choice including 10 ‘Suite Night Awards’ which allow upgrades to be prioritized and confirmed up to 5 days prior to arrival.

  • Platinums who stay 75 nights earn an extra Starpoint per dollar and can request ‘Your24’ 24 hour check-in, check in whatever time you wish and check out at the same time (or if you check in 9 a.m. or later you still get 4 p.m. late checkout where applicable).

  • Platinums who stay 100 nights are assigned an Ambassador to handle all of their Starwood-related needs.

They call all four ‘levels’ Platinum, but not all Platinums are created equal. Starwood offers soft landings (to Gold) so it wasn’t entirely surprising to see that I was given a soft landing from 100 night Platinum.. not doing to 75 or 50 night Platinum but down to base Platinum. I didn’t get the benefit choice for 50 nights, the extra Starpoint, or continued eligibility for Your24.

They figure I suppose they ought to keep me in the program since I’ve demonstrated the potential to give them 100 nights. I certainly hope I don’t do that this year.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — Why on earth would you assume that ” there probably wasn’t anyone else going from 100+ nights to less than 50″? Plenty of people’s travel patterns change drastically from year to year.

  2. My brother was given SPG Platinum status even though he didn’t meet the nights/stays qualifications. He assumes it’s because he spent a ton of money on his honeymoon for an overwater villa at the St. Regis in Bora Bora and Las Alcobas in Napa Valley. He had gold status previously only because of his Amex Platinum card so it’s not like he had an ambassador and just missed retaining platinum status. I think SPG sometimes evaluates extending or gifting platinum to encourage loyalty. The same loving goes into why SPG and Marriott have platinum challenges.

  3. I love hearing that travel plans change and that even those in this hobby and even business don’t like being on the road all the time. I’m good enough with my 25 nights/year, I’ll take and and will leverage a little bit of credit card benefits to make it pleasant.

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