We’ve Reached Platinum! (Well, Almost)

by joeheg

I know that bragging about achieving status is one of the last things you’d expect to hear from me. I’m the one who goes on and on about how I’m a free agent and how great it is to not worry about being loyal to one particular brand of car rental, airline or hotel. As it turns out, there are some times where you end up in a situation and you just have to play the role you’re in. In this story, I’m a Platinum Guest. Smell me! LOLOL!

This all started because of the merger between Marriott and Starwood. Now, the companies have been together for a while but they’re still operating the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs independent of one another. Marriott stays go towards Marriott and Starwood stays to SPG. They have been letting you transfer points between programs and they also let you match your status in either program to the other one but besides that, they’re totally separate.

The bummer is if you split your stays between the two chains. you lose out. If you stay 15 nights at Marriott and 10 nights in Starwood, you’d only be a Marriott Silver and SPG Gold. Why aren’t they counting stays at both brands towards your loyalty? The money was eventually going to the same place.
SPG Marriott Ritz Logo
In May 2018, Marriott announced that the SPG and Marriott Rewards programs would be merging in/around August 2018. Point balances will be combined and your night credits will be combined to count towards your status for the rest of 2018 and all of 2019.


Starting in August, you can combine all your Rewards and SPG nights back to January 1, 2018, to achieve one of our six Elite status levels. And you can reach Silver Elite status after just 10 nights. Then, keep staying with us to earn Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and beyond.

This announcement was enough to get me interested but was I ready to jump on the loyalty hamster wheel? Combining the nights in Sharon’s Marriott and SPG accounts earned through having both SPG AMEX cards and the Chase Marriott Business card with the five-night stay at the Sheraton New York Times Square hotel put her very close to reaching the 50 nights needed for Platinum Elite status. If she applied for and was approved for the Chase Marriott personal card, she’d earn another 15-night credit, which was way more than what was needed to pass the 50-night threshold. So, we went for it. I can now say that the night credits have all posted and here are her current account statements:

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39 Marriott Rewards nights plus 15 Starwood nights equals 54 nights. Sharon’s gonna be Platinum Elite! (Note from Sharon [you know, the one who doesn’t really care about points or miles – she just likes the benefits of them] – Um, yay?)


There’s only one problem – I don’t know the first thing about having high-level hotel status. From the Marriott Rewards website, here are the perks we’ll be enjoying until the end of 2019.

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Enhanced room upgrades, suite night awards, lounge access with breakfast, bonus points and late checkout. These are all things I’ve read about but never experienced, except for the lounge access. For sure I’m going to be looking at Marriott hotels where I can take advantage of these benefits. I need to remember that I didn’t value these things that much just 4 months ago so spending extra to get a free breakfast or better room isn’t worth it, or is it? I never worried about these things because I didn’t have access to them. Will Sharon being a Platinum Elite change the decisions I make when booking hotels?  Only time will tell. In the meantime, does anyone know which Marriott hotels in New Orleans and London treat Platinum members REALLY WELL???

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