School of SPG 4 – Hack Earning SPG Status: use Stays not Nights
Hack earning SPG status by aiming for STAYS rather than NIGHTS to get to Gold or Platinum quicker.
Here is how I learned and adopted my first SPG travel hack, by using 1 night ‘stays’ to get to Gold.
How you can hack earning SPG Status by using nights, rather than stays
Generally, when you are trying to attain status with SPG – e.g. Gold or Platinum – it is often easier to aim for single nights rather than stays.
As of June 2013, I’d stayed 2 nights at Grosvenor House Dubai, 1 night at Le Meridien Barcelona, 1 night at W Barcelona – so my Elite Status Qualifying was 3 x stays YTD (Year To Date) and 4 x nights YTD.
I was aiming to achieve Gold, which would need 10 stays or 25 nights in one year, which left me either 7 stays or 21 nights remaining to qualify.
Note – A stay is considered to be different when there is an elapsed time – normally at least one calendar day/24 hours – between check-ins. For example, if you were checked into a hotel, then checked out the next morning, went out for a few hours and returned and checked in again on the same day, that would count as 1 stay of 2 nights. If you checked out of the hotel, went out and returned the next day, and checked in after noon, that would count as a second stay of one night.
So, the quickest way to achieve Gold would be to aim for 7 stays, which could be a minimum of 1 night in each hotel to count as one stay. This is easily to achieve, especially where there are so many Starwood properties in a city, e.g. in somewhere like New York or Los Angeles – which is where I went to do my Gold ‘mattress run’!
- 14th July – W Downtown New York – (Stay 4 YTD)
- 21st July – Le Parker Meridien New York – (Stay 5 YTD)
- 22nd July – Aloft Harlem – (Stay 6 YTD)
- 23rd July – Westin Bonaventure Los Angeles – (Stay 7 YTD)
- 24th July – Sheraton Los Angeles -(Stay 8 YTD)
- 28th July – W Hollywood – (Stay 9 YTD)
- 29th July, 30th July – Westin Long Beach (Stay 10 YTD)
So in the above example, I actually achieved Gold once I had checked out of the Westin Long Beach, which was my 10th SPG stay in 2013. I could actually have checked out after only one night and still received Gold a day earlier, but it was such a lovely hotel I stayed on a little longer.
Note – Elite Status, Starpoints, and any bonus ONLY are applied once they are posted to your SPG account, which normally takes place 24-48 hours after checkout. So, in the above example, if I wanted to make use of my Gold status I would have had to wait until the 31st July, or perhaps 1st August to be sure.
Hack Earning SPG Status: qualification notes
‘Stay’ means single or multiple nights, with one check-in and one checkout. So check-in on the 12th and checkout on 14th means 2 x nights (12th & 13th) but counts as 1 x stay.
‘Night’ means one calendar day/night, so check-in on 12th and checkout on 13th means night of 12th counts as 1 x night (and 1 x stay).
Award redemption stays/nights (where Starpoints are used to pay for stays in SPG hotels) also count towards elite status.
It can take a few days (often up to 48 hours after checkout) for stay credits to be updated onto SPG system. For example, if you were staying at 5 different SPG hotels over 5 nights, and your 25th Qualification night (that moves you up to Gold) was the first night/first hotel of your stay, you may not receive Gold status until the 3rd or 4th night of your stay.
This is part of a series of articles on how to maximise Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – our favourite hotel loyalty program.
Do you have any queries or questions about SPG? Feel free to drop us a comment below and we’ll try to answer it for you 🙂