Marriott Confirms Platinum Status Loophole Won’t Carry Over from SPG
Back in April, Marriott unveiled the future of their new combined loyalty program with Starwood. After we had a few days to digest the changes, we posted on how you could easily attain Marriott Platinum status just by holding the American Express Platinum Card.
Just for holding the American Express Platinum card you receive automatic Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Elite status. As a part of the Starwood and Marriott merger, you are able to link your accounts and SPG Gold status matches to Marriott Gold Elite Status.
As you can see from the publication Marriott put out in April, one would make the assumption that Marriott Gold Elite status from holding the American Express Platinum Card would convert to Platinum Elite status in the new unified loyalty program.
I was a bit skeptical of this, but I ended up making the assumption that if Marriott Gold status earned from linking your SPG Gold Elite status wouldn’t translate into Platinum Elite status, Marriott would have made that disclaimer. Two months later, it looks like we now have our answer on this. Marriott sent out an email about status stating the following:
Elite tier will be based on the status earned, not status granted via linking and status matching
What this means is that if you earned Marriott Gold Elite status through matching your SPG Gold Status, you will only be granted Platinum Elite Status in the new program if you have stayed the required 50 nights (combined total of SPG and Marriott stays). You will not receive Platinum Elite status if you earned Marriott Gold status through the American Express Platinum Card loophole or from spending $30,000 annually on the SPG credit card.
However, because Ritz-Carlton is a part of the Marriott Rewards program, it is still possible to earn Marriott Gold Elite status just for holding the Ritz-Carlton credit card and match it to Platinum Status in the new program. Just for opening this credit card, you will earn Gold Elite status (you must spend at least $10,000 annually to keep Gold Status after year one).
It has been confirmed that if you currently hold Marriott Gold Elite status via the Ritz-Carlton credit card, this will transition to Platinum Status in the new program. That makes now as good of a time as any to open the Ritz-Carlton card.
Marriott Platinum Status is worth having for three main reasons.
- Platinum Elite benefits will apply across all Marriott & Starwood hotels
- You will receive free breakfast and/or hotel lounge access at all resorts and most of their hotels
- Upgrades to the best available room at check-in.
Ultimately I am not surprised that Marriott has made this decision. However, I find it odd that it took them two months to clarify how this was going to work. It is still possible to status match to Platinum if your Marriott Gold Status came from the Ritz-Carlton credit card.