SPG is the official loyalty program of Starwood Hotels

SPG is the official loyalty program of Starwood Hotels

Gold.  The word alone evokes thoughts and images of wealth, prosperity, fortune, and luxury.  It’s also a common elite tier at just about every major airline or hotel chain.  So, when I realized how close I was to achieving Starwood Hotel’s SPG Gold status, I knew I had to “Go for the Gold!”  So I did, and within months, had achieved gold status.  The best part of SPG Gold status, the hotel chain’s entry level status, is just how attainable Gold status truly is.  Unlike American’s AAdvantage program or Delta’s SkyMile’s program, obtaining SPG Gold is very straightforward and can be done for as little as $700.  That’s right, elite status is achievable for as little as $700.

After just 10 separate stays, I managed to obtain SPG Gold status.  Here’s how I did it.

Simple as 1, 2, 10

There are two ways to meet the minimum requirements to achieve SPG Gold status.  You can either book 10 separate reservations (so, essentially, 10 nights) or stay 25 nights.  My preferred method will become apparent fairly quick.

As previously mentioned, SPG Gold status can be obtained for as little as $700.  How so?  In smaller cities or cities that SPG doesn’t market as a resort/luxury market, you can often find Aloft Hotels or Four Points that go for $65 a night, maybe even less.  That means that for roughly $70, booked over ten different reservations, you’d reach SPG Gold for either a little under or a little over $700.  Or you could stay 25 nights and spend $1750.  It’s your choice, a choice that should be fairly obvious.

Tip: Always go for the minimum stay requirement.

You can fast-track your status, even when staying consecutive nights at the same property by booking each night as a separate reservation.  This method of achieving an elite tier at SPG Hotels is completely legal.  It might look odd if you stay five nights at the same hotel under five different reservations but it’s completely in-line with SPG policy.  The two times I’ve done this, the hotel staff actually puts a note in their system marking the reservations as a single stay.  Hotels will often allow you to stay in the same room too.

My List of Stays in 2016;

  • Aloft Broomfield, CO (3 Nights; Did not book as three different stays as I didn’t recognize the requirements at the time)
  • Aloft San Francisco Airport (1 Night)
  • Westin Bonaventure (1 Night)
  • Aloft Las Colinas (1 Night)
  • Aloft Jacksonville (1 Night)
  • Sheraton Suites Alexandria (1 Night)
  • Westin Alexandria (1 Night)
  • Le Meridien Tampa (2 Nights; 2 Reservations)
  • Aloft Miami Doral (1 Night)
  • =Ten Total Stays=Gold Status
W Hotel (Image: Starwood Hotels)

W Hotel (Image: Starwood Hotels)

The only drawback to booking almost entirely Aloft properties is, due to the fact that Aloft properties charge very low rates, I never earn more than a few hundred points.  However, at the moment, I’m more into just meeting elite requirements.

Why Go For the Gold?

The main reason I urge anyone on the fence about trying to get to SPG Gold is the increased earning rate.  Probably the least luxurious of all the benefits–the increased earning rate might not look like much on paper but in the long run, it’s very rewarding.  Instead of earning a measly 2 Starpoints for each $1 USD spent at SPG properties, you’ll earn 3 Starpoints–a 50% bonus compared to preferred.

Additional benefits include;

  • Complimentary room upgrades (may or may not include standard suites; varies from property to property)
  • 4 PM late checkout
  • Welcome gift at check-in
  • SPG Gold Card–so everyone knows you’re special!

From the upgraded rooms to the 50% bonus earning rate, Starwood Preferred Gold status comes in handy the second you obtain it.

SPG Gold Benefits (Image: Starwood Hotels)

SPG Gold Benefits (Image: Starwood Hotels)



At Starwood Hotels, SPG Gold is the entry level elite status.  Many travelers don’t even care to make it a point to attempt to obtain their airline’s or hotel’s status having the common misconception that elite status is unattainable.  In reality entry level tiers, especially at hotels, are quite easy to reach.  As long as you manage to book and stay on ten separate reservations, you’ve made it to SPG Gold.  That’s ten business trips, ten vacations, or any combination of the two.  Regardless, it’s easily obtainable.  Unlike at most airlines, SPG Gold status does not require you to spend a certain amount over a calendar year.  Simply completing ten reservations will give you SPG Gold.  That’s really it.  Earning elite status at Starwood Hotels is as easy as 1, 2, 10.