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The road to Platinum – completing the SPG Platinum Status Challenge

After spending 18 nights in the SPG Platinum Challenge, I achieved Platinum status in a challenge that took me to 6 cities in 30 days.

Back in October, I wrote about signing up for the SPG Platinum Challenge and how I intended to achieve it. I am glad to report that as of 23 Nov 2017 (30 days after the first eligible night), I attained Platinum and this status is going to stay till Feb 2019. Some members of The Milelion’s Telegram group have asked about the expiry of the SPG Preferred status. SPG’s cut off is February of every year (it is the same for Marriott Rewards status), something like a company’s fiscal year that concludes annually in March. So if you are thinking of doing any status challenges, time it well so that you can enjoy the benefits that come with the status for as long as possible before it expires.

Platinum dashboard

Now back to my status challenge. I must say not everything went according to plan as my article in October but my mantra is if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. As it is, there were some changes in terms of additional last minute work trips and as such I had to cancel one vacation to Penang (well I’m not complaining). Just to recap what I had planned out back in October:

My planned

My actual nights spent were 19 nights but as you can see from below, half of what was required to achieve the Platinum status were done through business travels.

My actual

The Platinum challenge required 18 qualifying nights in a 3-month period in participating SPG hotels. I did 19 nights over 30 days. These were accrued through a mix of business and leisure travels that had had me spending nights in 6 different cities. Each hotel has its subtle uniqueness and staying in these hotels  bring different experiences. Some are hotels are first time experience for me while others are usually the ones I will put up at when travelling to that particular city. I shall give a brief run down of each each hotel about what I like and what I did not like too much.

SPG hotel Cat. S$ per night excl. taxes  Like Did not like
Sheraton HK  5  $330
  •  great accessibility in general
  • Char chaan tengs for good breakfast are very nearby
  •  small rooms & old decor
  • very meh buffet breakfast
Sheraton Grand Macao  4  $160
  •  hotel within Sands Cotai – lots of shopping and restaurants
  • yes, $160/night!
  • big sized room, double that of Sheraton HK
  • cheap eats are available within Sands Cotai (food courts, Mac)
  •  the only cheap choice of breakfast  available is from MacDonald’s
  • bus loads of PRC tourists (depending on the season)
Le Meridien Saigon  3 $260
  •  well located at D.1
  • good breakfast spread (they serve Vietnamese coffee!)
  • eclectic decor (can be a good or a bad thing)
  •  thin walls (or loud neighbours)
  • wanted to charge me US$100 for one-way airport transfer (not cool..)
Westin Jakarta 5 $210
  • newest hotel in JKT
  • room views are magnificent
  • great buffet from Seasonal Tastes
  • bad traffic flow towards the side of the hotel (where isn’t?)
  • taxis may not know it
Westin Kuala Lumpur 3 $150
  •  Bukit Bintang address
  • walking distance to Imbi (yes the bak kut teh and sang har mee)
  • $150/night!
  • quite jaded interior
  • underwhelming breakfast at The Living Room
Sheraton Miyako Tokyo  5 $330
  •  free shuttle bus service to Shinagawa and JR Meguro stations
  • 3 restaurants are opened for breakfast – all are very good
  •  dull interior – the lights are so dim and insufficient
  • expensive rooms

You can check out the benefits for Platinum Preferred Status here to see if they really appeal to your as a business or leisure traveler.  While some websites put a dollar value to different SPG statuses, I take that with a pinch of salt as not everything applies here in the Singapore local context.

So is it worth?

I was lucky to be able to include business travels into the challenge that forms half of the required nights so the cost in attaining this challenge reduced substantially for me. There are also experience from members that you can book cheap SPG properties in Indonesia for less than 1 million rupiah (S$100) such as Four Points (Bandung, Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya, Medan) and Aloft Jakarta and even a tribute portfolio hotel in Ubud Bali, thereby tremendously bring down the cost as well.

Apart from deciding whether it is worth it to spend the nights, you should also consider how much you will be traveling in future after attaining the status because the benefits of the status only applies when you are on the road. You should also think about whether the places you are traveling to are well populated with SPG properties; there is no point pursuing for and attaining a status and not being able to enjoy the benefits on a regular basis. One last thing you should also know and consider is that SPG and Marriott Rewards status are matched so attaining a SPG Platinum status will grant you a Marriott Platinum status as well (buy one get one?).

Hopefully this article is able to give you some information and breakdown the thoughts for you if you are thinking of a status challenge with SPG. Happy traveling!

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4 Comments on "The road to Platinum – completing the SPG Platinum Status Challenge"

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Just FYI, at least for your readers in the US, if you have an Amex Platinum card which gives you automatic gold status with Marriot, SPG, Ritz, and Hilton (although you must apply for those), the amount of nights or stays is half of that requirement. It is well worth the effort!

you americans really need to stop making us jealous.

I got a secret – Marriott platinum challenge for existing gold member only needs 9 stays in 3 months. Hehe

Hi ratatouille/aaron, once you get spg platinum, for subsequent stays with room upgrades, can the bookings be booked from third party like expedia or it has to be from the hotel/starwood itself before the complimentary upgrades are given?

And can i assume that any room bookings from hotel/starwood websites will count towards the number of nights?

Thank you, very informative post as usual.