Your One Chance to Double Dip on Starwood/Marriott Credit Card Elite Nights

I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.

After laying out the details of the new unified Marrott loyalty program I covered the new credit cards that will be offered.

One opportunity emerges. In the new program that starts August 1,

  • Marriott will combine your qualifying nights from both Marriott and Starwood programs to calculate your 2019 elite status.

  • They will only let you earn one 15 night elite credit regardless of how many of their credit cards you have

That creates a brief window of opportunity. The other day I suggested getting the Starwood Amex card before it goes away. And indeed since then they’ve already revised the initial offer to a statement credit rather than a points bonus.

I have both the business and personal Starwood cards, each providing 5 elite qualifying nights in my Starwood Preferred Guest account towards status.

Marriott’s Al Wadi Resort

In August the elite nights from Starwood and Marriott should be combined, and the combined total can be used to qualify for status — whether 25 (Gold), 50 (Platinum), or beyond.

This appears to be the only way and the only time you’ll be able to combine Starwood credit card elite nights and Marriott credit card elite nights. And I confirmed with Marriott that it works.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. Thanks, Gary. I imagine you’ve covered this, but are the 2018 nights also being combined in 2018? For example, if someone has 25 nights each at Starwood and Marriott properties this year, do they end up with 50 nights for Platinum status? And do award nights count in that combined total?

  2. The 15 night cap begins in 2019, right? I have two Marriott cards (personal and biz) but my renewals aren’t until late in the year

  3. Yeah I have the same question as Miles; if I have an existing Marriott personal card that renews in October of this year, will I still get the 15 elite nights posted to my combined Marriott account? Trying to decide if I should focus on requalifying for Legacy Platinum through SPG this year (i.e. get 25 stays/50 nights to lock in Platinum Premier for next year) or if I can shoot for the combined 75 nights across both for the rest of the year.

  4. Is there any clarification been issued on the spending ability to earn 75 night Platinum status with Ritz carlton spend?

  5. If our cardmember anniversary falls after August 1st will we still get the 15 nights? That’s when they get credited, not at the beginning of the year.

  6. @Gary I was told by a friend if you reach Platinum status with Marriott separately from SPG they will give you two years of Platinum coverage towards the ten year goal. Is this remotely possible if it is I would assume it needs to be done before August which is almost impossible for me at this time.

    Although I can change from Hilton to Marriott at one place I go and get to Platinum quickly.

    One last question can you confirm cash and points or award nights count towards night stays with Marriott.

  7. Amusingly, I have the following:

    – Chase Canada Marriott Visa recently shut down (expecting 15 elite nights)
    – Chase USA Marriott Visa (got 15 elite nights)
    – Chase USA Marriott Biz VIsa (got 15 elite nights)
    – SPG USA Biz Amex (got 5 elite nights)

    so come August 1st, I’ll have 50 nights just from CCs 🙂

  8. In a prior blog, you stated Legacy AMEX SPG Cards will give 15 nights towards elite status per below. So is it 5 or 15 elite nights for the SPG Amex (Business or Non-Business)?

    The cards will give you automatic silver status (which is sort of like they currently give you “Preferred Plus” although that status came with 4 p.m. check-out). They also give you 15 elite nights each year, but you can’t double dip on those elite nights with other cards.

  9. Same question as Andrew If our card member anniversary falls after August 1st will we still get the 15 nights?

  10. Here’s the math, people:

    You can combine 15 elite nights from the Marriott Premier Rewards credit card + 5 elite nights from the Amex SPG Personal Card + 5 elite nights from the Amex SPG Business Card. Total of 25 elite nights give you GOLD status for all of 2019. Big deal. You can get the same GOLD status just by having the Amex Platinum Card. If you want PLATINUM status, you’ll have to stay 25 more nights between August 1 and December 31, 2018.

    Here’s other ways to get PLATINUM status until February 2020:

    1. Sign up for a Starwood Status Challenge. You’ll select a three-month period to stay 18 nights, and the challenge must be completed before June 30. Award stays, and elite nights from credit cards DO NOT COUNT.

    2. Complete 25 stays at Starwood properties before August 1. Award stays and elite stays from credit cards DO COUNT. So, out of the gate, you have 4 stays from the two Amex SPG cards. If you can add 21 more stays before August 1, you are in. Remember, you can book 3 individual rooms on the same night, and you get three stays.

  11. Hmm… I don’t have a Marriott personal card. Looks like I should sign up, as I won’t quite get to 50 nights this year with both combined.

    1. I should probably wait until the new May 3 Marriott Chase card, yes?

    2. This would give me 50 night aka Platinum status all the way through 2019, right?

  12. Gary, a longer, clearer explanation of the way to optimize 2018 stays and nights at both Marriott and SPG properties would be really helpful. Thanks.

  13. Hey Gary, thanks much for this article, as it addresses some questions that had occurred to me the day before!

    One quick clarification, though – I already have the Marriott Business card and both SPG cards. Were I to downgrade my Ritz card to the Marriott Premier (personal), would that net me 15 + 15 + 5 + 5 = 40 nights towards status in the new program?

    (I was planning on downgrading or cancelling the Ritz anyways, so if this is the case I’d just do so early!)

  14. Gary, Great Article! I am currently Lifetime Platinum & Platinum Premier Elite w/Marriott. I will have approx. 140 nights w/Marriott by the end of 2018…Approx. 100 nights by August 1, 2018. Am I correct in believing that I will be grandfathered in to the new system as Platinum Premier Lifetime (75 night) & will qualify for Platinum Elite (75-night) based on my 100-nights in 2018? Does the new program year start in August, September or January? And, finally, are there any roll-over night alliances in the new program? Tks!

  15. Has anyone who’s anniversary dates are after Aug 1 received their 15 nights? I’m in the same boat, but my personal and business card anniversary dates are October and December…

    Really need to know if I’ll get 15 for both this calendar year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.