As of last month, all Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) award stays as well as eligible nights will count toward elite Gold and Platinum status qualification.
This is a policy change, and not a limited-time offer. Now, not only paid nights, but also free night awards, cash and points awards and awards earned during promotions such as a free resort night earned during the “SPG Getaway Free” promotion will count toward qualifying for elite status.
If you redeem Starpoints for five free room nights, the fifth night free benefit will also count toward elite status. If you gift an SPG award, however, the person who receives the gift, not the giver, is the one who can count the stay toward elite status.
For more information, including an FAQ, visit www.insideflyer.com/link/?5371.
Bottom line: Starwood is not the first hotel group to implement a similar policy to allow hotel stays to count toward elite status. Hilton HHonors has been allowing members’ award stays to count toward elite for several years now. This move by SPG is proving very popular with members.