It’s great to get upgraded to the best available room or have access to the lounge. However, if you don’t stay at least 50 nights at Marriotts you won’t get to gold. In the case of Hilton, gold requires 20 stays or 40 nights or 75k base points. While SPG gold status requires 10 stays or 25 nights. There is of course a faster way: the Amex Platinum card. You get to gold in these 3 programs and Ritz-Carlton by getting this card. The card gives you automatic Hilton and SPG gold, then you match SPG to its parent company, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton. Gold opens the door to a platinum challenge with all four programs.

The downside is that this card comes with a $550 annual fee, but if you maximize all benefits you should easily come ahead. As always, do your own research and see if this card makes sense for you. One last thing, only apply for this card if you are getting the 100,000 MR points bonus since Amex has a strict once in a lifetime policy.

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