Update: As of 14 July 2017, the Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status after a one night stay offer is no longer included as a benefit of World Mastercard. Existing and new cardholders won’t be able to access this offer – this article is left up for reference only.
Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status is handy to have, offering complimentary room upgrades, late check-out and extra Starpoints earn as its primary benefits.
And it is even nicer if it comes as a free benefit of your credit card.
Starwood Gold usually takes ten stays to earn, but a handful of ‘World’ MasterCards on the market in Australia offer Starwood Gold status after just one stay. These are the cards that offer it and the steps needed to trigger the benefit.
The benefit of Starwood Gold status
You can check out our comprehensive guide to Starwood Preferred Guest status levels.
At Starwood Hotels, you’ll receive preferred room types (not always upgrades; sometimes just slightly better rooms on higher floors or in better locations), three Starpoints per US Dollar spent, and what could be the best benefit: a 4pm late check-out.
About the MasterCard and SPG tie-up
The ‘World’ designator on a MasterCard indicates that it participates in the appropriately named ‘MasterCard Privileges’ program. There’s also a ‘World Elite’ level but I don’t know of any of those issued in Australia.
Here is the little World designator you’re looking for on eligible cards:
For World MasterCard holders in Australia, one stay at a participating hotel in the Asia-Pacific will trigger a status upgrade 4-6 weeks after your stay.
King Room at the Sheraton Melbourne
The Four Points by Sheraton Perth is included and is one of the cheapest local hotels in Australia to pick up the one-night stay needed for this offer.
As long as your booking would normally earn Starpoints, then it should trigger the night needed for the World MasterCard offer. You’ll also need to pay for the stay on your MasterCard.
You will need to pre-register before your stay online, and input a bank promotion code (which you can get by calling your bank) and the first six digits of your card.
Existing and new members of Starwood Preferred Guest are both eligible, and the offer is also only usable once per Starwood account, so you’ll only get the bump up to Gold once even if you hold the card ongoing.
Finally, completely unrelated to the MasterCard World offer, the American Express Platinum Charge also offers Starwood Gold status as well, while American Express Membership Rewards and Diners Rewards both offer points transfers to Starwood too.
Having had personal experience of using Gold Status from the World MasterCard offer, I found the welcome amenity, late check-out and extra points all very handy.
They didn’t make a material difference to any individual part of each stay I made at Starwood Hotels, but the recognition of Gold-level membership was certainly welcome.
Starwood Gold status is not a reason to hold or apply one for one of the participating cards exclusively, but worth bearing in mind if you already hold or are considering getting a World MasterCard.