Site icon Tim Foolery

SPG Platinum: Your Benefit. Your Choice

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Laet year, Starwood made a change (improvement?) to the Platinum Benefits SPG members enjoy.  If a member logs 25 stays throughout the year, they earn SPG Platinum status. With 50 nights under your belt in a given year, you earn Platinum status and SPG would give you an additional bonus: 10 Suite Night Upgrades.  These upgrades could be redeemed anytime after you booked your room up until a few days before you stayed.  These upgrades were NOT guaranteed and they only clear a couple days before arrival. If you wanted a confirmed suite, you’d need to pay for it (either wish cash or extra points if you were booked on an award stay).

My luck with these upgrade instruments was absolutely abysmal for domestic stays, but phenomenal for foreign travel.  I’ve never once had a Platinum Suite Night Upgrade clear in the US or Canada, but in Europe, we’ve been upgraded to great rooms at the Alfonso XIII in Seville, Prince de Galles in Paris and the Bristol in Vienna.  I’ve been Platinum (with 50+ nights) for a few years now and I usually end the year with 4-6 unused Suite Night Upgrades.  It kills me.

I think many Platinum members were in the same boat. Perhaps SPG was tired of us all complaining about it in person and over social media, so they decided to give us some additional options once we reach 50 nights in a calendar year:

I love choices and I really hate when you get pigeonholed into just a single choice that hardly ever works out for you.  So instead of earning 10 Suite Night Upgrades, one could choose:

I like choices.  These choices suck.  Basically SPG is valuing the 50 night bonus at about $100.  Even though I end up wasting most of my upgrades, I still value the two or three nights a year I get upgraded to a fabulous suite at more than $100.  I’m sure you are waiting with bated breath to hear my thoughts on each of these alternate choices, so here they are:

As I crossed the 50 night mark in 2015, I opted to keep the 10 Suite Night Upgrades.  I just hope that my luck abroad continues to hold true.  If I end the year with 10 unused Suite Night Upgrades I’ll be pissed that I didn’t just cash in some free Amazon bucks to buy some digital content to keep me entertained while I’m stuck in my standard room.

If SPG calls me up tomorrow and asks what I think would be a better option, I would not hesitate.  I’d say make these instruments confirmable at time of booking.  Even if that means reducing the number of Nightly Upgrades they give you.  In an ideal world, they’d switch them to STAY Upgrades (valid for multiple night stays) versus the NIGHT Upgrades.  Even if they only gave us 3 or 4 of these (and cap them at 7 nights max for each upgrade), I’d consider this a HUGE win.

What did you (or what would you) choose as your 50-Night Platinum Reward?  If you could add one more item, what would it be?  I’d love to know how many people are choosing the UNICEF donation, wouldn’t you?

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