Big (good!) changes from Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)
SPG today announced a slew of new benefits starting March 1st, 2012. If you stay at any of Starwood’s brands (i.e. Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St Regis, Le Meridien, Four Points, Aloft, or Element) on a regular basis, your benefits just improved in a big way.
1) GOLD members will now receive a welcome gift at check-in. Choose from 250 SPG bonus points (125 at Aloft/Element/Four Points), or FREE Internet, or a complimentary beverage. With some hotels still charging lofty fees for in-room Internet, this alone could make SPG Gold worthwhile. If you stay 20 nights as Gold, that could be worth $300 (at a $15 a night Internet access fee).
2) PLATINUM Members, who already get a 500 point amenity at check-in (or local welcome gift) will now additionally receive a free continental breakfast for them and a guest each day of their stay.
3) “SUPER PLATINUM” – (our term, not theirs!) means that Platinum members that stay 50 nights in a calendar year receive 10 Confirmed Suite Upgrade certificates (in a Standard Suite, not any suite!). Stay 75 nights and start receiving 4 Starpoints per dollar spent on-property AND “Time on your side” which means you can stay from 24 hours from the time you check-in. Check-in at 9pm and you can stay until 9pm the next night!
4) LIFETIME GOLD and PLATINUM !!
a) Earn Lifetime Gold after staying a total of 250 eligible nights (remember that award nights now count too, since last November) and earning Gold or Platinum any 5 years since joining the program.
b) Earn Lifetime Platinum after 500 eligible nights and any 10 years of Platinum status.
These are really amazing changes to the SPG program. They’ve long been one of the leaders in frequent guest programs – but this really pushes them up a few notches.
While I’m sure some people will find negatives in this (i.e. things that don’t quite fit their travel pattern), I think it’s hard to argue with such improvements.
Share your thoughts in the comments!