Starwood adds major benefits for Platinum members

While the announcement hasn’t officially been made, this FlyerTalk post by JohnSIN suggests he received an email from his Ambassador stating the new Starwood Platinum benefits. I had written about the speculation that Starwood would be introducing confirmed suite upgrades, and it seems like that is indeed the case, in addition to several other benefits. Anyway, based on the post, the changes seem to be as follows:

Starwood Lifetime Platinum Status. Members that have been Starwood Platinum for 10 years and have stayed 500 nights will get Platinum status for life. This is very generous compared to the competition (Hyatt requires you to be a member for 10 years and spend $200,000 in order to achieve Diamond status).

Continental Breakfast as a Welcome Amenity Option. As a Platinum member you have a choice of amenities at check-in, including bonus points, a welcome gift, etc. Complimentary continental breakfast will be a new option. Let’s hope hotels take a more liberal approach to continental breakfast than Le Meridien San Francisco.

10 Suite Nights When Staying 50 Nights. As previously speculated, Platinum members will earn 10 confirmed suite night upgrades for every 50 nights they stay.

Ability to Stay for 24 Hours and Earn 4 Points/Dollar. With 75 nights, Platinum members can choose their check-in time and then stay for 24 hours. Platinum members would also earn four points per dollar spent at that level.

Of course there are a lot of questions for each of these. For example, for lifetime status, do you need ten consecutive years of Platinum status, or not? For the breakfast amenity, how do hotels define continental breakfast? For suite upgrades, do Platinum members only earn suite nights when they stay 50 nights within a calendar year, or does a Platinum member that stays 50 nights over two years still earn them? For the 24 hour stay and four points per dollar policy, does that only apply if you achieved 75 nights the previous year, or only after achieving 75 nights in a given year?

I’ll keep you guys posted when I see the official announcement, though this is very exciting news. I’m happy to be a Starwood Platinum member today (along with Hyatt Diamond, for that matter)!

Filed Under: SPG

Comments

  1. 646 nights and 2002-2011 Platinum qualifications. I am a very happy camper tonight! This will immediately have a huge impact on my business travel. Instead of trying to hotel hop to make sure I hit my 25 stays I will be able to relax in a single property from here on.

  2. Pure speculation at this point, but do you think the 10 suite nights benefit will be retroactive for the 2011 calendar year? Or will this only be valid going forward? In other words, will 50 nights in 2011 equate to 10 suite nights to use for 2012?

  3. Certainly ups the game for people who stay a ton of nights. Hopefully doesn’t devalue the program for low-night Plats. My typical work stay is 1 night, and a lot of times there aren’t viable starwood options where I’m at – either priced out or just not available.

    Another question is how the night/stay credits from the amex factor in.

  4. 1-love the lifetime status!
    2-like breakfast as an option but not thrilled that it will take the place of points AND that often times i have been able to convince a property to give me a breakfast if an upgrade wasnt available, and usually i would get a full breakfast. here it seems more likely ill end up with continental, though at least it will be consistent
    3-the suite nights are nice but this better not mess up the old suite upgrade if available rule…also these do not compare to hyatt’s which are confirmable at any time
    4-the any 24 hours is cool but i dont do 75 a yr and probably never will…
    thanks for the info!

  5. Its a master stroke by spg. They give the baby carrots in breakfast, suite upgrades for plats and make you stay more nights each year to attain the bigger carrot life time platinum. Way to go SPG and you just earned more stays from me.

  6. Seems like an upgrade to some plats, but a downgrade to others.

    I concentrate my stays in a few hotels, and I know that makes a difference. Now, since I didn’t have 50 nights (only 44), I will be behind the higher tier.

    What has happened is not an upgrade to Platinum benefits, but a couple of new tiers that makes Platinum mid tier.

    (I don’t care about continental breakfast, it’s all carbs).

  7. I want to see free breakfast as a benefit at all properties, period! This option as an amenity gift sounds like it would be for ONE DAY only? I don’t mind giving up the 500 points for free breakfast, but I want breakfast for 2 everyday of my stay, similar to Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott!

  8. Regarding the breakfast welcome amenity, If you’re an SPG Plat and at a property with a club lounge (most Sheratons, some Westins), what’s the point? You’ll all of that and probably more in the club lounge.

    Comping a breakfast buffet seems to make more sense, as it wouldn’t seem to be much of an incremental expense for the hotel, and would have a higher perceived value if not an actual value for the SPG guest. For properties without a club lounge, this seems like a cop out.

    Regarding the ‘confirmed’ suite upgrades, why not have 5 for SPG Plats with 25 nights? Or one for every 5 nights stayed? That would seem to hold higher value, of course . . . If I’m only staying 60-70 nights out on the road per year, I’m not going to give up BOTH Hyatt Diamond AND SPG Plat to get 10 ‘confirmed’ upgrade nights with SPG . . .

    In sort of a once-over view, this serves to somewhat weaken the value of the 25-night SPG Plat and move SPG closer to Marriott instead of differentiating themselves from Marriott, which is what I think they are hoping to do, although SPG is still a better program than Mariott by a long shot . . .

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