While I requalified for both Hyatt Diamond and Starwood Platinum status a bit earlier in the year, I finally passed 50 nights with Starwood for the year with my stay this past weekend at the St. Regis San Francisco.
In the past there was no distinction between qualifying for Platinum status on (25) stays or (50) nights, though earlier in the year Starwood added new benefits, whereby Platinum members that qualify based on 50 nights receive 10 confirmed suite night awards. These can each be used to confirm a room upgrade up to five days in advance, and is a nice incentive to qualify for Platinum on nights instead of stays. Of course I got a lot of help from my Starwood credit cards, since the personal and business cards each offer two stays and five nights towards status, so that’s an easy four stays and ten nights annually right there.
For many of my stays I don’t care about upgrades since they’re one night stays at airport hotels, but it sure is nice to be able to confirm upgrades in advance for the stays that matter (those at nice hotels for more than a night).
So the next “threshold” is 75 nights, and I just can’t justify the additional nights based on the benefits offered. For the 75 nights you get four Starpoints per dollar spent (an additional Starpoint per dollar over “regular” Platinum members), plus the ability to check-in at any time you’d like.
The extra Starpoint per dollar spent sounds exciting, though assume I spend $5,000 on Starwood hotels next year (which is way high, but whatever), that’s an additional 5,000 Starpoints. I value Starpoints at 2.2 cents each, so that’s an additional $110 of “value” to me. That’s hardly an amount worth mattress running over.
The “Your24” benefit is only moderately useful, in my opinion. Basically you can check-in any hour of the day and be guaranteed the room for 24 hours. The reason it’s not totally awesome is because if you check-in before 9AM you don’t receive the guaranteed 4PM late check-out.
In other words, if you have a redeye and want to guarantee the room for 8AM, you’ll only have it till the next day at 8AM. If, on the other hand, you chance it and they let you check-in at 8AM without the “Your24” benefit, you can still use the guaranteed 4PM check-out the next day.
To those with 75 SPG nights, have you found the benefits worthwhile? Is it worth striving for? Any benefits beyond the above?
I probably have another 20 or so hotel nights this year, so I guess I could focus them all on Starwood and then mattress run a few times if it were truly worthwhile, though otherwise I’d choose between Hyatt and Starwood each time based on which brand has a better hotel in each city.