Starwood’s New Platinum Suite Night Award Alternatives

In late-January I wrote about how this year Starwood Preferred Guest will be introducing an alternative to Suite Night Awards for Platinum members.

SPG-SNA

The Suite Night Awards are a relatively new addition as it is. They were added as a Platinum perk back in 2012, as part of a suite of new benefits for elite members. They were designed to make Platinum members stay more, since they’re only given to Platinum members with 50 elite qualifying nights (as opposed to those qualifying based on 25 stays).

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SLS Hotel Beverly Hills Studio Suite

Starwood Platinum Suite Night Award alternatives

It looks like Starwood has finally announced the perks that Platinum members can choose in lieu of 10 Suite Night Awards. Via View from the Wing, starting March 9, 2015, Platinum members who reach the 50 night threshold will have the option between the following:

  • 10 Suite Night Awards
  • Four free rides with Uber up to $25 each
  • Gift Gold status to a friend or family member
  • TSA PreCheck fee waiver
  • $100 Amazon gift card
  • Donate $100 to UNICEF

St-Regis-Deer-Valley-23
St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite

How valuable are Suite Night Awards?

As a reminder, the basic terms of Suite Night Awards are as follows:

  • Each can be used to upgrade a one night stay, be it a revenue or award stay
  • Suite Night Awards only confirm at most five days out, so these aren’t upgrades that are confirmed at the time of booking (like Hyatt)

I’ve had reasonably good luck getting Suite Night Awards to clear (then again, I’m not usually traveling to Europe in summer or to Australia over New Years), so continuing to select them is a no brainer.

The only thing above that’s potentially worth more than $100 is Starwood Gold status, and even that isn’t worth all that much anymore given that as of this year all SPG members receive complimentary internet.

St-Regis-Singapore-Suite-08
St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite

Bottom line

It’s nice to have options, though none of the alternatives are even remotely interesting to me. And I guess that’s a blessing, because as I explained in the last post, I suck at making minor decisions.

Business as usual for me!

Does anyone plan on choosing one of the above alternatives in lieu of Suite Night Awards?

Comments

  1. I’ve had terrible luck using SNAs and have seen many expire. And the ones I have used, I am pretty sure I would have gotten upgraded at check-in anyway. So while none of these other things excite me too much, I’m not sure I would actually value SNAs enough to turn down $100 for it.

  2. Pretty awful. I wish they gave a gift for reaching gold or platinum. They used to give $25, then 2013 they gave 35% off a points redemption. 2014- nothing.

  3. I guess I shouldn’t have been expecting much but this is still very underwhelming. Selecting SNAs is still the best course, IMHO.

    P.S. I agree that lack of requalification gifts is also strange. I thought it was a nice tradition and even in the “bad” years they still gave something. So wish 35% off from 2014 was back! *sigh*

  4. Yeah these are garbage. While I can’t get 80% of my SNAs to clear, I think just getting 20%, or 2 of them, is probably worth $100. So it’s a no-brainer for me to stay the course.

  5. Lucky, any idea if there is a deadline in the year by which you have to make your benefit election? And will this take effect next month for those of us who hit Platinum last year, or is this only for those who qualify in the current year, moving forward?

  6. Kinda amazing to me. This is a company that doesn’t do anything without doing focus groups and polling it’s Platinum members.

    •Four free rides with Uber up to $25 each – My company pays for my ground transportation.
    •Gift Gold status to a friend or family member – Comes with the Amex.
    •TSA PreCheck fee waiver – Loads of ways to get this covered. My company, Amex Plat, misc. travel credit, etc.
    •$100 Amazon gift card – BO. RING.
    •Donate $100 to UNICEF – Well, points for creativity here.

    Overall, yawn.

  7. @ Andrew — This is only for those qualifying starting this year and going forward. Not sure about the deadline, sorry.

  8. Suite night awards are nice, but a suite upgrade is what we are supposed to get as a Platinum. Plus suite night awards, as I understand it, only entitle you a junior suite. For years before these suite night awards I’d get a full suite 75% of the time. The really nice benefit is your24 for 75 nights. It has saved me from paying for an extra night on many occasions. As a red eye flyer maybe you have had the same experience. Plus the extra starpoint comes in handy too.

  9. @ john — Do keep in mind that in some cases the SNAs let you upgrade to “specialty suites.”

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