Selecting My SPG Platinum 50 Night Benefit

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In 2012 Starwood introduced a suite of new benefits for elite members, which really propelled them to one of my favorite hotel loyalty programs. From the perspective of a Platinum member, the two most significant improvements were as follows:

  • Platinum continental breakfast: Platinum members can choose continental breakfast in lieu of their 500 Starpoint welcome amenity
  • Suite Night Awards: Platinum members earning at least 50 qualifying nights in a calendar year receive 10 Suite Night Awards, each of which can be used to confirm a suite upgrade for a one night stay five days prior to arrival

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Complimentary Platinum breakfast at the W Beijing Chang’an

Earlier this year Starwood further expanded the scope of the 50 night Platinum benefit, by offering alternatives to the 10 Suite Night Awards. Apparently some members were having issues with them clearing, which is why they decided to introduce alternatives. Personally I’ve gotten quite a bit of value out of the Suite Night Awards, so would need a compelling alternative to forgo them.

Well, a week ago I passed 50 nights for the year with Starwood, and received an email prompting me to follow a link to select my SPG Platinum 50 night benefit.

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Once logged in I was presented with six options for my 50 night benefit, including:

  • Suite Night Awards: Receive 10 Suite Night Awards that you can redeem for upgrades to suites and premium rooms.
  • Gift Gold: Make every stay more rewarding for a family member, friend or colleague with Gold status in the SPG program.
  • Amazon.com gift code: With $100 to spend at Amazon.com, what will you buy? The selection is huge. The prices are right.
  • TSA Pre-Check: Save valuable time and money with expedited airport screening for up to five years (an $85 value).
  • Uber rides: 4 Uber rides of up to $25 each (or its foreign equivalent currency). With the Uber app, you’re just a tab away from a reliable ride.
  • SPG donation to UNICEF: Pay it forward with an SPG $100 contribution to UNICEF — the world’s leading children’s organization.

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For me this was an easy choice. I value a Suite Night Award at way more than $10 each, which are what four of the six choices are worth (at most). SPG Gold status is potentially worth more, though at the same time can also pretty easily be had through the The Platinum Card® from American Express.

So I chose the Suite Night Awards. After clicking the button for the SNAs I was brought to a page confirming all the terms associated with them.

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And after that, the 10 Suite Night Awards appeared in my SPG account instantly.

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I still have nine to spend this year, but frankly I just haven’t found there to be much need to use any until now. Most of my SPG stays have been either at US airport hotels (where I really don’t care what kind of a room I get), or at international SPG properties (which are known to be good with upgrades).

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Complimentary upgrade to Fabulous Suite at W Beijing Chang’an

Bottom line

I’ve been very happy with Suite Night Awards from Starwood, and for me they’re a reason to go for 50 nights rather than just 25 stays. Fortunately that’s made a bit easier by the four elite stay credits and 10 elite night credits you get for having both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Does anyone plan on selecting something other than the Suite Night Awards as their 50 night Platinum benefit?

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Comments

  1. SPG was smart to start offering the other options besides the 10 SNAs at 50 nights–to shut up the members who constantly were whining about not being able to use their SNAs.

    That being said, I always have good luck with the SNAs. And I’d rather have even the chance for 10 night upgrades than any of the other options at 50 nights. I continue to choose the SNAs.

    And I no longer have to worry about hearing other SPG 50ers whine. Win-win.

  2. Do you get these awards after every fifty days of stay (for instance 6 awards if you stay 300 days a year) or just once in a year when you reach the fifty nights threshold?

  3. I just hit Plat yesterday, and also selected the suite nights. Applied 5 to my upcoming visit to St. Regis Bali. Hope they clear!!

  4. Ben;
    Does this mean that SPG values each suite upgrade at $10?
    I would gladly buy a handful at that price

  5. @ Rami — Hah, I wouldn’t say that. When they presented alternatives I think they just didn’t make them all that valuable, given that they have a pretty concrete value.

  6. @ Mememe — Correct, I’d rather donate in cash. Being charitable and being able to do basic math aren’t mutually exclusive.

  7. @ Shay — Maybe if you’re trying to redeem them in Hawaii over Christmas week, but I can’t say I’ve had any issues using them.

  8. @Mememe

    Ben contributes far more than most people to sending money to third world nations by travelling so much.

    Most travel providers employ people from the third world who then send remittances home!

  9. @ Jim — SPG Gold is a published benefit for having the AmEx Platinum Card. If you call up the number on the back of your card, they should be able to enroll you.

  10. You get gold membership with the Canadian card when you spend 40k. It also comes with a free night reward cat3 only tho…

    Still a decent card and we’ll worth having.

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