Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why I'm Not Stretching to 75 Nights for SPG Platinum 75 Status

Earlier this year, Starwood introduced a number of enhancements to upper end of their loyalty program - most notably for platinum members who hit 50, 75, or even 100 nights in a single year. The additional perks provided to members who hit those thresholds include:

  • At 50 nights, 10 "Suite night" awards which can be confirmed up to 5 days prior to arrival (subject to availability)
  • At 75 nights, an additional point for every dollar spent at Starwood hotels (so 4 in total), as well as "Your24" check-in privileges (theoretically allowing for extremely early check-in or extremely late check-out, but again subject to availability)
  • At 100 nights, personalized service from a Starwood ambassador
I was quite confident that I would hit 50 this year, and indeed I did a few months ago. I was also quite confident that I would NOT hit 100. The real question was would I be able to hit 75?

Well we're a few weeks away from the end of the year, and here's where I stand:

Close, but not close enough
I have one more night yet this year, so it looks like I'm going to end up just shy, at 72 total nights. Why wouldn't I find a way to stretch to 75 you might ask? Well, after running the numbers, I just don't think it's worth it - and here's why....

I value Starwood points at about 2.5 cents each, meaning that by hitting 75 nights I would be getting back an extra 2.5 cents worth of points for every dollar I spend, above and beyond what I'm already going to get. If I were to spend $10,000 at Starwood hotels next year (which is probably the upper limit of what I might expect to do between work travel and personal travel), that would translate into an extra 10,000 Starwood points, which I would value at about $250.

I don't have any work trips that I could conceivably move up into December, and there's no way I'm going to be able to get 3 additional nights for less than $250 or 10,000 points out of my own pocket - so the cost-benefit analysis is a pretty straightforward one.

Granted, that doesn't take into account the "Your24" benefit, but in watching this thread on Flyertalk, it sounds as though that has been pretty hit or miss anyway.

It's a bit of a disappointment, but on the bright side this year has put me well on my way toward Starwood's new lifetime status - it takes 250 lifetime nights and 5 years of elite status to qualify for lifetime gold. I already have the 5 year requirement completed, and I'll be at 211 lifetime nights at the end of the year (over 1/3 of which are from this year alone!), so I'm almost there.

What are your plans for maintaining (or reaching) hotel elite status this year? Anyone mattress-running to hit a  threshold?

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1 comment:

  1. I've hit 50, but was going to be short of 75. So next week I'll be staying at Marina Bay Sands, just to get try something different out!

    The Your24 sounds like a great idea in theory. But how it actually works out in practice would make all the difference, to whether this is any good.