Starwood Preferred Guest is introducing new elite amenities for both Gold and Platinum Preferred Guest members, effective March 1, 2012. Here's a summary of the key changes:
SPG Gold Members
Who qualifies: SPG members with 25 nights or 10 stays per calendar year; Platinum AMEX cardholders; SPG AMEX cardholders with $30,000 in annual spend
New welcome gift options:
Gold Preferred Guest Members may choose one of these three options at check-in:
- 250 Bonus Starpoints (125 Starpoints at Aloft, Element, and Four Points properties); or
- Free in-room Internet access for duration of stay, for all devices; or
- Complimentary beverage (at designated onsite restaurants/bars, up to price maximum set by hotel brand)
Which stays are eligible: all SPG Eligible nights, SPG Free Night Awards and Cash and Points Awards
SPG Platinum Members
Who qualifies: SPG members with 50 nights or 25 stays per calendar year
New Continental breakfast welcome gift option:
Platinum Preferred Guest Members have a new Continental breakfast option as one of their amenity choices:
- Continental breakfast at the designated hotel restaurant (not in-room) for the Platinum Preferred Guest Member and 1 companion; or
- 500 Bonus Starpoints (250 Starpoints at Aloft, Element, and Four Points properties); or
- Local gift (e.g. chocolates, wine, handcrafted item)
SPG Nights Benefits (Confirmable Suite Upgrades)
Starwood Preferred Platinums are finally getting confirmable suite upgrades, likely a response to the popularity of Hyatt's Diamond amenity of four confirmed suite upgrades annually, which can be applied to any paid stay of up to seven nights at the time of booking, as we noted in How to Compare Top Tier Hotel Status Benefits.
Who qualifies: Starwood Preferred Platinum Members who stay 50 eligible nights in a calendar year earn 10 Suite Night Awards. Members with 50 eligible nights in 2011 or 2012 will receive 10 Suite Night Awards in their account on March 1, 2012, which will expire on December 31, 2013
Which suites are not eligible: Specialty Suites, including but not limited to presidential, honeymoon or multiple bedroom suites, may not be eligible for Suite Night Awards.
When they can be used: Members may request a Suite Night Award upgrade on any SPG Eligible Rate, SPG Free Night Award or Cash & Point Award
When they may be requested and when confirmed: Members may request their Suite Night Award upgrade anytime up until 2pm local hotel time the day before arrival. Suite Night Awards are confirmed, subject to availability, starting 5 days before arrival.
Per Starwood, you'll be able to login to SPG.com, go to “My Stays” and be able to either select the exact upgraded room or suite type you want to be upgraded to, or simply request the system to search all upgraded options for you and confirm you in the most premium room available. No word on the exact prioritization, but now that there are several tiers of Platinum, presumably the greater the number of nights stayed with Starwood in the past, the higher your priority.
Number of Suite Night Awards to redeem: The number of Suite Night Awards must match the length of stay, including any bonus or promotional nights
Expiration: Suite Night Awards activity page lists the expiration date; members have at least a year to use the Suite Night Award after it is awarded
New Benefits for SPG Platinum Members who stay 75 Nights per Year:
- 4 Bonus Starpoints per dollar spent: Currently SPG Platinum members get 3 points; if you stay 75 nights with Starwood per calendar year you'll get an additional point.
- YOUR 24: This is an intriguing benefit: the ability to check in at any time and check out 24 hours later, subject to availability and as long as you confirm it at least 48 hours in advance. So, unfortunately, it won't work when you unexpectedly arrive much earlier than anticipated, but still nice if you know you'll be getting in at an ungodly hour and just need 24 hours or less there. Even better, if you confirm a time 9am or later, you'll get more than 24 hours as you'll get 4pm late check-out.