I’m now gunning for SPG Platinum

It is that time of the year when all the hotel loyalty programs have a reasonable fix on their next year numbers, and they have doled the carrot out to bring in more elites if they deem fit. In my case, I’ve been a Hyatt loyalist for at least the past 5 years, however, with the new elite tier setup in the World of Hyatt, I’ve been thinking how to add another respectable status to my account.

While I’ve held status with Hilton & IHG at various points of time, I’ve never held top-tier status with Starwood. Reason? I only have so much of a travel budget, personal and professional included, and a lot of times, as a Hyatt Explorist now, I don’t feel the love the same way as I felt as a Diamond Globalist. I’m not saying I’m going away from Hyatt, but the situation has added up to giving me a shot to Starwood Platinum.

To give you perspective, this is my current Starwood status. I’m gold by virtue of being Marriott Gold, and I’ve used it 3 times this year, only!

SPG Gold Tier

SPG Gold Tier

Now, this needle hasn’t moved much so far, but with the good life from Hyatt being withdrawn, I’ve figured I might as well sign up to be a somebody in the Marriott / Starwood World. Here is what I stand to gain when I move up, even if I do to standard Platinum.

  • A choice of bonus Starpoints, Local Amenity or Continental Breakfast.
  • An upgrade to the best available room at check-in — including a Standard Suite.
  • Complimentary in-room, premium Internet access.
  • Complimentary health-club, Club-level and Executive-level access.

I’m not even counting the Airline benefits here, but it looks like if I bolted for Platinum, I would get much better treatment than I do right now as a Gold. And in my part of the world in Asia, even Continental Breakfast is better than the strict American inference of it. And of course, Marriott Platinum should do its magic as well.

Now, I’ve been playing around with the idea in my head for a while, even having thought of doing the challenge at 18 nights which would get me in. However, I started thinking about the Platinum Challenge a bit too late in the day to be able to justify the run for it to myself.

Starwood Platinum Challenge

Starwood Platinum Challenge

Why now?

To give you a reference, I am currently looking like this at SPG Gold.

The Road to Platinum

The Road to Platinum

In the current round of SPG Member Exclusives, I got a beautiful offer. Double Elite Nights and Double Stay Credits for each stay. That meant if I have 11 one night stays, I can cross over to Platinum easily this year. So 11 nights started looking much easier than the 18 nights we started with earlier in this discussion.

SPG Member Exclusive

SPG Member Exclusive

But till so far, I was just thinking about it. The Explore More promotion, which started to dole out 1000 Starpoints for Full-service properties and 500 Starpoints for brands such as Aloft & Four Points kind of sealed the deal here.

SPG Explore More

SPG Explore More

This meant if I played around with my plans a bit and pushed a bit more, SPG Platinum would be on its way. Additionally, at the minimum, I get bonus points for each stay at a Starwood property, because SPG is trying really hard to reward short stays around here.

So what is the plan?

Straight off the bat, there are 5 nights already which were booked for the coming few days. All that got added to the mix was hotel hopping. So, I know it is a bit of inconvenience, but I had to show the wife the future we had with this rather than the present to be able to justify it. Hence, a 1 night plus 4 nights stay in two different countries became 5 nights/stays. Yes, there will be the cost of time or convenience to this, but I guess that is a small cost to get closer to a year of new status where it would be fully used.

Next up, few more stays are already booked for the end of the month. These were stays we would have allocated to another chain but with reasonable prices at Starwood properties and more presence around the city, we moved them to Starwood properties as well. So this brings me to completing 8 nights at different hotels in the city, which gets me 16 stay counts closer.

Now, there is more to be done I know, and I have more stays coming up which I haven’t figured out yet, but this gives me a reason to move them to SPG.

Bottomline

With the crushing of the World of Hyatt program, and Starwood staying independent at least for one more year, it makes sense to me to move to Platinum with Starwood. Or do I miss something? Do share your views on my situation.

Are you planning something similar with respect to Starwood? Does the Platinum status look alluring to you? Am I missing something? 

Comments

  1. SPG Platinum is the bees knees. We made the jump before our brew week honeymoon in Thailand and were rewarded with a villa in Phuket, plunge pool suite in Koh samui, junior suite in W Bangkok and a corner suite in Chiang Mai… all upgrades on cash and points or base rate bookings! The two for one credit period is totally the way to go…

  2. The upgrades seem discretionary. Platinum Marriott and SPG platinum it feels like upgrades are definitely more frequent at SPG properties, though it doesn’t always seem like I’m getting the best room available.

    Guaranteed late checkout until 4pm is another nice perk.

  3. Lifetime SPG platinum here. SPG’s Platinum benefits have consistently beaten equivalent levels in other programs imho, including Marriott Platinum. Despite having Platinum equivalent status in other programs, I am still biased to SPG properties. I can only pray Marriott screw it up.

  4. Meh, been an SPG Platinum these past few years and while I’m Gold at Hilton too through credit card I am requesting status match to Diamond and will be moving all my reservations through the end of the year to Hilton. I have SPG concierge too and it’s definitely not worth the loyalty of staying 100 nights with SPG.

  5. Any reason why you wouldn’t opt for the Marriott challenge of just nine stays instead and instantly match yourself over to SPG as I did? Bit.ly/2eWEePl

    • @Kyle cheaper SPG nights exist most places I am planning to go, as Marriott does not have too many of their midscale brands this part of the world.

  6. My husband will start his platinum challenge soon. Looking forward to seeing the benefits of spg plat. We’ve had spg gold for a few years and we get nicely upgraded rooms and enjoy the late check-out. We have really enjoyed the Marriott gold benefits from the merger this year with the free breakfast.

  7. This are, basically, the same numbers that I have mapped out for myself. I have a few trips between now and the end of the year and the SPG promotion tipped the scale (bonus points and status!? I’m in!) My Hyatt stays have become a few ‘bouncing around SPG stays.’ It’s worth it! I can’t wait to see your success.

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