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!
Now, this needle hasn’t moved much so far, but with the good life from Hyatt being withdrawn, I’ve figured I might as well sign up to be a somebody in the Marriott / Starwood World.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.
To give you a reference, I am currently looking like this at SPG Gold.
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.
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.
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.
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?