Earlier this month I completed my 50th (and 51st) Starwood night, to be Platinum now on both stays (25+) and nights (50+). Since I was already Platinum on stays, that status does not change, but I do achieve the 2016 Platinum 50 Night benefit. However, as I can only choose one, I will examine each closely, and compare them based on an assigned valuation and perceived benefit.
What is the motivation behind the Platinum 50 Night Benefit?
Starwood wants to encourage those who stay frequently by having rewards attainable after regular status milestones. (Gold – 10 stays / 25 nights, Platinum 25 stays / 50 nights). At 50 nights, you can select a “Platinum 50 Nights Benefit”. With 75 nights, you earn 4 Starpoints per dollar at hotels and Uber (versus 3 previously). Lastly, at 100 nights, get SPG Ambassador service – private concierge and butler service to scope out local haunts, and provide additional perks to improve your stay. As I don’t plan to reach 75 or 100 this year – with just three months left – those two may have to wait for 2017!
The Platinum 50 Night Benefit is automatically available the day after checkout. As a result, I received the email in the early hours day after checkout, as the stay posted to my account. Most of all, it was very efficient and appreciated as I did not have to wait or call in and request.
Explore all the options!
All photos courtesy of Starwood hotels website – but only after you log in and have 50 qualifying nights.
Suite Night Awards can be applied to any type of stay, and redeemed for advance confirmable upgrades to premium rooms or standard suites. I am sure that employing tactics in Art of the Ask will open up more premium suites with these awards. While Platinum status automatically gets upgraded to the best available room upon check-in (including standard suites) – these awards are useful if you want to confirm the upgrade and not have to worry about availability options.
Value: $400 = $40 per suite night X 10 SNA = $400
The Gift of Gold can be given to anyone – current member or not. Takes 48 hours, and is valid until February 2018. Gold members get 3 points/$ on stays, up to 4pm late checkout, room upgrades, and a welcome gift (1 drink, 250 points/stay, or complimentary premium internet).
The value to you would be $0 unless you are staying with the newly-upgraded member. Even then, you’d only benefit from late checkout and room upgrades, and maybe a drink as well if you ask nicely.
Value: $300 = $20/stay X one stay/month (15)
Valid until the end of 2017, this is a standard Free Night Award good for category 1-5. It does take 2-4 weeks to credit to the member’s account.
The value depends of course on the hotel, but you should reasonably be able to get $200-300 value out of this award.
This depends how close you are to the key 75 and 100 night goals. As it’s late in the year and I won’t hit either, this one doesn’t speak to me. However, if you earned this earlier in the year and/or have 70-95 nights planned out in the course of a year, this could be a good option. The 75 night benefits of Your24, and 4x points/$ on stays and Uber doesn’t speak to me, but the Ambassador service at 100 nights sounds very intriguing.
Value: It depends
Driving a “sleek, silver Audi A4” sounds appealing, and with Silvercar you can do just that. It comes with GPS, wifi, Sirius XM, Fair Toll Tracking, and “Fair Fuel Plan” where they charge you only what fuel you use and only at the local price! This sounds like an exciting option that I would like to try. Rates range from $49 to $89/day per online sources.
Note that you are still responsible for all taxes & fees, but this benefit does waive the $5 fuel refill surcharge.
Value: 5 days X $69 average daily cost = $345
For those feeling particularly generous and philanthropic, you can donate your 50 night benefit to UNICEF. SPG will donate $100 to the organization on your behalf and support families with necessary and emergency supplies. You can feel good about your contribution to the betterment of society.
Value (to UNICEF): $100
Value (to you): Good Karma
Valid on the purchase of Starwood Brands’ mattresses and box springs for only the below selections (from Starwood site)
The St. Regis Bed
The W Hotels Bed
The Bed by The Luxury Collection®
Sheraton Signature Bed
The Westin Heavenly Bed
Beds range from $1,050 (after a current promotion) to $4,000. However, you may not combine the 40% off discount with current sale prices, so realistically the price starts at $1500 before discount.
Value: $600-1,600 depending on bed type and brand
Per Starwood, if the 50 night benefit during 2016 is not selected by January 15, 2017, the 10 Suite Night Awards will be chosen by default and added to the member’s account. Thus, if any of the other options sound more appealing, be sure to select it before the deadline.
I was previously set on the 10 Suite Night Awards, to secure and confirm nice upgrades for my lady for future stays. However, as I was writing this and looking more into the options, the Free Night Award and the Silvercar benefits are intriguing as well. It’s tough for me to write them off!
Featured Image from Starwood Email.
Know what you’d choose? Any recommendation? Disagree with my valuations/opinions? When does the narwhal bacon? Let me know in the comments, or reach me directly at TheHotelion@gmail.com! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion
I’m going to choose the free night award. It’s great to redeem on a holiday where prices are marked up incredibly high (like NYE!). Guaranteed value versus trying to get suite upgrades every time…plus Platinum members usually get suite upgrades anyways.
Great review Daniel thanks. I went for the Suite Nights, but I’m wondering if I can roll any of them over in 2017.
Been so lucky with upgrades this year haven’t managed to cash any in – which is a nice problem to have 🙂
Congrats – I won’t be able to use all my SNA before they expire this year, unfortunately!
I have exactly 51 nights planned through the end of the year (hooray!), and I think I am going to go with the 10 suite nights. I’ve also read about how hotel participation varies, but it does at least add a higher chance of getting a nice suite at many of the hotels for the price of the lowest standard room. I would feel differently about the 1 free award night if it was for a category 6 or 7 hotel.
Absolutely right – however their Free nights are confined to Cat1-5. Cant be giving those St. Regis and Luxury Collections away!
Typically at Platinum level you can sweet talk the reservation agents or front desk agents into a suite upgrade, but confirming it in advance does have its benefits. I don’t have anything planned at the moment so the execution of the 10 SNA is hard for me to visualize.
I just hit the same a week ago. After some thought, I decided on the 10 suite nights. The nights can be used through next year, which helped me decide, although no choice really called out to me either.
Completely agree. As Plat members – we get auto-upgrade to basic suites if available. The ability to confirm is nice, but I’ve read a couple points about not being able to redeem them. I had an issue about a SPG concierge telling me a certain hotel was good to use it, and then the hotel said they weren’t, and then another concierge said they were. Lots of frustration and miscommunication.
I’d love to use the SIlverCar – but I don’t think I would find such an opportunity.
“More Free Perks” I thought SPG added few more options.
My apologies – to me these are new and I wanted to take a deeper dive into them. Still undecided on what to get although I have been reading more into the difficulties of redeeming SNAs.