Go For Lifetime Starwood Platinum (Light) Status Or Not

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Today received the message below from Starwood reminding me that I’ve had quite the streak of hitting Starwood Platinum over the last 9 years. In fact, I’m only 8 stays away from prequalifying for Platinum status and only 4 nights away from qualifying for Platinum (light) status for life!

SPG Lifetime Platinum Status

You already know it’s great to be Platinum — and we’re thrilled to welcome you so often. Good news: You’re oh-so-close to having the 25 eligible stays or 50 eligible nights in a calendar year that it takes to retain our top membership tier, Platinum status with the Starwood Preferred Guest® program.

We hope you’ve enjoyed all your Platinum benefits:

  • Three Starpoints® per eligible dollar spent.
  • Upgrades to enhanced rooms at check-in, including to Standard Suites
  • Your choice of a Platinum welcome gift with each stay: Choose from bonus Starpoints, continental breakfast or a local amenity
  • 4 p.m. late checkout where available
  • Complimentary in-room, high-speed Internet access 
  • Complimentary health club, Club-level and Executive-level access.4

And every night brings you closer to earning more. Our SPG® Nights Benefits gives you the opportunity to earn 10 Suite Night Awards™ after staying 50 eligible nights in a calendar year — and even more benefits after 75 and 100 nights.

With SPG Crossover Rewards™, Platinum members earn one Starpoint for every dollar spent on eligible Delta flights5 and exclusive benefits at the airport — including first checked bag free6 and priority boarding.7 And, if you’re a SkyMiles® Diamond, Platinum, Gold or Silver Medallion® member, you’ll earn one mile for every dollar spent on eligible room rates at Starwood hotels and resorts.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon — and hope you keep your Platinum status for another great year.

Starwood Platinum Status

Not sure which is worse, qualifying for Platinum status and not using the benefits or not qualifying for Platinum status. What do you think?

You see, Starwood’s Platinum status has been changed in recent years when they started the 10 complimentary suite night upgrades for Platinum members with 50 nights or more. But I’ve had a heck of a time trying to use these certificates the past year. I’ve applied them to multiple reservations, but each time at the 5 day mark, no suite upgrade. I usually get an upgrade to a “deluxe” room at the time of check-in, but it’s not the same as a confirmed suite. In fact, on a recent stay, I went as far as to book a “backup” room for Baby Weekly Flyer, and I ended up using it because the suite upgrade didn’t come through.

This wasn’t the only instance where a Platinum amenity didn’t work. I’m sad to say, I have 10 suite upgrades that are about to expire this year. How many do you have left? Does that tell you something about the benefit or your choice of hotels?

The complimentary breakfast at the regular business hotels has not been an added bonus, I get that reimbursed anyway. But I do appreciate it on an award stay. So I guess the breakfast would be my big loss if I don’t go for Platinum status next year. I don’t see a reason to go for the extra

I’m left wondering if it is worth going for Platinum this year. I’m on the fence. What do you think? Would you go for Platinum status in my situation or simply maintain Gold status next year?

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The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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Comments

  1. Been trying to use suite upgrades, still
    Have ten left. Don’t feel it is worth spending 50 nights for a useless benefit. Maybe if confirmed when making reservation, but this waiting game is not a benefit in my book.

  2. I haven’t had any trouble using mine. I think they didn’t go though one time but I was upgraded at checkin. I just used 2 a couple of weeks ago at the St. Regis NY. That was a $3400 a night suite. Anyway, I say go for it, u may just have been unlucky with availability this year.

  3. If you qualify for Platinum, you will receive a 35% off award certificate (or double points, but I wold take te award certificate). You could accep5 the platinum gift in Dec/Jan and use it through June/July next year.

  4. Not an SPG man myself, but in your case I say go for it and finish the lifetime benefit. After that, even if you just use SPG once in a while (sounds like you’re considering changing brands anyway) you’ll be platinum when you do. You don’t get the suite upgrades of course, but you’ll be well off for a backup program.

    Looking at it from a point of view of qualifying for benefits next year is flawed here because this one qualification is for lifetime at this point.

    There are plenty of SPG hotels around that can you the required numbers for likely under 100 per.

    Just my thoughts.

  5. I’ve tried repeatedly to use my SPG Suite Upgrades….every one was denied due to suites being “unavailable”…..I get it–if someone pays for a suite, they obviously should get that room–but at least twice I found out suites were available when I arrived (the kind front desk clerk confirmed…and stated “suites are closed for the season” or “under renovation”….seemed suspect to me as the hotels were nearly empty)….every other time the hotel stated suites were sold out.

    I was really excited about this benefit….when I’m traveling for business my room is not much of a concern. But when traveling with the wife and baby, I hoped to be able to put the baby down and sit up and talk with family (a luxury a suite affords, but an open room does not). So I’ve been booking adjoining rooms during family travel.

    Ironically, I’ve been offered suite upgrades numerous times on paid business stays when I’m alone. It’s very appreciated and unexpected! But for the times I would REALLY value this gesture….no availability.

    Still loyal to Starwood (just hit Lifetime Platinum this year)…..but a few tweaks to this benefit would be good. Otherwise–I (heart) SPG!

  6. Just to be clear….I’m heading into 2014 with 20 Suite Upgrades….haven’t been able to use a single night despite repeated attempts.

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