Starwood Preferred Guest has released it’s year-end summary of fun facts about how members interacted with their program in 2012.
I remember them doing this last year, but I don’t remember some of the number being quite so eye-popping.
The top-earning member from hotel stays earned almost 1 million Starpoints. I’d really love the back story on some of these. I assume this person had a large conference (or number of conferences), since earning that type of balance just from room stays would mean a heck of a lot of room service.
The biggest single redemption was 370,500 Starpoints for courtside seats to the Men’s Final of the US Open. That one is kind of near to my heart since I bid on (and won) a private tennis lesson for Mickie with Andre Agassi and seats in the SPG luxury box for the semifinal matches. I spent a heck of a lot less than that, so I’m surprised the seats went for that much. It is a pretty hot ticket in NYC, though.
Another wow. 92 hotels visited in 1 year by the person visiting the most Starwood properties. If every one is only a one-night stay, that’s still 3 months in a hotel. And, odds are they weren’t all one-night stays. I travel quite a bit and I still only had about 70 stays. Those 70 stays comprised just over 100 nights for me in hotels. And, there was a lot of overlap. 92 is a pretty crazy number.
This was a year of many new Starwood benefits, one of which was lifetime status.
EDIT: Tommy777 was nice enough to point out to me my mistake in reading this stat below. There were a few thousand members who got granted lifetime Platinum status. 25 had the enviable honor of spending over 2000 nights in Starwood properties over the last decade to get there.
I purposely saved one of the most incredulous stats I’ve ever seen until the end.
I can’t even begin to fathom how someone could spend this many Starpoints on two business class tickets from the US to Rome. Even Delta’s horrendously broken booking engine probably couldn’t price two business class tickets that high. If transferred correctly, Starpoints transfer at a 1:1.25 ratio to airlines. So, 870,000 Starpoints should yield almost 1.1 million airline miles (unless transferring to United at 2:1). Even transferring to United should yield 5 business class seats. Now, I guess one could argue that maybe you wouldn’t be able to find saver inventory and would instead need to redeem at a higher level. That still should only be 200,000 per ticket (or enough for 5 seats at the redemption level indicated above).
This is a great example of how poor a benefit SPG Flights can be if you’re not careful. Essentially, SPG is buying this ticket for you. So, the number of points is going to move with the price of the ticket. But, there are much better values out there if you just spend a bit of time working on it. Or, if you’re truly lazy (no shame in that, I’m lazy about any number of things), use a service to book your award (like bookyouraward.com). Then, for a nominal fee, you can save more then a half million Starpoints for a better day.
I’ll be writing up my end of year travel soon, but I wanted to take a moment and point out some cool end-of-year facts from SPG. What about you? I’m curious to hear about your wildest redemption or earning opportunities of 2012.