The true value of elite status comes from how often you can use the benefits. If you never earn a first class upgrade on an airline, getting them for free as a benefit is pretty useless. Similarly, if I don’t get suite upgrades from a hotel chain, the free upgrade benefit is kinda like a pet rock.
Folks who stay in hotels enough to earn loyalty benefits over the course of a year maintain their loyalty because of the benefits they receive. People have different opinions on their favorite benefit, but few would deny they enjoy a beautiful suite if they don’t have to pay for it.
Starwood Preferred Guest has offered suite upgrades to their top elite members for quite some time. Marriott has not. I asked SPG how they feel about their suite upgrade policy now and also asked how Marriott feels about this benefit for the future.
It’s been a few years now since Starwood introduces Suite Night Awards (to much fanfare, I might add). I was pumped when they announced it, but have been disappointed ever since.
SPG has gone back to the drawing board a couple times trying to tweak this benefit. They’re introducing new benefits again, and I think we’ll like these ones a lot more than previous choices. You might even choose one of the alternatives to Suite Night Awards!
In case you missed the announcement recently, Starwood Preferred Guest announced alternatives for folks who stayed more than 50 nights last year but wanted an alternative to Suite Night Awards. The choices themselves weren’t that compelling: 10 Suite Night Awards (status quo) 4 free Uber rides (up to $25 each) Gold status to gift to a friend or family member TSA PreCheck reimbursement $100 Amazon gift card $100 Donation to UNICEF in your name I’m working on a post about the overall value of the SPG program but someone reminded […]
A few years ago, Starwood Preferred Guest introduced a new concept called Suite Night Awards. These were targeted at frequent travelers who stayed more than 50 nights a year with SPG. They were meant to help improve the upgrade process, giving elites the ability to apply a Suite Night award to those reservations where an upgrade was most important. It didn’t guarantee an upgrade, but SPG added significant plumbing to increase the likelihood the upgrades would clear, even going so far as to get involved in the inventory management process a […]