Good things about the SPG program

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by LIH Prem, Feb 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. LIH Prem
    Original Member

    LIH Prem Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,833
    Status Points:
    4,070
    Since we have http://milepoint.com/forums/threads...they-are-not-what-happened-how-to-fix-it.839/ to talk about what we think is broken with SPG, I thought it might also be a good idea to have a thread about what's good about the program.

    In a nutshell, here's what I think is good about the program.

    1. Guaranteed late checkout -- as far as I know the 4PM guaranteed late checkout (with some outs for availability) is the best of all the programs. It's a great benefit when you need it. Taking a very late flight out? Easy, keep your room till 4pm, no problem. This is one of the benefits that always seems to work.

    2. Free internet for Platinum members. We wish this was for all elite members, but it's still a great benefit.

    3. SPG Amex for US residents. Get a personal one and a business one for the points bonus AND you can get 2 stays/5 nights credit for each one (up to 4 stays/10 nights total) making re-qualifying easier.

    4. 25% miles bonus when transferring SPG points to miles. For those that do this, I've always used my points for hotel stays, but I know lots of people have the card and use the program just for this benefit, also it can be good way to top off miles for an award. Unfortunately, we lost several of the US majors, AA and UA along the way, and not sure about CO. We know SPG would have preferred to keep UA and AA, but the credit card/bank wars got in the way of that. (Chase has a lock on UA. Citibank has a lock on AA.)

    5. Cash and Points. We love C&P. We need to watch this to make sure availability doesn't dry up in an improving economy.

    6. No blackouts/Std Room guarantee. This is what started it. Please make sure properties aren't playing games with the definition of standard rooms as that weakens/cheapens the entire program.

    7. Web Site
    - Ability to resend reservation confirmation
    - Complete history of all account transactions. (could be presented better?)
    - Rate Compare function


    What else?

    -David
     
  2. wanderlust
    Original Member

    wanderlust Silver Member

    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    347
    Status Points:
    495
    Good website for one. When you search for hotel, you get to see points, C+P, and other options all at the same time. Compare it to Priority Club/IHG's site, where you have to jump through hoops to figure out award availability.
     
  3. LIH Prem
    Original Member

    LIH Prem Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,833
    Status Points:
    4,070
    added a few things about the website to the OP as #7, thanks.

    -David
     
  4. Pete
    Original Member

    Pete Silver Member

    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    223
    Status Points:
    445
    For me personally, SPG has more top "destination" properties than most of its competitors - -i.e. places where I really want to visit.
     
  5. wanderlust
    Original Member

    wanderlust Silver Member

    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    347
    Status Points:
    495
    Agreed. Many of the top tier SPG properties are like my avatar, very "aspirational." [​IMG]
     
  6. Pete
    Original Member

    Pete Silver Member

    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    223
    Status Points:
    445
    Unfortunately, some of the aspirational properties like that one are ridiculously over-priced for an award stay (but that belongs in the other thread).
     
  7. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    3,129
    Likes Received:
    12,385
    Status Points:
    10,620
    The best part of SPG is that they have the Lurkers. They will step in and help resolve any issues you have.
     
  8. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

    Messages:
    4,523
    Likes Received:
    8,762
    Status Points:
    7,270
    C&P is, for all intents and purposes, the equalizer against the outrageous redemption rates for the top tier properties. Coupled with 5th night free, C&P helps reduce the pain on top tier properties. And, they are some great top tier properties.
     
  9. arkleseizure
    Original Member

    arkleseizure Silver Member

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    338
    Status Points:
    500
    I'd put Nights and Flights up there. I have not used it yet, but its a little little bonus to combine the 25% transfer bonus, 5th night free, and a big of *point savings on top.
     
  10. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

    Messages:
    4,523
    Likes Received:
    8,762
    Status Points:
    7,270
    I used N&F a couple times, but tend towards C&P and 5th night free now. Where I think N&F is an outstanding benefit is using AA as the airline. Since AA counts miles from all sources towards lifetime status, the AA N&F is a great added value.
     
    Kaanapali and arkleseizure like this.
  11. Kaanapali
    Original Member

    Kaanapali Gold Member

    Messages:
    71,234
    Likes Received:
    228,224
    Status Points:
    19,995

    Love staying at places like Westin Moana Surfrider on C&P and/or 5th night free. Agree that N&F works well re AA lifetime status qualifying.

    I would like N&F to be available for the higher end properties (or at least to Cat 5). Right now, using N&F to get to Hawaii means staying at Princess K (Oahu), Sheraton Keauhou (Big Isle) or Sheraton Kauai. Other than possibly the last one, I don't see this as great value for going to Hawaii.
     
  12. flyingdawg
    Original Member

    flyingdawg Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,072
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    Status Points:
    1,120
    I was really pleased with the 2010 plat gift. Despite the photo book being a real pain to load and navigate online, mine really came out quite nice. I felt it was a very creative touch by SPG. I'd really like to see this be an annual gift.
     
  13. singtx
    Original Member

    singtx Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    66
    Status Points:
    245
    Plat line and having one Plat person handle my reservations...I realized by going through her my upgrades have increased...I now see upgrades online WAY before check-in. While I still do all the research, I go through her and things have been great.

    SL 1 and 2 are great and C&P have allowed us to stay at some great properties.
    25% off point redemption was nice to get last year
     
  14. RestlessLocationSyndrome
    Original Member

    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Status Points:
    925
    For many business travelers, it's all about earning points for that hotel stay that you probably wouldn't do on your own dime. At the same time, Marriott has the Ritz-Carlton so if you like that type of place, there might not be as many properties in Starwood's roster (b/w St. Regis and Luxury Collection) to compete in that space.
     
    flyingdawg likes this.
  15. mikew99
    Original Member

    mikew99 Silver Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    104
    Status Points:
    380
    I'm only an SPG Preferred Guest (via my AAA membership), so for me, the 4PM checkout is the best thing about the SPG program. It has driven me to choose SPG over other (sometimes cheaper) options when I have a late flight home.

    One small correction, though: I wouldn't say it's the best, because it's not guaranteed at all properties -- resorts and conference centers are exempted. The best IMHO would be IHG, where Ambassadors always get 4PM late checkout at ICs. AFAIK there are no "outs" for the hotel, so it really is "guaranteed."
     
  16. LAXNRT
    Original Member

    LAXNRT Silver Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    108
    Status Points:
    380
    Love the 4pm checkout, has come in handy many times. I also really value getting lounge access at Sheratons (and others) , especially in Asia and Europe. Saves a lot of money and some of the lounges are fantastic. I am also a Hyatt Diamond but somehow I feel more at home at SPG, some properties like the Westin Tokyo are second homes.
     
    flyingdawg likes this.
  17. flyingdawg
    Original Member

    flyingdawg Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,072
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Wish I could figure out a way to expense a long weekend at the Westin Tokyo :-D
     
    LAXNRT likes this.
  18. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    guaranteed (with few exceptions) 4 pm checkout

    surprise suite upgrades (unfortunately some hotels try to avoid giving this benefit, so one must sometimes argue, and some properties put few of their suites into the select standard suite upgrade pool)

    guaranteed lounge access when there is one and it's open

    wonderful aspirational properties but also some very interesting hotels just below this category: many LC and LM properties are like boutique hotels with corp standards and frequent guest benefits, Ws are interesting if you can deal with the trendiness and attitude, certain Westins and Sheratons are special
     
  19. Omar's_Coming
    Original Member

    Omar's_Coming Silver Member

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    92
    Status Points:
    260
    that 30,000 point AMEX signup bonus last summer was tremendous. Now using the 5th night free (and a couple of points and cash), i'm getting tremendous value out of the 4 cards my household got.
     
    Kaanapali likes this.
  20. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Agree. A huge +
     
  21. Kaanapali
    Original Member

    Kaanapali Gold Member

    Messages:
    71,234
    Likes Received:
    228,224
    Status Points:
    19,995
    This is, as others have already commented on, a huge plus for SPG and engenders a lot of goodwill.
     
  22. AC_MM
    Original Member

    AC_MM Silver Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    30
    Status Points:
    125
    I love the Platinum bonus points, with out it the program would not be rewarding enough!
     
  23. Pete
    Original Member

    Pete Silver Member

    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    223
    Status Points:
    445
    Upon further reflection (and several recent bad experiences with other programs), I have always had pretty good luck with SPG customer service in regards to their ability to resolve issues satisfactorily. IME, better than Hilton and Marriott, and light years ahwad of PC (which is absolutely useless).
     
  24. Kevbot

    Kevbot Silver Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status Points:
    140
    I'll add *wood's stateside call centers to the list here. I regularly make reservations over the phone and have never received anything less that exceptional attention and quick service. *wood hotels are the only hotels I book over the phone instead of online because I find it quicker and more efficient. That being said, the new "compare rates" option on the website is valuable tool and makes an already good product better.
     
  25. SPG Champion
    Original Member

    SPG Champion Official Representative

    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    1,831
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Thanks for the kudos. They are much appreciated.

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Online Guest Feedback Coordinator
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    guest.forum@starwoodhotels.com
     

Share This Page