What I liked about SPG

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by WilliamQ, Jun 20, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    I've only just joined the SPG in April (2014) and since then had a stay at the Sheraton (May) and another recent stay at the Westin (June).

    In both stays, in addition to the pre-arrival email (which a lot of hotels does nowadays), the respective hotels also followed up with a survey / feedback request and I liked the fact that they care how I felt during my stays with them or at least that's the perspective I've got.

    While SPG Gold does not get me free breakfast like my HHonors Gold does, SPG is beginning to grow on me. SPG also have more properties here (in Singapore) than HHonors. Of course there's also the IHG...
     
  2. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    I like SPG properties. Well maintained and from a hotel points perspective, SPG is the most valuable. I usually break up my stays between SPG and Marriott (when there is not an SPG property in the area).
    SPG has some unique resorts, where Marriott is very bland but consistent (some people like this). Although I am not elite with SPG, some people have complained about inconsistency in terms of elite recognition. While Marriott seems to have a handle on their hotels, at times it seems that SPG management has very little input or power when it comes to their properties.
     
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  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I thought the post-stay surveys were standard because I do generally get them from HHonors after stays...

    As for the Gold perks, the only second tier elite level that comes close to rivaling HH Gold is Marriott Rewards Gold...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  4. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    In mediocrity, yes. :)
     
  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Hmmm...I have no idea how to take such a response, especially with the smiley, but what I had stated is, fortunately, not even a matter of opinion. It can be looked up: HHonors Gold perks are second to none at a comparable elite level...
     
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  6. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Take it as me poking fun, but also believing Hilton Gold is not as rewarding as Hyatt and SPG.
     
  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Okay about the first part; but anyone who thinks that there is even a comparison between Hyatt Plat and HH Gold cannot be taken seriously. Really.
     
  8. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Well, then I guess I can't be taken seriously.
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This is not personal; it's just looking at the facts. If it is about what one prefers in the abstract, then YMMV...

    Factually, you can see in my signature below that I am a GP Plat. I stay quite a bit at Hyatt properties (as soon as I have some time I will do a review and trip report of my fantastic time early this year at Park Hyatt Siem Reap and Angkor Wat). Other than for free internet, GP Plats get nothing. On the other hand, HH Golds get so many perks that many believe, erroneously, that they have it as a good as HH Diamonds. So, yes, it is not serious at all to claim that the GP Plat status comes close to being more "rewarding" than HH Gold. You may remember this head-to-head comparison of HH Diamonds vs GP Diamonds. I would say that GP Diamonds perks are about the same as those that HH Golds get. That is a more apt comparison.

    *Post edited for clarity.
     
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  10. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Yes, this is factually correct. Well, except for the other benefits GP plats get, like a 15% bonus on points earned, a guaranteed late check-out and the My Elite Rate.

    Reasonable minds can disagree which status is better. But, stating that free internet is the only benefit of GP plat is, well, factually incorrect.
     
  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Sorry for seeming like I'd run away, Pizzaman. I had to do a quick but busy hop in DC over the weekend until Monday night.

    Anyway, you are technically correct about the other perks that GP plats get. But I figured all of those in when saying that it is the least rewarding 2nd tier elite status in the frequent-guest business. Speaking of which, I am "just" a Marriott Gold (through the UA-Marriott JV). The business I just had in DC (consulting for the US government) was held at the Georgetown Ritz-Carlton. Even though the Government had booked the rooms and would be picking up the tab, I showed my Rewards Gold card so that the number would be associated with the reservation to earn points in case of incidentals (in fact, I earned full points and stay credit at another Marriott in DC even though the government had picked up that tab too, so one never knows...), and inquired about the possibility of being upgraded to a suite. No sweat:

    RC-GOWN1.jpg

    Tried that as a GP plat? I have tried almost every time I've stayed at a Hyatt property and it has not worked, and this has been mostly in Asia where HH Golds have a very high success rate for upgrades...

    The fact is that GP as a whole is now only an emaciated shadow of its former self since their "devaluation".
     
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  12. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    One thing was left out of the equation - the value of benefits on reward stays. Maybe SPG Gold and Hyatt Platinum does not give as many perks as Hilton Gold, but I can usually stay TWO nights at least for the cost of a room with Hilton points. Yes, different hotels give different number of points per stay but many of us get our points through credit card spend. I simply can't justify accumulating Hilton points.
     
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  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I am not sure how you figure that one "can usually stay TWO nights at least for the cost of a room with Hilton points."

    Hilton redemption rates may be higher but HHonors members also earn a lot more points per dollar spent/stay. Here are the basic numbers for each program:
    • SGP Gold: 3 Starpoints for every eligible U.S. dollar spent.
    • Gold Passport Platinum: 5 GP points per eligible dollar spent + 15% bonus points when choosing points.
    • HHonors Gold: 10 HHonors points per eligible dollar spent + 25% bonus points on all base points + 50% bonus points when choosing points+points "double-dipping."
    A HHonors Gold earns at least 2 times more points than a GP Plat and at least 3 times more points than a SPG Gold for spending the same amount of eligible dollars/stay.

    The way to earn points quickly is by staying at HHonors properties and paying the folio with either the co-branded AMEX Surpass (12 points/$) or Citi Reserve (10 points/$) -- even taxes earn points. These CC bonus points are in addition to the basic earning per stay given above.

    The bottom line is HHonors Golds who select their earning style properly will earn loads of points to make the higher redemption rates at Hilton properties about the same or comparatively less than for GP Plats or SPG golds. This can be shown to be the case with concrete examples...
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Here are exact comparisons.

    A. To recap the base earnings more exactly:
    • SPG Gold earns 3 points/$
    • GP Plat earns 5 points/$ + 15% of 5/$ = 5.75 pts/$
    • HHnors Gold earns 10pts/$ + 25% of 10/$ + 50% of 10/$ = 17.5 pts/$.

    B. Relative base earnings:
    • SPG vs. HH = 17.5/3 = 5.8
    • GP vs. HH = 17.5/5.75 = 3.0
    What those numbers mean is that a HH Gold earns 5.8 times more points than a SPG Gold and 3.0 times more points that a GP Plat.

    C. A Concrete example

    Using those numbers, let's put on the same scale what a GP Plat, SPG Gold and HH Gold would need to redeem a one-night stay at each program's top category hotel: Top cat for GP is 7; top cat for SPG is 7; and top cat for HH is 10. Below are the corresponding redemption rates.

    a. Rates/category
    GP Category 7: 30,000 points (e.g., PH Paris Vendome)
    SPG Category 7: 30,000-35,000 points (e.g., Le Méridien Bora Bora; seasonally adjusted)
    HHonors Category 10: 70,000 to 95,000 Points (e.g., Conrad Koh Samui; seasonally adjusted)

    b. Convert GP and SPG points to HH points.
    • 30,000 GP points would equal 30,000 GP * 3.0 HH/GP = 90,000 HH points.
    • 30,000-35,000 Starpoints would equal (30,000-35,000) Starpoints * 5.8 HH/Starpoint = 174,000-203,000 HH Points
    So, to afford a stay at a top cat HH property, I would need 70K-95K HH points. In terms of GP points, I would need the equivalent of 90K HH points. In terms of Starpoints I would need the equivalent of 174K-203K HH points!

    GP Plat and HH Gold would need about the same number of points. SPG is by far the most expensive. It would require ~2.5 times more points meaning that with an equivalent number of points I could afford a stay 2.5 longer at HH properties than at SPG, and this is after that horrible "devaluation" of HH points...

    Q.E.D.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  15. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    Without going thru your math, I think what Dr. Steve is saying is that not all of us earn our points thru paid stays, but thru credit card spending and sign up bonuses. I can transfer UR points to either Hilton or Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. Since Hyatt properties have a lower point requirement, you can stay 2X nights compared to Hilton.

    I think we have a situation where we are talking about apples and oranges. Different point earning styles result in different valuation of the points.

    For someone like yourself who travels internationally for business and pays cash for their stays, Hilton rewards you for your loyalty. For someone like Dr Steve and I, we earn our points through paying office bills with credit cards. I studied my spending habits for all my Chase cards both business and personal for one year. I also looked at how I redeemed those points. Without going thru all the math, I basically get 6% return on every dollar I spend across all my Chase cards combined. Those numbers are NOT including any sign up bonuses. On average I earn 3 UR points for every dollar I spend, and I average a redemption value of about 2 cents per UR point redeemed.

    Under those circumstances, would I rather convert those points to Hyatt or Hilton? Prior to the Hilton points devaluation, the choice wasn't quite as clear.

    I try to avoid ever paying for a hotel room with cash. My wife and I will have about 50 nights in hotels this year, none of them are for business. Out of those 50 nights, probably 40-45 of them will be paid with points. They are a mix of Hyatt, Hilton, and Starwood stays and they are all at either top category or the next to top category properties. There is an excellent chance that I will make Starwood Platinum because of night credits earned from having their credit cards.

    Apples and Oranges. For you, Hilton is your best option. For me and others, not so much.
     
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  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Thank you for the clarification. The subject was indeed about apples and I gave a response that, while accurate, was all about oranges.:p

    I do not earn UR points, and the points/miles that I earn from CCs that are not associated with a stay or airline would not buy me a cup of coffee if converted to cash, hence my misunderstanding. Under your/Dr. Steve's situation where the points are from CCs, Hilton would indeed be too expensive...

    For those who earn points through stays, the treatise I gave above provides estimates of the relative "values" of the points.

    Cheers!
     
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  17. Thomask

    Thomask Silver Member

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    I also really like the SPG program. Points and stays post super quick to your account. My favorite are the Luxury Collection Hotels. Whenever I can afford it I stay there, they are always unique and special.
     
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