SPG Gold and Platinum member registration opened today for two SPG elite fast-track promotions. Apparently some non-elite members are also eligible for Double Stays/Nights. An eligible elite member may only choose one of the two offers. SPG Promo link is found at www.SPG.com/promos for eligible members. If you are not currently SPG Gold or Platinum, then give it a shot anyway.
Important Note: These promotions are mutually exclusive. You can only choose one of these two promotion offers as a Platinum member and the choice can’t be changed.
SPG Double Nights/Stays for 2009 FAQ link (SPG Gold, Platinum, and selected Preferred members)
SPG Nights/Stays Advance to 2010 FAQ link (SPG Platinum members only)
Double Nights/Stays Elite Fast-Track Promotion September 15 to December 15.
All paid nights and stays from September 15 through December 15, 2009 will count double for elite status qualification in 2009. Gold elite requires 10 stays or 25 nights in 2009 to re-earn SPG elite member status through February 2011. Platinum elite requires 25 stays or 50 nights.
Assume a current SPG Gold member has 4 stays with 9 nights. With this promotion the member needs just 3 more stays (counts as 6 stays) during the double stays promotion period to reach 10 stays for the 2009 year. The member will requalify for SPG Gold elite through February 2011.
Alternatively, the Gold Member needs 8 nights (counts as 16 nights) to re-earn Gold Elite for 2010 with 25 nights.
This SPG Gold member can hotel hop three 1-night stays or take one 8-night vacation to maintain elite status.
Upgrade your elite status to Platinum
Platinum elite for 2010 requires either 25 stays or 50 nights in 2009. The member above sitting with just 4 stays and 9 nights in 2009 would need 21 more stays or 41 more nights for upgrading from Gold elite to Platinum.
Double Stays reduces this qualification requirement from 21 stays to 11 paid stays or 41 nights to 21 paid nights with the Nights Count Double promotion. That still might be a hard threshold to reach for many travelers struggling this year with jobs and finances. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving and the first two weeks of December are among the lowest hotel rate weeks of the year in many locations around the USA.
Important Note: No retroactive credit for double stays or nights prior to registration.
You want to sign up before your next Starwood Hotel stay if choosing the double nights/stays option. The registration period is open through November 30, but remember this important detail: NO RETROACTIVE CREDIT for Double Nights/Stays. If you stay September 20, but haven’t yet registered for this promotion choice, then the night and stay will not be doubled.
Elite Fast-Track Promotion Choice #2 for current SPG Platinum Members:
Nights/Stays Advance for 2010 Elite Qualification
All nights/stays earned from October 1 through December 31 count for 2009 elite qualification and rollover into a Nights/Stays Advance for 2010 elite qualification. This promotion is retroactive. As long as you sign up for Nights/Stays Advance by November 30, then all eligible stays/nights from October 1 will be counted and advanced to 2010 elite status.
This offer is a great deal for travelers who expect to still be traveling in 2010 and 2011. This is what I chose because I am already poised to reach Platinum requalification in 2009.
Example of how advance nights/stays works:
Assume a current Platinum member has 15 stays, 32 nights in 2009.
The member needs either 10 stays or 18 nights to re-earn Platinum elite for 2010.
If the Platinum member registers for advance nights/stays, and completes 10 stays with 16 nights during the final three months of 2009, the numbers look like this:
15 stays (Jan 1-Sep 30) + 10 stays (Oct. 1 – Dec 31) = 25 stays in 2009
Requalify for 2010 Platinum elite membership.
The member advances the 10 stays from October 1 – December 31, 2009 to 2010 elite qualification credit. (SPG states advance credit will be posted by January 31, 2010.) The SPG Platinum Member will only need 15 stays during 2010 to requalify for 2011 Platinum elite with 25 stays.
Counting nights the Platinum member has 32 nights (Jan 1-Sep 30) + 16 nights (Oct. 1 – Dec 31). The member finishes 2009 with 48 nights which does not meet the Platinum requalification level. This does not matter if the member requalified with 25 stays. The nights still advance to 2010.
The SPG Platinum member will start 2010 with 16 nights and 10 stays.
This sample member will have already requalified by the end of 2009 for 2011 SPG Gold elite with the 10 stays advance. Platinum requalification for 2011 will take either 34 nights or 15 stays in 2010. And remember this fact: SPG has offered double stays/nights promotion during some period every year for many years.
This is a good marketing move for Starwood Hotels to get more cash from this Loyalty Traveler in 2009. I was ready to move more business to Hyatt, IHG, and Hilton for the remainder of 2009. Sorry Marriott, I still feel your elite membership requirements are too high (Platinum = 75 nights), but I am recommending your Courtyard in Hadley for a friend visiting Northampton, Mass next month.
Quick comments and advice:
The Nights/Stays Advance choice can position the current SPG Platinum elite member for elite membership in 2010 and 2011. This is an excellent time to bump up your travel during the relatively low room rate months of November and December for many locations. This is also a good choice for someone who thinks 2010 might be reduced travel. You can reduce the hotel stays required for elite requalification in 2010 and still maintain SPG Platinum elite membership.
My advice to anyone who believes they can manage at least 13 stays or 25 nights in Starwood Hotels in 2010 is go for Platinum elite membership and use the Nights/Stays count double promotion if that makes the difference between retaining Gold or advancing to Platinum elite.
One constant I try to maintain in my annual hotel travel is SPG Platinum elite. I feel the investment in Starwood has provided good value in my hotel stays with the 500 points platinum amenity for most stays (250 points Four Points, aloft, element) , the complimentary room upgrades, and the annual gift (for 2009 this was a free night up to Category 5 hotel).
Go with Double Nights/Stays if that will allow you to reach or maintain Platinum elite during the September 15-December 15 promotion period. You will maintain Platinum elite through February 2011. You will hopefully reap some nice benefits and value from 2010 Starwood stays.
Based on the history of SPG promotions there will probably be another double stays/nights promotion in 2010.
And the game goes on.