Rumor: Free Breakfast Coming to Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Members in March

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I have mentioned before that I really enjoy travel related rumors!  I love planning and strategizing about travel, so throw a few good rumors in there and I can daydream even more.  Here is one rumor that really caught my attention on Flyertalk this week – “additional Starwood Preferred Guest benefits coming in March to Platinum and Gold SPG members.”  This is not the first time I have heard this rumor, so I actually think there may be some truth to it.  It would actually make sense since some of their competitors offer some of the benefits that are rumored to be coming soon.  Here is what was reported on Flyertalk by PTahCHA (remember, this is just a rumor):

According to the front desk manager where I am currently staying, SPG is rolling out new benefits for platinum and gold members starting March 1.

Platinum – complimentary breakfast.  Actual offering is varied based on brand. For example, certain brands will only offer continental breakfast due to the lack of an on-site restaurant.

Gold – Amenity points (250/125 points based on brand), and something extra (e.g., complimentary beverage)

Supposedly the memo was sent to properties earlier this week.  

I have made a decision to go for Starwood Platinum this year.  In case you aren’t familiar with Starwood, Platinum is their highest elite tier, and it is attained by having 25 stays or 50 nights at Starwood hotels in a calendar year.  I’ll talk more about the how’s and why’s of focusing many of my hotel stays with the SPG chain in a later post, but it is fair to say that free breakfast would absolutely seal the deal for me with SPG.  I could care less about having elite status just for the sake of having it, but I care very much about the perks that come with it.  While I do travel fairly frequently for work by myself (which is why 25 stays in a year is a reality), what I really care about is being able to provide a comfortable, affordable, and enjoyable experience for my family when we all travel together.  Perks like free breakfast really make the whole travel process so much simpler and make the travel budgeting process a bit friendlier, too.

For example, we were at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon, Colorado this past weekend.  I have many posts coming soon about our experience there, but we spent well over $125 on breakfast for the three of us over the course of our three-day stay.  Most of it was spent doing a Sunday Brunch at the on-site restaurant there on my birthday, but if we would have had the option to save $100 and access free breakfast as one of our SPG benefits, it would have been a pretty decent savings!  In case you want a teaser of what Sunday Brunch looks like at this SPG hotel, here is a sampling…. Now imagine how much better it would taste if it were free!  😉

My husband and I both currently have Hyatt Diamond status which does give us free breakfast, so if SPG could match Hyatt in this category it would make my decision to go for SPG Platinum this year that much easier.  A decent complimentary breakfast just makes a huge difference when you are traveling with a whole family.

As a current SPG Gold member (which can be attained many ways, including by having the Amex Platinum card, spending $30,000 annual on the SPG card, or by having 10 stays or 25 nights per calendar year at a Starwood hotel), I also like the possibility of some additional benefits for Gold members.  Ten stays or 25 nights in a calendar year is nothing to shake a stick at, so some extra rewards for that level of loyalty make sense to me.  I like the idea of a point bonus for each stay and/or even a complimentary snack would be appreciated.  Again, things like free snacks are nice when traveling solo, but can make a world of difference when traveling with a family in tow.

Clearly I am rooting for this rumor to be true, at least in some form.  What do you think of this SPG rumor?  If true, would these new benefits cause you to shift some stays to a Starwood hotel or go for a higher elite status with SPG?

 

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  1. I don’t give much for SPG Gold. I much prefer Hilton Gold. Free breakfast + Internet and access to executive lounge. Can’t beat that.

  2. The other rumor is a new top tier. It won’t surprise me if the breakfast benefit is true, but my guess is they’re doing more than that. I think they were ready to roll something out in November but pushed. Whatever they do I’m betting will be positive but not seen universally as so. We’ll know in a few weeks.

  3. @Kaos, I agree that SPG Gold status isn’t jaw dropping, but it does come with some helpful perks….though more would be better!

    Gary, yeah with all these rumors I bet there will be some confirmed changes coming soon. Hopefully the improvements/changes are mostly for the better. 😉

  4. I don’t see Starwood to be family friendly. They only allow 2 guests on an award night. I guess you can always e-mail the hotel and ask about having a third or 4th person, but it shouldn’t be that difficult.

  5. mrpickles – I assume you mean by booking 25 (or 23 with SPG Amex) weekend stays at a Cat 1? Isn’t that 46k points or am I missing something?

    MP – Do you plan on doing a challenge with your Hyatt Diamond status? I was thinking of doing something similar and was curious as to your strategy (diamond expires end of next month)

  6. Sounds great! I still have to decide whether to make a move for hotel loyalty. I think it will really come down to whether I can attend SMD4 (and hope for another Hyatt surprise) or if there is some really good free nights promotion like we had a few years ago.

  7. If I were to qualify for Plat this year (I’m gold now) when would be the best time to do it? How long would my Platinum status last if I qualified by say, September of this year? I’ve already got 4 stays via my SPG and SPG Business cards, so only 21 more to go! 🙂

  8. @jason, I will talk more about it in an upcoming post, but SPG will be my priority. If I happen to travel enough to also get Hyatt Diamond, that’s great, but I think the chances of that are less than 25%. However, my husband should be retaining Hyatt Diamond. We have a “diversification” strategy. 😉

    @Katherine, I guess I have not booked award nights for more than two adults in one room, so have not had that problem. I honestly don’t think I would ever book more than 2 adults in a room (unless it was a multi-bedroom suite), but thanks for bringing that up. It could be an issue for some families.

    @MJM, and if you have the personal and the business then you only need 21 stays….that is my plan this year! More on it soon.

    @Mr. Pickles, I am assuming you mean by having the Personal and Business SPG card and then having 21 weekend stays at Cat 1 properties for 2,000 points each? I wouldn’t personally go that route, but it absolutely is an option!

    @MMS, couldn’t agree more!

    @Matt, I will not be doing a challenge as I don’t have 18 nights in a 3 month period. It will take me much longer than that. I will just earn it the old-fashion way before the end of the year. As for the Mr. Pickles route you are missing the 2 stays from both business and personal Amex SPG card for a total of 4 stays. 😉

    @Scottrick, if you have enough nights away you should strongly consider it. I would love to hope against hope for a SMD4 Hyatt surprise that wasn’t a super hard challenge, but I’m afraid the MegaDOs have grown too big/too common for those real freebies, I would love to be wrong though!

    @Jennifer, per the SPG terms you get the status you earned in the calendar year that you earn it and the next calendar year, so the sooner you earn it the better. Good for you for having both the business and personal SPG cards!

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