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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?