Positive Changes to Starwood Elite Status

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This week Starwood announced some exciting changes for their gold and platinum members. While some of the changes are better than others, all will give some extra perks to those frequent travelers. All changes start March 1, 2012.

Elite Amenities:

  • Gold Elite Status Welcome Gift – choose one of the following amenities with each stay:
    • Bonus Starpoints – 250 points per eligible stay at St. Regis, Luxury Collection, W, Le Meridien, Westin, and Sheraton; 125 points per eligible stay at Aloft, Element, and Four Points by Sheraton
    • In-room internet access
    • Complimentary beverage
  • Platinum Elite Status Welcome Gift: choose one of the following amenities with each stay:
    • Continental breakfast – will be decided by each hotel. For those hotels that have a club lounge or already include breakfast to platinum members, there is no reason to select this option
    • Bonus Starpoints – 500 points per eligible stay at St. Regis, Luxury Collection, W, Le Meridien, Westin, and Sheraton; 250 points per eligible stay at Aloft, Element, and Four Points by Sheraton
    • Local gift

More Nights, More Benefits:

  • Bonus for staying 50 nights in a calendar year:
    • Receive 10 suite night awards to be used for confirmed room upgrades to a suite or premium room; Suite upgrades expire at the end of the following year in which they were earned, for example: if you earn the awards June 2012, they will not expire until December 2013. The good thing is that they are even back dating this award, and if you stayed 50+ nights in 2011, you will also receive these upgrades!
  • Bonus for staying 75 nights in a calendar year:
    • On top of the 10 suite night awards, earn 4 Starpoints for every dollar spent at Starwood hotels.
    • Ability to check out 24 hours after check in, for example: if you check in at 9pm on a Friday night, you do not need to check out until 9pm on Saturday night
  • Bonus for staying 100 nights in a calendar year:
    • Receive a designated Starwood Ambassador – dedicated concierge who takes care of all your Starwood needs

Lifetime Elite Status:

  • To earn lifetime Gold, you must meet both the terms:
    • 250 eligible nights AND
    • Five years gold or platinum of elite status (need not be consecutive)
  • To earn lifetime Platinum, you must meet both the terms:
    • 500 eligible nights AND
    • Ten years of platinum status (need not be consecutive)

Overall, I am pleased with these changes. I am a platinum member, but will most likely never achieve it by staying the 50 nights a year, so unfortunately will not be able to take advantage of the confirmed suite upgrades. However, I do think platinum status is pretty easy to achieve, so I understand the additional level of perks given to those more loyal guests. These changes along with the flexibility of this program will ensure they keep my business! Now let’s just hope that free nights come back this summer – one of my favorite promotions (RIP Hyatt FFN’s).

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