To earn Starwood Platinum requires either 25 stays or 50 nights. For most people, getting 25 stays is much easier then the 50 night requirement. For that reason, Starwood is incentivizing folks that obtain that 50 night threshold during the calendar year with an extra benefit. You have the option to select one extra benefit in addition to the regular benefits you receive by being Platinum anyways. While this has been a perk for a few years, they are changing up the benefits you can select for 2016.
If you stay 50 nights at an SPG hotel, you will have the option to select ONE of these benefits:
- 10 Suite Night Awards (need to be used by December 31, 2017)
- Gift Gold status to a friend or family member
- SPG® donation to UNICEF
- Free rental up to 5 days with Silvercar (expires December 31, 2017)
- Free Night Award at a property up to category 5 (expires December 31, 2017)
- 5 Elite Qualifying Nights
- 40% off your favorite hotel bed (including Westin Heavenly Bed)
While I will not be staying 50 nights at an SPG hotel this year, I probably would select the free night award (up to a category 5). I value this at a minimum of $200. Although, if you’ve had luck with the suite night upgrades and have a need for a suite, this can still be a great option. The good thing is that you do not need to select this benefit until the end of the year, so if you are just shy of hitting Platinum for the following year, you can always select the 5 elite qualifying nights. And a 40% off discount off a Westin Heavenly Bed can be awesome as well if you are in the market. This will probably give you the greatest savings IF you were going to purchase one of these beds anyways.
I am very happy with the new additions. While they got rid of some prior selection options, they were nothing great and the ones added are MUCH better. Overall, a win for those who will stay 50 nights in 2016!
Thanks to View from the Wing for letting me know about these new perks!