My journey with SPG didn’t start before 2007 and I have had more than 400 nights with the chain ever since. This year would be my sixth year as a Platinum member and I would be on my way to lifetime Platinum in four years time.
The problem I have had with SPG for the past two years is the lack of worthwhile promotions. The business has been good for the hotels in general and Starwood haven’t had the need to lure in guests using good promotions.
The effect is that my stays with Starwood are way down. Just the other year, I had more than 100 nights with the chain, but barely requalified in 2012. In 2013 to date, I have only had 3 stays with the SPG.
Quite frankly, if there would be no SPG Platinum lifetime status down the road (read more about lifetime Gold & Platinum requirements here), I would have given up with the chain this year. I have, however, made a decision to get the required 25 stays by the end of his year.
The other other problem I have with the SPG besides the lack of promotions is the way overpriced awards compared to other chains when you factor in the promotions and number of points required for a free night awards (see my analysis here).
The high end awards that tend to be good deal with others are completely out of whack with the SPG and make no sense at all using Starpoints (you can read my piece about these specialty awards here).
Don’t get me wrong. I do like SPG properties. I just don’t like them so much more that I would be willing to pay the revenue premium that they require, when the awards are factored in, compared to other chains.
You also have to bear in mind that the number of hotels Starwood has is about a quarter to one third to compared to InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott or even Hilton.
This year, I have spent many more nights with IHG than in the least few years. As a matter of fact, I am typing this piece away at an InterContinental.