Shangri-La is in the process of refreshing its Golden Circle guest loyalty program that introduced the new Polaris tier in late 2021 (read more here) and is dropping the GOLD from the name.
The most significant change is moving to entirely dynamic hotel awards effective April 28, 2022, valuing Shangri-La Circle point at 6.67 US cents each. The F&B awards will move to this same valuation requiring 1,500 points instead of 1,000 for a $100 voucher.
Members can currently qualify for Jade based on the number of stays or nights. Jade requires 20 nights or 10 stays, while Diamond 50 nights or 25 stays.
Shangri-La members can no longer qualify based on stays but on nights consumed or Circle points earned. Jade requires 20 nights or 6,000 points ($6K) and Diamond 50 nights or 15,000 points ($15K). The qualification requirement ($$$$$) for the Polaris is unclear.
Shangri-La Golden Circle has seven hotel categories with point requirements for Standard Rooms, Club Rooms, and Suites.
Members can redeem Dining & Spa vouchers at 1,000 points for a $100 voucher value.
The Shangri-La Circle moves entirely away from award charts, and members can redeem for award nights at every room type at 15 points per USD.
You can consider Shangri-La points from April 28 as a form of a rebate of the price you paid (excluding taxes/fees).
- Basic Member = 6.7% back
- Jade = 8.3% back
- Diamond = 10% back
- Gold: 10 Qualifying Nights or 3000 Tier points – Daily Breakfast for 2
- Jade: 35 Qualifying Nights or 10,500 Tier Points – Club Lounge access for 2
- Diamond: 70 Qualifying Nights or 21,000 Tier Points – RMB 800 F &B voucher
Shangri-La has had the above Milestone Bonuses already available for members in China. They will be different for other markets when they are launched.
Shangri-La Circle Benefits At Glance
Frequently Asked Questions:
Pros & Cons of Dynamic Awards (read more here)
- The price of the award fluctuates with the paid rates
- Usually, all the taxes and fees, including resort ones, are included
- You can use your points towards multiple rate types (Accor)
- Simplifies the program – makes it easier to understand for a casual member
- You can mix and match points and cash
- No need for the program to adjust hotel categories annually
- It sucks all the fun of the program, making it essentially a cashback one
- Stays at aspirational properties become extremely expensive in terms of points required
- No points of swiping affiliated credit cards – cashback better
- You end up paying all the taxes, service, and resort fees that the hotel usually collect on paid rates that are generally excluded from awards
- Cancellation rates in hand with the paid rates, while now awards are USUALLY flexible
- Free night certificates issued by co-branded credit cards must have a cash maximum
- The number of points for award wildly fluctuates with the paid rates
- You can only use points towards most publicly available rates (some deeply discounted may be excluded like Accor).
- You likely earn free nights faster by using OTA programs or merely booking the cheapest rate available that hotel programs rarely match (10% to 30% off).
Hotel programs are slowly moving to dynamic awards that essentially destroy their value for members who use their points towards aspirational awards, making it easier for members to understand the value of their points.
This is the second phase of the Shangri-La Golden Circle refresh, and some other announcements are coming later this year, but the launch of the Polaris (read more here) and the move to dynamic hotel awards are the main changes.
Shangri-La Circle can make sense for members who live in markets with plenty of hotels (China). However, they would need to do more for those who can only stay at their hotels periodically due to the lack of properties in most markets.