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Rate Starwood Preferred Guest

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Lynda, Aug 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lynda
    • Original Member

    Lynda Milepoint Staff

    InsideFlyer magazine is reviewing Starwood Preferred Guest in our October issue and would like your input.

    If you would like to participate, please post your response in the thread with the pros and cons of membership in SPG and grade the program from A to F (A being the highest grade). You can include a plus or minus with the rating.

    You can respond directly to the editors at InsideFlyer at lynda@insideflyer.com if you would prefer.

    We look at earning ability, award choices, partnerships, elite-level program, rules & conditions, customer service, online service and the general pluses and minuses of being a member. You can rate any or all of these categories but please include an overall grade for the program.

    Thank you. You can see the completed review at InsideFlyer.com in October.
     
    flyingdawg, SC Flier and uggboy like this.
  2. Lynda
    • Original Member

    Lynda Milepoint Staff

    Anyone interested in rating SPG? Would you give the program an A? B? Or further down to a C, D or F? We would like to hear from you. Thanks!
     
    flyingdawg likes this.
  3. flyingdawg
    • Original Member

    flyingdawg Gold Member

    I would give SPG an overall A.

    Earning, B+ : Fairly generous promos.
    Award choices, A- : Only drawback is somewhat limited scope of properties.
    Partnerships, A+ : Can't be the conversion ratio of pts. to airline miles.
    Elite Level Program, A+ : SPG set the bar for treatment of elites (even though others have now matched them in most areas.)
    Customer Service, A++ : Especially for elites. I've always counted on them and they've never disappointed me.
    Terms & Conditions, A : All seem reasonable. Sometimes if needed the customer service team is able to bend rules such as late cancelations for award stays.

    The only real drawback to the program for me is the limted # of properties under a SPG flag. This can hamper both earning and using rewards. An expansion of the Four Points brand into more smaller markets with competitve rates would be a huge plus.
     
  4. Sperry8

    Sperry8 Active Member

    I would give SPG an A-. (Note: I have 30 stays and 84 nights in 2012 so far. I am a Platinum Member and a Lifetime Gold Member).

    Earning opptys: A. You earn bonus miles from the credit card and more bonus miles when you reach Platinum. Even more if you reach 75 nights. I believe I'm earning 5 points now per stay... pretty amazing.
    Award Choices: B. Available at all hotels without blackouts. The cash and points option is amazing, when it is available. However, some cities have poor redemption rates - such as NYC and San Francisco where hotels now require 12,000 points per night for a free stay (up from 10,000 las year). And cash and points is rarely offered in cities like SF and NY.
    Partnerships: B+. Airline conversions with most airlines with a 25% bonus. The minus is because they lack JetBlue and conversion to United is very poor (1:2).
    Elite Level Program: A-. It's a full A for International stays when you are an elite customer. It's a B when you stay in the US. (thus the merged score of A-). You simply are not treated the same as an elite in the US. And the perks are much worse (e.g., you rarely get breakfast and if you do, it's quite poor). Internationally, I've received some of the best free breakfast buffets I've ever eaten.
    Customer Service: A-. The treat you like you matter to them. They aren't trained as well as I would like however. There have been numerous occasions where I spoke to reps and they didn't provide the correct information. However they truly care - and always make it right.
    Rules & Conditions: A-. No blackout dates are an A. Hands down the best benefit. The minus is because they have too many non-participating hotels in their primary promos. They also treat Asia differently than the US for many promos (they aren't worldwide).
    Online Service: A-. They are good, but respond somewhat slower than you'd like to see. However they always respond and I'd say generally within 48 hours.
    General: A. I love their Platinum benefits and they are so much better than Gold that it def makes you strive to achieve that level. Suite upgrades are provided often internationally and really make it worthwhile. However in the US some work needs to be done re treating Platinum customers better. I feel more like a Gold customer when staying in the US (even though I'm Platinum).

    My biggest gripe with SPG is they don't show parking charges at their properties and many charge egregious prices. At the very least they should be listed on the website. At best, free parking should be offered as a Platinum choice (as an option alongside free internet, 500 points, etc.).
     
  5. SPG Champion
    • Original Member

    SPG Champion Official Representative

    Usually, parking charges are listed on a property's Local Area page under Transporation Options, like this one.

    If you can find a property that has a parking charge and doesn't list it there, please let us know so we can get it added.

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
    LETTERBOY likes this.
  6. Sperry8

    Sperry8 Active Member

    Thanks William. I notice that properties are now listing their parking charges in that area. It is a huge help, although it does take many clicks to find. Still, at least we can find it now.
     

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