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For SPG members, the main benefit of reaching 100 Starwood nights each year is SPG Ambassador status, which provides an immediate and high-level relationship with a dedicated point person to whom you can always go for advice about and help with your account or stays. I qualified for this service when it rolled out a couple of years ago, but though I only reached 75 nights with Starwood last year, I’ve just reached Ambassador level again for 2015.
As I logged into my SPG account this week, I noticed that a recent 4 stays/10 nights had already been credited to my account from my Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and my Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express, which respectively give 2 stays and 5 nights each year. It’s great to get a jumpstart on qualifying nights every year with these cards, and each has great earning potential, but I really wish they would drop their foreign transaction fees; though Starwood has a ton of great properties around the world, I would never use my SPG cards abroad.
For those SPG Platinum members debating to pursue a higher tier Platinum level, here’s the breakdown of the SPG Platinum Tiers:
SPG 50 Nights Benefit
- Receive 10 Suite Night Awards which can be redeemed for upgrades to suites and select premium rooms, confirmed starting 5 days prior to arrival and subject to availability.
SPG 75 Nights Benefit
- 4 Starpoints for every eligible US dollar spent—a 100% bonus over the Preferred level, and the highest earning bonus in the hotel industry
- Your24™ gives you the flexibility of choosing your check-in (e.g, check in at 9 p.m. and check out 9 p.m. day of departure)
SPG 100 Nights Benefit
- The personalized service of an SPG Ambassadors, who will handle everything from room preferences to restaurant reservations and special occasions—not unlike having your own concierge.
I’m excited to be able to try out the SPG Ambassador service again this year. The last time I had the service, I wasn’t that impressed with it, but that was a couple of years back, so I’m hoping that the service has improved since then. My usual yearly goal for SPG is to hit the 75 Nights level, since it’s nice to have the You24 check-in benefit and to be able to earn 4 Starpoints per dollar spent. However, depending on how my Ambassador status plays out this year, I could end up going for 100 nights again next year.
When it comes to my personal spend this year on my hotel co-branded credit cards, I’m probably going to move my $40,000 in spend away from my Citi Hilton Reserve, since I rarely stay with Hilton; this means I’ll be dropping Hilton Diamond status next year, but I’ll still spend $10,000 on the card to get my annual free night.
I’ll most likely put that $40,000 in spend on my new Ritz-Carlton Visa Card, as I’m debating whether or not to go for Ritz-Carlton Platinum status, a benefit of spending $75,000 on the card. I do like Ritz-Carlton hotels and the club level upgrades and $300 airline rebate make this new card almost a no-brainer for me, but I just need to decide whether this high spending requirement is worth my while.
I’m interested in your thoughts: Are there any SPG Platinum Ambassador members out there who have really enjoyed the service? And Ritz-Carlton Platinum members, do you feel your status is worth the spend?
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||15.49%-19.49% Variable||$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.||0%||Excellent Credit|