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Established in 2003, ASmallWorld (ASW) is a membership-based program that gets you tangible travel and lifestyle benefits. It describes itself as “the global community with a shared passion for the good life.” Up until recently, these benefits mostly revolved around networking opportunities. However, that’s not the case anymore, as the company has recently expanded some of its premium membership options.

ASW offers four membership tiers: Access, Lifetime, Prestige and Signature. Access and Lifetime memberships are available for $105 per year or a one-time fee of $490, respectively, and come with perks like access to ASW’s events and SIXT Gold status. But if it’s travel benefits you’re after, you’ll want to consider ASW’s higher-tier memberships — Prestige and Signature — and especially right now, because if you purchase one of these two higher-end packages before July 2, they include either SPG Gold or Platinum elite status.

Here are the prices and the benefits you’ll get:

Prestige ($6,250/year)

  • 250,000 Miles (Miles & More or Etihad Guest)
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status (must enroll by July 2)
  • SIXT Platinum status
  • DragonPass Prestige plan
  • DISCOVERY Loyalty (Global Hotel Alliance) Black status
  • ASW Membership
SPG Gold members are eligible for upgrades to preferred rooms at properties like the St. Regis Amman.
SPG Gold members are eligible for upgrades to preferred rooms at properties like the St. Regis Amman.

Signature ($24,500/year + $2,500 initiation)

  • 1,000,000 Miles (Etihad Guest only)
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum status (must enroll by July 2)
  • SIXT Diamond status
  • DragonPass Prestige plan
  • DISCOVERY Loyalty (Global Hotel Alliance) Black status
  • ASW Membership
You can fly Etihad’s First Apartment for under 90,000 miles one-way.
1,000,000 miles is enough to fly Etihad’s First Apartment between Paris (CDG) and Abu Dhabi (AUH) over 10 times!

What Are the Benefits Worth?

With significant annual fees of $6,250 for Prestige and $24,500 for Signature, the biggest question is whether the benefits warrant the price. Let’s take a look at the value of the benefits we can put a price tag on, using TPG’s monthly point valuations and analysis of SPG Gold and Platinum elite status:

Prestige:

*We’ve deducted $100 from the SPG value due to an anticipated devaluation in status benefits when SPG Gold is converted to Gold in the new Marriott program.

Signature:

**While the SPG status level will see some changes when SPG Platinum is converted to Platinum in the new Marriott program, we expect the overall value of the benefits to be roughly similar.

Not included in this analysis is the value of SIXT Platinum/Diamond and DISCOVERY Loyalty Black status, but even with those two extra status programs, you’ll be paying more for these packages than the total value of the benefits. However, you’ll also be skipping the time and effort of having to fly the flights or stay at the hotels in order to earn all these perks, so the extra cost could be worth the convenience for some people who don’t want to go on a mileage or mattress run. You also usually can’t buy miles with Miles & More, so that makes this a special opportunity on that front to stockpile a lot of them all at once.

How Can I Use These Benefits?

The value of these benefits will vary based on how you use them. For instance, you could get fantastic value by using Etihad miles for American Airlines flights, including as much as 5 cents of value per point by redeeming 25,000 Etihad miles for a one-way American Airlines Flagship First flight between Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) and New York (JFK) — 1,000,000 miles is enough to take that flight 40 times! Other great redemptions include Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR) or Hong Kong (HKG) in Flagship First for 50,000 and 55,000 miles respectively. 

You can also book awards on Etihad’s own flights — like Etihad’s First Apartment for under 90,000 miles one-way or The Residence on Etihad’s A380 — but make sure you account for the upcoming June 30 devaluation for awards on Etihad operated and marketed flights.

A Flagship First ticket gets you access to AA’s new Flagship First Dining facilities.

SPG Gold status (typically earned after 10 stays or 25 nights) comes with some pretty sweet perks like guaranteed late checkout, room upgrades and, most notably, Marriott Gold status. But holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN  and some SPG Amex cardholders already receive this benefit.

What you typically can’t shortcut to is SPG Platinum status. With SPG Platinum (typically earned after 25 stays or 50 nights), you’ll receive everything SPG Gold members get, plus perks like suite upgrades, more substantial welcome gifts (including breakfast), Marriott Platinum status and United Premier Silver (pegged at $985 in our latest valuation of United status). If you’ve been following TPG closely, you’ll know that Marriott and SPG will become a unified loyalty program in August. ASW has confirmed to us that new members will be able to transfer their SPG status to Marriott and that the elite status will last in total for 12 months from date of purchase.

SIXT Platinum comes with benefits like discounts on rentals, free additional drivers and a free upgrade to the next group car. SIXT Diamond is an invitation-only status level with unpublished benefits like a double-category upgrade and free delivery of your Sixt car within city boundaries. Meanwhile, DISCOVERY Loyalty Black status is the highest-tier status level in its program and offers benefits like double-category room upgrades, late check-out privileges until 6pm and complimentary local experiences (i.e.: wine tastings and tours).

Unlike FoundersCard, which also offers members the opportunity to earn elite status, ASW members don’t need to complete any challenges to get (and keep) the statuses. Plus, the unique events that are included with all ASW membership levels are far more widespread than its counterparts — something worth considering if it’s networking opportunities you’re after, since ASW is a large network of in-the-know people with over 1,000 events each year.

Bottom Line

These packages definitely won’t be for everyone, but could be valuable to the right person. Earning SPG Platinum status normally takes 50 nights in a calendar year — if you spent $200 on each of those nights, the cost of that status alone would be $10,000 (though you could have 5 free elite nights credited to your account by having the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express). Add in the value of the miles at $14,000 and you’re effectively at the cost of the Signature package.

So if you’re looking for a shortcut to elite status, a large haul of miles and membership in a well-established networking community, it may be worth taking a look at these options. As a reminder, you’ll need to purchase these packages before July 2, 2018 to get either the SPG Gold or Platinum elite status included.

Featured image of Etihad’s First Class Apartment.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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