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Old Sep 3, 14, 6:10 am   #1
Company Representative - Starwood
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: SPG
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Official Announcement: Starwood Announces SPG Pro from October 15, 2014 onwards

Dear members,

Today is an exciting day for the SPG program and our B2B customers. We are officially announcing SPG® Pro, a new loyalty offering for meeting and travel professionals that will go into effect starting October 15, 2014. With the October launch of SPG Pro, we’re combining the best of our existing B2B programs: Starwood Preferred Planner, Starchoice, and StarwoodPro (to be retired as they currently exist) into one integrated program for customers such as meeting planners and leisure travel professionals. For the first time, we’re leveraging the power of SPG to recognize and reward all qualified business, both personal and professional.

The benefits of SPG Pro include the following:
• 1 Starpoint for every US$3 of eligible group revenue spent on meetings and events - up to 20,000 Starpoints® per contract. Accredited travel professionals will also earn on the travel they book for others. Starpoint-earning gets richer with elite status.
• 1 eligible night toward elite status for every 20 consumed group room nights, up to a maximum of 20 eligible nights per contract. Accredited travel professionals will also earn towards elite status for the room nights they book for others.
• Access to ProLearning modules, where you can experience our brands and hotel portfolio to help you make informed decisions.
• New account management tools so you can track your meetings and bookings, check your earnings and follow your elite progress.
• And of course, the opportunity to take advantage of SPG’s best in class redemption options — Free Night Awards and Award Flights without blackout dates, exclusive experiences with SPG Moments, and so much more.
Plus, SPG Pro benefits combine with what you earn for your personal stays, which means you earn rewards even faster.

Members who may not be meeting planners or travel professionals can also earn rewards for planning meetings and events with us. Any SPG member who books an eligible event is eligible to receive Starpoints and elite credit as outlined above.

Visit spg.com/pro to enroll or review all the details regarding the changes, including a full list of FAQ’s. Starting October 15, 2014, all of the new information will be on SPG.com.

If you have additional comments or questions, us Lurkers are here to help.

Best regards,

Christopher Carman
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
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Old Sep 3, 14, 2:53 pm   #2
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: USA
Programs: UAL 1K, SPG Plat, Hyatt Platinum,HH Diamond, AA EXP, FB Platinum, IHG Royal Ambassador, First2Board
Posts: 807
I hear that there will be other changes too, any chance of a hint?
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Old Sep 3, 14, 4:07 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, SPG PLAT, PC PLAT
Posts: 176
If I am planning a party (Bar Mitzvah, wedding type) and need to book a bunch of rooms, hopefully at a reduced or block rate, would I want or be eligible to sign up for SPG Pro beforehand?
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Old Sep 3, 14, 4:12 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Programs: Starwood, US Airways/The New American
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carberrie View Post
If I am planning a party (Bar Mitzvah, wedding type) and need to book a bunch of rooms, hopefully at a reduced or block rate, would I want or be eligible to sign up for SPG Pro beforehand?
Yes! You'll earn more points and elite night stays!
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Old Sep 3, 14, 6:37 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Southern California, USA
Programs: UA Lifetime Gold, Delta Plat, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Accor Plat
Posts: 733
As a current SPG Planner, I am happy to see my Plat bonus being extended to the points I'll earn as a SPG Pro.

I'm not thrilled to see 20 room nights being given credit for 1 elite night, since SPG previously has often had Planner promotions where 10 room nights were given that same 1 elite night credit--so that feels like a big devaluation.

I guess the fact that room occupancy and rates are higher is the reason they don't plan to give more--just like everyone else.

The Plat enhancements will be slightly helpful--if actually used by hotels that is--but not a major enhancement IMO.

I also don't support the idea floated herein that the Suite Night Awards should be terminated. I have had great success with them. I would prefer the Suite Night Awards enhanced--so that at SPG 75 nights you get the ability to confirm 14 days out...and SPG 100 nights you get the ability to confirm 21 days out. That would certainly keep my SPG business after 50 nights! (I'm at 76 nights now.)
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Old Sep 3, 14, 7:07 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Programs: DL-PM, AA-G, SPG-G, UA-S
Posts: 57
Think this is a HUGE mistake. I really pushed that we have our last offsite at a starwood property in Deer Valley. Ended up not getting any points or stay credit (even though I paid out of my expense account). Others were pissed as well. This just encourages the planners to get rewards based on what other's chose. But I feel like executives have a lot of say in picking offsite / convention hotels. Now that I know I get no points or stays at starwood for group stays, I push my company to stay at random great hotels in the cities we chose (so we get the best hotel rather than starwoods). For normal nights I still chose starwoods
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Old Sep 3, 14, 7:10 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: AEX
Programs: AA LT Plat; UA Plat; SPG Plat (LT Gold); HHonors Dia; Hyatt Plat; IHG Plat Amb; MR Gold; Avis Presid
Posts: 3,734
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliguyNYC View Post
Think this is a HUGE mistake. I really pushed that we have our last offsite at a starwood property in Deer Valley. Ended up not getting any points or stay credit (even though I paid out of my expense account). Others were pissed as well. This just encourages the planners to get things. But I feel like executives have a lot of say. Now that I know I get no points or stays at starwood for groups, I push my company to stay at random great hotels in the cities we chose (so we get the best hotel rather than starwoods)
Were the rooms master-billed and that's why you did not get the points/stay and night credits?
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Old Sep 3, 14, 7:10 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Midwest U.S.A
Programs: AA,BA,Ritz Gold,SPG Gold,Leading Hotels,HH Gold, Amex Gold, WP, Stash, US, SW, Hyatt, IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 747
I've just about forgotten SPG since Ritz/Marriott wooed me over by their hefty cc bonuses of 70k to 100k and instant Gold status plus other goodies. I got burned so many times by SPG not giving me the points I earned from business referrals (that I confirmed), that I took my business elsewhere. Maybe they will entice me to return. I was loyal for 2 decades in the past.
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Old Sep 3, 14, 7:11 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Southern California, USA
Programs: UA Lifetime Gold, Delta Plat, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Accor Plat
Posts: 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliguyNYC View Post
Think this is a HUGE mistake. I really pushed that we have our last offsite at a starwood property in Deer Valley. Ended up not getting any points or stay credit (even though I paid out of my expense account). Others were pissed as well. This just encourages the planners to get things. But I feel like executives have a lot of say. Now that I know I get no points or stays at starwood for groups, I push my company to stay at random great hotels in the cities we chose (so we get the best hotel rather than starwoods)
Either I am not understanding you correctly, or you aren't understanding the tenets of the current SPG Planner program or the new SPG Pro program. You DO get points at SPG hotels for groups (for room nights); I've been doing it for years as part of SPG Planner. SPG Pro mimics those and adds the elite bonus if that Pro member has elite status.

If you mean for food and beverage, then so be it. Except that as a regular SPG member, you already get points for that.
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Old Sep 3, 14, 7:21 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Programs: DL-PM, AA-G, SPG-G, UA-S
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Either I am not understanding you correctly, or you aren't understanding the tenets of the current SPG Planner program or the new SPG Pro program. You DO get points at SPG hotels for groups (for room nights); I've been doing it for years as part of SPG Planner. SPG Pro mimics those and adds the elite bonus if that Pro member has elite status.

If you mean for food and beverage, then so be it. Except that as a regular SPG member, you already get points for that.

Sorry I meant that SPG seems to be giving points to the convention planner and not to the actual guests that stay at the hotel. I get that the reason one doesn't get points on group stays (again the guest not the planner) is because the rate chosen doesn't offer it, but obviously any company should chose the discount rate over a rate that gives points. I just think SPG is really short sighted as we would never let our planner chose an offsite hotel, the executives as a group chose. Now that we know only the planner gets the points, we all say great let's just stay at the coolest place in the city we are going.

Hopefully I am understanding their program correctly
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Old Sep 3, 14, 7:21 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Southern California, USA
Programs: UA Lifetime Gold, Delta Plat, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, Accor Plat
Posts: 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Churnman View Post
I've just about forgotten SPG since Ritz/Marriott wooed me over by their hefty cc bonuses of 70k to 100k and instant Gold status plus other goodies. I got burned so many times by SPG not giving me the points I earned from business referrals (that I confirmed), that I took my business elsewhere. Maybe they will entice me to return. I was loyal for 2 decades in the past.
To each, their own! I've been using SPG Planner for years now for groups I organize for my work--and I've earned tons of points and managed to boost my elite status to Platinum in the doing. (I always use 3 rooms for every group in my own name so I get the 3 elite night credits for every night for every group I organize, too--a big help for getting to Platinum much more quickly!)

While Marriott/RC (and also Hilton) do offer more points for groups compared to SPG, their properties require far more points on average, as well--especially the higher end/aspirational properties where we'd want to stay IMO. And they don't offer as many aspirational properties where we'd want to stay, either, of course. RC's recent devaluation made even more likely that it takes far more points at many of their properties.

Finally, SPG points earned for groups are not only good for SPG hotel stays but ALSO 1:1.25 for their 30 airline partners. That's a 25% bonus when transferring to airline partners in increments of 20k points. Hilton and Marriot don't even come close in the transfers they allow to just a few airlines--and at substantially horrible transfer rates.

In the end, all of the above keeps me very happy with my SPG Planner...and soon to be SPG Pro status and business.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 3:25 am   #12
Company Representative - Starwood
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Singapore
Programs: SPG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carberrie View Post
If I am planning a party (Bar Mitzvah, wedding type) and need to book a bunch of rooms, hopefully at a reduced or block rate, would I want or be eligible to sign up for SPG Pro beforehand?
With the launch of our new loyalty offering, SPG Pro, we are also pleased to announce that a member does not need to be a professional meeting planner in order to earn Starpoints and credit toward elite status for a meeting or event. If you occasionally plan meetings or events, you can earn rewards for your eligible events and they will be posted to your SPG account. Professional meeting planners will want to register as SPG Pro members so they can access content including information on our Starwood Convention Collection, ProLearning training modules, and to receive communication specific to meeting planners such as new hotel openings. There will be more information on spg.com after October 15 for the occasional meeting or event planner, and any eligible events you book that consume after October 15 will earn under the new reward structure (with signed contract).

spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com

Thyetus Lee | Social Media Specialist
Starwood Customer Contact Centre (AP) Pte Ltd
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Old Sep 4, 14, 8:13 am   #13
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 934
My StarChoice points will be converted to SPG points at the rate of 1 : 1.75.

I am planning to make a booking at the Prince de Galles, Paris for Jan.2015. I can either use StarChoice points (@ 8,500/night) or SPG points (@ 30,000/night). Obviously, it is better for me to burn out my StarChoice points now for this booking, instead of converting them to SPG points later.

My question is: what if I have to cancel one of these booked nights after 15.Oct? Does that mean the StarChoice points will be forfeited (since there is no StarChoice account to credit them back to), or will I still get the refund of 8,500 x 1.75 = 14,875 SPG points?

One more question: under the new SPG Pro program, do I still get any SPG points for merely booking rooms on behalf of my colleagues? I used to be able to get 100 StarChoice points per room per night.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 8:58 am   #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Programs: Delta-Diamond, Alaska MVP-G, Fairmont Premier, SPG Platinum-100, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
As a current SPG Planner, I am happy to see my Plat bonus being extended to the points I'll earn as a SPG Pro.

I'm not thrilled to see 20 room nights being given credit for 1 elite night, since SPG previously has often had Planner promotions where 10 room nights were given that same 1 elite night credit--so that feels like a big devaluation.

I guess the fact that room occupancy and rates are higher is the reason they don't plan to give more--just like everyone else.

The Plat enhancements will be slightly helpful--if actually used by hotels that is--but not a major enhancement IMO.

I also don't support the idea floated herein that the Suite Night Awards should be terminated. I have had great success with them. I would prefer the Suite Night Awards enhanced--so that at SPG 75 nights you get the ability to confirm 14 days out...and SPG 100 nights you get the ability to confirm 21 days out. That would certainly keep my SPG business after 50 nights! (I'm at 76 nights now.)
I agree the change from 1 for 20 nights as compared to the 1 for 10 is a serious reduction but more so I see the cap that is placed at 20 nights per contract and the 20,000 points.

The new caps is is more of a concern for large group events.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 10:12 am   #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: YYZ
Programs: SPG Lifetime Plat, AC Elite, Airmiles Gold, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
Posts: 575
I also got an e-mail on changing Starwood Preferred Business although we are not mentioned in this thread. At least, all others (planners, pros, etc) will continue to get some points (although much less than before).

Starwood Preferred Business will no longer bring any points but rather:
• Up to 7% off Best Available Rates
• Streamlined tracking and account-management tools
• Sales support and servicing

Plus, as your business accumulates nights at our hotels, you'll be able to gift SPG® elite status to employees who travel.

This is pretty much useless Most of my travellers already enjoy an elite status.
We are a small company of about 20 SPG registered employees where 6-7 travel very frequently. We generated 200-300 nights and 30K-40K points a year. People liked them as a small token. Not anymore
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