What is SPG Gold Status worth to you?

 
Old Jan 25, 16, 9:26 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
Do you mean the non SPG branded AmEx card? I have only applied for the SPG AmEx through Chase, but I don't believe I have a high enough score or credit history to get approved for a Platinum card. I'll look into it as an option but I'd be surprised if my rating or record are extensive enough to get the green light. I'm still building my portfolio.

Chase offers an American Express card?
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Old Jan 25, 16, 11:29 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
I have a similar question as the op. I'm currently at corporate preferred level, which enjoys the same benefits/amenities as gold status (late checkout etc) without the status recognition. I have an upcoming stay at the Gritti in Venice this fall. We're booked into a Giglio Prestige room and are hoping for an upgrade to a canal-facing room/suite based on the length of stay; 10 nights booked entirely on awards. This is during the off-season when occupancy is low. Our Virtuoso t.a. has some weight to throw around with the property, for what that's worth. Nonetheless, I'm considering a run for status before our trip, to reap the benefits. I can't decide whether it's worthwhile. There's a decent chance of upgrade as it stands based on circumstances, so I'm told. Pending avail. I'd also be willing to pay (up to ~1.5k) at check-in. That said, I could request an elite challenge and complete 18 nights at approx. $100/night (possibly less) at a nearby Four Points with my corporate rate. I can't decide whether it would be worthwhile or an unnecessary expense given the uncertainty of upgrade. I don't plan to benefit from elite status with SPG anytime soon after and our stay happens to fall only a couple of months before the close of the year, which means that the slate would likely be wiped clean shortly after. I'm also uncertain whether I could even achieve Plat status on an elite challenge from a corporate preferred level; would I have to go for Gold first and then work my way up, or would 18 nights land me Platinum automatically? Is there any chance that I can simply call and politely request Gold acknowledgement on my profile (I'm already entitled to the same benefits) with the intention of fulfilling enough stays for Platinum as per the above plan? Moreover is this even worthwhile for what I've described? I would really, really like to upgrade to a canal room and this can't be done with points. Perhaps the property would make an exception on check-in if there was availability given the length of our stay and with some persuasion from our friendly t.a. but I only have approx. 25K SPG points right now anyhow, which wouldn't get us very far. Should I save the cash for the front desk at the Gritti to offer as a pay upgrade or try for status; what are your thoughts?
You absolutely, positively won't get upgraded to a canal room for ten nights (!) that you booked as award nights (!!). That room goes for 3x (!!!) the price of a Giglio room.
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Old Jan 26, 16, 1:26 am
  #48  
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I'm confused about the OP offering $1500-2000 at check in to get an upgrade. Do you mean to offer to pay more or are you planning to give the front desk agent an enormous tip/bribe?

I would think it would be better to try to negotiate an upgrade in advance (for money) through the hotel's rooms manager or front desk manager, but this will be expensive, even in low season. Personally, I would find it unseemly, especially in a hotel of this sort, to be begging or bartering in the lobby upon arrival.
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Old Jan 26, 16, 7:06 am
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I wasn't planning on begging or bartering. I was simply going to inquire about the possibility based on availability and offer to pay up to 2k. I do plan on negotiating a month prior through my Virtuoso TA, but I was specifically asking whether it's recommended that I try to obtain some kind of status prior to this trip and solely for the purposes of this trip as detailed above.
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Old Jan 26, 16, 10:13 am
  #50  
 
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I have SPG Gold and Marriott Gold, both through alliances (Amex Plat and UA Elite status, respectively). Neither one is worth enough to make much difference in deciding where I want to stay. Marriott is slightly more enticing with Club Access, but that's about it.

I don't have enough stays at either brand to get any higher status, even if I was to choose one exclusively, so chasing status is not a motivator either. I do stay a fair amount in hotels, but a lot of those are comped rooms in casino hotels.
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Old Jan 26, 16, 10:16 am
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I'm confused about the OP offering $1500-2000 at check in to get an upgrade. Do you mean to offer to pay more or are you planning to give the front desk agent an enormous tip/bribe?

I would think it would be better to try to negotiate an upgrade in advance (for money) through the hotel's rooms manager or front desk manager, but this will be expensive, even in low season. Personally, I would find it unseemly, especially in a hotel of this sort, to be begging or bartering in the lobby upon arrival.
The tip/ bribe works in Vegas (or at least it used to). And it is a lot cheaper than $1,500.
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Old Jan 26, 16, 11:25 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
I wasn't planning on begging or bartering. I was simply going to inquire about the possibility based on availability and offer to pay up to 2k. I do plan on negotiating a month prior through my Virtuoso TA, but I was specifically asking whether it's recommended that I try to obtain some kind of status prior to this trip and solely for the purposes of this trip as detailed above.
SPG Gold won't help. SPG Platinum may...but really offering $200/night for a room that usually commands a $1000/night premium is a long shot no matter what your status us.

Even looking at next week checking in 2/4 and out on 2/5, in very low season, there are no canal rooms available and the canal suites are being offered at the rack rate of 5,500/night.

That being said, it's worth a shot and you'll never know until you ask.
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Old Jan 26, 16, 9:46 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by Jesperss View Post
SPG Gold won't help. SPG Platinum may...but really offering $200/night for a room that usually commands a $1000/night premium is a long shot no matter what your status us.

Even looking at next week checking in 2/4 and out on 2/5, in very low season, there are no canal rooms available and the canal suites are being offered at the rack rate of €5,500/night.

That being said, it's worth a shot and you'll never know until you ask.
Thanks so much. I just double checked availability for our dates (end of October 2016) and not only is there vacancy, but they are advertising discounted rates wherein the cost difference between our Giglio Prestige Room and the Landmark Grand Canal Rooms are only 489 Euro per night. With the currency conversion, the difference would be approx. $5,300 USD. Now the truth is that I would probably be willing to pony up a bit more; say around 3K. I realize that's still well below the cost difference and certainly below the rack rate, but if there's availability for our length of stay, I don't see why it should be such an obstacle. I'm not sure whether our best strategy would be to reach out to the hotel directly well in advance; to wait until we're approx. 6 weeks out and have out Virtuoso t.a. establish contact; or to just wait until arrival and inquire at check-in? I realize that we're still almost 9 months out and it's highly probable that the property would be entirely sold out of standard room inventory as the dates draw nearer (I absolutely don't expect that we'll get upgraded to a suite) but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the late season and acqua alta might work in our favor and maybe leave a few room categories open for upgrade... I can dream anyhow!


Quick Update: I just got off the horn with SPG and was informed that I could call 5 days out from our res. and pending availability, I would have the option to do a paid upgrade from our Giglio Prestige to Landmark Grand Canal for, apparently, far less than the current rate difference. The SPG rep that I spoke with told me that rates vary but that I should not expect to pay more than 300 Euro per night, if it's available; possibly far less.

PS - I forgot to add that I'm booked on a "fifth night free" promo, so I assume that any paid upgrade would take that into account and deduct only the cost differential of 8 nights from our total stay.

Last edited by OliverB; Jan 26, 16 at 10:10 pm
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Old Jan 27, 16, 10:21 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
PS - I forgot to add that I'm booked on a "fifth night free" promo, so I assume that any paid upgrade would take that into account and deduct only the cost differential of 8 nights from our total stay.
Not to burst your bubble, but I would actually assume that you'll be charged the UG difference for all 10 nights. Your 5th night free promo covers the cost of the base room you booked. Or looked at differently, reduces the nightly rate by 20% for all 10 nights.

Either way, any upgrade or add-on would apply across all 10 nights IMO.
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Old Jan 28, 16, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
Not to burst your bubble, but I would actually assume that you'll be charged the UG difference for all 10 nights. Your 5th night free promo covers the cost of the base room you booked. Or looked at differently, reduces the nightly rate by 20% for all 10 nights.

Either way, any upgrade or add-on would apply across all 10 nights IMO.
Well I'm just glad to learn that the option is available, and purportedly at a substantially reduced rate. It doesn't hurt to ask though; technically I would only be paying for 8 nights, so they may concede and extend any paid upgrades across the entire length of stay while only factoring cost for the paid nights, of which 8 would qualify per the promotional offer. I really have no expectations for any of this though. I'm just hoping to get a room on the canal. Hopefully I'll be eligible for one of the card offers that would give SPG Gold status prior to the trip. It sounds like the paid upgrade is probably a lot easier and more concrete than negotiating directly with the property or through my Virtuoso t.a.
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Old Jan 28, 16, 11:48 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
...Quick Update: I just got off the horn with SPG and was informed that I could call 5 days out from our res. and pending availability, I would have the option to do a paid upgrade from our Giglio Prestige to Landmark Grand Canal for, apparently, far less than the current rate difference. The SPG rep that I spoke with told me that rates vary but that I should not expect to pay more than 300 Euro per night, if it's available; possibly far less.

PS - I forgot to add that I'm booked on a "fifth night free" promo, so I assume that any paid upgrade would take that into account and deduct only the cost differential of 8 nights from our total stay.
If it was me, I think I would call back and get a second opinion on this and maybe ask for a supervisor. The only option for a 5-days-before-arrival-upgrade that I am personally aware of involves using Starpoints on paid rates (RACK, COR, SET or BAR only) not Free Night Awards nor Cash & Points:

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/prefer...eem/rooms.html

Just my two cents.

Best regards,

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

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Old Jan 28, 16, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
If it was me, I think I would call back and get a second opinion on this and maybe ask for a supervisor. The only option for a 5-days-before-arrival-upgrade that I am personally aware of involves using Starpoints on paid rates (RACK, COR, SET or BAR only) not Free Night Awards nor Cash & Points:

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/prefer...eem/rooms.html

Just my two cents.

Best regards,

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

[email protected]
Hi William,

Thank you for drawing my attention to this; how disappointing. I thought I had found the perfect solution but I suppose it seemed too good to be true. I'm on the phone with an SPG rep right now and he's offered to reach out to the property directly and has asked that they get in contact with me to potentially negotiate a paid upgrade. I probably shouldn't be doing this so far in advance as it probably won't work in my favor from a cost angle. Perhaps I should have waited to do this with my Virtuoso t.a. Eitherway,I suppose it's good to establish contact with the property and make them aware of our reservation, since we're really excited about the upcoming trip. Thanks again for the insight and for setting the record straight.
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Old Jan 28, 16, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
Hi William,

Thank you for drawing my attention to this; how disappointing. I thought I had found the perfect solution but I suppose it seemed too good to be true. I'm on the phone with an SPG rep right now and he's offered to reach out to the property directly and has asked that they get in contact with me to potentially negotiate a paid upgrade. I probably shouldn't be doing this so far in advance as it probably won't work in my favor from a cost angle. Perhaps I should have waited to do this with my Virtuoso t.a. Eitherway,I suppose it's good to establish contact with the property and make them aware of our reservation, since we're really excited about the upcoming trip. Thanks again for the insight and for setting the record straight.
No worries, but I'm glad you found this out now rather than 5 days before arrival.

I don't know what your travel dates are, but the Gritti Palace does allow upgraded room types to be booked in advance using all Starpoints. It would be subject to availability of the Specialty Select Award rate plan being bookable, but that award would get you into a Giglio Prestige room using all points instead of a cash upgrade.

Also, if the property isn't willing to commit right now, you can ask to upgrade at check-in using Starpoints as well.

Best regards,

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

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Old Jan 28, 16, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
No worries, but I'm glad you found this out now rather than 5 days before arrival.

I don't know what your travel dates are, but the Gritti Palace does allow upgraded room types to be booked in advance using all Starpoints. It would be subject to availability of the Specialty Select Award rate plan being bookable, but that award would get you into a Giglio Prestige room using all points instead of a cash upgrade.

Also, if the property isn't willing to commit right now, you can ask to upgrade at check-in using Starpoints as well.

Best regards,

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

[email protected]
As am I! phew

Our dates are 10/20 to 10/30 but to clarify, we're already booked in a Giglio Prestige room using points. I was really hoping to upgrade to a Landmark Grand Canal, which I've been told is not possible to reserve on points by numerous SPG reps; at least not through Starwood's central booking system. I suppose it would be at the discretion of the hotel.

Thanks again, William!
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Old Jan 28, 16, 2:35 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Jonesdds View Post
I'm a bit confused by this. ...

Last question, probably answered many times but starpoints seem to be about a third of value of airlines(point to point). If transferred to an airline program does it transfer relative to a point to point-like 3 airline miles to one starpoint?

First of all, Starpoints transfer to most airlines at 1 to 1.25 when transferred in 20,000 increments, which yields 25,000 airline miles. This alone makes them far more valuable than airline miles, if you want to use them for airline awards.

Second, it's very easy to use them to get excellent redemption value. I have an upcoming award in the Caribbean where I'll be getting 4 cents value per Starpoint. I have additional awards coming up in Europe with comparable values.

And reason # 2 is why I would never use them for economy class airline awards. I might transfer if I needed the miles for a premium class award that was getting excellent redemption value for.
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