apart from the 50 per cent bonus are there any other real benefits from being a platinum member think the whole thing needs looking at there is nothing more on offer from plat -gold im already a silver united member so my status offers nothing there free wi fi is getting rolled out across the members i still get lounge access and upgrades based on availability so were is that going the extra mile factor for my 82 sonn to become over 100 nights stayed this year iis it platinum maybe time i switched brands and see what hilton offers /
The principle benefit of Plat is the extra 2.5 points per $, effectively 20% extra points over Gold. The Plat arrival gift is also worth 500 extra points per stay, or $10F&B credit. The remaining plat benefit is guaranteed 24 hour availability, though touring this forum you'll find a few hotels that manage to game it, like the FFI Oakville, ON, which has blacked out the last couple of weeks in July 2015, Plat or not, you'll find no room at that Inn...
This year I've spent 80 nights and ~$20,000 at Marriott and the plat bonus plus arrival gift have given me ~80,000 extra points over Gold. I redeem at 1UScent+ so that's an extra $800 minimum, but all the same is only $10/night.
I've also spent years as gold and and can safely say I notice no difference in treatment between gold and plat, those hotels that want to treat elites well do so equally for both, those that don't, well, they don't and I've noticed no arbitrage on Plat with those venues.
In many ways, especially for the FS stayer and as you've identified, gold is where the meat is on MR. Hilton also mandates good benefits for gold, but not quite so good! In particular it's golds only get lounge access if upgraded to an exec room, therefore one of Hiltons principle benefits of diamond over gold is that diamonds get guaranteed lounge access!
All the major programs are looking to capture the broadly available 30-50 night stayers. There's lots of them out there. The programs are geared to attracting this guest and having their stays diverted to the one brand. The 60-365 night market is much smaller in numbers and the brands spend less effort chasing these, the big guns are used on the 30-50 nighters. Hilton has only one shot, Diamond, Marriott with 75 night Plat, and PlatPrem makes a bigger effort but SPG with its 75night and 100night extra plat benefits leads the pack.
Its easy to believe when reading these forums that most guests are 75 night plus uberplats and that these schemes are tailored to us, but year-on-year plats are rare fish in the membership pool, the 30-50 night stayer is way more common and they're the bread and butter of these programs. Hence there's not that much more that can be offered to the big dogs, so yours is quite a common question, "do I stay the extra nights to make top tier here, or divert stays to another program to hold 2 mid-tier statuses?" A quick search on Flyertalk will reveal this question regularly asked on the Hilton, SPG and Marriott forums...
Most of the worthwhile benefits for platinum have been discontinued, including special platinum offers (BOGO and 2 for 1 dinner certs), platinum arrival gifts: wine and fruit or cheese plates, 10% discounts at retaurants/ gift shops, and more frequent upgrades to suites. For me, the primary remaining benefits are the CL access. point bonus (although the redemptions cost increases have diluted the point values), and occasional outstanding treatment at some FS properties.