SPG doesn't accumulate points, like Hilton and Marriott do. SPG I hear is quite nice and I am a member. Have been considering staying there, just to experience something different.
Have lived the Marriott brands from top (Ritz before Marriott) to the Residence Inn (to this day, my favorite brand for the $$$). So, I might be like you in 2011. Top out on marriott then dip into Hilton and SPG.
There have been several threads concerning additional levels including a "Titanium" level discussion about 6 months ago. None of the chains seem interested in maintaining loyalty of the true road warriors. Mattiott tops out at 75 and Hilton tops at 60. For many frequent travelers, it would not be hard to maintain Platinum and Diamond level and max out the perks from both chains. Until they chose to add perks above their current levels, they will lose business to other chains. Some people will continue to keep all of their points in one place and some will max out 2 different chains to give them additional flexibility. This is a chance they take.
Lost business from loyals is a valid point, but there are other perhaps more pressing issues against adding new levels. In the mid-upper level hotel market, where should they draw the line? They need to add new customers as well as satisfy the loyal ones in order to grow. If they keep adding new levels they run the risk of diluting the perks at lower levels. Their profits can only stretch so far. It's akin to weakening the US Dollar and creating inflation; points become less and less valuable. Outside of maybe Southwest, the airline industry is a prime example of how loyalty points can lose value.
I've been Platinum Premier for over a year, and I couldn't be happier with Marriott service whether it be for reward stays, or business. It's difficult to remember a Reward stay when I wasn't treated like a king, including my comp'd honeymoon in Hawaii; my wife would agree :)
There is Platinum Premier. That is awarded usually after you have stayed 100 nights in a year. I never knew about it until I received my packet for the following year. You do get a few extra perks but it differs from year to year. Last year it was 20% dinner and free golf club rental and I don't remember what else. I stayed 198 nights in 2008 and have been "premier" ever since. At one hotel they gave my wife and I chocolate covered strawberries and champaign (sp) plus an arrival gift of the 500 points.
Above: Marriott's Orlando World Center
"Last year it was 20% dinner and free golf club rental"
The 2010 Platinum Premier 20% Food and Beverage Discount Card is limited to participating Marriott, JW Marriott and Renaissance Hotels restaurants in North America. As positive as one can be about this extra perk, it's hit or miss on participating hotels. Resorts are excluded. Alcoholic beverages are excluded.
For example, Tuscany and Hawk's Landing at Marriott's Orlando World Center, now a Category 5 hotel and resort honored the Platinum Premier 20% discount. Near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Latitudes and Wentworth Dining Room at Marriott's Wentworth by the Sea elevated to a Category 7 did not. Does Champions at Marriott's Boston Copley Place accept? Who cares? I might have a drink at the bar (which is excluded), but consider the service challenged and food disappointing.
The Complimentary Golf Club Rental Card specifically lists the hotels and resorts that participate. It's too lengthy to list here but includes properties in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Costa Rica (Los Suenos) and West Indies (St Kitts).
"Might have to make that trip to Orlando and burn some points with the family over christmas vacation (2 weeks out of school)"
Orlando is extremely popular any time of year, but Christmas to New Years is peak.
In anticipation of the the Millenium (2000) we reserved a Marriott timeshare villa and purchased Park Hoppers in advance to guarantee park access. Disney World does an exceptional job to ensure that everyone is welcomed, engaged and entertained year-round; Christmastime is no exception.
When we were in Orlando in September 2010 and stayed at Marriott's Sabal Palms adjacent to OWC, the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney had several new attractions underway, some nearing completion.
As of today, both the Orlando World Center and the JW Marriott Grande Lakes have availability checking-in 12/26 using points. If you decide to stay there, try and get a 1 bedroom suite with a balcony facing the main pool.
There is a level above Platinum but you don't know about it unless you would qualify.
It is called Platinum Premier.
It is reserved for the top 2% of all Platinum members and it started 4 years ago.
I have been a member since it's inception. I have stayed at no less then 255 nights a year the past 4 years to qualify. I don't know what the cut off number is - I suspect it changes a little every year.
I agree that there should be some other perks for the highest level. I wasn't even aware of the 'premier' level until I questioned my rollover nights this year. I had 196 nights in 2010 and I expected everything after 75 to rollover. When the number was off I was told that since I was a premier that the base was 100 and the rollover was based on that. So instead of atarting the year with 121 it was now 96. So what do I get for the extra 25 night charge? Nothing of significance as far as I can see.
When I was told I was a premier I asked what that was since I have not received anything in the mail on the program. They said it was for the upper 3% and you get a 20% discount in the restaurant - other than that I don't see any benefit and from some other posts here that benefit is not universal.
I would like to see some other things attached to this level and if not then just let me stay a Platinum Elite with the 75 night requirement and be done with it.
In another thread here there is a discussion of the spring MegaBonus program. It appears there are different offers out there. I received an offer of 25,000 points after 20 stays and a max of 50,000 points after 25. Others received an offer of 1 free night after each second paid stay. Now I think that one is more valuable than the points but it may be different for others. If they are going to have different offers maybe they should allow the top tier to choose the bonus that most suits them.
I know there have been some comments about diluting the upper tier and lowering the requirements for lifetime platinum status. Just as a bit of history I have a friend who joined the MR program when it first started about 25 years ago and at that time for a payment of about $150 you were a platinum for life - what a deal that is. He doesn't have to stay even one night and he still maintains his status.
Regrets if the post implied there was, it's unintentional. As others have mentioned, the Platinum Premier reservations line is a plus. The PP reps have been exceptionally responsive to my needs all year.
In 2010 Platinum Premier collateral also included a 20% food and beverage discount at 'participating' full-service Marriott, JW Marriott and Renaissance restaurants and lounges in North America. I'm hoping that this benefit will be expanded to include more full service locations and brands - especially Ritz-Carlton and the Autograph Collection hotels. It would be awesome if the Platinum Premier pages included a comprehensive list of restaurants that honor the benefit - it would facilitate planning and help me decide where to book my business and leisure travel.
In addition, the 2010 package included a complimentary golf club rental at participating hotels/resorts listed on the card. Again, I hope the list will be expanded and published. For example, there are no locations listed in Aruba and only 1 location in Hawaii participates. Since the PP materials for 2011 haven't arrived yet and the published pages do not mention the above, your point about the difference is w/o contest.
No problem. I'll wait and see what the package contains but I'm kind of surprised that if the PP program has been in place for 4 years that they haven't modified the benefits - especially if they have received complaints/suggestions from members
I guess we'll have to wait and see. I have written to voice my concerns and am awaiting a response
It's anecdotal, but there are comments on Flyertalk about another PP benefit, upgrade privileges. Discussing the perceived lack of value, one member declined to accept PP status. See Flyertalk.