I don’t think the loyalty game is dead, but it certainly is more difficult than it once was. In may ways, the benefits of elite status are better than ever, but it is also typically more difficult to achieve, especially for airlines. As a frequent traveler for business, who only can purchase economy tickets, elite status means a lot to me.
Since I stay in hotels frequently, hotel elite status has really been beneficial for me. I still try to stick to Starwood and Hyatt when I can, and have been holding top tier status in both programs for several years. I also have Lifetime Gold status with Starwood, and hopefully I’ll finish off the qualifications for Lifetime Platinum in 2017.
Starwood Loyalty Rewarded
Recently I recieved a FedEx package at home. It was unclear what was in the large package until I noticed a SPG sticker on the outer box. I opened it to reveal several items wrapped in tissue paper, and a nice personalized note. The items included a plush terrycloth robe with the St. Regis logo on one side of the chest and my name (first and last) on the other side. The small box contained leather(ish?) luggage tags embossed with the SPG logo and a slot to hold a business card.
The note welcomed me to the St. Regis Bahia Beach. Odd, since it was sent to my home address after I had returned from a stay at that nice property. While St. Regis hotels are great, I rarely stay at them, since they definitely outside my typical travel budget for either work or pleasure. I believe I’ve only visited three St. Regis hotels, and always on points, with some sort of promotion to soften the blow. Check out some previous posts about my stays at the St. Regis Punta Mita and St. Regis Princeville.
I’m grateful for the nice gift, and it was definitely a pleasant surprise. But I can’t figure out exactly why they sent it. I’ve seen some reports of robes like this sent to customers after achieving lifetime Platinum status, but I’m 20+ nights and one more year of Platinum status away from earning that. Maybe they are getting rid of items that contain what will soon be obsolete branding?
Is It Really for a Lifetime?
I’m hopeful my eventual lifetime platinum status is actually for my lifetime, since the SPG program is not going to outlast me, as it becomes part of Marriott Rewards. Who knows what that might mean for SPG Lifetime status?
Have you received any surprise gifts like this from travel programs? How about any SPG elites out there, have you gotten one of these robes?