Triangle Trip

SPG - Point inflation just around the corner?

by Terminal D on Jan.12, 2009, under Business Travel, Hotels, Rental Cars



Earn 500 bonus Starpoints every night and an additional 5,000 every 10th night.”

Starwood Hotels (W Hotels, Westin, Sheraton) have been addressing the economic downturn with a strategy that I can only call a self-inflicted double whammy.  Because of falling demand, prices for a single night at Starwood properties have been falling.  While this is a normal business practice, what’s disconcerting is that at the same time, they are rolling out excessive point-earning incentives.

In exchange for short term solvency, they are guaranteeing a future “market correction.”  Will it be in the form of a bankrupt points program?  Will a Sheraton reward rise from 2,000 points to 10,000?   Will Westin rebrand as Le Meridien? For someone with a very generous balance of points, I’m downright worried.

If anything, SPG should be increasing their rates for this fairly inelastic market.  Yes, there are alternatives like video conferencing, but they’ll never replace the effectiveness of a face to face meeting.  On top of that, I’m guessing that SPG’s bread & butter business traveller is as greedy as I am.  The hotel stay is going to be reimbursed, so they’re not going to compromise their starpoints balance to save $20 a night by moving over to the Hilton.

I don’t care how bad the economy is, any self-respecting consultant won’t be found at a La Quinta.  What’s next?  Online coupons?

-Terminal D


 
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5 comments for this entry:
  1. SFGuy

    You should add an AMEX card which will give you even more points. Don’t disagree that this may lead to devaluation of the point system.

  2. statusmonger

    Yes, I agree with SFGuy. The AMEX SPG card is the best travel credit card out there.

  3. phxj

    In preparation for inflation, one should never age points earned. I have a million US Air miles and saw value decline day by day. Points shouldn’t be treated as wine.

  4. gift horse

    Rookies.

    I’ve been SPG Platinum for the last 7 years. This is common SPG practice, giving out bonus/promotions during Q1 period. The programs obviously varies, but this practice is not new.

    Maybe the glass IS half full. Why not take advantage of this great opportunity?

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