Triangle Trip

Tag: starwood platinum

Chase Priority Club Mastercard is the best alternative to AMEX

by statusmonger on Nov.08, 2013, under Travel Partners

In response to Captain G’s previous post about the best Visa/Mastercard (or alternative to using an American Express card), I would like to tell you that the Chase Priority Club Mastercard is the only card in my wallet. Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (see Terminal D’s post), it does not have foreign transaction fees.

In addition, the Chase Priority Club Mastercard annual fee is 50% less of the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. The Chase Priority Club Mastercard annual fee is only $49 a year (first year is free). The $49 annual fee is still less than my old American Express Starwood Preferred card which was $65 a year. The Chase Priority Club Mastercard annual fee can be offset with these benefits:

1.  You get an annual free night at any Priority Club property after one year. The real translation is:  at any Intercontinental Hotel in the world which is normally ~$250 a night.

2.  Platinum Priority Club status. This perk is not as good as SPG Platinum but gives you small perks like free bottles water, free Internet, and the occasional room upgrade. Note that the American Express SPG card gives you Gold membership which is equivalent to Priority Club Platinum.

3.  A 10% discount on point redemptions for hotels which is a huge value (36,000 points for Intercontinental instead of 40,000). You should also check out our previous blog post on why hotel points are worth more than airline miles.

You can also check out my previous post regarding the British Airways and Asiana credit cards.

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Starwood (SPG) needs to learn about security and privacy

by Captain G on Nov.25, 2011, under Hotels

I contacted the Starwood Preferred Guest’s (”SPG”) Platinum reservation line to redeem my Starpoints for a hotel stay. The customer service representative (”CSR”) was friendly as usual but was not able to help me with my reservation and raised a huge security and privacy concern. Before I could complete my Starpoint reservation, the CSR requested for my password to my SPG account. When I told the CSR that I do not recall setting up a password to make Starpoint redemptions or any special types of reservations, she informed she needed my website password to complete my reservation.

After trying for over 10 minutes to explain to the CSR that it would be a security breach if I had given her my password, I decided to ask for a supervisor. All the supervisor  could do was to refer me to Starwood’s corporate policy which required me to provide my personal password to complete the reservation. She also told me that I could make the reservation via spg.com and stop hassling her. The supervisor also didn’t want to provide me a name or number for Starwood to escalate this issue.

I’m also pretty I am not the only SPG member to have raised this security concern to the SPG call center. I am also extremely baffled to have learned how Starwood Corporate has such a lax customer security and privacy policy. SPG needs to learn from Hilton where they only require two pieces of private information (i.e., mailing address and phone number on file) to make a points redemption reservation. SPG also needs to understand that its member’s password may be used on multiple sites. The SPG team should look at the cartoon below and learn more about security and privacy policies (special shout out to Brian Lewis’ blog for providing this cartoon image link).

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