Ever since reaching Virgin Australia Platinum I was given Hilton Diamond which is a pretty cool perk in my opinion. I have stayed at many Hilton properties and the experience has been ‘ok’ yes the room upgrades are fantastic don’t get me wrong but there are a few reasons for my descision.
SPG have offered me a platinum and gold challenge. 8 nights for gold or 18 for platinum so I am going for platinum.
- Earning Miles
In Australia there are a few ways to earn SPG points but mostly through credit cards. American Express Memebership Rewards can be transffered to SPG at a 1:0.5 rate which isn’t too bad. Also both the Amex Platinum charge personal and business offer gold status which is quite valuable. Dinners club also have a card that tranfers 1:1.
Earning with Uber is also very useful. As someone who uses the ride sharing service very often its great to be earning points for using a CC and SPG points.
- Variety In properites
I’m not saying that Hilton don’t have a variety they do have a good range but I find SPG properties to have more differences. I recently stayed at Sheraton and a St. Regis and it was very evident that the brands are completely different. I also stayed at a Hilton and Embassy suites and the experience was virtually the same.
- Airline transfer partners
This is probably the biggest reason I’m switching to SPG. The hotel group have a very impressive list of transfer partners which are listed below:
Exchange Ratio (Starpoints : Miles)
Air China Companion
Air New Zealand & Air Points
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club
American Airlines AAdvantage
Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific /Dragonair)
British Airways Executive Club
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines’ Sky Pearl Club
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
El Al Israel Airlines
No transfer option
No transfer option
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank
King Club Miles
Miles and More
Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Overall thats quite an impressive list. I am most happy about the 1:1 transfer to American Airlines which is another way to get miles instead of buying them.
- They have fantastic promotions!
Starwood are always having fantastic promotions for various things. Recently they have been running promotions for triple points, 40% suites and various other promos which are very enticing and I have taken advantage of these many times.
- SPG moments
Ok this isn’t a huge turning point for me but I have begun to love SPG moments! for those who dont know you can redeem your starpoints for various concerts or experiences. They offer luxury suites at various big venues such as the o2 in London or Maddison Square Garden in New York or be in a tent for with a team at the Grand Prix. They have a large list of events that can be bought outright or bidded for.
As the merger between Marriot and SPG is a couple years off I am not too worried about it at this current moment. If the merger was to happen earlier my second choice for program would have to be Hyatt Gold Passport as I already hold platinum with them.