Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton Wants to Save Starwood Preferred Guest

Marriott is buying Starwood and Starwood Preferred Guest members are nervous.

Blog reader Vineet S discovered a famous fan of the program ready to take action. Vineet took advantage of a Starwood Preferred Guest private event to meet Lewis Hamilton, the 2014 and 2015 Formula One World Champion.

And apparently the racing star is a huge SPG fan, because Vineet asked him to hold a “Save SPG” sign and he does so proudly:

It’s good to know that a Formula 1 racing legend shares member concerns:

  • Starwood offers fantastic points to airline mileage transfers. More airline transfer partners, and at a 1:1 rate with 5000 bonus miles when transferring points into 20,000 miles. That almost certainly goes away.

  • Marriott elite benefits are weak. Marriott Platinums are not entitled to upgrades to suites outside of Asia. They do not get breakfast at resorts or Courtyard properties. They do not even get guaranteed late checkout.

  • A single Starwood point is worth orders of magnitude more than a Marriott point. Assuming Starwood Preferred Guest is ultimately folded into Marriott Rewards, what will the conversion rate be?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I am fully prepared to transfer all of my points out and close my SPG card account. I’m sure that Amex is not pleased with the impending mass exodus. Yet another tough break for them.

  2. Lewis is a nice guy. He was in the suite in front of mine leaving Singapore on Singapore Airlines after the Grand Prix race there in Sept. (though I didn’t realize it until we were de-planning in Narita–I just knew whoever was up there was laughing a lot at whatever movies he was watching.). Everyone who saw him exiting the plane wanted to take a picture with him, and as exhausted as he was, he smiled and posed with every one of them. (Which isn’t to say he didn’t retreat to the Singapore lounge during the time off the plane. One can hardly blame him. Hell, even I was exhausted, and I hadn’t raced the night before.)

  3. I am bolting for Hyatt. Currently sitting in the nicest suite upgrade I have ever received at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency.

  4. Hyatt looks like the obvious place for SPG refugees to go, but I might choose Hilton, if only for the coverage.

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