The AMEX Platinum Charge already comes with elite status in several hotel programs:
- Hilton Honors Gold
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold
- Radisson Rewards Gold
- Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade
You can now add another one to that list: Ascott Star Rewards (ASR).
|AMEX Platinum Credit Card and Platinum Reserve Card members will receive ASR Gold, plus 1,000 bonus points
Using the sign up link in the eDM will send you to a form with the referral code AMEXPL already populated. Complete the sign up, and your ASR Platinum status + 1,000 points (worth a pretty sad S$2.50, see below) should automatically reflect in your account.
You could alternatively use the code CNENALL to get 3,000 points (S$7.50) when you sign up, but you won’t get ASR Platinum status this way.
What is Ascott Star Rewards?
Now, you’ve probably not heard of ASR before, and that’s understandable. After all, the program only launched in April this year.
ASR is the loyalty program of The Ascott Limited, which runs serviced residences under the Ascott, Citadines, and Somerset brands. It also owns additional brands like lyf, Quest and The Crest Collection, but not all properties participate in ASR.
ASR is a revenue-based program with four different tiers:
|10 points per S$1
|Spend S$1K in 12 months
|12 points per S$1
|Spend S$3K in 12 months
|14 points per S$1
|Spend S$10K in 12 months
|16 points per S$1
Members earn elite status based on the cumulative amount spent in a 12 month period at participating properties. Unfortunately, qualifying spending only includes room rates and does not include F&B, laundry, airport transfers or any other charges incurred.
ASR points are valid for 24 calendar months from date of crediting, and can be redeemed to offset the cost of rooms at the rate of 1 point= 0.25 Singapore cents.
|There are also plans to allow points exchanges with CapitaStar STAR$ (CaptiaLand owns The Ascott), but those have not materialised yet.
A 0.25 cent per point value means your effective rebate is
- Classic: 2.5%
- Silver: 3%
- Gold: 3.5%
These are anemic returns to be sure, given that other major loyalty programs offer a 5-14% rebate depending on tier. Then again, it may not be completely fair to do a straight comparison, given the differences in business model between serviced apartments and regular hotels.
Aside from earning more points, ASR Platinum members enjoy additional benefits like early check-in and late check-out, welcome gifts, complimentary airport transfer, breakfast, and room upgrades. It’s important to note that some of these benefits are geography restricted- airport transfer is only available in the Middle East, and breakfast is only available in Europe.
To earn points and receive elite status recognition, you must book your stay through official Ascott channels, i.e. not through OTAs. Here’s where ASR’s T&Cs are confusing, because in one section they say “For the avoidance of doubt, all “Corporate Bookings” and direct bookings “by walking in or by telephone or email” are currently ineligible bookings unless otherwise notified by Ascott”, and in another they state that these are qualifying.
I’m assuming that’s a typo, but if you’re planning to do a corporate or walk in booking, I’d drop the program an email and check first.
The full T&C of ASR can be found here.
10,000 bonus points offer
ASR Platinum members who book a minimum 3 nights’ stay at any participating Ascott properties by 31 December 2019 will receive 10,000 bonus points, worth S$25. Bonus points will be credited within 14 days of check out, and payment must be made via the AMEX Platinum Charge card.
Again, I don’t find this a particularly compelling offer, but if you were already going to stay in an Ascott property then…
ASR as a loyalty program doesn’t really interest me, because many of the benefits are “upon availability” and the rebate value is relatively poor.
It’s a nice additional perk to have, but I can’t see too many people going out of their way to requalify for ASR Platinum once the two years lapses.