Starwood Choices Promotion Announced!

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Starwood just announced their new promotion which gives each individual the option of selecting the promotion that works best for them. While I am not super excited about any of the options, I do like that this is not a one size fits all promotion. During this time of year for the past three years, the promotion was a variation of stay 2/3 times and get a free night – for me that was an amazing promotion and I was really hoping they’d bring it back. During that time I was doing the M-Th weekly traveling commute hotel hoping every night – due to this I was able to rack up big. The free night promotion this time requires you to stay 10 nights for a free certificate (which is capped at a category 5 hotel may I add and only eligible on the weekends – oh and you max out at 2 certificates). I am actually really bummed, but oh well, life goes on. This will now allow me to come to terms without staying with SPG and instead go for my Hyatt Diamond status (although I am not thrilled about Hyatt’s promo either – more on that later today) – but I do LOVE Hyatt Diamond! Register for the promotion here.

So since I’ve been semi negative, let me get to another positive. All SPG properties are participating – this is huge! As many of you are probably well aware of many SPG hotels opt out of quarterly promotions where you get no bonus for your stay. You will no longer have to sift through a long list of excluded hotels.

Promotion Details:

  • Choose one earning period – and you can only select one! However, you can find ways to be strategic by having each family members sign up for different periods so you have them all covered
    • May 1 – July 31
    • June 1 – August 31
    • July 1 – September 30
  • Once you select your earning period and bonus choice, they cannot be changed!
  • You must register by June 30th

Bonus Options (you can read more about these bonus options on this SPG site):

Starwood Bonus Point Options:

  • Double points beginning with your second stay (no earning limit)
    • If you check-in or check-out date falls outside of the three month period, as long as the check-in/check-out is within the promotional period, you will earn double points on your entire paid stay. For example, if you select the first three month period, if you check into a hotel on July 30th, but do not check out for two weeks later, the entire stay will qualify for double points – you just must have had at least one stay prior to within the promotional timeframe.
    • Remember: Cash & Point stays DO NOT qualify – must be a fully paid stay **This is for all Starwood Bonus Point Options
  • Get 3,000 SPG points with every sixth night (maximum of 9,000 bonus points)
  • Earn 500 points for every stay at Sheraton booked online (no earning limit)
    • You must book your stay at spg.com, Sheraton.com, or Starwoodhotels.com – no third party booking sites
    • As for as I am aware, Four Points by Sheraton Hotels will NOT qualify for this promotion
  • Stay 15 nights, and receive triple points on all those stays retroactively (no earning limit)
    • Similar to the double point option, if your check-in or check-out date falls outside of the selected promotional period, you will still earn triple points on your entire paid stay as long as you hit at least 15 nights.

Free Night Certificate and Award Redemption Options:

  • Stay 10 nights, get 1 free weekend night certificate (max of 2 certificates)
    • Weekend nights are valid Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights
    • Certificates are valid at category 1-5 hotels only for a standard room
    • You are able to apply suite upgrades to a free weekend night redemption and the free nights do count towards your yearly and lifetime status
    • Certificate expires December 23, 2012
    • Awards are not transferable and may not be given as a gift – if not used by the expiration date, they are forfeited
  • Stay 20 nights, get a 25% off Starpoints award redemption certificate (max of 2 certificates)
    • Certificate is valid for a category 1-5 hotel redemption only
    • Certificates are valid for redemptions of 5 nights or less
    • You CANNOT use the certificate for the following redemption options: Cash & Points stays, Upgrade Awards and 5th Night Free Awards
    • Certificate expires December 23, 2012
    • Awards are not transferable and may not be given as a gift – if not used by the expiration date, they are forfeited

Merchandise Discount Options:

  • Stay 4 nights and get a $50 SPG award certificate (max of 3 certificates)
    • The certificates may be redeemed for any items charged to an SPG folio, including food & beverage charges, spa services, and room charges
    • You are able to apply multiple certificates during the same stay
    • Certificate must be redeemed by December 31, 2012
    • You are allowed to transfer the certificates to other SPG members – you are not allowed, however, to sell or trade your certificates
    • You will receive your certificate in the mail 4-6 weeks after the promotional earning period
  • Stay 4 nights and get a $50 or EUR50 discount code for Westin @ home (max of 3 certificates)
    • You will receive your online redemption code via email 4 weeks after the promotional earning period ends
    • The certificate can be used at the Westin Home Collection website at westin-hotelsathome.com. Sheraton discount codes may be used at Sheraton At Home website at Sheraton-hotelsathome.com. Codes in U.S. dollars may be used on the U.S. site while codes in Euros may be used on the European site.
    • Certificate must be redeemed by December 31, 2012
  • Stay 4 nights and get a $50 or EUR50 discount code for Sheraton @ home (max of 3 certificates)
    • You will receive your online redemption code via email 4 weeks after the promotional earning period ends
    • The certificate can be used at the Sheraton At Home website at Sheraton-hotelsathome.com. Codes in U.S. dollars may be used on the U.S. site while codes in Euros may be used on the European site.
    • Certificate must be redeemed by December 31, 2012

Elite Night Credit Options:

  • Stay 5 nights, earn 1 bonus night toward elite status (max of 3 bonus elite qualifying nights)
    • All bonus Elite Qualifying Nights will post October 2012, regardless of when you actually earned the night – keep this in mind if you are trying to get a certain status quickly
    • The bonus nights DO NOT count towards SPG Lifetime nights qualification
    • The bonus nights do, however, count towards yearly status for Gold and Platinum as well as Platinum 50 nights benefits, Platinum 75 nights benefits, and Platinum 100 nights benefits
  • Stay 10 nights, earn 3 bonus nights toward elite status (max of 6 bonus elite qualifying nights)
    • Same T&C as above

I personally will be registering for one of the bonus point options. While I have not yet figured out my SPG future plans yet, one of those will make the most sense for me (except the 500 bonus for Sheraton stay option). Chances are SPG stays will be limited this summer so it looks like the double point option will be my best choice.

If I were you, I absolutely would not register for any of the merchandise discount/certificate options. Depending on your specific travel the free night certificate or award redemption may or may not be worth it. It takes many nights to actually earn that award and unlike bonus points, the certificates expire. Make sure you have a specific redemption in mind. I’d say the free night certificate is worth $250 at most – and for some this will work out great, it really depend on you! For the 25% off award redemption it doesn’t state if that can be combined with the 5th night free, but I am sure those terms will unfold soon – when this promotion has ran in the past it did. With this option you can get up to 12,000 points back (assuming the 5th night counts). If I were to stay 20 nights I’d recommend selecting the triple points instead – assuming a $150/night stay you’ll get 12,000 bonus points anyways. If you have very expensive stays coming up then the double or triple point bonus (depending on how many nights you foresee) could add up nicely. Or if you are really going for that Platinum status, you could consider the stay night credits.

I’ll do a full analysis post on each of these options later this week. Since you do not have to register until June 30th, do not rush to register until right before your first stay and had time to figure out your travel habits during the three month time frame you selected.

What promotion will you be registering for? Currently SPG shows that the triple point promotion is in the lead with the most number of registrations.

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Comments

  1. I will stick with Marriott and their Spring and Summer promo. 2 stays = 1 free night, up to 3 free nights (Cat 1-4). I already have 3 free nights from the Spring promo, now I will get 3 more for Summer for a total of 6 free nights.

  2. Aw man, I was hoping for a better free night option, the last two have been pretty good (resort nights and the weekend nights promo).

    I will be staying at starwood properties all through summer so I am torn between the double and triple points offer.

    @Deals what are your thoughts on the triple points option, do you only get 3x on the 15 nights or does the no limit mean you can get 3x on the 15 nights plus any nights going forward during the period?

    • @Sam – Trust me, I am with you. I loved those free nights, especially in Europe. You bring up a good point about bonus points after the 15 nights. The FAQs state: “A member must complete 15 eligible nights during the promotion earning period he/she selected. Once the stay with the 15th eligible night posts, the member will be awarded triple Starpoints for all stays during the promotion earning period — even those completed prior to the 15th night.”

      So it does not explicitly say, but from reading it it sounds like all stays during the promotional period will get the triple points and those prior to hitting the 15 nights will be retroactively including for the 3x points. I’ll try to get a concrete answer for you though.

  3. This should also be stackable with Starwoods Renovation promotion that ends June 30th. So you can then also pick up an extra 1000 SPG points too if you happen to be staying at one of those properties! 🙂 I was also hoping for the free night promo

    • @Albert – only paid nights count. This means that nights paid for with all points or Cash & Points do not count.

    • @MJM – You are absolutely correct. Thanks for pointing out that typo on my part! It has been updated.

  4. I like your analysis, but disagree on the value of the free night. If you use it on a cat 5 night that you already have booked or are planning to book anyway, you can save as many as 16,000 points. I have such a night already booked this fall, for which I’ve already spent 16k points. I value Starpoints at $0.03 so the value is $480, which is also pretty close tho the cash price of my room.

    If you are planning to stay 20 nights at $150, under the triple points option, you would earn 12k bonus points. If you use the free cat 5 nights option to its potential, you would get 2 nights and save as much as 32k points, which I value at $960.

    However if you aren’t planning to stay at an expensive Cat 5 property on points before Dec 23, then one of the other options would be better.

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