Tim Foolery

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Starwood Preferred Guest Q4 Promotion

Hotel loyalty programs, like Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), often offer a rotating bonus each quarter. Sometimes these bonuses are enough to make you find a reason to stay in a hotel and earn the extra points or other benefits (usually when the economy is in the toilet – anything to encourage additional stays or encourage you to move already planned stays from one hotel to another) and sometimes they aren’t really worth anything.

From September 15 through December 15, 2014 Starwood is offering members of their SPG Program Double Starpoints on stays two or more eligible nights and triple points for eligible stays that include a Friday or Saturday night stay (if you are staying in the Middle East the triple points are available for Thursday and Friday stays).

As is the case with most SPG promotions there is a large list of hotels that are not participating in the promotion (find that list here).  Surprisingly, of my next five SPG stays only two are not participating – which beats some of the prior promotion for me!  You can find all the terms and conditions here and their Frequently Asked Questions here.

So, what do I think of this promotion.  I think it is perfectly fine.  Believe me, I love the idea of bonus points and I don’t even hate the idea that 2/5 of my upcoming stays are not eligible for the bonus.  I don’t stay at Starwood properties for the bonus points – I stay at these properties because I enjoy them, the service, the location, the perks, etc.  The bonus points are just that – a bonus that I would hopefully parlay into a room that I otherwise wouldn’t pay for (or use for a visiting friend).  The economy is in such a state that hotel chains don’t have to really encourage us to stay with them – business travel is up and hotels are running at decent occupancy (depending on City and the specific property, of course).

This promotion isn’t worth doing a mattress run (booking a hotel room just for the stays/points credit), but if you have some upcoming stays it may make sense for you to change your current hotel to a participating hotel – again, I wouldn’t spend too much time thinking/worrying about this.

Here’s my recommendation – sign up for the promotion (here’s the link – it isn’t targeted either), if you stay at a participating property for two nights, you’ll get some bonus points. If not, no harm no foul.

What are your thoughts on the promotion this quarter?  Are you going to be shifting some of your Marriott or Hilton stays to Starwood?

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