Jan112009

Night After Night 10,000 Bonus Points with Starwood Hotels

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) has a promotion through April 30, 2009 to award 500 bonus points per night and an additional 5,000 bonus points after 10 nights at Starwood Hotels.

SPG Night after Night Promotion

Registration required.

SPG Offer: Earn 500 points for each night and 5,000 additional bonus points after 10 nights.  The 10K for 10 nights bonus may be earned multiple times.

Promotion dates: January 7-April 30, 2009.

 

SPG started the 10,000 points for 10 nights Starwood promotion January 7, 2009. 

Hyatt Gold Passport’s 20,000 points for 8 nights promotion launched January 9.

InterContinental Hotel Groups Priority Club bonus of 3,000 points for every 3 nights launches January 12. 

Hilton HHonors Double Base Points kickstarted the 2009 promotions on January 6 and is a somewhat misleading title in that it may be misconstrued at a faster way to elite status, however, the double base points simply refers to the method for calculating hotel stay bonus points with this promotion ending April 6, 2009.  The terms of the HHonors promotion are explicit in stating double base points does not refer to elite qualifying bonus points. 

Marriott Rewards will begin its 2,500 points per stay for 25,000 points promotion on February 1. 

Aside from Hilton, these promotions all end April 30, 2009.

Comparing loyalty programs to each other is time consuming to generate meaningful analysis and lengthy to explain due to the variables of money spent, location of stays, loyalty program member elite status, and hotel special offers.  That being said, the hotel traveler needs to see real numbers made in the context of real travel scenarios to get a comparative picture of how points may be earned and spent in the major loyalty programs.

Starwood Earning and Redemption Case Study:

3 corporate site inspectors have a west coast plant facilities inspection tour.  The team will stay in Phoenix, San Diego, Long Beach, and 7 other cities for 7 other hotel stays.  The team leader is a Starwood Platinum member and selects Starwood hotels for each hotel stay.  One inspector has Gold status and the third member signs up as a new member before the trip.  Hotel restaurants are used for most breakfast and dinner meals.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Elite Membership Qualification:

SPG Gold = 25 nights or 10 hotel stays in a calendar year

SPG Platinum = 50 nights or 25 hotel stays in a calendar year

The inspection tour will require 10 nights at Starwood Hotels at a nightly rate with meals averaging $200 per night.  Inspector Platinum informs the other inspectors to sign up for the 10,000 bonus points promotion. 

Inspector Platinum

·         Received Club Floor rooms and lounge access at 5 of the 10 hotels.  Two hotels without lounges provided Inspector Platinum with coupons for free breakfast and three hotels provided two complimentary drink tickets for the hotel bar.

·         Received complimentary upgrades to a full suite at six of the Starwood Hotels, a junior suite at two hotels, and the preferred view room at the other two hotels. (Aloft hotels and Element do not have to upgrade platinum members according to SPG rules.)

·         Received platinum amenity of 500 points per hotel stay at all the Starwood Hotels except for 250 points for one night at a Four Points in Bakersfield and one night at an Aloft Hotel at Ontario Airport.  (Element Hotels also only offer 250 points per stay as a platinum amenity.)

Inspector Gold received a full suite at one of the 10 Starwood Hotels, a junior suite at three hotels, and a preferred view room at the six other hotels.  Inspector Gold received complimentary lounge access at three hotels.

Inspector New received Preferred view rooms at three of the 10 hotels when checking in with the same desk clerk as Inspector Platinum and Inspector Gold.  Inspector New was offered lounge access for a fee at two hotels.

 

10 Starwood Hotel nights at $200 per night = $2,000

Inspector Platinum

Earns Total

20,500 points

Inspector Gold

Earns Total

16,000 points

Inspector New

Earns Total

14,000 points

Base Points ($1×2)

4,000

4,000

4,000

Elite Bonus Points  (50% bonus)

2,000

2,000

0

Platinum Amenity Bonus Points            (500 per hotel stay for 8 stays; 250 for 2 stays)

4,500

0

0

10 nights bonus

10,000

10,000

10,000

Points Total

20,500

16,000

14,000

 

Redemption of Points for free nights:

Inspector Platinum uses 20,000 points for 4 nights at the Category 4 Westin Gaslamp, Hotel San Diego during a special promotional offer for SPG Platinum members offering a 50% discount on hotel redemptions.  (Note to readers: This promotion was offered to SPG Platinum members for the past two years and has not yet been offered in 2009, but highly anticipated by all of us Platinums.) 

Westin Gaslamp San Diego would otherwise be $359.10 per night for May 19-23;

Value of Inspector Platinum’s hotel points redemption: $1,436 for 4 nights at the Westin Gaslamp, San Diego.

 

Inspector Gold uses 16,000 points for Cash & Points Awards at the Category 4 Sheraton Delfina Hotel, Santa Monica for 4 nights at nightly rate of $60 + 4,000 Starpoints = 16,000 points + $240. 

Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica is $257.41 per night for May 19-23;

Value: $1,030 – $240 Cash portion of Cash & Points award

Value of Inspector Gold’s hotel points redemption: $790 for 4 nights at Sheraton Delfina, Santa Monica. 

 

Inspector New uses 14,000 points to redeem a 4 night hotel stay in the SPG Category 2 Sheraton Ventura Harbor Hotel for Wednesday through Saturday.  Wednesday and Thursday weeknight awards are 4,000 points per night and Friday-Saturday weekend nights are only 3,000 points per night.  Inspector New takes her boyfriend to Ventura for a four night vacation on 14,000 points. 

Sheraton Ventura Harbor is $157 per night for May 19-23:  

Value of Inspector New’s hotel points redemption is $628 for 4 nights.

 

Conclusion: All three inspectors stayed in the same three hotels on the same nights and spent the same amount of money to earn the Winter 2009 Starwood Night after Night 10,000 points bonus.  Elite status bonus points are the primary factor in the earning differences between the three guests for their hotel stays. 

 

Redemption choices also determine the value of points earned since points have no value at all until actually redeemed.

 

Inspector Platinum earned approximately 50% more points than Inspector New with these hotel stays.  The value-added components of the actual hotel stays with complimentary upgrades, lounge access, and meals provided Inspector Platinum with about $1,000 in complimentary perks during the 10 hotel nights that Inspector New did not receive for the same hotel stays at the same room rate.

Inspector Gold only received about 15% more Starpoints for the same 10 stays as Inspector New, but Inspector Gold received about $500 in value-added benefits for free, including some room upgrades and lounge access during the 10 hotel nights.

The great news for Inspector New is that her 10th night was her 10th stay for 2009 and qualifies her for SPG Gold elite membership status.  She will now be SPG Gold through February 2011 and is looking forward to some value-added benefits on her upcoming Starwood Hotel stays.

Loyalty Traveler Note:  SPG is not as good as Hyatt and IHG Priority Club in allowing combinable bonuses.  Also SPG has fewer hotel specific bonus point offers than Hyatt and IHG.  Hyatt has frequent Gold Passport bonus point offers for specific hotels and IHG frequently runs brand promotions and also allows members to book hotel rates offering Priority Club bonus points.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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