Starwood Preferred Guest Rewarding Returns promotion is a choice between the offers of 25% off an award stay or 4,000 points or a $50 certificate after completing 5 hotel stays from July 1 to Dec 31.
Registration for this offer is required at SPG.com/rewardingreturns.
I had no hesitation choosing the 25% off award. The discount award is potentially worth 12,000 points in savings compared to the choice of 4,000 bonus points. Points are potentially a much higher value than the $50 certificate. The limitation of the 25% award discount is the discount is only valid for category 1 to category 5 hotels and the stay is limited to five nights. The best aspect of the award discount is the redemption period is good for one hotel stay up to five nights through July 31, 2011.
Update: 7:00pm, July 14
Well it turns out that SPG changed the terms and conditions on this offer yesterday to allow 25% off a 5th night free award. The original terms excluded the 25% discount on the 5th night free offer. I missed that change posted by Starwood Lurker (official SPG representative) on page 21 of the FlyerTalk thread from July 13. The 25% discount in points for an award is now even a better deal.
To redeem the 25% award discount you must call SPG Customer Service 1-888-625-4911 and request award ID 485.
The best value for the 25% discount award is a four or five night Category 5 hotel stay for 36,000 points rather than 48,000 points – a savings of 12,000 points.
The 25% award discount is for one stay up to five nights, however, SPG normally discounts 20% points for any member booking a five night stay using points. There is only a slight savings using this discount for a five night stay since the discount is not combinable with the already discounted 5th night free award option for any SPG member.
For example, the 25% discount on a five night Category 5 hotel stay only saves 3,000 points, reducing the cost from 48,000 points (5th night free award) to 45,000 points (25% award discount). In this example the member is better off getting the 4,000 bonus points rather than the 25% award discount.
Basically any hotel stay of two to five nights at a category 4 or 5 hotel or a three to five night stay at a Category 3 hotel will save more than 4,000 points and is a better value than the 4,000 bonus points choice with this Rewarding Returns promotion offer.
The exclusion of category 6 and 7 is a relatively small number of properties. I can understand the restriction on category 7 hotels, but I sure would like to have seen category 6 hotels included for this offer.
In my opinion a nice touch by SPG would have been to offer SPG Gold elites up to Category 6 hotels in the 25% discount offer and SPG Platinum members the option of a discount on a category 7 award. There really has not been much from SPG this year to recognize SPG elite members with additional incentives. The SPG Platinum gift this year was a $25 hotel certificate when in the past there has been an offer of 50% off one award stay for Platinum members.
It is not too late SPG to recognize your elites with a distinctive offer.