Starwood Preferred Guest is raising the reward night category for 94 hotels in the USA, while only 22 Starwood Hotels in USA drop category on March 10, 2015. Still, there are some highly desirable hotels dropping in category. Several of these hotels only reached their higher SPG reward category in 2014 and are now retreating to more reasonable points levels.

Starwood: List of Starwood Hotels with SPG Category Change on March 10, 2015. This list from Starwood orders hotels by brand. I have reorganized their list to look at hotels geographically by state and city.

Here is my table of 22 Starwood Hotels in USA dropping in category, followed by some thoughts on the 2015 changes.

SPG 2015 USA 22 down

Vacation destinations in the drop zone

Maui, Scottsdale Arozona and Colorado Rocky Mountains are three vacation resort destinations dropping SPG reward category.

Colorado Rocky Mountain High: A category 7 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado seems ludicrous outside of peak ski season. There are thousands of rental condos in the area. The drop from 30,000 points to 20,000 points is a big gain, but still the lure is for skiers. Paying 20,000 points per night in other seasons is still a high price to pay.

Avon, Colorado is at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain, about ten miles west of Vail Valley. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is up the mountain on the ski slopes. The Starwood Hotels are in the town of Avon by the river. I have hotel reviews from May 2013 for Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas and Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas when these properties were at the SPG category level they will be returning to on March 10 2015. Category 5 for Westin Riverfront and Category 4 for Sheraton Mountain Vista are appropriate value for these hotels. These two hotels were priced too high in points for any stays outside of peak ski season for 2014. Apparently legal weed is not helping the nonsmoking ski resort rooms boost rates. Denver on the other hand is on the hotel category high rise.

Loyalty Traveler – Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas Beaver Creek (May 27, 2013)

Can’t seem to find the Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas review. I still might need to write it.

Scottsdale, Arizona is a decent place to visit in the winter and early spring before the sun gets scorching hot at 100F and hotter for months of the year. Two other hotels returning to a more appropriate SPG category level.

Maui – this could be the year for booking Maui with Starpoints. The way hotels are rising in the USA, this drop may be a one year temporary move. Three resorts all drop in category with a big difference between 48,000 points for a 5-night stay at Westin Ka’anapali as SPG category 5 vs. 80,000 points as SPG category 6. Similarly for an even more luxurious splurge are the Westin Villas on Maui at 80,000 points when it drops to SPG category 6 with a compared to 120,000 points as a category 7 hotel stay 5th night free reward.

Cheaper Airport Stays in 2015 – Baltimore Airport BWI, Washington Dulles, Los Angeles LAX and Detroit DTW see Starwood airport hotels drop in price. Personally, Westin LAX is a hotel I have stayed many times and category 4 placed it out of my consideration. Category 4 hotels are $75 + 5,000 points for Cash & Points reward night. The drop to SPG Category 3 puts the room at $55 + 3,500 points.

BWI and IAD in the Washington DC metro area offer even better deals with several hotels dropping from SPG category 3 to category 2. That makes these hotels only 3,000 points for a Friday or Saturday night or 4,000 on a weeknight compared to 7,000 points every night.

Detroit Metro Airport DTW with a Starwood category 1 hotel is a savings if you find yourself hanging around Detroit.

Bakersfield Four Points drops back to category 2. This is a good category for this hotel. The distinctive feature of this hotel I recall is a working oil rig pumpjack in the parking lot that gives an authentic There Will be Blood vibe to the downtown Bakersfield hotel.

FlyerTalk: Starwood Lurker IV (Starwood company representative)-Announcing SPG’s 2015 Category Changes

MilePoint: SPG Champion 2 (Starwood company representative) –Announcing SPG’s 2015 Category Changes

Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel Reward Night Table

Related Loyalty Traveler Posts:

Loyalty Traveler – Overview of SPG category changes March 10, 2015

Loyalty Traveler – List of USA 94 Starwood Hotels with SPG category increase March 10, 2015 

Loyalty Traveler – SPG 2015 category changes Asia Pacific Region Starwood Hotels (23 hotels go up and 34 hotels go down).

Loyalty Traveler – SPG Europe 2015 hotel category changes are all down (46 hotels drop SPG category on March 10, 2015.

There are 137 hotels on this week’s list of SPG Hot Escapes with 41 hotels in the USA. I look at a hotel like Le Meridien Lav in Split, Croatia at $73 per night for the entire month of March and wish I could move there for a month to secure SPG lifetime Gold elite. I’m only 20-something nights away.

SPG Hot Escapes Croatia

For many of us, family gets in the way of travel when you consider the impact of your absence on the lives of those around you. Being a home office worker, my additional chores include all the grocery shopping and cooking. Kelley misses here live-in chef when I hit the road without her.

I’ll settle for a week of travel somewhere in March, and probably not in a Starwood Hotel. Perhaps you can find a good hotel for your travels in this week’s SPG Hot Escapes.

Here are some notable hotel deals for me:

The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa, Vermont is $179 for all dates Sunday to Thursday nights. All the snow in the northeast gives this property a better value than a typical mud season March.

La Posada de Sante Fe, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico is $81 this weekend and $95 per night during the last week of March.

Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali is $119 for several dates in March. The location adjacent to the Luxury Collection property with shared facilities makes this a good hotel for sleeping with two hotels for entertainment and facilities.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran at $113 for several dates in March provides an opportunity to Starwood Hotel hop on the cheap and see different areas of the island. St. Regis Bali is $380 per night for nearly every date in March if you feel compelled for luxury.

Canada is the real deal of the season. The Canadian Dollar had its greatest devaluation in 2014 in years and Canada hotel prices are a bargain for Americans.

Westin Bristol Place Toronto Airport $64 to $70 most weekends.

Le Meridien Versailles, Montreal at $73 to $85 per night Thursday through Sunday.

Westin Bayshore Vancouver at $129 March 8-12 is a great hotel deal for the best city in the west.

Recap of SPG Hot Escapes rules:

Prepaid and nonrefundable rates.

Must book before 12 midnight local hotel time Saturday Feb 28, 2015 for stays over next six weeks.

There is not a single Starwood hotel in Europe going up in the 2015 SPG reward category changes. Europe sees 46 hotels drop in category. 33 of 46 hotels are located in countries on the euro currency.

One year ago on February 24, 2014 the Euro was worth $1.37 USD. Today, 1 EUR = $1.14 USD. That 20% decline in the value of the Euro compared to the dollar reduced the revenue value for Starwood Hotels in Europe.

200 EUR per night room rate one year ago meant $275 USD.

200 EUR per night room rate tonight = $228 USD.

Europe offers a great exchange rate in early 2015 for American travelers and SPG rates have dropped at many hotels, meaning your Starpoints have a better exchange rate too for hotel stays on points.

SPG hotel cat changes 2015 Europe.png

Notable changes:

Category 1 hotels return to Europe.

Two hotels drop to Category 1 in Europe. It has been years since there was a category 1 hotel in Europe.

Sheraton Athlone, Ireland is the tallest building in the geographic center of Ireland. I spent two nights at the Radisson Blu Athlone in November with a view of the Sheraton.

Sheraton Catania Hotel & Conference Center Italy is another addition to category 1.

Four SPG Category 7 hotels drop to category 6

  • Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Fuschlsee-Salzburg, Austria
  • W Paris – Opéra, France
  • Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini, Greece
  • The St. Regis Rome, Italy


Convento do Espinheiro, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, Evora, Portugal and Sheraton Lisboa both drop to category 3. Portugal is much more affordable at 28,000 points for a 5-night stay.


Four Points Barcelona back to category 2 is a good deal for this city hotel. I stayed there in 2012.

Loyalty Traveler – Four Points Diagonal Barcelona on the Poblenou (Oct 3, 2012).

London Heathrow

Sheraton Heathrow Hotel LHR hotels dropping to category 2 means potentially big savings on a first or last night trip to London compared to the cost of city center hotels.

Sheraton Skyline Hotel London Heathrow drops from category 4 to 3.

Related posts:

Starwood list of 2015 category changes effective March 10, 2015.

Loyalty Traveler – Overview of SPG category changes March 10, 2015

Loyalty Traveler – SPG 2015 category changes Asia Pacific Region Starwood Hotels

Starwood Preferred Guest released its list of Starwood Hotels worldwide that will change SPG reward category on March 10, 2015. I am creating tables sorting the changes by country and city rather than the Starwood list ordered by region, country and hotel brand. I want to see hotels by city, like all the San Francisco hotels grouped together. These posts with tables will be posting over the next couple of days.

FlyerTalk: Starwood Lurker IV (Starwood company representative)- Announcing SPG’s 2015 Category Changes

MilePoint: SPG Champion 2 (Starwood company representative) – Announcing SPG’s 2015 Category Changes

Starwood says 22% of hotels globally are changing with 10.49% going up in SPG reward category and 11.78% moving down.  The list shows about 275 hotels.

What do the changes reveal about travel in 2015?

This post is an overview of SPG category changes March 10, 2015. I will post other articles on different Starwood regions with my own tables of hotels changing reward category for 2015 and discussion on some of the hotels that look like good values.

Europe: There are a large number of hotels dropping category in Europe with the Euro devaluation against the US dollar. Several category 7 hotels dropped to category 6.

India and Canada are other places where the currency lost ground against the dollar. There are many shifts in Asia-Pacific with China and India.

USA has a big increase with 94 hotels going up and only 22 dropping down in SPG reward category. Canada is interesting with 15 hotels going down and only two going up. The USD gained big against Canadian Dollars in 2014.

Caribbean, Latin America, Mexico Africa and Middle East will be covered in its own post.

SPG reward night cost

Changes in reward category can have a big impact on the cost of hotel stays.

Dropping from category 7 to category 6 is like a 3-for-2 coupon. A hotel that was 60,000 points for a 2-night reward stay in 2014 buys 3 nights for 60,000 points in 2015.

Starwood Hotels dropping from Category 7 to Category 6 for 2015

  1. Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Fuschlsee-Salzburg, Austria
  2. W Paris – Opéra, France
  3. Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini, Greece
  4. The St. Regis Rome, Italy
  5. Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  6. The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii

Starwood Hotels dropping from Category 6 to Category 5 for 2015

Even bigger savings are found with hotels dropping from Category 6 at 20,000 points per night to category 5 at 12,000 points. These hotels were 60,000 points for 3 nights in 2014 and the same 60,000 points buy six nights in 2015 with the SPG 5th night free reward rate.

    1. The Westin Kierland Villas, Scottsdale, Arizona
    2. The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, Beaver Creek Mountain, Avon, Colorado
    3. Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, Maui, Hawaii
    4. The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali, Maui, Hawaii
    5. Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens, Greece
    6. Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow, Russia
    7. Sheraton Zurich Neues Schloss Hotel, Switzerland
    8. Sheraton Lagos, Nigeria
    9. ITC Grand Bharat, a Luxury Collection Resort, Gurgaon, New Delhi Capital Region, India
    10. Le Méridien Taipei, Taiwan

This looks like the year to plan a Starwood points vacation for Maui or Greece. I stayed at the Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas in May 2013 when it was a category 5 SPG hotel on a $116 AAA mud season rate. Should you feel like a sucker if you redeemed 20,000 points per night in 2014 at the hotel?

Loyalty Traveler – Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas Beaver Creek Mountain, Colorado (May 27, 2013).

There are big savings to be found at the high category properties when a simple category drop means more free nights or points savings in the tens of thousands. Picking up 60,000 Starpoints is a lot of effort and spend for most of us. Having hotels where 60,000 points buys twice as many nights in 2015 is a good find for a vacation hotel redemption.

Time to Redeem and Save Points at these hotels

The next two weeks are the time to redeem points if one of the vacation properties rising from 6 to 7 or 5 to 6 is on your 2015 list.

Plan your hotel stay now if you want to spend fewer points at these high category Starwood Hotels moving to higher categories.

Starwood Hotels rising from Category 6 to Category 7 in 2015

  1. W Retreat Koh Samui, Thailand
  2. St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Punta de Mita, Mexico
  3. St. Regis San Francisco

Starwood Hotels rising from Category 5 to Category 6 in 2015

  1. The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona
  2. Westin Verasa Napa, California
  3. Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs, California
  4. Westin Palo Alto, California
  5. Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco, California
  6. The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
  7. W Boston, Massachusetts
  8. St. Regis Houston, Texas
  9. Westin Bahrain City Centre, Manama, Bahrain
  10. Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, Doha, Qatar
  11. St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Last week I checked out St. Regis Deer Valley while I was in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival. The location of St. Regis Deer Valley is less than two miles south of historic Main Street, Park City. Free bus service is frequent between the hotel and town.

First impressions of the hotel were great as someone arriving on the Park City bus. There is a large ski area parking lot at the base of Deer Valley Resort. The first step to reaching St. Regis Deer Valley Resort is walking across the street to the funicular for a self-starting ride up the hillside.

St Regis funicular-1

The funicular ride is missed if you arrive at the hotel in a car with the road wrapping around the opposite side of the hill to the hotel entrance.

Funicular base camp is the first step into luxury at St. Regis.

St. Regis funicular lodge     St. Regis funicular-2

The funicular platform is on the second floor level. There are stairs and an elevator. At the top of the stairs is a big dog sculpture.

St Regis big dog     St Regis funicular room

The second floor room at the top of the stairs is one of many spaces in St. Regis Deer Valley where a person can sit and relax in the hotel. And I had not even reached the hotel yet. For that, I needed to get on the funicular.

St Regis funicular sign     St Regis Funicular seat

I rode two funiculars in 2014 on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway and in Dubuque, Iowa where the funicular design was from the 1903 Chicago World’s Fair and I sat on a wooden seat. St. Regis funicular is state of the art.

St Regis funicular buttons

The St. Regis Deer Valley funicular is self-starting. Later on as I sat in a car waiting to come down the hillside, people in the car wondered when it would start? The car starts when you press and hold the Start button. Duh. There are two cars on separate tracks.

St Regis Deer Valley view

At the top of the funicular, the car doors open directly into the hallway with the St. Regis bar and outdoor patio entrances nearby.

St Regis Funicular-2

The hotel location and funicular entrance to the hotel impressed me. Can you tell? Ten pictures and I have not even shown the hotel yet.

St Regis Deer Valley, Park City Utah

St. Regis Deer Valley has 181 guest rooms, including 66 suites. Rooms start at 410-435 sq. ft. for Superior category and 440-485 Sq. ft. for Deluxe and Grand Deluxe rooms. That sounds kind of small for luxury hotels where rooms tend to average 500 to 550 sq. ft. The main suite categories are Astor Suite at 800 sq. ft., Deluxe and Luxury Suites average 900 sq. ft.

The hotel was packed. I did not visit any rooms. I stayed over an hour at the property checking out different areas.

The outdoor dining area was popular with the mid-40s brilliant sunshine of a January winter day about to change with clouds over the mountain peaks of the Wasatch Range.

St Regis patio dining

The view from the patio deck is the best view I saw while in Park City.

St Regis pool-2

Skiers walked from the patio deck to the slope. I read about ski in – ski out hotels in the descriptions of Park City lodging. This hotel is where I saw that kind of skiing.

St Regis skiers

There is a large ice sculpture off the patio dining area. The lighting was not conducive to a good photo.

The hotel from the front entrance looks like it was carved out of the mountain.

St Regis building

West facing rooms seemed like they have a better view looking over the pool and ski slopes. The other side of the hotel offers grand vistas into the distance, but far less sunshine in winter.

I walked by the main restaurant J&G Grill and saw the table that I had seen from instagram photo earlier in the day. Brian Kelly was at St. Regis during Sundance while I was at the Hyatt Escala Lodge. I thought he was showing a table from his suite.

St Regis grand dining

I was surprised that staff were friendly and welcoming about letting me take photos at St. Regis Deer Valley.

St Regis wine vault

Several times at St. Regis San Francisco I have been stopped by security from taking photographs in the hotel, even when staying as a guest at the hotel.

St Regis dining room

This is one of the private rooms in J&G Grill. The main area of the restaurant was busy with diners. The windows of the restaurant look out to the best views from the hotel location, the same view seen in the pool photo.

There is a Remède Spa at the hotel. I did not visit the spa. I picked up some 2.4 oz. shampoo and conditioner Remède products from some luxury hotel stay last year. I can’t remember which hotel.

Remede Spa

The St. Regis Deer Valley main lobby is larger than Waldorf Astoria and much larger than Hyatt Escala Lodge. My impression is St. Regis had the most inviting and comfortable lobby for hanging out of the hotels I saw.

St Regis Deer Valley lobby-1     St Regis lobby-2

There were several seating spaces, a couple of fireplaces and a library room.

St Regis lobby fireplace     St Regis library

The front of the hotel reveals why I said the St. Regis looks like it was built into a cut on the mountain.

St. Regis retaining wall

The north side of the hotel is a large wall.

St Regis hotel front

The views are not as attractive from the front of the hotel on lower facing floors.

St Regis east view

Some rooms on the east side, front entrance to the hotel will have this view. The west side offers the better views.

St Regis entrance

St. Regis Deer Valley, Park City Utah is a luxury hotel. This category 7 SPG property will set you back 30,000 points or 35,000 points in peak season. I was surprised to see the hotel was not peak season rates for Sundance Film Festival. Although, the published rates were priced like peak season rates.

Midweek rates next week are $1,297 per night after tax for a Deluxe room.

Rates for a Luxury Suite are $1,700 per night after tax for a midweek stay in late February.

There are only 9 dates available today for points in February and March and no more than two consecutive nights during that period. That will put you into a Superior room. There are no Cash & Points dates available.

St. Regis Deer Valley is a fine looking resort. The St. Regis property is currently ranked #9 of 58 Park City hotels on Locals I spoke with mentioned Montage Deer Valley (#2 TripAdvisor) and Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley (#4 TripAdvisor) as two other must-see hotels in the area. I did not make it to those two other hotels.

Comments are off for this article

Westin Warsaw $40 is one hot deal on this week’s SPG Hot Escapes January 21, 2015 edition. As is often the case with SPG Hot Escapes advertised rates, the Westin $40 rate is for one date only on Sunday, February 8. A cheap long 3-night weekend in Warsaw is still an incredible deal at $137 for Friday check-in and Monday checkout February 6-8. Westin Warsaw is available for $53 per night or less for 13 weekend dates over the next six weeks.

Westin Warsaw

You can hotel hop for elite status in Warsaw with Sheraton Warsaw $60 every weekend. You can even go upscale by staying at Hotel Bristol, Luxury Collection for $77 per night Fridays to Sundays.

I noticed several Instagram photos posted by Seth of The Wandering Aramean this past week from his travels in Warsaw and Poland. I need to get to Poland one of these days so my wife can’t have bragging rights that she has been in a country I have not visited.

There are three other SPG Hot Escapes Starwood Hotels in Poland on this week’s list. Europe is on sale with 80 hotels and 42 in Asia Pacific region with only 41 in the USA.

Starwood Hotels in Asia Pacific region have a 7-day sale for up to 50% off hotel rates for stays to April 19, 2015. Promotion code DAILY50 or DAILYRB (including breakfast). Rates are prepaid and nonrefundable.

Booking Period: January 12-18

Stay Period: January 12 to April 19, 2015

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Fiji
  • Guam
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • New Caledonia
  • Samoa
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

There are hundreds of hotels in this sale. I checked a few hotels and there was nothing that really jumped out at me as a great deal, but I do not follow Asia Pacific hotel rates.

An example rate is Le Meridien Angkor Wat in Cambodia with a Best Flexible Rate of $160 per night and Daily50 rate $115. That is a 28% discount.

Starwood Asia Pacific Jan sale

Evaluating 2015 Q1 hotel promotions with $1000 spend is my take on a comparative analysis of the major promotions across several hotel chains.

People who travel frequently on company expense accounts might look at Hyatt’s offer and think 20 nights for 65,000 bonus points is brilliant. They may knock that out in the next three weeks of work travel.

I look at 15 nights to earn 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points by April 30 and think that is at least $1,500 in hotel spend and I get two free nights at a category 6 hotel (20,000 points per reward night) or three free nights at a category 4 hotel (15,000 points per reward night). Those can be valuable free nights in certain locations. But, 15 nights for 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for $1,000 in hotel stays is a difficult achievement.

This post looks at the advantages of the different hotel promotions this quarter to evaluate what kinds of travel favor which kind of promotion.

Evaluating 2015 Q1 hotel promotions with $1000 spend


#1 Club Carlson 30,000 bonus points for 3-night stays Jan 12-March 29, 2015

My top pick for best promotion bonus: Club Carlson Extend Your Stay 30,000 bonus points for 3-night stay. Loyalty Traveler – Club Carlson Jan 12 to March 29, 2015 stays earn 15K for 2 nights, 30K for 3 nights (January 5, 2015).

Promotion Favors hotel stays of 2 or 3 nights. 3 nights is best earning rate.

Club Carlson is my top pick for big points with little spend for extended stays. Club Carlson has a simple global offer of 15,000 bonus points on 2-night stays and 30,000 bonus points on 3-night stays.

I favor Club Carlson due to being a Club Carlson Visa card member with the benefit of Gold elite and one free reward night for any reward stay of two or more nights.

Assuming an average $100 per night Carlson brand hotel room in Radisson, Park Inn or Country Inns & Suites means I can get three 3-night stays for 90,000 bonus points and earn 37 points/$1 in hotel spend. Assume $1,000 in hotel spend and that is 37,000 points + 90,000 bonus points after 9 hotel nights. 127,000 Club Carlson points can buy 8 two-night reward stays at category 2 hotels. My preference is to aim for 50,000 points hotels in major tourist destinations like Paris, London, Vienna and Sydney where 50,000 points buys a two-night reward stay at a hotel that normally averages $300 per night hotel rates. Club Carlson points buy more nights than most other hotel program points. I’ll be in Copenhagen in July and a two-night stay at Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen will be a good use of points.

Radisson Copenhagen

Two nights at Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen is priced at $577 or 50,000 points. My $1,000 in Club Carlson spend can earn 127,000 points. Those points cover a 2-night stay in Copenhagen upon airport arrival and before departure for our international trip.

Club Carlson has a solid offer.

#2 Choice Privileges Triple Points December 29 to February 18, 2015

Promotion favors: any traveler who spends. This offer can be earned at $40 per night hotels or $400 per night hotels. Length of stay not a factor.

Loyalty Traveler – Choice Privileges Triple Points Dec 29-February 18, 2015 (Dec 29, 2014)

Admittedly, I will probably not put much effort into this offer, but I think it is a fantastic points earning offer you can earn for economy and midscale hotel stays in brands from Rodeway Inn to Clarion, Comfort Inn and Quality Inn.

Choice Privileges Triple Points means 30 points/$1 on hotel stays at six hotel brands, including Ascend Collection, Clarion, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Cambria Suites and Sleep Inn.

Choice Hotels has four other extended stay and economy brands with MainStay, Suburban, Rodeway Inn and Econolodge. These four brands normally earn 50% points at 5 points/$1 and will earn 15 points/$1 during triple points promotion.

$1,000 in hotel spend can earn 30,000 points. This can be 2 nights at many hotels with a $600 total value. Choice Privileges is spend based so spending enough to earn 16,000 points is sufficient for wide choice of free night hotels. This can be earned with $534 in hotel spend making this offer one of the best earning promotions for low spenders.

You’ll want to go for the higher earning points brands. Finding a hotel under $60 per night in winter season in the USA is easy with these brands. There are 6,000 hotels to choose from, most in Comfort Inn and Quality Inn. Even Monterey, my home town tourist spot has low rates.

No Concern about length of stay with Choice Hotels triple points. This offer is based on hotel spend, so you earn 30 points/$1 for one-night stays or seven-night stays.

Value of Choice Privileges points – 20,000 points will buy a mid-priced hotel in the USA, whereas 20,000 points can be a $500 per night hotel in Europe and select places.

Hotel loyalty aficionados are turned off by the limited booking window with Choice Privileges points.  USA members can only redeem points within 30 days of stay, unless you have elite status for an earlier booking window.

The advantage of this regional system for USA members is we can book international hotels in Europe at 60 days before stay, while Europeans are limited by the same 30-day window for hotel points reward stays in their home region of Europe. Availability for reward stays in Europe is good for USA members who have one month head start on Europeans for choice hotels.

#3 IHG Rewards Club Set Your Sights January 1 – April 30, 2015

Loyalty Traveler – Loyalty Traveler – Our IHG Set Your Sights tasks for 50000 points Jan 1-Apr 30, 2015 

This is a targeted offer and your personal tasks will determine how this offer ranks to other hotel promotions. My wife’s tasks for 50,000 points can be completed with 3 nights, including two stays at a Holiday Inn and one of those stays being a 2-night weekend stay. My tasks for 50,000 points can be completed with 6 nights including two 2-night weekend stays and two 1-night stays at Crowne Plaza hotels. Some members received tasks that require many more nights. IHG Rewards Club tends to favor members who stay less frequently with easier to reach tasks.

This promotion favors low spenders who will benefit from a high earning promotion for 50,000 points for 3 to 6 nights.

I view IHG Set Your Sights as a 100,000 bonus points offer we can earn with 9 paid hotel nights. This fits in my $1,000 spend scenario. 50,000 points is the reward rate for the highest level IHG hotels. There is also the possibility of finding PointBreaks hotels at 5,000 points per night for great redemption value. Personally, I look at the 50,000 points as free high-end hotel nights for places like London and San Francisco.

Loyalty Traveler – IHG PointBreaks Nov 24 to Feb 28, 2015 by State and Country (Nov 21, 2014)


#4 Marriott Rewards MegaBonus February 1 to April 30, 2015 + West Coast 2K bonus per weekend night Jan 2 to March 28

Loyalty Traveler –  Marriott MegaBonus offers for Feb 1 to April 30, 2015 (Dec 19, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler -  Marriott Big Bonus Payout Western USA 2,000 points per night January 2 to March 28, 2015 (Jan 10, 2015)

Promotion favors: Weekend stays of one or two nights.

Marriott Rewards MegaBonus did not seem too lucrative to me and I received one of the better targeted offers at 3,000 bonus points per stay, for stays 2 to 9 during the promotion period.

Then, a second offer for 2,000 points per weekend night at West Coast hotels. Northern California is well represented and rates are far lower on weekends around the San Francisco Bay Area hotels. Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Utah also have hotels offering 2,000 bonus points per night for Friday, Saturday or Sunday night stays.

One night stays can earn 5,000 bonus points per stay for 8 of 9 hotel stays. That is 40,000 bonus points and another 10,000 in regular points. 50,000 points can be one night at the top of the line category 8 (40,000 per night) or category 9 (45,000 per night) Marriott. There are 60 of 85 Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 available for 30,000 to 50,000 points per night.

50,000 points can buy 3 to 5 nights at low category 2 and 3 hotels.

Marriott Rewards has 767 hotels at the category 2 reward level for 10,000 points per night.  There are 971 hotels at category 3 reward level for 15,000 points per night.

Marriott offers a good value promotion if you find hotels to combine MegaBonus with another hotel specific bonus. There are hundreds of hotels with Marriott Rewards bonus points offers.


#5 Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More January 15 to April 30, 2015

Another targeted offer with many members getting low earning offers and others getting high earning offers.

Promotion favors hotel guests who can stay 10 to 25 nights by April 30, 2015. This is an expensive promotion to fulfill based on the high number of nights needed for the best bonus offers.

  • 2,000 bonus points after next stay.
  • 5,000 bonus points after 2 stays
  • 10 nights for 20,000 points
  • 20 nights for 50,000 bonus points in intervals with 5 nights = 5,000; 10 nights = 15,000; 15 nights = 30,000 points.
  • 5 nights = 5,000 bonus points; 10 nights = 15,000; 15 Nights = 30,000 points; 20 Nights + 15,000 Points = 45,000 bonus points;
    25 Nights + 20,000 Points = 65,000.

10 nights earning 15,000 or 20,000 points is sufficient for one free night at a category 4 hotel for 15,000 points or category 5 hotel at 20,000 points. Many of these hotels will have $300 per night rates.

$1,000 in spend for ten nights earns one free upper tier or up to four nights at Hyatt Gold Passport category 1 hotels at 5,000 points per night. $1,000 in spend earns another 5,000 base points. You might find it difficult to get ten Hyatt nights for $1,000.

#6 SPG Double Play January 5 to April 15

Loyalty Traveler – SPG Double Play Jan 5 to April 15, 2015 is double weak (Dec 30, 2014)

  • 2-night stay earns 2 bonus points per dollar.
  • Earn 1,000 bonus points every 5 nights, up to 4,000 points maximum during promotion after 20 nights.

Promotion favors die-hard SPG loyalists who prefer the Starwood Hotels over lucrative hotel promotion bonuses. You need to have 2-night stays to really get any value. On single night stays, you can earn a maximum 4,000 points after 20 nights.

$1,000 in spend for two 5-night stays might earn 4,000 to 5,000 points with the double points offer and 2,000 bonus points for 10 nights if you are a base member or Gold/Platinum elite. 

The actual bonus points above what is normally earned by an SPG member is only 4,000 bonus points after 10 nights. This is a miserable earning bonus limited to SPG members who make 2-night or longer stays.

Personally, I’ll be looking for better hotel stay spend bonuses available with the other major hotel programs.

This is only 6,000 to 8,000 SPG points after $1,000 in spend and will buy one night at a mid-category hotel.

# 7 Hilton Double Up Double Points Nov 1 to January 31, 2015

Hilton will likely announce a new promotion for 2015 Q1 this week. The current offer of double points runs through January 31. Double points means 25 points/$1, and more for elite and credit card members. The catch is the double points does not start until second stay.

Loyalty Traveler – Register for Hilton HHonors Double Up Double Points Nov 1 to Jan 31, 2015 (October 31, 2014)

After first stay, which should be a one-night stay to kickstart the bonus, assume $900 in spend at double points whether multiple stays or an extended stay. This promotion can earn maybe 25,000 to 30,000 points after $1,000 in spend. That is one night at a mid-category hotel.

Hilton comes up low in my ranking, although it is a very flexible earning promotion good for single night stays or extended stay after you get the first qualifying stay finished to begin earning double points.

Starwood Hotels Le Meridien brand has a good offer for 1,000 bonus points on your first stay and 2,000 bonus points for every additional stay from December 11 to March 1, 2015. There is no earnings limit. This offer is only for 21 Le Meridien hotels in North America, Latin America and French Polynesia.

Starwood Preferred Guest members must register by January 25, 2015.

One of the best features of SPG promotions is for members who have eligible stays prior to registering for the promotion. Most hotel loyalty programs will not count stays for a promotion bonus until after registration. SPG tends to allow retroactive credit for promotion bonuses as long as the member registers by the deadline, in this case January 25, 2015. This means if you had eligible Le Meridien stays since December 11 and you register for the promotion after your stays, your earlier stays count for bonus points.

There is no email confirmation for promotion registration. You receive a promotion registration confirmation page at time of registration as seen below for my registration.

Le Meridien 2015Q1 2K bonus

Enriching Destinations, Limitless Earnings with Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts

Participating Properties

Montreal, Quebec

French Polynesia
Bora Bora


Mexico City

United States of America

Santa Monica

Palm Springs

San Francisco





New Orleans



New York
New York

North Carolina

*Coming Soon – January 2015





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Starwood Preferred Guest has a promotion for double points to January 31, 2015 with Starwood Hotels Latin America and LanPass Airlines. The promotion reads earn double LANPASS kilometers, but it is actually double points earned that can be exchanged later for LANPASS kilometers. Or not.

This offer is only valid at participating Starwood Hotels in Latin America for two-night or longer stays completed between November 1 and January 31, 2015.

Promotion registration is required and you need to input your LANPASS frequent flyer account number.

  • To participate in this offer, the LANPASS® member must register online by January 31, 2015, and be a member of Starwood Preferred Guest®.
  • Offer is valid for stays booked and completed between November 1, 2014, and January 31, 2015.
  • A minimum stay of two nights is required.
  • Double Starpoints® per stay will be credited to the member’s account within 4–6 weeks following the close of the promotion. Only the member’s base Starpoints will be doubled. Additional bonuses earned, including but not limited to elite status points or online booking bonuses, will not be doubled.
  • A qualifying rate is any rate that is eligible to earn Starpoints in the Starwood Preferred Guest program.
  • To receive the bonus LANPASS Kilometers for eligible stays, guest must be a member of Starwood Preferred Guest and present his or her SPG® membership number at the time of hotel check-in. Starpoints earned in the SPG program can then be transferred to valid LANPASS accounts at the exchange rate of 1 Starpoint to 1.5 LANPASS Kilometers. Once Starpoints have been transferred to LANPASS, they cannot be returned to the Starwood Preferred Guest account.

You can keep double Starpoints with this promotion. There is no need to transfer Starpoints to LANPASS kilometers.

SPG LANPASS 2x points



  • Sheraton Cordoba Hotel
  • Sheraton Mar del Plata Hotel
  • Park Tower, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Buenos Aires
  • Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center
  • Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa
  • Sheraton Pilar Hotel & Convention Center
  • Sheraton Libertador Hotel
  • Sheraton Salta Hotel
  • Sheraton Mendoza Hotel
  • Sheraton Tucuman Hotel


  • Sheraton Reserva do Paiva Hotel & Convention Center, Recife
  • Sheraton Vitoria Hotel
  • Sheraton Sao Paulo WTC Hotel
  • Four Points by Sheraton Macaé
  • Four Points by Sheraton Curitiba
  • Sheraton Porto Alegre Hotel
  • Sheraton Rio Hotel & Resort
  • Sheraton da Bahia Hotel, Salvador


  • San Cristobal Tower, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santiago
  • Four Points by Sheraton Santiago
  • Sheraton Santiago Hotel and Convention Center
  • Sheraton Miramar Hotel & Convention Center
  • W Santiago
  • Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles
  • Villarrica Park Lake, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, Villarrica


  • Aloft Bogota Airport
  • Four Points by Sheraton Bogota
  • Four Points by Sheraton Cali
  • Sheraton Bogota Hotel
  • Four Points by Sheraton Medellin

Costa Rica

  • The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal
  • Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica
  • Sheraton San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica


  • Sheraton Quito Hotel
  • Sheraton Guayaquil Hotel


  • The Westin Camino Real, Guatemala


  • The Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos
  • The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta
  • The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun
  • The Westin San Luis Potosi
  • Sheraton Buganvilias Resort and Convention Center
  • Sheraton Santa Fe, Mexico City
  • Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel and Towers
  • Sheraton Ambassador Hotel
  • Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort, Los Cabos
  • Hacienda Uayamon, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Uayamon
  • Hacienda San Jose, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Jose
  • Hacienda Temozon, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Temozon Sur
  • Hacienda Santa Rosa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santa Rosa
  • Four Points by Sheraton Galerias Monterrey
  • W Mexico City
  • Hacienda Puerta Campeche, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Campeche
  • Le Méridien Mexico City
  • The Westin Guadalajara
  • The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort
  • The St. Regis Mexico City
  • The Westin Santa Fe, Mexico City
  • Four Points by Sheraton Monterrey Linda Vista
  • Four Points by Sheraton Queretaro Norte
  • Aloft Guadalajara
  • Aloft Cancun
  • Four Points by Sheraton Mexico City, Colonia Roma


  • Le Méridien Panama
  • Sheraton Panama Hotel & Convention Center
  • The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
  • Four Points by Sheraton Colon
  • The Westin Panama
  • Aloft Panama
  • Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort


  • Four Points by Sheraton Miraflores
  • Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort, Paracas
  • Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado
  • The Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center
  • Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco
  • Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center


  • Sheraton Asuncion Hotel

El Salvador

  • Sheraton Presidente San Salvador Hotel


  • Four Points by Sheraton Montevideo
  • Sheraton Colonia Golf & Spa Resort
  • Sheraton Montevideo Hotel

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