Starwood Preferred Guest has announced its free weekend night promotion. SPG has taken the middle ground between Hyatt and Hilton’s free night offers. This offer is similar to last year’s except the stay requirement is up from two stays to three stays to earn a free night. The better aspect is an extended redemption window to December 19. Last year’s promotion had the same earning period, but the free nights needed to be redeemed by the end of September.
Free nights are still valid at category 6 hotels. There are only about eight category 7 hotels that even offer standard rooms, so the exclusion of category 7 hotels for this weekend free nights promotion is not much of a restriction.
Hyatt free nights after two stays are valid at all hotels and Hilton’s free night only excludes all-inclusive properties and Hilton Vacation Club. Hyatt and Hilton free nights may be used any day of the week. Starwood free nights are only for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, unless otherwise stated for some locations.
Starwood’s extended time frame of 7.5 months for using free nights should help award night availability. Finding award nights became tough at the category 6 hotels in August and September 2009 when everyone was seeking to use up their free nights before expiration.
This is a good deal even at three stays per free night. Anytime you can get promotion value equal to the cost of earning the award, then the promotion is high value. Finding hotels in the $100 per night range with Starwood is not too difficult in many locations and many category 5 and most category 6 hotels run $300+ per night at least some of the time, and some category 6 hotels run $300+ per night most of the time.
This will be a good time to go for SPG elite while earning free nights from hotel stays. The only thing better than a free $300 per night room is having Platinum status and getting a complimentary upgrade on your $300 per night room to the $600 per night suite. Suite upgrades are not guaranteed, but they sure seem to be a common occurrence in my SPG experiences of the past decade.
The challenge for the frequent guest now is to figure out where to lay your head. You have until June 30 to earn free nights with Hyatt and Hilton, and July 31 to earn free nights with Starwood.
Here is the summary from FlyerTalk per Starwood Lurker II as posted this morning.
- 1(One) Free Weekend Night award for every 3(Three) eligible stays.
- Registration begins 1 May 2010 and ends 30 June 2010. Only 61 days, so do not miss the window.
- Earning period begins 1 May 2010 and ends 31 July 2010.
- Redemption period begins 7 May 2010 and ends 19 December 2010.
- Awards are redeemable only at Participating properties from Categories 1 to 6.
- Free Weekend nights refer to any Friday, Saturday or Sunday except for properties otherwise stated.
Here is the SPG promotion Free Weekends link. The SPG registration link goes live on May 1, 2010.
See the Loyalty Traveler April 14, 2010 H.E.L.P. post for a summary of 25 or so current hotel loyalty program promotions and links.