SPG Elite Credit from someone else’s points

Earning elite credit for SPG free night awards, Cash & Points award stays and free night awards earned from SPG promotions is a new feature of Starwood Preferred Guest this past year when the policy was introduced October 1, 2011.

Q: What types of SPG Awards now count toward elite status?

A: Regular SPG Free Night Awards, Cash & Points Awards and SPG Award stays such as those earned from promotions (e.g., the SPG Getaway Free campaign Free Resort Night Awards) will count toward elite status. Non-SPG or any other type of SPG Award or Voucher stays, such as Air Canada’s Aeroplan awards, etc., will not count toward elite status.

SPG Award Stays earn credit for Elite Status – FAQ

View from the Wing wrote a few days ago about difficulty getting SPG elite stay and nights credit applied to his account for an award stay booked using points from another SPG member’s account.

The official SPG rules are clearly stated to say the guest who stays at the hotel on the award stay is the account to be credited with elite stay and nights credit, regardless of the member account where the points were pulled.

Q: If I want to gift an SPG Award stay or night to someone else, who gets the elite status credit?

A: If you (giver) decide to gift an SPG Award stay or night to someone else (receiver), the receiver will be given the stay/night credit toward elite status qualification. If the receiver is not an SPG member, he or she can enroll and receive the stay/night credit. You, the giver, will not receive any elite credit for that posted stay.

SPG Award Stays earn credit for Elite Status – FAQ

So if I book an award stay for my wife, or parents, or friend, then the guest who stays at the hotel receives the elite credit for the award stay.


One of the most common questions to be asked when a new promotion is launched is “Do award stays count?”

The simple answer is NO.

Q: Do SPG Award stays count toward promotional earning eligibility?

A: No. Only paid stays will continue to count toward promotional eligibility. For example, if SPG has an offer such as “Earn 1,000 bonus Starpoints for every stay,” you will only earn the bonus Starpoints on eligible paid stays. Cash & Points stays will still not count toward promotional eligibility.


Who does Hilton HHonors and Choice Privileges credit?

This question of reward stays counting for elite credit got me wondering if Hilton HHonors and Choice Privileges have this same policy of applying the elite nights and stay credit to the recipient of the reward stay. It seems like these other two programs that count reward stays for elite would also apply elite stay/nights credit for the guest at the hotel on the reward stay. I didn’t find any reference to this in the program terms and conditions for Hilton HHonors or Choice Privileges.

Any readers have first-hand knowledge of receiving (or not receiving) elite stay and nights credit for a reward stay booked from someone else’s account?

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.

More articles by Ric Garrido »


  1. Choice credits me with elite status credit when I use my points to book rooms for others. And when I have stayed in Choice award rooms by myself using points from someone else’s account, I don’t get status credit.

    I haven’t tried to request credit for such circumstances, but that is what I have been seeing happening as a default.

  2. … and Hilton has given me stay credit as the party staying on award nights using points from someone else’s account. Sometimes it was automatic, sometimes I had to request manual credit.

  3. Choice Privileges credits the member who redeemed points.

    Hilton HHonors has worked for gifter and the reward recipient. So the HHonors policy is still uncertain based on just two responses here.

  4. Interesting nuances. I have a question regarding this question:
    Q: Do SPG Award stays count toward promotional earning eligibility?

    A: No. Only paid stays will continue to count toward promotional eligibility.

    For the ‘Nice’ promotion: (as an example) will Cash and Points stays count toward ’10 nights for a free weekend’?

  5. @CinRan – No. SPG will not count Cash & Points stays for the Nice Choice promotion.

    Club Carlson is the only hotel program that counts Cash & Points stays for promotion credit. Club Carlson Cash and Points stays earn points for the cash portion and those earned points trigger the hotel stay as promotion eligible.

    All other programs with Cash and Points: Hilton HHonors, Priority Club and SPG count Cash & Points as an award stay and points are not earned for the cash portion paid.

    SPG and Hilton give elite credit for Cash & Points and the member earns points on incidental spend at the hotel.

  6. Thanx Ric. . .

    I’m glad i read your posts, as i would have counted any Cash & Points as eligible Nice Choice nights, consequently then choosing the wrong ‘Choice’.

    I’ll have to read the Terms a bit more closely now. . .

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