Yawn! Why Starwood 2x/3x points May 1-July 31 bores me

Starwood Hotel stays from May 1 to July 31 earn double points (4 points per dollar) at about 85% of hotels globally (about 150 hotels worldwide opted out of promotion). Include a Sunday night in your stay and earn triple points (6 points per dollar = 2 base points + 4 bonus points per dollar).

Register by June 30, 2014.

Key T&C for SPG Earn Away Promotion

How can I earn double or triple Starpoints?

  • A registered member will earn triple Starpoints if the eligible stay includes a Sunday night at participating hotels and resorts.
  • For participating hotels in the Middle East, triple Starpoints will be awarded for stays that include a Saturday night instead of Sunday: Amman: Jordan; Bahrain: Bahrain; Kuwait: Kuwait City; Lebanon: Beirut; Saudi Arabia: Al Khobar, Dammam, Jeddah, Makkah, Medina, Riyadh; Qatar: Doha; United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai and Fujairah. For all other eligible stays, a registered member will earn double Starpoints at participating hotels and resorts during the promotion period.

How many Starpoints do I earn with double or triple Starpoints?

  • With double Starpoints, a member will earn four (4) total Starpoints per eligible US$1 spent.
  • With triple Starpoints, a member will earn six (6) total Starpoints per eligible US$1 spent.
  • Elite-level extra Starpoint earnings and other bonuses will not be doubled or tripled.
  • Only the base two-Starpoints-per-dollar earnings are doubled or tripled.
  • There is no limit to the number of total bonus Starpoints a member can earn. 

If part of my stay was reserved using a Free Night Award or SPG Cash & Points, will my stay qualify?

  • No, Free Night Awards and Cash & Points do not count as qualifying stays for this promotion.
  • Even if part of the stay is reserved using an Award and part is paid, the member will not receive bonus Starpoints for any part of the stay.

If I check in before May 1, 2014, or check out after July 31, 2014, does my stay earn the bonus?

  • Yes, as long as one night of the stay is within the promotion period, bonus Starpoints will be earned on every night during the entire stay (even if part of the stay falls outside the promotion period).

Can I take advantage of other bonus promotions at the same time?

  • Yes. However, each promotion earns bonuses independently of each other.

SPG Earn Away q22014


Loyalty Traveler Analysis: Why double points bore me.

I do not like spend based bonus offers. There is no leverage incentive in these types of offers. Spend $1,000 and earn from 2,000 to 4,000 bonus points on Starwood Hotel stays. Spend $2,000 and earn 4,000 to 8,000 bonus points. To earn more bonus points, you need to spend more.

Starwood Preferred Guest no longer follows what was once my counterargument to people who argued earning Starpoints required too much hotel spend. I’d argue during the years I was SPG Platinum elite (2003-2011), that on average, I could expect to earn 1,000 bonus points per $100 hotel stay through hotel loyalty promotion bonuses.

Ten years ago, spending $2,500 on 25 hotel stays would typically earn 7,500 points as an SPG elite and 25 hotel stays would earn 25,000 bonus points from promotions offered over the course of the year. I found earning 32,500 points for 25 stays on $2,500 spend a good rate of return combined with frequent upgrades at fine hotels. Platinum elite welcome points of 500 points per stay added another 10,000 or so points each year.

I do not hold SPG Platinum or even Gold elite in 2014. I moved on to other hotel programs since the opportunities to earn bonus points from Starwood hotel stays have diminished in the past three years. The only real increase is SPG Gold elite amenity points of 125 or 250 point per stay.

2014 Stay Away Earning Estimates

$2,500 in hotel spend during the new SPG Earn Away promotion earns 5,000 base points and 5,000 (double points) to 10,000 bonus points (triple points) as an SPG non-elite member. Assume I can earn 15,000 bonus points with all Sunday night stays. But that can’t be 25 separate stays in 3 months.

Assume I am Gold elite and my hotel spend is $2,500. With all Sunday triple points stays, I’d still only earn 17,500 points. This is about 50% of what I used to earn for the same $2,500 in hotel spend a decade ago.

And SPG hotel category awards were not so skewed to the high end and high points reward categories a decade ago.

In 1999, the first time I purposely stayed at Starwood Hotels to earn bonus points, the SPG promotion offer earned 7,000 bonus points after 3 stays. I flew to Vancouver, British Columbia and stayed in some Starwood Hotels and the bonus earned a free night with a large choice of hotels. Sheraton Wall Vancouver was a category 3 hotel when I paid to stay there in 1999.

Assume I am SPG loyal and spend $1,500 during May 1-July 31 for seven hotel stays. That is a pace for Platinum elite on 25 stays in a calendar year.

  • 2 two-night stays with Sunday night at $125 each = $500 spend and 3,000 Starpoints for hotel spend.
  • 5 two-night stays (no Sundays) at $100 each = $1,000 in spend and 4,000 Starpoints for hotel spend.

7 hotel stays with $1,500 hotel spend earns 7,000 Starpoints for non-elite SPG members. 

Gold and Platinum SPG members earn an extra elite bonus point per dollar for 1,500 elite points for 8,500 points. Platinum-75 members are the cream elite and not considered in this points analysis.

As Gold elite, I could expect another 250 elite bonus points per stay at brands except Aloft, Element and Four Points (125 points per stay). This would be an additional 875 to 1,750 bonus points in elite amenity welcome points for seven stays.

As Platinum elite, I could expect another 500 elite bonus points per stay at brands except Aloft, Element and Four Points (250 points per stay). This would be an additional 1,750 to 3,500 bonus points in elite amenity welcome points for seven stays.

Spending $1,500 on 7 hotel stays earns 7,000 points as a base member, to around 10,000 points as SPG Gold to 12,000 points as SPG Platinum. Add the SPG Amex card to pay for hotel stays and another 3,000 points are earned.

15,000 points earned for SPG Platinum members on seven stays with $1,500 in hotel spend is a good loyalty rebate. A base member or an elite not using SPG Amex card to earn 2 points/$1 for Starwood hotel stays has far less earning potential.

In 1999, I paid $350 to stay 3 nights on 3 stays and earned 8,000 points. This 2014 promotion as SPG non-elite will take me $1,500 to earn 7,000 points.

This SPG promotion does not offer much incentive to stay for someone who is not already working to maintain Starwood Preferred Guest elite status.

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. They used to get creative with their promotions, especially for the summer (like free resort nights back in 2011). Now they’ve just been running basically the same promotion with slight variations

  2. With the devaluations last year I no longer value SPG points at more than 1.5 cents per point. They do have the advantage of being transferable to airline points though. I will probably just stick with Marriott Megabonus assuming they will give out Cat 1-5 not 1-4.

  3. 1999? You are seriously comparing a current promo to one from 15 years ago? That’s silly. While there are legitimate comparisons to be made, pulling out a promo from fifteen years ago is ridiculous and cheapens the remainder your argument.

  4. @Keith – I don’t see your point.

    1999 promotion makes more sense than comparing to 2009 when all hotel loyalty programs were offering the best deals of the decade and free nights to get customers during the Great Recession.

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