Starwood Hotels’ SPG program is one of my favorite hotel programs, and I’ve had top-tier Platinum status the last few years because of that. Although I’ve had some difficulties with them in the past, their valuable points program and the number of hotels worldwide has kept me loyal for now. They’ve also made some improvements like adding the ability to use cash and points for suites and premium rooms.
I recommend reading my Complete Guide to SPG if you’re inexperienced with SPG or need a refresher. Here are a couple of important Starwood program updates to note.
First Quarter 2015 SPG Promotion
Starwood’s first quarter promotion called SPG Double Play. The details are:
- Earn 2x points on stays of 2 nights or more.
- Earn an additional 1,000 bonus points for every 5 nights, up to 4,000 bonus points (or 20 nights).
The promotion is valid from January 5, 2015 to April 15, 2015, and registration ends March 31, 2015. As with all promotions, I recommend you sign up immediately regardless of whether you plan to stay with them or not. I can’t tell you how many people tell me they didn’t sign up, but plans changed and they missed out on valuable points. It takes 30 seconds — just do it!
This promotion isn’t particularly valuable so I wouldn’t shift any stays to them because of it, but if you’re staying with them anyway then it’s a welcome bonus.
Improved Best Rate Guarantee
SPG’s Best Rate Guarantee has lagged behind competitors in some sense, even those of the less popular chains. The only reason why it was still considered useful was because they give the option of either 2,000 Starpoints or 10% off the lower rate. Since their points are so valuable, nearly everyone I know always chose the 2,000 Starpoints. Other chains offer 20%-25% off on their guarantees – check out my post on Best Rate Guarantees if you need more information.
Loyalty Traveler points out that it looks like SPG made an improvement to their program to make it more in line with their competitors. Their updated BRG now allows you to choose between the same 2,000 Starpoints or a new 20% off the lower rate, which brings them in line with Hyatt.
This is a definite win for someone like me that takes advantage of the BRG program several times a year. I’ll probably pick the points anyway since my cash stays are usually for cheaper hotels, but having the option to save that money is a welcome update.