As many of you know from reading this blog, I am a big fan of Starwood. My goal of this post is as a reference tool when you need to locate information about the Starwood Preferred guest program. Warning – trying to read the entire post all at one time may cause drowsiness, headaches, confusion and loss of focus. Is occasionally posting in this style helpful or just too much information? Your comments are welcomed!
The Starwood Preferred guest program includes more than 1,000 hotels and resorts in more than 93 countries. Starwood hotel brands are Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, Le Meriden, St. Regis, W Hotels, Luxury Collection, aloft and element. The Starwood Preferred website is www.spg.com.
EARNING POINTS OR MILES
Two Starpoints are earned for every eligible U.S. dollar spent for up to three rooms during the same stay (your room plus two others) as long as all rooms are registered in your name, you stay in one of the rooms, and you personally settle all room charges upon check-out. Taxes, service charges, gratuities, parking, recreational fees are not eligible charges.
You may also earn Starpoints for food and beverage charges of $10 or more in Participating Properties’ restaurants even if you are not a registered guest, when you present your Membership card.
Starwood Preferred Guest Members may earn airline miles with their frequent flyer program instead of earning Starwood points by visiting spg.com/moremiles or by calling 888-627-7143 in the U.S. and Canada) and enrolling in the Airline Direct Deposit Program.
Partners with Starwood are another way to earn Starwood points. Car rentals from Avis and SIXT, Broadway purchases at SPG.com/broadway , Hartmann Luggage and a few others are partners with Starwood. American Express Membership Rewards and Diners Club Rewards points may be transferred into your Starwood account.
The best partner for earning Starwood points is the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. American Express is now offering 25,000 Starwood bonus points for opening your first Starwood personal or a business AMEX card. The annual fee is waived for the first year. You will receive 10,000 bonus points after your first purchase and 15,000 additional bonus points after spending $15,000 on the card in the first six months. Email me at email@example.com your interest in either the personal or business Starwood credit card and American Express will send you the link for this offer.
Starwood points may be redeemed for Free Night Awards without blackout dates when standard rooms are available. The number of points you need for a free night depends on the category of the hotel. All of the Starwood Hotels are in one of seven different categories. A free night in a category one hotel on a weekend night is only 2,000 Starwood points and a free night in a category seven hotel during peak season is 35,000 Starwood points. Here is a link to a chart for redeeming Starwood points with links to the different hotel categories.Redeem Starpoints
Cash & Points
Cash & Points awards require less Starwood points than the free night award with a cash supplement to be paid in addition to the points. They are a great value and make redeeming points for reduced cost hotel stays a much quicker award option. Here are the points and cash required for the different hotel categories:
Category 1 Starwood Hotels $25 + 1,200 points
Category 2 Starwood Hotels $30 + 1,600 points
Category 3 Starwood Hotels $45 + 2,800 points
Category 4 Starwood Hotels $60 + 4,000 points
Category 5 Starwood Hotels $90 + 4,800 points
Category 6 Starwood Hotels $150 + 8,000 points
Many of the Starwood hotels require only 2,800-4,800 points plus cash for the cash and points awards. Category 7 Starwood Hotels are not available for cash and points awards.
The cash and points awards have more limited availability than the free nights and 5th night free awards because cash & points awards are capacity controlled. The cash and points rates do not earn Starwood points. You may earn points for incidentals charged to your room during your stay for free nights, 5th free night and cash and points awards.
5th Night Free
Use Starwood points to pay for your first four nights and your fifth night is free.
Nights & Flights
This award provides you with five hotel nights and 50,000 airlines miles with participating airline partners. The miles are deposited directly into your airline miles account and they may be, but are not required to be used for the same trip as your hotel stay. Nights & Flights awards are limited to Category 3 and 4 hotels.
60,000 Starwood points are needed for the free nights at Category 3 Hotels
70,000 Starwood points are needed for the free nights at Category 4 Hotels
-Starwood points may also be used for room upgrades, suite upgrades, and 50% off the regular rack rate which is the full price chargeable for a hotel room before any discounts. Room upgrades and saving off the rack rates awards are as low as 1,000 Starwood points.
-Another great Starwood award is transferring Starwood points into Airline miles. Starwood has over 30 major airline partners. Here is a link to the list of airlines that partner with Starwood for these transfers. Airline Partners The link also includes the exchange ratio of Starwood points to miles. Most transfers are 1 Starwood point equals 1 mile. For minimum transfer amounts see the Elite Levels and Benefit section below. When you transfer 20,000 Starpoints in one transaction you receive a 5,000-mile bonus. By using the Starwood Preferred Amex you earn one Starpoint for each U.S. dollar spent on the card and when you transfer 20,000 points you get a bonus of 5,000 miles. This is big advantage over many of the airline mileage earning credit cards.
KEEPING YOUR ACCOUNT ACTIVE
To keep your account open and not lose your Starwood points you must have an eligible stay at a participating property within the previous 12 months or have earned Starpoints by using a Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card during the previous 12 months. Starpoints resulting from transfers or earnings from Program affiliates do not count toward active status. Purchasing points, redeeming points and point transfers will not keep your Starwood account active.
ELITE LEVELS AND BENEFITS
AAA Preferred for members of the American Automobile Association.
The benefits for AAA Preferred members are:
-Upgrades to a preferred room at check-in subject to availability
-4 p.m. late checkout subject to availability
Here is the link about the AAA Preferred membership with the link to join Starwood as an AAA member. AAA Preferred
To become a Starwood Gold Preferred Guest you need 10 stays or 25 nights in one calendar year
The benefits for gold members are:
-Three Starpoints earned for every eligible dollar spent
-Upgrades to an enhanced room at check-in subject to availability
-4 p.m. late checkout subject to availability
-Complimentary weekday newspaper
To become a Starwood Gold Preferred Guest you need 25 stays or 50 nights in one calendar year
The benefits for Platinum members include all of the benefits of gold members and:
-Automatic upgrades at check-in, including to standard suites.
-Complimentary in-room Internet access
-Complimentary access to the hotel gym and executive and club level lounge at Westin, Le Meridien and Sheraton hotels and resorts. This benefit includes free food and beverages.
-Complimentary welcome gift upon arrival usually Starwood points, free in-room movie or a selection of food or beverages delivered to your room.
Multiple rooms on the same stay count as only one Eligible Stay or Eligible Night towards elite levels of Membership and for threshold bonuses and promotions.
There is no minimum Starpoint transfer requirement for Platinum members with most airlines. Gold members have a minimum transfer requirement of 1,500 Starpoints, and Preferred members have a minimum transfer requirement of 2,500 Starpoints.
Here is the link to join the Starwood Preferred guest program. Membership is free. Join Starwood
-Charity-You may transfer your Starwood points to The American Red Cross or UNICEF
-You may buy or gift 500 Starwood points at a cost of $17.50 for each 500 points. The purchase limit is up to 20,000 per account per calendar year. Here is the link to buy Starwood points. Buy Starpoints Starwood occasionally offers a reduced price for a limited time to purchase Starwood points.
-Transfer Starpoints between accounts with members of the same household.
-Status Match-Starwood will match top tier status from Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt. If you have the highest status at any of these three and you provide the required proof to Starwood, you will be given a one-time status match to Starwood Platinum. You are not eligible if you were ever a Starwood Platinum member.