June 23rd, 2012

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In addition to the slew of new elite benefits that Starwood unveiled in February, there was apparently an additional little-known one that allows Starwood Preferred Guest members to earn night and stay credits for multiple rooms at once—making elite-status requalification potentially much faster. This benefit supposedly went into effect in March, but it was only confirmed earlier this week.

The specific section from the SPG terms and conditions states:

“During a stay at an SPG Participating Hotel, “Eligible Chargesare charges incurred by an SPG Member on his/her folio for up to three rooms: Eligible rates, food and beverage (excluding alcoholic beverage purchases where prohibited by law), direct dialed in-room telephone and direct-dialed in-room fax, laundry/valet; an, in-room movies and video games, provided that the SPG Member provides his/her SPG Member number at the time of reservation or at check-in and stays in one of the reserved guest rooms. Eligible Charges do not include any complimentary services, SPG Awards, SPG Promotion Rewards or any other fees or charges including, without limitation: (A) charges for banquets, meetings or other functions, with the exception of Starpoints earned from qualifying meetings or events through the Starwood Preferred Planner Program; (B) other fees paid including, without limitation, parking, business center, high-speed internet access, retail stores, spa products and services and greens fees; and (C) taxes, gratuities, service charges, mandatory or automatic charges (e.g., resort charges) and other applicable charges (e.g., extra person charges, rollaway charges).”

So the SPG member can get credit for up to 3 rooms as long as he/she stays in one of them and pays for all of them. If, for instance, you were to stay with your family in three rooms at the Westin at LAX for two nights and put all the rooms on your SPG number and pay for all them, then you’d earn credit not only for all the points per dollar you spend on the rooms, but also for 6 nights and 3 stays. So if you have the opportunity to book a block of rooms for friends/family, Starwood is the chain to do it.

In terms of elite status, SPG Gold status requires just 10 stays or 25 nights, so theoretically you could get there by booking 3 rooms for 8 nights and one room for the additional 1 night to get to 25. Or you could book two rooms for 5 different stays…you get the idea.

Platinum status requires 50 nights or 25 stays, so if you were a business traveler on trips with a couple colleagues who weren’t SPG members, you could put their rooms on your number and charge them to your company card, and cold get to the 25-stay threshold with just 9 stays where 3 rooms are booked.  In fact, even if your colleagues are SPG members, you could take turns!

While we’re still talking a fair amount of stays, and needing to book multiple rooms to get there, this is a huge change to SPG and can put elite status qualification within reach for a lot more business and family travelers.

This Flyertalk post confirms that a SPG member can earn Starpoints, stay and night credit for up to three rooms when booking an eligible rate.

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