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The Top 5 Reasons I’m Loyal to SPG & 90,000 Point Giveaway

by on June 19, 2014 · 43 comments

in American Express, Giveaway, Starwood, Thursday Giveaway

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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express have expired. View the current offers here –personalbusiness.

There are a lot of companies out there competing for our business whenever we leave home and need to rest our heads somewhere. Whether it’s luxury hotel chains or sites that allow people to rent out their own apartments, there are more ways than ever to find a home away from home.

Over the past couple years I’ve chosen Starwood Preferred Guest as my preferred loyalty program for a bunch of different reasons.
Here are the top 5:

My Platinum upgrade to a Marvelous Suite at the W Santiago

My Platinum upgrade to a Marvelous Suite at the W Santiago

1) Elite perks: In 2012 SPG announced some great new elite status perks, like suite upgrade awards and continental breakfast amenity choice for Platinum members. As a 75-night Platinum member I also get the ability to request check-in at any time of the day (YOUR24) and whenever you use points, you still earn elite credit.

2) SPG American Express Card: I carry both the personal and business co-branded SPG credit cards by American Express. In addition to earning 2x points on SPG stays, they automatically give you 2 stays/5 nights of elite status credit per year and have Chip + Signature technology. Through June 30, 2014 you can get 30,000 points after spending $5,000 within 6 months and the $65 annual fee is waived the first year. 

Hotel Marqués de Riscal in Elciego, Spain is one of the SPG properties I can't wait to test out this summer

Hotel Marqués de Riscal in Elciego, Spain is one of the SPG properties I can’t wait to test out this summer

3) Aspirational properties: A hotel program is only as strong as the participating hotels in the portfolio and SPG has a wide range of high-end and budget properties across their 9 brands (St. Regis, Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, W, Westin, Sheraton, Aloft, Element and Four Points by Sheraton). They also compile a list of member favorite hotels every year which rank the hotels rated highest by over 1.1 million member reviews. I’m looking forward to my upcoming stay at the architecturally stunning Hotel Marqués de Riscal in Elciego, Spain.

4) Valuable points: I run a monthly valuation of different miles and points currencies and SPG is currently my top valued currency. Not only can you redeem for hotels (and get the 5th night free on awards, use Cash & Points to stretch the value of your points or use Nights & Flights to get hotel and airline miles), but there are also 32 airline transfer partners. This means you can transfer points to frequent flyer programs of all three major alliances, but super valuable free agents like Alaska Airlines. Best part? Many of the transfers are 1:1 and come with a 25% bonus per 20,000 points transferred, so for example 20,000 SPG points = 25,000 Delta/ American/ Alaska/ US Airways miles.

5) Great customer service: Some hotel chains go above and beyond and SPG does just that. Their social media team at @SPG is quick to answer any questions and I’ve always had solid recognitions as an SPG Platinum member.

I had the opportunity to team up with SPG and American Express to film a video around Miami with TPG canine mascot Miles about why I love the city and also some tips on Maximizing your SPG points- check it out here:

30,000 Points x 3 Giveaway!
For this week’s giveaway, the great people at Starwood have donated 3 sets of 30,000 Starpoints for our Thursday Giveaway to celebrate the limited time offer of 30,000 points on the SPG Amex. Simply enter at on our Facebook Page and three random winners will be selected to win 30,000 Starpoints each- enough for a free night at some of their top hotels around the world (or up to 10 nights at category 1 hotels!)!

For more on SPG, check out:
The Ultimate Guide To Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Transfer Partners
Starwood “Enhances” Cash & Points Awards
Spotlight on Starwood Preferred Guest Elite Status and Why I Continue To Qualify For Platinum
Maximizing Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Transfers

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Stolen

    You’re right, there isn’t a better hotel loyalty program out there. I’m 19 nights away from Lifetime Gold!

  • http://www.leeschneider.com/ leeschneider

    Hotel Marqués de Riscal is awesome. Great hotel, stunning architecture, and an amazing view. We borrowed the hotel’s bikes and went for a great ride through the countryside/vineyards. The wine ain’t too shabby either…

  • annaa

    How do you use 2 stay/5 nights elite status? can you get it in any hotel?

  • J

    My husband is at the Westin in Sendai for the week. We had fun redeeming 2 free nights this year in Europe at a family friendly hotel we never would have found without points.

  • dean

    Congrats on the LT Gold

  • FlavCity

    I will also be in the Basque region of Spain this summer filming for my cooking show, but unfort. the beautiful Maria Cristina hotel in San Sebastian doesn’t have points nights. Nice video, very cool!

  • NN

    I love Starwood Hotels (in fact I am at the W Midtown East right now), but when did they stop rewarding stay credits when traveling on business accounts? I stayed at the Westin St Francis for a week in San Francisco and they would not give me the credit for the nights stayed. This was never a problem in years past.

  • Kiril

    Do you need to have a Facebook account to enter the giveaway and is that the only option? Thank you

  • DustinALedonne

    Many of the transfers are 1:1 and come with a 25% bonus per 20,000 points transferred, so for example 20,000 SPG points = 25,000 Delta/ American/ Alaska/ US Airways miles. http://sn.im/290xdj8

  • Jonatas Silva

    I scored World Cup tickets with SPG moments. After failing for 4 years!!! In addition I just got back from the F1 grand Prix in Montreal, also via points. SPG gives one access to experiences you can’t buy!

  • John K

    You don’t use the 2stay/5 night elite status. It’s used towards your Gold or Platinum status.

  • joeypore

    I’ll be earning SPG Plat later this year, and I’m super excited about it!!

    They’ve always been great to me, and even as an SPG Gold, I’ve gotten some great upgrades. I’m looking forward to SPG Plat!!

  • Stacy

    Nice sell-out video, but you wouldn’t put down your SPG Amex for a restaurant meal, as it earns no dining category bonus. You’d probably use your Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  • Ravi

    Is the link down? Every time I click to enter it takes me to your main FB page which I’ve already liked and don’t see where to enter.

  • Cami

    I agree. I love SPG!

  • Stephen

    Congrats! I just started traveling for work last year, so I’m 200 nights away from LT Gold! =o Hope you reach it this year!

  • thepointsguy

    Hi, it’s working on our end, it should bring you directly to the sweepstakes page, and if not go to our main page (www.facebook.com/ThePointsGuy) and look for the sweepstakes tab. Good luck!

  • budugu

    if only amex would remove the foreign transaction fee

  • Mike S HNL

    if anyone needs a spg amex referral let me know @bitachu on twitter

  • thepointsguy

    Congrats! I got lifetime gold a couple years ago- in the thick of getting that lifetime Platinum as we speak!

  • david0603

    bad href fyi

  • thepointsguy

    I do use Sapphire Preferred normally (Freedom this past quarter for 5x). Last December I was low on SPG points and wanted to bank points for an award so I ramped up my SPG Amex spend. But you’re right, it isn’t the most lucrative card for restaurant spend and I would never recommend it as such.

  • thepointsguy

    Agreed- I’m keeping fingers crossed that they go away this year- especially since the Delta Amex dropped them in May.

  • thepointsguy

    Yes that is the only way to enter

  • SPG Fan

    SPG has chip + pin? Since when? I love the card as well and it is my primary card, but have had to sign up for additional cards for use when traveling abroad because SPG does not have chip & pin. Is this a new thing?

  • thepointsguy

    It says Chip + signature. If you don’t have it, your replacement card should

  • SPG Fan

    Odd, we just received a replacement card and there’s no chip. I’ll call and inquire. Thank you!

  • Frank

    Just entered. Hope I win!!

  • studd

    WOW pushing Miami as a vacation spot in July???
    SPG is kinda dirty just like the idea of pushing SOBE Miami in the humid 8 month sumer (usually only Europeans get tricked into this now they are doing it to the domestic USA population too?)
    SPG is dirty:

    They secretly increased the LAX airport hotel without notice among other properties. Plus spg is de listing lots of the best cat 2 and cat 1 hotels in Europe leaving only over priced aspiration properties. The program is loosing more and more value every month and nobody is brave enough to mention it because sadly they are all on the take…

  • Alex

    Living in a small footprint city for SPG (Tulsa,OK), we only have 2 Aloft hotels….. everything else is either a Marriott chain, or Hilton (of course). Two Hyatt’s and a few Best Westerns, Club Carlson hotels. I always make sure any additional expenses are charged to the room for extra points!! :)

  • William

    Knock,knock,knocking on heaven’s door!

  • HBahorich

    I stayed at their Sheraton in Boston last week and was just amazed! First time in a Sheraton, as we typically stay in the Westin if SPG or mainly a Hyatt. Their promotional channel was on repeat! They may have me as a customer as well!!!

  • guyver2077

    So this is the best topic I can hope to get some real SPG users feedback. I don’t travel that often but when I do I try to use SPG.

    Thanks to TPG, last year my hotel vacation was covered by the SPG signup from last year on the personal card.I just got approved for the business card and in process of getting my 30k points this year.

    My question is about maximizing the points. I see TPG recommend frequently cash + points or reserving nights with points but the poblem I run into is that usually thats only good for the cheapest/standard room available. Being that I don’t vacation often, I usually like to splurge a little for the nicer rooms. I really wish they would allow the points to be used toward suites, etc.

    I’m also shooting for gold this year. About 9 nights away. I’m just kinda sad that the perks for gold don’t include some sort of discount at least.

    Lastly, I’m already looking toward next years vacation and how I don’t think I will be able to sign up for another bonus having already signed up for personal/business. Is it time to give another loyalty program/brand a shot?

    Thanks!

  • Guest

    I am SPG Lifetime Gold and I’ve had a SPG Amex for years but haven’t used it because they gave me a dinky credit limit in contrast to every other card I have. I honestly was just letting it sit in a drawer until you wrote about it. I just redeemed some SPG points for wedding guests to stay at the Sheraton Edinburgh though, and got the note about those being counted for award nights so maybe it’s worth a second look.

  • Susakajo

    I was looking at having hubby apply but he has a gold Amex. This says the following — so that means if you have ANY Amex (not just SPG) you don’t get the 30k? ///OFFER TERMS If we identify you as currently having an American Express® Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product.

  • Scott in Nashville

    Love Starwood. I’ve been Lifetime Platinum since they launched that recognition two years ago. Great value to the points and the cash+points option is sometimes a really good deal. Always use Starwood points for my international trips. The SPG Moments has helped me go to some cool concerts and events. And the Starwood Planner program is the best…great incentives to book groups and meetings in Starwood properties. I’m a big fan!

  • brian

    They WERE amazing. I had Gold Status for 5 years or so and 1 year of Platinum but I let them go after they devalued their Cash&Point system as well as raised hotels to higher statuses. Also, the 1 year I was Platinum non of my upgrades were any better than what I got with Gold. Agreed miles top off is great but Foreign Transaction fees are a huge bummer. They even charge Foreign Transaction fees when you stay in one of their hotels abroad. If I were a corporate road warrior and didn’t have to pay for my stays to build status it would be one thing, but as someone who travels on my own dime, I rather do Miles Bonuses on CCs.

  • Bob Sarkis

    In that credit card offer you posted it doesn’t mention the free 2 stays and 5 nights awarded to your account each year. I got the card this year and don’t remember seeing those free stays and nights post to my account.
    How can I confirm this?

  • thepointsguy
  • Tony

    I like having the SPG Ambassador myself, I average 150 nights a year with SPG I’m 50 nights away from have lifetime PLT. Needless to say this is why I stay with SPG, one point of contact and never have to deal with the hotel staff if a problem arises.

  • Craig

    I have a personal AmEx SPG. Am I eligible for the 30K bonus on the Business version?

  • thepointsguy

    Yes as long as you haven’t had the SPG business card in the past.

  • jmecherul

    almost never win anything, but would love me some SPG points. registered for this. great.

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