This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
TPG reader Kar Min sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning Starpoints:
“Can I book rooms at two different Starwood hotels at the same time and earn points for both stays? Does it matter if I’m the one checking in/out, or if my card is used to pay for each room?”
While you generally can’t accrue frequent flyer miles on another person’s fare, some hotel programs offer extra rewards when you book more than one room. That creates some interesting opportunities to earn points, miles and elite credits when you travel with a group.
Starwood Preferred Guest allows you to earn points (as well as elite night and stay credits) for up to three guest rooms at a single property, provided that you pay for the charges on one folio and you actually stay in one of the rooms. Even better, your elite benefits may also apply to each room — this isn’t guaranteed, but I’ve found it happens more often than not. Other brands take a similar stance, as Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and others also allow you to earn points on more than one room at a time.
It’s less clear whether you’ll earn rewards for booking rooms at different properties on the same night as Kar Min suggested. There are certainly legitimate reasons for doing this: If you’re booking at the last minute and availability is limited at one hotel, for example, or if your group is splitting up for a day to explore different parts of the same city. So long as you’re the one physically checking into each room, it seems like you could fulfill the requirements described above. Unfortunately, Starwood doesn’t see things that way.
While the SPG program rules don’t address this issue specifically, the word from Starwood reps is that simultaneous stays are not eligible for rewards. There’s a fair amount of anecdotal evidence from people who have earned points and elite credits from more than one property at a time, but others have been denied from the outset, or have earned rewards at first only to have Starwood reclaim them later. I’d say your odds of seeing both stays counted are middling at best.
To maximize rewards in this situation, your best bet is probably to book any additional rooms at a property belonging to another loyalty program. I doubt this is what Starwood had in mind when the policy was put into effect, but it’s the natural result. Assuming other factors are equal, if I can’t earn points for booking with a second SPG property, then I’ll likely take that business elsewhere.
There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.
- Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
- Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
- Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Terms and Conditions apply.
- See Rates & Fees