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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
I believe Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints to be the most valuable loyalty currency, so when a friend forwarded me an offer he received shortly after signing up for a Starwood Preferred Guest account, I immediately took notice:
This offer awards bonus points to new members who complete one or more stays during an introductory period. The first stay in a three month window could earn you 2,500 Starpoints, while a second stay earns an extra 5,000 points, for a total of 7,500 Starpoints. That’s already enough points for a free night in a category 1-3 property, or enough for a Cash & Points booking in a category 5 hotel (which would set you back 6,000 points and $110). I value 7,500 Starpoints at $180, so this is no trivial bonus. New members can register here to see if they’re eligible for this offer.
Signing up for loyalty programs is step one in an effective points strategy. Hotels and airlines occasionally offer incentives for new members to sign up, usually requiring you to complete a task. As another example, Marriott Rewards is offering new members a free night in a category 1-5 hotel after the second paid stay within 120 days of joining. With incentives like these, signing up really becomes a no-brainer, especially if you already have qualifying travel planned.
I get tremendous value out of the Starwood Preferred Guest program due in part to how many redemption options it offers. You can use Starpoints for hotel stays (like I just did during my second trip to the St. Regis Princeville on Kaui) or SPG Moments (which I used recently for what may be my favorite use of points ever). And Starwood transfers to 32 airline partners, including a 25% bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred.
I also get great value out of my SPG Platinum status, which gives me upgrades to the best available room upon check-in (including suites), access to the executive club lounge, a check-in amenity, and 10 confirmed suite upgrades per year, which (unlike Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrades) can be used even on award nights.
If you sign up for a new SPG membership account and receive a targeted offer like this, you can compound your earnings with the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. This card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 25,000 Starpoints after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of cardmembership. If you earn the new member bonus and meet the spending requirements to earn the credit card sign-up bonus, you’d already have in the neighborhood of 32,500 Starpoints.
If you’re targeted for this promotion, please share your offer in the comments below.
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