Starwood has announced their Q2 2014 Promotion: “SPG Earn Away”.
Just register using the link below then you can earn 2x or 3x points (with a Sunday stay, or Saturday if you're in the Middle East). Often they offer only 2x points so its nice to see a 3x point bonus, however, if you're traveling for business, you'll likely be going home for the weekend. Make sure you register before a stay because otherwise you'll miss out on the bonus points. Be sure to check the excluded properties here as there are lots that are not participating. I always stay at SPG hotels whenever possible to hold my status and earn more points but I know that doesnt apply to everyone — this may not be enough to sway you from staying at whatever your preferred chain is (where you may be working towards status).
Register here: www.spg.com/earnaway (register by June 30, 2014)
Promotion Period: May 1, 2014, and July 31, 2014 (well, its more like Q2/Q3 but I'm calling it Q2)
Bonus: Double (2x) points or triple points if you include a Sunday night (Saturday if you're staying in the middle east)
Track your progress: Starting May 1st, click here www.spg.com/earnawaytracker to see how much you earned (the link doesnt work yet)
HT to Wandering Aramean
So I register for the promotion.
But do I have to pay with SPG card? Or any other card is fine?
You can pay anyway you like. I always try to use my SPG Amex because I get 2 extra points per dollar spent. Since I usually do cash and points, it never really adds up to much but i find it better than charging it on other cards. Lets say you spend $100, charge it on your SPG amex and you get 200 starpoints. Each point is worth around 2-3 cents to me. 200 x .02 = $4 bucks. You spent $100 and got a $4 bonus — this is 4%. If you use 3 cents its a 6% bonus.
You can read about it here on Amex’s site:https://www304.americanexpress.com/personal-card-application/supplementary/starwood-credit-card/sjterms/36182-9-0#cardbenefits
Starpoints awarded by American Express. You will receive two Starpoints® from American Express for each $1 of eligible purchases charged on your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express when charged directly with participating Starwood properties, standalone Starwood retail establishments, and Starwood online stores that, in each case, are wholly owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc, and its affiliates.
I have a biz trip coming up and have to use my corporate card. Unfortunately, there aren’t many avenues where I can rake up points using company’s card.
Depending on how flexible your company’s expense policy is, you might be able to charge it on your personal credit card and submit receipts. Its an extra hassle and may not be allowed, but sometimes its worth it. For example, if you are staying at Hyatt often, you can get 5% back if your Amex has OPEN discounts – https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/opensavings/opensavings.do#terms-1
I booked a SPG hotel after registering to the promotion. But it is through my corporate portal that accepts my SPG number. The reservation shows up in my SPG acct under upcoming travel. But I am not sure at this point if my reservation with corporate code will count.
From T&C, it does say booking through 3rd party may not earn points. So is it void in my case? Should I reserve directly from SPG site?
On the other hand, I am 8 nights short of becoming a Platinum member status under Marriott rewards. Is there any benefit to that? Should I book in Marriott instead? Thanks in advance!
1) You probably won’t be eligible for this promotion because you weren’t registered yet, but even if you cancel and rebook, you would have to do so using an SPG site or app as per the T&C, which may not work with your corporate travel policy.
2) Regarding booking through a 3rd party, I confirmed with SPG, that if you book using one of the online websites (Travelocity, Kayak, Expedia, etc), you will get no elite stay credit, no points, no status, no upgrades, nothing (there is probably no place to put your SPG #). If you book through a corporate travel agent, it depends. I know that if you use American Express travel to do your bookings, you should get all your perks, points, and status (I know there are companies that don’t allow their employees to keep their travel rewards so there are exceptions). The SPG rep told me some travel agents book your travel using those 3rd party sites I mentioned above, and therefore again you won’t get any perks.
3) If you are that close to platinum with Marriott, I would probably try to get that first if you think you will make it to Platinum this year – the Starwood points won’t add up to that much. I was never a big fan of Marriott — when I did have Platinum status I was rarely upgraded and any upgrades were no memorable, same with Hilton (status meant nothing). Starwood, on the other hand, has treated me much better when it comes to upgrades and perks, so now Starwood is always first on my list when I’m traveling. Here are the perks of being Platinum at Marriott: http://www.marriott.com/rewards/member-benefits.mi