Targeted Offer: Starwood Preferred Guest’s Bonus Beginnings

by James Andrew Scott on September 19, 2012

in Deals, Starwood Preferred Guest

Generous Offer to Some Newer SPG Members

In my inbox today was a very generous offer (Bonus Beginnings) from Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG): my choice of 5,000 Starpoints or a free one night’s stay in one of 920 Hyatt hotels or resorts around the world (categories 1 – 6!).

All I have to do to earn my free night is spend one qualifying night in a Starwood property, including inexpensive ones. Category Six is the second highest Starwood category and normally requires 20-25,000 Starpoints for one night. That made my choice easy: a free night! Category 6 has some amazing properties: The St. Regis Princeville Resort in Hawaii; all three W Hotels in New York City; The Westin Paris – Vendôme; The St. Regis Rome; etc. The entire list is here.

Bonus Beginnings Email.

Here’s the bad news. This is a targeted offer and not everyone will be eligible. You can see if you received the offer by entering your SPG member number at this link. SPG makes this offer to relatively new SPG accounts that do not show any stays. I haven’t stayed in a Starwood property in a long while; I opened my account in December 2011.

From my research on the Bonus Beginnings offer, I discovered that Starwood has run this offer before and it’s likely to run it again. If you don’t yet have a SPG account, sign up today.  There’s no downside. Starwood is unlikely to make the Bonus Beginnings offer right away.  After all, Starwood would like you to stay without having to offer up a free night. In my case, Starwood didn’t make me an offer until about 9 months later.

The St. Regis Princeville, Hawaii.

This offer really drives home the point that there’s hardly ever a downside to joining hotel and airline loyalty programs. Join all that you can. You never know when you just might receive a generous offer like this one.

I also learned from my research that the Bonus Beginnings offer varies. I apparently got the best one. I don’t know why. Here’s some of the various offers that I found on Flyertalk:

  • 5,000 Starpoints or a free night (category 1-6) after 1 stay;
  • 3,000 Starpoints or a free night (category 1-5) after 1 stay;
  • 4,000 Starpoints or $50 credit after 1 stay;
  • 2,000 Starpoints or $25 credit after 1 stay;

If you received the first two offers, definitely go for the free night. For the other two offers, I would probably choose the points as nights at Category 1 and 2 hotels (mostly FourPoints, some Aloft) can be redeemed for 2-4,000 Starpoints, likely giving you more value than a $25-50 credit.

The only downside of this offer is that you have to act relatively quickly. To earn my free night, I need to stay one night with Starwood between September 3 to October 31, 2012.  After that, I’ll have until October 31, 2013 to redeem my free night.  Incredible offer!  I will definitely be taking advantage.  Figuring out where to use my free night will be the hardest part!

 

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  • Reader

    I received a similar offer today for a free weekend night award at category 1-6 hotel. There was no option of getting 5000 points (not that I would have chosen it :).

    Do you know if Cash+Points stay would count as a qualifying stay ?

    • tripbadger

      Unfortunately not. Buried within Starwood’s Cash+Points terms is this: “Cash & Points Award stays and nights do not qualify toward any promotions requiring stays or nights…” Also keep in mind that eligible rates exclude rates booked through a “tour operator, online travel channel or other third party channel including, without limitation, expedia.com, hotwire.com, priceline.com, orbitz.com, booking.com, travelocity.com, ctrip.com, and elong.com.”

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