Starwood officially announced their SPG Nice Choice promo this morning for stays May 1 – September 30th. It’s unique from prior promotions in that you get to individually select both the promotion period and exactly what you’ll be earning.
As a frequent business traveler my recommendation is to definitely select one of the Starpoints options with the double or triple point promotions, the caveat here being having knowledge of your corporate rate.
Let’s say you have an upcoming 12 night stay at the Westin in Paris at the equivalent of $350 USD per night or $4200 for the stay. The double points promo would earn you 8400 SPG points (after your qualifying night). However, if your corporate travel brings you to Alabama with a 12 night stay at the Huntsville Four Points at a corporate rate of $59 a night or $708 for the entire stay, this would be a poor option for you and you might want to consider a new job! With this promotion you’d only be earning 1416 SPG points. As per the T&Cs, “Members who earn double Starpoints will earn an additional two Starpoints per eligible US$1 spent (for a total of four Starpoints per dollar). Elite level extra Starpoints earnings are not doubled. Only the base 2 Starpoints per dollar earnings are doubled.”
If you know you are going to have at least 15 nights in any SPG property during your chosen participation period, triple points is the way to go. Using the same example as above, the Westin Paris would be $5250 for 15 nights and the triple points promo would earn you 21,000 points. In Alabama the rate would be $885 for 15 nights and you would earn 3540 with the promo. Again, very much worth it for the high spend corporate customer but not so much for the lower spend corporate customer or leisure consumer. “Members who earn triple Starpoints will earn an additional four Starpoints per eligible US$1 spent (for a total of six (6) Starpoints per dollar). Elite level extra Starpoints earnings are not tripled.” The same Alabama stay would earn 3000 Starpoints after every 6 nights for a max of 9,000 points if you select the “every 6 Nights get 3,000 points” promotion instead, giving that customer 6,000 points in this example.
Things to Remember
- There’s No Rush! If you don’t yet know when you are most likely to stay at SPG properties this Spring/Summer, wait to register as you have until 6/30/12
- Once you know your schedule, estimate the rates you anticipate paying at each property.
- Again, watch your rate. The “Stay 10 nights, get 1 Free Weekend Night (Cat 1–5)” may be more appealing, however remember this is only for category 1-5 hotels and you can only earn a max of 2 nights. A category 5 hotel is 12,000-16,000 points per night to redeem depending on the peak times of the property. At peak time this award would max out at 32,000 points after staying 20 nights. Well worth it for the business traveler with a lower rate or the leisure traveler, perhaps a toss-up for the high rate Paris traveler.
- I would ignore the merchandise discounts. I would love a W or Westin bed, though you can typically find these on sale for 30-40% off throughout the year. I’ll be sure to post these links the next time the promotions open back up. I’d also only go for the elite credits if you know you are going to fall short of the status you are looking to earn by a minimal number of nights that can be counteracted with the promo elite nights.
- While the promotion may not be as lucrative as the competition, there are some decent earning opportunities and you do have choices.