While the benefit itself isn’t “hot off the press,” the discovery of the policy is.
Starwood has officially confirmed on FlyerTalk that SPG members can earn points and elite stay/night credit for up to three rooms per stay (assuming all of the reservations are in your name). This has apparently been the official policy since March 1, while it seemed to vary by hotel before that.
So this means if you book three rooms for three nights you earn three elite qualifying stays and nine elite qualifying nights.
This is a HUGE benefit, especially for those that travel with families and require multiple rooms, as well as mattress runners (those that stay at hotels exclusively for the points they get for the stay).
Previously if you were traveling with your family and required multiple rooms you could earn points for the second room, but not elite qualifying nights or stays. Now you can earn elite status double as fast.
This is equally huge news for mattress runners. I often see people ask why they actually have to take the flights in order to get the points when booking a mileage run, and why they have to check-in at the hotel when booking a mattress run. Can’t the travel provider just take our damn money?
While this doesn’t change the fact that you have to check-in to hotels when mattress running, it sure is nice to be able to do three mattress runs in one. I often find myself in cities with cheap Starwood and Hyatt properties where I’m almost tempted to spend extra nights just to rack up stay credits. Now I can rack up those nights and stay credits three times as fast. This could be especially nice in conjunction with a lucrative promo.
Of course not everyone is happy about this. The other side of the coin is that Starwood is making it easier to qualify for elite status, thereby devaluing it for those that earn it “the hard way” (and unlike other programs, the SPG program is competitive, since Platinum members are competing for a finite number of suites).
You can certainly count me in the camp happy about this change!
(Tip of the hat to Loyalty Traveler)