On a day-to-day basis there aren’t many decisions I make without considering the implications on my points balances.
Going to a restaurant? I’ll check if the restaurant belongs to an airline dining program. Purchasing something online? I’ll check if the retailer belongs to an online shopping portal.
And while you already earn points to begin with when staying at chain hotels, I’m always looking for ways to earn more points.
One of the ways to earn more points on hotel stays is through Starwood’s Make A Green Choice program. They market it as a way to save the environment, though I think it goes without saying that they don’t mind the cost savings of reduced housekeeping either.
Starwood’s Make A Green Choice program is available at Sheraton and Westin properties, and allows you to choose between 500 Starpoints or a $5 food & beverage credit for each night you decline housekeeping.
Here are the terms of the Make A Green Choice program:
- To participate in Make a Green Choice, and be eligible for the $5 food or beverage voucher or the 500 Starpoints®, hang the Make a Green Choice doorhanger on the outside of your guestroom door by 2am or let the hotel know during check-in that you’re interested in opting-in.
- You are not eligible to participate in the program on the day of departure; it is only on stayover nights. Please note: the $5 F&B voucher is only valid at time of purchase and cannot be combined with other offers. Unused $5 F&B vouchers may be turned in at the front desk before check-out for 500 Starpoints each.
- If you opt-in to the Make a Green Choice program, housekeeping services will not be available for the day. Please note this includes all room cleaning and coffee & bathroom amenities will not be automatically replenished.
- If you opt out of the program, but still want to conserve water and energy, you can hang your towels you want to reuse and place your doorhanger on the nightstand to reuse your bed linens. The bed(s) will be made. For fresh towels, please leave them on the floor. For fresh linens, please leave the doorhanger on the bed.
Living in hotels full time, I’ve had the chance to play around with this a bit, so figured I’d share some thoughts on the program:
Should you choose 500 Starpoints or a $5 credit?
This is an absolute no brainer. Starpoints are worth roughly 2.2 cents each, meaning I value 500 Starpoints at ~$11. I think it goes without saying that 500 Starpoints are worth more than a $5 food & beverage credit.
What’s the easiest way to decline housekeeping?
As it states in the terms, there are two ways to register for the Make A Green Choice program:
- Hang the Make A Green Choice doorhanger on the outside of your guestroom door by 2am
- Let the hotel know during check-in that you want to decline housekeeping
I usually let the hotel know at check-in so that I don’t forget about it. Most hotels will slide a card under your door when you opt into the program, which you have to present at check-out to receive the 500 Starpoints. Meanwhile I’ve found other hotels add it automatically if you inform them of your choice at check-in.
Regardless of which method I use, I always follow up at check-out to confirm that they’re posting the right number of points for the Make A Green Choice program.
When do points earned from Make A Green Choice post to account?
Points should post the same time that your stay posts. They should post alongside your base points, any points from promotions, and your Platinum welcome points, if applicable.
What if my Make A Green Choice points don’t post?
If they don’t post, simply submit a missing points request with Starwood, and they should have them manually posted to your account.
Do I still get toiletries when I decline housekeeping?
I use this program all the time, and have never been denied extra toiletries or towels. The terms are interesting in that they state:
If you opt-in to the Make a Green Choice program, housekeeping services will not be available for the day. Please note this includes all room cleaning and coffee & bathroom amenities will not be automatically replenished.
So while it says housekeeping services won’t be available for the day, it also says that amenities won’t be replenished automatically.
I’ve never had an issue calling the guest request hotline, though, and at least requesting that toiletries and towels be delivered to my room.
Sheraton Edinburgh toiletries
How often should you decline housekeeping?
You obviously can’t decline housekeeping on a one night stay, since your room will automatically be served upon arrival.
My general strategy on longer stays is to take housekeeping every third or fourth day. That way I earn points while not living in a complete mess. After all, one of the benefits of staying at a hotel is that you don’t have to make your own bed.
Do other hotel chains offer a similar program?
I know some other hotels that individually offer a similar program, but there’s no other chain that offers this as widespread as Sheraton and Westin, as far as I know (someone correct me if I’m wrong).
I do wish it would expand to more chains.
When staying at hotels that offer points for declining housekeeping, do you take advantage of such a program? If so, how often?