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While I live in hotels full time, I don’t accrue as many elite qualifying hotel nights as you might expect. I’m primarily loyal to Starwood and Hyatt. Yet between the two chains I don’t get anywhere close to ~365 elite qualifying nights.
- I take too many redeye flights for my own good
- Hyatt and Starwood don’t have hotels everywhere, so I often end up staying at Hiltons (where I have Gold status thanks to the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card) or IHG (where I have Platinum status thanks to the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card) properties
- Occasionally I like staying at independent luxury hotels, through programs like American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, Virtuoso, etc.
- Once in a while I’ll Priceline hotels for quick overnights, in which case I don’t earn elite qualifying nights
I finished last year at around 150 elite qualifying nights with Hyatt, and about 85 elite qualifying stays with Starwood (I had so many more nights with Hyatt than Starwood because I spent a lot of nights at the Grand Hyatt Tampa, which is my preferred hotel there).
Anyway, while I usually almost exclusively travel alone, the past week or so I’ve been in Germany, traveling with family and extended family. And I’ve been loving staying at Starwood properties.
Previously I had only rarely booked multiple rooms, though this time around I’ve been traveling with three rooms the entire trip.
Starwood’s policy is that they’ll issue Starpoints, elite stay credit, and elite night credit for up to three rooms per stay. Here’s the official Starwood policy on earning points for multiple rooms:
How many rooms can I earn credit for per stay?
Members can earn Starpoints for up to three rooms per stay when 1) each room is paid for by the member and all
charges are settled at check-out; and 2) one room is occupied by the member.
For example, at the Westin Frankfurt I booked two rooms for four nights and one room for one night, and for that I earned three elite qualifying stays and nine elite qualifying nights. Best of all:
- Multiple rooms counted towards the SPG “Make It Count” promotion
- All three rooms earned the Platinum welcome gift
That was all awesome to begin with, though the part that really pleasantly caught me off guard is how great the properties I’ve stayed at have been about honoring elite benefits for multiple rooms.
For example, both the Westins in Frankfurt and Munich offered club lounge access to all three rooms in my party. Technically they only have to honor it for one, so they were definitely going above and beyond by offering it to everyone in my party.
As someone who’s used to traveling alone, it sure is nice to see how great the experience can be when traveling with others. Not only is earning elite qualifying nights/stays at triple the pace awesome, but the fact that both hotels went above and beyond to honor some Platinum benefits for all three rooms was great as well, though it’s certainly not something I’d expect in the future.
Taking care of those traveling with you is a fantastic extension of a hotel loyalty program. Travel with my family is the type of travel that matters most to me, so it’s great when those stays are rewarding, rather the ones I care much less about. At the end of the day I don’t get much value out of club lounge access if my family can’t use it either, so getting access for everyone was a huge perk.
I’ve already requalified for Platinum status with Starwood, and should easily make 100 night Ambassador status. The four elite stay credits and 10 elite night credits I started the year off with thanks to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express will help.
Which hotel chain do you prefer to stay with when booking multiple rooms? What has been your experience with getting at least some elite benefits honored for multiple rooms?