The Fun Way I Earned 11,000 Bonus Starpoints This Year

The SPG Dashboard is a great place to check what offers your Starwood account is eligible for. In addition to listing the major global promotions being offered by SPG, it also lists many targeted offers.

One of the “global” promotions that Starwood has offered for the past several years is a brand bonus. Starwood is trying to encourage members to try as many of their brands as possible, and they’re offering a nice bonus to those who do. Based on your stays in the 2016 calendar year you can earn:

  • 500 bonus Starpoints if you stay at five brands
  • 11,000 bonus Starpoints if you stay at 11 brands

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Starwood has a total of 11 brands, so that covers all of them.

Starwood-Brands

I value 11,000 Starpoints at ~$240, so that’s not a reason to change your stay patterns completely, but in my case it certainly impacted some of my hotel choices throughout the year. Over the course of a year I’ll naturally stay at Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, Sheraton, St. Regis, W, Westin, etc. However, I don’t stay at as many of the limited service properties.

Throughout 2016 in the back of my mind I’ve always remembered this promotion, and I suspect it subconsciously impacted which hotels I picked.

For example, several months ago I stayed at Nest Hotel at Incheon Airport, which is a Design Hotels property. While I don’t love the lack of elite benefits at Design Hotels, I loved how quirky the property was.

nest-hotel-incheon-airport-9

Then when I had an overnight in Miami earlier in the year I stayed at the Element Miami Airport rather than the Sheraton Miami Airport, and I’m happy I did, because it was really nice.

Element-Miami-Airport - 5

Then a few months ago I had an overnight at Seattle Airport, and stayed at the Four Points. Four Points is probably the SPG brand that resonates least with me, as I find it’s so soulless, and really don’t get its unique value proposition. However, the Four Points SeaTac was gorgeous, and I ended up getting an incredible duplex suite.

four-points-sheraton-seattle-airport-21

Tribute Collection is probably the toughest brand to stay at given the limited number of properties, but I did a mattress run at one over Thanksgiving. Specifically, I checked into The Westshore Grand in Tampa, which is the formal InterContinental Tampa. I really don’t get what Starwood is doing with Tribute Portfolio. Tribute Portfolio’s motto is “stay independent,” meaning that you’re supposed to feel like you’re staying at a quirky, local hotel. The Grand Westshore is located in an office building and couldn’t be more sterile. It’s so cookie-cutter that I felt like I was in the Chips Ahoy factory.

grand-westshore

Then I finally rounded out this promotion with an Aloft stay last week. I love the Aloft brand, though for whatever reason hadn’t stayed at an Aloft property for the entire year. While the stay had some kinks, it reminded me that Aloft really is my favorite limited service hotel brand.

aloft-hotel-2

So I had a great time trying some hotels I may not have otherwise tried, and hope this bonus returns next year (though hopefully the requirement isn’t to try all of Marriott’s 30 brands). 😉

Has anyone else earned Starwood’s 11,000 point brand bonus this year?

If you haven’t yet maxed out this promotion but are close, it may be worth making some year end stays to round off this promotion.

Comments

  1. Staying at St Regis BKK this week, which is #9. I really want to check out some Design Hotels, but the lack of benefits have kept me from pulling the trigger. Living in Miami, Royal Palm is low-hanging fruit for a mattress run for Tribute, but again, the vision on the brand isn’t clear.

  2. has anyone else earned Starwood’s 11,000 point brand bonus this year?

    No, but I stayed at Holiday Inn Express last night!

  3. Was planning to, but with one Elements in all of Asia and the Tribute Portfolio ones at opposite ends this wasnt a very attractive proposition.

  4. Hoping to do this next year. With travel I already have planned, I’ll hit 8 of 11. W, StR and Tribute will be the 3 left. Staycation at StR San Francisco would be nice…

  5. Always easy to earn points of you are spending money like crazy. I am sure you swimming in points since you only stay on hotels.

    The trick is to get points without spending anything or better yet to get points on Lucky’s spending, that would be the holy grail.

  6. @Daniel, will that work? Booking somewhere random, checking in via app, and then getting credit?

    If so that would make mattress running a lot easier…

  7. I completed 11-brand stay in November. The most difficult brand was Element for a resident in Far East.
    Element Suzhou was as far as Shangri-La!

  8. I hit the bonus! Toughest was Design being based in Chicago, but booked a great opening week rate at the Robey which is brand new and opened over Thanksgiving.

  9. I’m at 10/11 (at the Royal Palm in Miami now) and dying to find a cheap StR between now and EOY. Open to anything in US/Canada (based in BOS). Any suggestions?

  10. The Element Boston Seaport was the only one which was indifferent; finished with St Regis SF! Stayed @ a couple of hotels [Foshay, Minneapolis and Avenue of the Arts, SoCal] which I wouldn’t have without—and had great experience.

  11. Tribute Portfolio was the toughest brand to cross off the list, but a quick visit to Southern California earlier this month took care of that and earned the bonus. Like Ben, the promotion was in the back of my mind all year, and it gave me an excuse to try out Starwood’s Luxury Privileges program for a post-Thanksgiving stay at the St. Regis in Houston.

    @Rob: I also checked out the Robey in Chicago during that opening week. It was worth braving the cold for those panoramic rooftop views!

  12. I made the 11k bonus. I had to force a stay at the W Beijing, which wasn’t very convenient to get there. Other stays were just in the course of normal business travel to where I needed to be.

  13. I hit this promotion back in July. The toughes for me was Four Points and St Regis, as well as Design. Did Four Points in Emeryville CA after being in Napa, Design in NYC between trips and St Regis (cheap) in Macau during my Hong Kong/Macao trip (using old AA points for CX First.)

  14. Just hit this goal last weekend at a Design Hotel in a layover in Shanghai. Those were the hardest to work into my travel. They also ran a similar promotion last year.

  15. I hit all 11, with the tough one for me being W. Ended up at W Buckhead in Atlanta, and hated the property. Hated it. I really don’t get W at all. But, loved the 11,000 points, which took about a week to post.

  16. I will hit all 11 when I stay at the Tribute in Las Vegas in a 3 days. I stayed in Chicago and stayed 3 days at the W and 1 day at the Robey which is a new hotel. If I wasn’t going to do this contest I would have stayed at an IHG hotel instead of the Robey. The 10th stay I just completed at the Gwen, luxury collection, which was only $70 if paid in advance. The hardest thing was getting to Chicago with all the snow and wind and then hoping that they wouldn’t cancel my flight.

    Anyhow Starwood got one extra hotel stay out of me that would have gone to IHG and in 5 more days I’ll have an extra 11,000 points from Tribute Las Vegas.

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