Starwood announces details of second quarter promotion — double Starpoints for all stays plus 500 bonus Starpoints for mobile bookings

Via Gary, Starwood has just announced the details of their second quarter promotion, which will be valid for stays between May 1 and July 31, 2013.

Through this promotion you earn double base Starpoints for all stays at participating hotels. Unfortunately as usual there’s a substantial list of non-participating properties. You also earn 500 bonus Starpoints for reservation made through their mobile site (iPhone or Android). Registration will be required, though isn’t open yet, so I’ll post as soon as it becomes available.

As Gary notes this isn’t really an exciting promotion, and while it won’t bring much business to Starwood, it probably won’t lose them much either. And given that this is a busy travel period, I guess they don’t really need a great promotion.

That being said, am I the only one that doesn’t really get the trend lately for mobile site booking bonuses? I understand the concept of wanting to familiarize people with their mobile site, but at the same time I can’t help but feel like no one wins if we just have to go through the hassle of making a normal booking by smart phone when we’re sitting in front of a computer. Anyone else?


  1. I’m with you on the mobile booking thing… Other than wanting to increase awareness, I have no idea why they want to incentivize this.

  2. CRRAP!
    “Eligible Stays with at least one night in the earning period will receive a bonus.”
    I have a 10 night stay departing on the 1st (moving to a different city for a 4 night stay for work), so I’m a day off from getting 2x points for that trip…

  3. @ Steve — You never know, it could still post. Probably shouldn’t, but who knows how their systems are setup.

  4. I was wondering the same thing, Lucky. Perhaps they think using the mobile site will prevent folks from comparing prices to other online travel agencies? Or that using the mobile site makes it more difficult to find the cheapest rate? Or last-minute bookings?

    I’m baffled as well. All they’re doing is incentivizing me to do my research on my computer and booking via my phone sitting next to me…

  5. @ D — I think you may be onto something there. Don’t think the logic makes sense (at least for a widespread promotion like this), but I can totally see how that’s their reasoning.

  6. I don’t understand why people are complaining about this promotion. If you’re going to be making stays anyway then it’s great. If not, it’s not really a big deal.

  7. @ Haldami — Who’s complaining? The promotion is fine. Not enough to incentivize someone to switch any travel to Starwood, but perhaps enough to prevent someone from switching travel *away* from Starwood.

    If you’re referring to my comment about the mobile bonus, that was me asking out of curiosity and not complaining.

  8. @lucky, Upromise offers 5% for bookings at Sheraton, Westin, and FP by Sheraton. Some others offer 3% cash back. Depending on the room rate, 5% could be worth more than 500 Starpoints.

  9. @Jivepicnic…do you still get SPG points when booking through the Upromise link? I have known about it but was always hesitant to do it.

  10. @Kane, I have always received points when booking through Upromise links. All Upromise does is take you to the SPG (or whatever hotel chain you’re using) website where you make the booking. The Chase UR mall works the same way.

  11. Since it makes it harder for you to see the cheapest rate, and thus you are more likely to overpay, the app is better for them.

    With the small screen its harder for you to see all the different rates.

    And with the app they only show you ONE rate at a time, the “cheapest regular rate”, where on the web you can see three at once–your SET corporate rate, cash and points, AND the cheapest regular rate. I generally don’t have to mess with these. While with the app I’ve been confused about which was selected, thought I had the rate set to SET and still been confused by why it was showing a rate $100 more…

  12. @Steve –

    Might be worth extending your stay a day – one night’s room would get you 11 nights of points. You don’t ever have to check out at the desk, so they’d never know if you left early or not, especially with Green Choice.

  13. I do understand Starwood wanting to make people (i.e. their regular customers) familiar with booking from mobile devices. When on the road and your itinerary changes, you would usually just call their hotline. Using an SPG app saves both time (for the customer, as there’s no hold time) and money (for SPG as there’s no need to pay a customer care agent). So this is actually a win-win situation.
    Crucial to success is that the user experience on mobile devices is flawless. Not sure how Starwood performs with respect to that but as an example: about a year ago I found the Lufthansa app much easier than the website for booking a “regular” flight.

  14. My company makes us book all travel through an American express concierge… No way for me to ever take advantage of these promos I guess?

  15. @ Jack — Well you earn double points for all eligible stays, though not the mobile booking bonus.

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