Starwood Refer-A-Friend Bonus: Earn 1,000 Bonus Starpoints

It’s fairly rare to see refer-a-friend bonuses nowadays for major hotel chains or loyalty programs. Virgin America Elevate is offering one at the moment, but other than that, I haven’t seen one for a while.

Well, it looks like Starwood is offering a refer-a-friend bonus, which can be accessed through the SPG Dashboard (which shows several types of promotions, as well as interesting statistics about your account).

Through this promotion you and a friend can each earn 1,000 bonus Starpoints if you refer a friend to SPG and they make their first stay within 60 days.


The referral has to be made through the SPG Dashboard, where you have to enter your name, your friend’s name, and your friend’s email address. Your friend will then be sent an email inviting them to join, and if they use that link and make a stay within the required timeframe, you’ll both be credited the bonus Starpoints.


The catch is that you can only earn the bonus of 1,000 Starpoints once, so you can’t scale this. That being said, I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so ~$22 for referring someone to Starwood and having them make their first stay is pretty darn awesome.

Bonus Starpoints should post within 2-4 weeks of the new referred member successfully completing an eligible stay within 60 days of the referral.

St-Regis-Doha - 64
View from the St. Regis Doha

Bottom line

This is a win-win, since both you and your friend can earn 1,000 bonus Starpoints after their first stay. Assuming you have any friends left you haven’t yet converted to miles & points, this is a great opportunity. Just check out the SPG Dashboard to take advantage of this.

(Tip of the hat to LoyaltyLobby)


  1. Oh, brotha…

    Starpoints are worth, on AVERAGE, about $0.022, estimated as the average cost of a REWARD stays in starpoints divided by the average cost of the same stays in hard currency. Therefore, the value of $0.022 is the AVERAGE REDEMPTION value because it is estimated based on the average cost of awards (redemption).

    By contrast, on the EARN side, starpoints are worth (cost) a lot more, depending on one’s primary avenue for earning them, other than purchasing them directly from Starwood. This means that the $1,000 points being offered here are worth a lot more than $22, and this should intuitively make sense because loyalty points almost always cost a lot to earn but they are worth much much less when they are redeemed.

    Let me put it another way: you would not earn anywhere close to 1,000 starpoints by spending $22 on ANYTHING. You’d have to pay a lot more. Here is an illustration. A SPG Pure Platinum who earns starpoints primarily through hotel stays, for which s/he pays with the SPG AMEX, typically EARNS starpoints at a rate of 3/$. This means that for that SPG elite, starpoints are worth (cost) 33.3333 cents each. This refer-a-friend offer, therefore, would be worth $333.33 for the SPG Pure Plat because that is how much s/he would have to spend on stays to earn 1,000 starpoints. This is in line with the often heard claim that points or awards are worth whatever one is willing to pay for them in cash 😉

    I know it is confusing given years of conflating the value of loyalty points on the REDEMPTION side and on EARN sides, but it is such a simple enough concept that there is no reason to keep messing it up.

  2. I got that backwards: the average value of $0.022 ~= the average cost of stays in hard currency divided by cost of the same REWARD stays in starpoints.

    All else holds…

  3. @DCS – I know I shouldn’t, but I will reply to you. Do you even know the difference between cost and value? You buy something when the value to you is higher than the cost. Simple as that. So the value is strictly tied to the redemption side. The cost? Not at all. Is it easy to understando this when you look at revenue-based programs selling their points.
    Besides, when you say that you pay 33.3 cents for a point, you are assuming that you value your hotel stay at zero, and you are paying just for the points – a pure mattress run.

  4. @Denis — You should have followed your initial instinct and not bothered to respond because you sound confused.

    One can argue that when redeemed the 1,000 starpoints could be worth about 22 cents, but they are worth (cost) a lot more when they’re acquired, especially since they are FREE. Just think about how much you would have to spend to earn 1000 starpoints and that’s how much they would be worth. The “value” on the EARN side is a bit harder to understand than on the REDEMPTION side, but cost and value are two sides of the same coin. It’s a matter of perspective. Before points can be used to redeem an award they must be earned and that costs money. You could assign a “value” to that cost. You cannot simply abstract the earn side. It is why the claim that starpoints are more valuable than HHonors points because they 2.2 cents and 0.5 cent, respectively, is simply silly. The comparison is meaningless without taking into account the earn side because all loyalty points are not created equal…


  5. @DCS

    Do you value your annual salary based on the number of hours required to earn it or by the stuff you can buy with it? ‘Cause value my money based on its redemption value. Just sayin’.

  6. @Nico — I’d value my salary even more if it were free 😉
    I value what I make now because I love my work and I am very good at it so I feel I am worth it… I could go on. There is the earn side and the spend side. Arguably, one would better appreciate the value of the money one spends in relation to or by considering what it took to earn it…

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