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On Friday the details of Starwood’s first promotion of 2018 were leaked, and today registration opened for the promotion.
Starwood’s first global promotion of 2018 will be called “SPG Great Weeks, Grand Weekends.” The promotion is valid for stays between January 16 and April 15, 2018, and registration is required by March 31, 2018.
Through this promotion you can earn double Starpoints starting with your second stay, plus 500 bonus Starpoints when your stay includes a weekend night.
Weekend nights include Friday and Saturday nights in most of the world, and include Thursday and Friday nights for properties in the Middle East. You earn the 500 bonus Starpoints regardless of whether your stay includes one or two weekend nights, and you can’t earn multiple of those bonuses for a single stay. Bonus points should post 2-4 weeks after the qualifying stay posts, though in practice may post much faster than that. Stays booked prior to registration qualify as long as they’re consumed during the promotion period.
While all brands are participating (meaning you earn these bonuses even at Starwood’s limited service brands), as usual, not all properties are participating in the promotion. Each property can opt whether they want to pay to participate in the promotion or not. You can find the participating properties here.
SPG members ordinarily earn two Starpoints per dollar spent, meaning that starting with your second stay you’d earn an additional two Starpoints per dollar spent, which is an incremental return of ~4.4%. Then you’d earn an extra $11 worth of points for weekend stays. So while it’s not worth changing hotels over, it’s better than nothing.
If you’re an elite member and using the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, you can of course earn a lot more Starpoints. For example, as a 75+ night Platinum members I ordinarily earn four Starpoints per dollar spent, so I’d be earning eight Starpoints per dollar spent through this promotion if paying with the SPG co-brand credit card.
For 2018 the plan is for Starwood Preferred Guest to still be run as an independent program, so you an expect the promotions for Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest to all be different. Then in 2019 it’s possible that we’ll see a merged loyalty program (or not — we’ll have to wait and see).