Starwood Preferred Guest® Loyalty Program Review

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Loyalty Program is one of the best hotel loyalty programs. This program is extremely beneficial to any frequent traveller who often stays at SPG® properties – especially when SPG co-branded credit card is used. Read our review of the SPG® loyalty program to learn how to maximize your travel with one of the best hotel loyalty program.

SPG® Basics

The Starwood Preferred Guest® loyalty program is a program of Starwood hotel chain. To participate in this program you have to obtain one of the co-branded credit cards described below (see section “Participating cards”), or to stay at SPG properties. With the SPG® program for eligible purchases you earn reward points (called Starpoints®) on your card.

In general, Starpoints® are similar to reward points earned with any other loyalty program: you can redeem them for a wide range of purchases, such as gift cards, charity, airfare, etc. You can also transfer your Starpoints® to 30 airlines and airline loyalty programs, which include:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Aeroplan/Air Canada
  • Air Berlin
  • Air China Companion
  • Air New Zealand & Air Points
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Alitalia MileMiglia
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • Asia Miles
  • Asiana Airlines
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club
  • Delta Airlines SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Airways
  • Flying Blue
  • Gol Smiles
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Japan Airline (JAL) Mileage Bank
  • Jet Airways
  • LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms
  • Miles and More
  • Qatar Airways
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus
  • United Mileage Plus
  • Velocity Frequent Flier
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

However, the distinctive feature of Starpoints® is that the most profitable redemption option is a redemption for hotel stays at SPG® brand hotels, which include:

  • Sheraton
  • Aloft
  • Design Hotels
  • Elements
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • Le Meridien
  • The Luxury Collection
  • St.Regis
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Westin
  • W Hotels

Usual ways for Starpoints® redemption (gift cards, airfare, etc.) are worth 1 cent for 1 point. At the same time, points redemption for hotel stays might bring you around 2 cents per 1 point depending on which Starwood co-branded credit card you have and for what kind of hotel stay (dates, type of room, etc.) you redeem points. This is the main feature and benefit of the SPG® program.

The SPG® loyalty program also grant you a few additional services. Free Nights Awards allows you to book hotel rooms without blackout dates if you redeem for hotel stay at least 2,000 Starpoints®. With SPG® Moments℠ you can obtain VIP access to numerous events (concerts, sport events, etc.) if you buy a ticket with Starpoints®.

Participating cards and their rewards

There are two co-branded credit cards participating in SPG® program:

  • The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express,
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card.

For each $1 spent on these cards for eligible purchases (i.e. purchases you make within SPG® properties – not only hotel stays, but also purchases of goods and services), you get up to the 5 Starpoints®. To be precise, you get 2 Starpoints® as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express cardholder, and 2 or 3 Starpoints® as a member of the SPG® program staying at SPG® property or at Marriott. You also get 1 Starpoint® for each $1 spent on all other purchases. To learn more details about these cards, read our reviews.

Remember, that your Starpoints® might expire if within 12 months you didn’t earn, redeem or transfer a single Starpoint®, your account has been cancelled, or you didn’t make any eligible stay at SPG® properties.

Elite Status

Credit cards participating in the SPG® program help you move towards SPG® Gold or Platinum member status.

You get Gold status after you spend 10 eligible stays or 25 eligible nights at SPG® property in a calendar year. Gold status grants you 50% bonus for Starpoints® earned at SPG® properties, as well as welcome gifts, free in-room Wi-Fi, opportunity for a late checkout, and other nice bonuses.

You get Platinum status after you spend 25 eligible nights or 50 eligible stays at SPG® property in a calendar year. Platinum status grants you all bonuses provided by Gold status, as well as guaranteed room availability if booking is made at least 72 hours before arrival, access to the club and executive levels at the SPG® property, and health club access.

The term “eligible night” or “eligible stay” is referred to nights or stays spent at SPG® properties when eligible rate is paid for a night or a stay. Eligible rate is any rate paid for stays or nights at SPG® properties unless the room was booked through a tour operator or online travel agency, by a group rate, was provided complimentary, as voucher or an award, or at employee, family or friends rate.

The bottom line

The SPG® loyalty program is one of the most profitable hotel programs when it comes to the profitability of reward points earning and redemption for hotel stays. If one of the SPG® co-branded credit cards is obtained, the SPG® program will become an ultimate painkiller for any frequent traveller who prefers to stay at SPG® properties.

Check our reviews of the SPG® co-branded credit cards to become a member of a floor breaking hotel loyalty program.