Increased Sign-Up Bonus On The American Express SPG Card In Canada!

For a limited time only, American Express in Canada is offering an increased sign-up bonus on their Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card and Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card. Until October 18, 2017, you can earn 25,000 SPG points as a welcome bonus after charging $1,500 to your card in the first 3 months of membership. That’s the biggest welcome bonus I’ve seen on this card in Canada, and an offer most everyone should take advantage of.

I consider SPG points the most valuable rewards program for Canadians for a number of reasons:

  • Ability to transfer to most major airlines at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 SPG points that are transferred
  • Some great value redemptions at Starwood hotels, like the time I redeemed SPG points for a stay at the iconic St Regis New York City
  • Ability to transfer to Marriott Rewards program for even more great options, such as Marriott Flight and Hotel packages

Highlights of the SPG credit card include:

  • 1 SPG point for every $1 on everyday purchases
  • 2 SPG points for every $1 on purchases at Starwood or Marriott hotels
  • 25,000 SPG welcome bonus after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of membership
  • Upgrade to Starwood Preferred Guests Gold status after spending $30,000 in a calendar year

SPG has a large portfolio of properties all over the globe which can be booked with SPG points. Properties range from limited service hotels to luxury resorts, and everything in-between. Redemptions start at just 2,000 SPG points per night for a weekend night stay at a category 1 property to 35,000 points per night for a category 7 property during peak season:

Spg rewards card

SPG Redemption Chart

Starwood offers a 5th night free on reward redemptions (in category 3-7 properties) which lowers the required number of points by 20 percent for 5 night stays. This can also be repeated for longer stays, meaning a 10 night stay would only require 8 nights worth of points!

SPG points are transferrable to most major airlines at a ratio of 1:1. Furthermore, SPG provides a 5000 mile bonus for each increment of 20,000 SPG points transferred. So, if you wanted to transfer 20,000 SPG to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, you would receive 25,000 miles. If you wanted to transfer 40,000 SPG points, you would receive 50,000 miles, and so on. Starwood limits the number of points you can transfer in a day to 79,999, so if you’re planning to transfer a large number of points it’s best to limit yourself to 60,000 per day to maximize the transfer bonus.

This flexibility is great when booking award travel, as you can essentially search all airlines for award space, and transfer the points when needed. There is nothing more frustrating than having a large balance of one mileage currency and finding award space on another airline. It should be noted that SPG transfer times are not instant, and usually require a few business days for the transfer to complete.

Marriott Rewards Flight And Hotel Bookings

I find that SPG is a superior program to Marriott for redemptions with one exception: flight and hotel packages through Marriott. If you’re planning to convert your SPG points to a specific airline, I would strongly suggest exploring this option before proceeding. In many instances, you’re able to transfer the same number of points for the flight and get a 7 night stay in a Marriott property for no additional points. Here’s an example:

Say you wanted to book a roundtrip ticket to Hong Kong from North America on Cathay Pacific in business class. Alaska Air Mileage Plan offers roundtrip business class for 100,000 miles, or 80,000 SPG points (1:1 ratio plus 4 X 5,000 transfer bonus)

Alternatively, you could transfer 83,334 SPG points to Marriott for a total of 250,000 Marriott Reward points and redeem for 100,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles and a 7 night stay in a category 1-5 Marriott property.

Spg rewards card

Marriott Flight And Hotel Package Chart

What’s best is you don’t have to redeem the hotel stay at the same time as the mileage redemption. Marriott will simply keep a certificate valid for a 7 night hotel stay on your profile that will remain valid for one year.

SPG points are a must have points currency for any Canadian traveller. Not only are they great for hotel redemptions, but they can also be transferred to various airline partners at a 1:1.25 ratio. Furthermore, SPG points can be transferred to Marriott Rewards and redeemed for flight+hotel packages, which can represent phenomenal value. Consider signing up today to take advantage of this limited time offer for the increased welcome bonus. For creative ways to earn and redeem your Starwood points, feel free to send me an email, or alternatively, complete our online questionnaire to receive a complimentary consultation specific to your travel goals.


The Bluebird/SPG Reward Night Cost Chart

I got a lot of positive (and some negative) feedback for my Bluebird/Chase Ink Award Cost Chart post, so I decided to do it again for one of my other favorite cards – the SPG Amex card.

The Amex SPG card only earns one point per dollar on all non-SPG spend. No bonuses, ever. And the card also has foreign transaction fees, making it useless when traveling abroad. But the card can still earn points that are very valuable.

SPG points are generally considered a valuable points currency for two reasons: 1) You can often redeem points at a rate of 3 cents per point or more, which is considered very favorable (Cash & Points redemptions in particular can be redeemed for great values); 2) You can transfer SPG points to A LOT of mileage currencies (AA, Singapore, etc.) and get a bonus. Every 20K SPG points gets you 25K miles for most airlines, effectively earning 1.25 points per dollar spent.

But at the same time, SPG properties are pretty darn expensive and cost a lot of points, and it feels like even more considering you can’t earn points by any method aside from the credit card and hotel stays. Amex transfers to SPG, but at a horrible 3:1 ratio.

First some math: if you use your SPG Amex card to buy Vanilla Reloads, you earn 504 points for an effective cost of $3.95. The cost-per-point is .007837 in this case. If you don’t have VRs nearby, you’ll almost definitely have $500 Visa/MasterCard gift cards at CVS or local grocery stores. These will earn you 505 points for an effective cost of $4.95, and a cost-per-point of .009802.

SPG has a convoluted reward chart, so I’ll break it down into 3 sections: Reward Nights during Low Season and Weekdays, Reward Nights during High Season and Weekends (note only Categories 1 and 2 decrease for weekends), and Cash & Points.

Spg rewards card No surprises – I just re-created the standard SPG Reward Chart.

So with that in mind, let’s look at what it would cost to get a free stay at Category 1-7 hotels. First we’ll start with costs associated with buying Vanilla Reloads.

SPG Reward Chart for Vanilla Reloads

The one thing that pops out immediately is that Cash & Points are NEVER a good value when doing manufactured spend like this. The reason is actually pretty simple: Since you’re paying fewer points for more cash, you can essentially think of it as buying points. For a Category 3 room, instead of paying 7,000 points you pay 3,500 and $55, so you’re buying 3,500 points for $55. That’s a rate of .01571 dollars per point, which is more than twice the rate at which we can manufacture spend (remember we’re buying VRs for .007837 dollars per point).

You can also see the prices rise quickly for high category hotels. It’s generally considered a bad value to redeem SPG points for top-tier, “aspirational” properties because they’re just so damn expensive with points. Heck, it’s expensive even when you manufacture spend! But with that being said, that $275 for a Category 7 is still probably half of what you’d pay in cash for the same room, so you’re still coming out ahead. In my opinion, hotels up to Category 5 are worth looking into for manufactured spend.

SPG Reward Chart for $500 Visa/MC Gift Cards

Spg rewards card The SPG Award Chart when buying Visa or MasterCard gift cards.

That extra $1 per $500 makes quite a difference, doesn’t it? A Category 7 hotel in high season goes from $275 with Vanilla Reloads to a whopping $343. But when you think about it, that $1 is a 25% increase ($3.95 vs. $4.95), which is exactly the increase in all these rates from the chart we just saw above.

It’s not ideal, but it’s still likely cheaper than the normal nightly rate.

One of the interesting redemption benefits with SPG is that your 5th night is free when redeeming nights with points. For example, a Category 4 hotel would cost 40,000 SPG points for 4 nights, but you get a 5th night free. This brings your effective points-per-night rate down to 8,000 points-per-night instead of 10,000 – effectively 20% off. Let’s factor 5 night stays in to the manufactured spend chart for Vanilla Reload purchases. Note that this redemption option is not available for Cash & Points redemptions.

Spg rewards card The cost in points and manufactured spend dollars when staying 5 nights with SPG.

If you’re planning on staying 5 nights at an SPG hotel, your points become a lot more valuable. At the Category 5 level there are five hotels in Hawaii and five St. Regis hotels that you can have for pretty cheap. There are some exceptional Category 6 properties, and maybe even Category 7 properties will become worth it for rare “aspirational” redemptions.

You can see the values above and decide whether it’s worth it for you to go big with SPG. It’s always worth having a stash of SPG points in my opinion, so I make sure to make the SPG Amex part of my manufactured spend routine. I personally have no plans to ever redeem for a SPG Category 7 property because I’m simply not willing to pay $275 for a night after manufactured spend, but I might consider it if I have the desire to stay 5 nights at one of them.

For high-end properties, I’m much more inclined to stay at Hyatt hotels using the Chase Ink card as I outlined in my previous post. Hyatt hotels are essentially half the price when using manufactured spend. I’d be more than happy to redeem my SPG points at some Category 4 and 5 properties, particularly in Asia.

As a reminder, don’t go overboard and spend too much and earn an Amex Financial Review (or a review from any bank). It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would be really annoying.

If you want the SPG Amex card and you’re feeling generous towards me, you can apply for one through my affiliate link on Credit Karma (just click “show all” and scroll down to the SPG card). I’d actually recommend waiting until August/September when the sign-up bonus usually increases from 25K to 30K points.


Marriott Rewards and SPG Expanded Earning Benefit

Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest now offer expanded earning benefits to Chase and American Express co-brand card members.

Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest have announced an industry-first benefit for members of its co-brand credit cards following Marriott International’s recent acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Starting October 18, 2016, Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express members in the U.S. can earn 2 Starpoints for every eligible $1 spent using the card directly at hotels participating in Marriott Rewards globally.

Likewise, Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JPMorgan members in the U.S. can earn 5 Marriott Rewards or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards points for every eligible $1 spent using your respective card on qualifying purchases made at participating global SPG properties.

This credit card earning opportunity is the latest benefit offered to loyalty members of all 3 programs.

Already, members of Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and SPG can link your accounts at members.marriott.com to access benefits, such as instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer among the 3 programs.

This gives loyalty card members more flexibility to earn points no matter where you stay, so that you can earn points quicker and enjoy travel sooner.

Marriott now offers a diverse portfolio of 30 brands in over 110 countries across the globe, giving members access to the best hotels and resorts wherever you want to travel at more than 5,700 hotels.

In addition to existing reward benefits, U.S.-based American Express and Chase card members can now enjoy the following new benefits:

  • Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase Card Members can earn 5 Marriott Rewards points for each $1 spent using the Card on qualifying purchases made at participating SPG properties globally.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JPMorgan Card Members can earn 5 Ritz-Carlton Rewards points for each $1 spent using the Card on qualifying purchases made at participating SPG properties globally.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express Card Members can earn 2 Starpoints per $1 using the Card directly at hotels participating in Marriott Rewards globally.

Take advantage of these new benefits for Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest members today.

Barclaycard CashForward Credit Card $200 Bonus – New Increased Offer

Apply for the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® to earn a $200 cash bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days after account opening, plus get 1.5% cash back on all purchases with a 5% redemption bonus and no annual fee. [Read More] Barclaycard CashForward Credit Card $200 Bonus – New Increased Offer


Best Hotel Rewards Program [InfoGraphic]

Update: The InfoGraphic now reflects the details of the best rewards programs for 2015, including the T&L Top 500 hotels for 2015.

What makes the best hotel rewards program (or best hotel “loyalty” program) is made up of a combination of status perks and rewards. I.e. How many free nights you earn, how global the chain is, food, etc…

If you’re committing yourself to a hotel chain and their rewards program, you need to know exactly what you will get out of it, or what you could get out of it. This infographic compares all the hotel loyalty programs visually, and shows exactly which is the best program for your needs!

An infographic by Drew and Caroline at Travel is Free

Want this infographic on your site? Copy and Paste the Code Below

Each person’s needs are completely different. One needs to travel to many cities across the world in farflung places, and others tend to need stays in only a few cities for long periods of time. If you’re more of the latter, just make sure that the chain you want is in those key cities. If you’re a constant globe trotter, you might need a more global chain.

And some don’t care about earning free nights because they only travel when work pays for it. These people may want to look at perks like free breakfast and club lounge access, and see how many nights one would need to stay to earn those perks.

Someone who travels out of his/her own pocket, like ourselves, wants free nights from hotel points.

One thing not really shown in this infographic is that how generous a hotel is in their quarterly promotions can change these numbers a lot. IHG gives big promotions and Hilton does not, for example. This would give IHG a huge edge, but unfortunately each promotion is so different from quarter to quarter, and year to year, it would be impossible to chart.

Still, I hope you find this infographic takes the incredibly complex hotel rewards programs and compares them with (hopefully) simple graphics. Find what you need in a hotel rewards program and hopefully, this makes it clear which hotel chain/status delivers.

Drew, just wanted to say I love your site and the content you share! So helpful that your tips are useful for the average person and you don’t just push credit cards!

Just wanted to give a shout out to our favorite hotel brand, Kimpton. They are only in a few US cities, but the perks to their membership program are great, even without status. If you work their promotions right (passport rewards + InTouch), it’s definitely possible to get about 25% of your nights free.

Yea, Kimpton seems to be growing in reputation. I really hope they expand in the next few years. Could be the Virgin Airlines of the hotel industry. Thanks for sharing and reading!

Great info graphic, thank you for pulling all of your information together and making it easy to review and share!

Any reason why AMEX Hilton card and AMEX Surpass Hilton card didn’t make it on your final graphic? You get Silver and Gold with each card just by keeping it open as well.

Well, I contacted each of the hotel chains in the making to verify info and all that Jazz. Guess this is how Hilton wants it.

Drew sez: “Guess this is how Hilton wants it.”

Wow! That’s quite an admission! How can one trust the information on this site if what it displays needs to be cleared by or is dictated by the hotels. Besides, the information about the HHonors AMEX cards is NOT a secret that needs to be cleared with anyone, especially but by the very hotel that you are supposed to be rating? The information is freely available and should have been included without biasing against it by asking the hotel’s preference on what to display. Period.

I’ve seen a couple of attempts at using graphics to compare the factors in various hotel loyalty programs, and I have to say that yours is hands down the best. Very nicely done. It’s clean, concise, and has a lot of pertinent information.

We had no idea another hotel loyalty infographics were out there… But I’m glad we’re the best.

Carrie is an artist!

Wow! What a lot of time and thought this must have taken. And the fiddling around to get the best arrangement of data. Thanks for your effort. I’ve got to go find a printer

You’re not kidding! It was also a bit of learning, hopefully we’ll be able to produce them faster next time. But this took… Let’s just say, multiple multiple devaluations happened in the making. :-p

1) Great infographic! The following isn’t criticism, just suggestions for improvement and/or completeness, and only because I love this stuff as much as you do.

2) Club Carlson Concierge gives breakfast. Yes, it’s a continental breakfast, but that’s all you’re really entitled to with Hilton as well. Heck, Hilton can even opt to give you 3,000 points instead of breakfast if they want.

3) I echo the suggestion to add the Hilton AMEX cards.

4) While it’s not a hotel card, the Platinum AMEX gives SPG gold … and a whole lot more, so maybe it’s worth a mention?

5) The Hilton Reserve VISA gives an annual weekend night if you spend $10k. Since you mention other perks that require spend requirements, and mention free nights, that might be worth including.

6) I have no idea how you’d quantify the Carlson “last night free” benefit on multi-night stays, but that’s such a great benefit that it tips the scales for me in many cases, so it’s also worth mentioning.

I believe Club Carlson is properly labeled with that benefit.

Good note about the Plat card. Doesn’t really fit in the infographic as it’s not the hotel card. But worth mentioning in info about SPG.

Yea, we may edit in the Hilton Amex cards.

Yea, I thought about that benefit too. It’s confusing enough to word, that i just left it out. Maybe I should link to other posts on the subject for each program.

The most useful graphic is missing – what hotels cost via MS.

Carlson would be the lowest cpp due to 5x everywhere, but limited amount of mostly low end properties doesn’t make for much more than a roof over your head. I’ll spend a modest additional amount to stay at far better property.

Hilton has the best all-around bang for the buck with 6x at grocery. Add in large property list (with true top tier Conrad’s etc), easy to obtain useful status and it’s hands down my favorite.

Hyatt is good for top tier properties if you have Ink 5x. But with difficulty MSinf with demise of $500 gcs, andtheir devaluation, they are no longer top value for top tier.

That would be an awesome infographic on it’s own! lol

But the fees might depend on skills and tricks you have.

One thing we can all agree on is that SPG is the worst loyalty program.

I beg to differ, it totally depends on your travel habits. For folks constantly traveling on an expense account, SPG is the way to go. There is a reason why all the road warriors at consulting companies stay at SPG whenever possible. There have been many models built comparing all the hotel programs, SPG always comes out ahead – with Hyatt a distant second.

Having worked in the hospitality industry doing strategy work. It is widely known that SPG caters to a completely different crowd than the typical leisure traveler. They have a complete lock down on the high room rate – high travel market.

For example, for those lucky enough to have expense accounts. With top tier status, credit card, green choice, welcome bonus, and periodic promotions. One can get 10 points per dollar at SPG. At an average of 200-300 a night at these places plus room service, a typical 3-4 night stay nets you

10,000 points a week. Enough for a night at a Cat 4 hotel, which charge 200-300 a night on average. Not bad netting $200-300 a week in hotel points for traveling.

Each to their own.

If my company (if I had one) was footing the bill, the St. Regis wouldn’t be that bad, for sure. But if you value price paid to free nights earned, it’s infinitely more terrible than the others. And it’s not like it has more top hotels than Hyatt.

Fortunately you actually counted things, so we can go with something more specific than “infinitely more terrible.” Let’s use Club Carlson as “others” since they offer the lowest cost per award night. And let’s assume someone is an elite member (75 nights) using a co-branded credit card.

–Club Carlson Concierge member would earn 45 points per dollar and needs 70,000 for a top category award night. $1,555 spent to get a free night.

–Hyatt Diamond member would earn 8 points per dollar and needs 30,000. $3,750 spent.

–SPG Platinum member would earn 6 points per dollar and needs 35,000. $5,833 spent.

The Hyatt customer must spend $2,195 more, and the SPG customer must spend $4,278 more. If we define “worse” as “How much more do I have to spend than the cheapest option?” then SPG is 275% more than Club Carlson and roughly two times as bad as Hyatt (141% more).

Specifics vary depending on elite status and your choice of payment — and I think few would argue that SPG’s Cat 7 is on par with the best Club Carlson hotels — but it’s clearly not “infinite.”

It depends…I have the SPG Amex and here in Florida I can get some nice hotels (some Westin) for $3000 spending on the card on everything. Tell me about a “NICE” Club Carlton hotel…

As one of these road warriors who are not footing the bill for hotel stays, I can say many of my coworkers stay at SPG hotels and I do as well. SPG’s perception among this traveler is definitely that it is among the best hotel brands and programs. Their transfer partners help in this regard.

This infographic just blew my mind though. I have already started to diversify (because I am not going to be traveling full time forever) and I want to be strategic about my point holdings. This infographic is absolutely amazing. I am planning a round of apps and this helps to decide which cards. Thanks!!

BTW, the SPG Amex card itself only gives you 2x$ on SPG properties.

Love the info, just recently Club Carlson decreased their earning bonus at hotels to 15% for Silver, 35% for Gold and they left the Concierge level at 75% bonus per Dollar spent. They also do offer a modest discount on food at hotel restaurants of 5% for Red members, Silver 10% and a 15% discount for both Gold and Concierge members. I love the 2nd reward night free bonus which effectively can double the value of the points.

Keep up the GREAT work! Thanks

Thanks for the comment, somehow that got left out on the latest update. No idea how…

Still no love on the infographic for the Fairmont CC?

Thanks for the great infographic. I think it is very informative and I might feature it on my infographic site.

Great stuff, as always. Does the inclusion of cash and points options change anything? Is it statically important enough to be graphed?

This is a great infographic, thanks for sharing it!

Hilton with Points & Points top tier status should be higher.

What you are missing is the distribution of hotels by tier. Hilton Tier 1 is faster to earn, but there are very few hotels in this category.

Most expensive hotel is also different in that The Ritz-Carlon and St. Regis are much nicer than the most expensive Choice property. I wouldn’t even put Waldorf in that category as I consider them more like a Park Hyatt, JW Marriott competitor.

Overall, great graphic.

Thank you for the update! This is definitely one of your posts (along with the maps) I reference most frequently when trying to remember program details, especially earning rates. Glad to know it’s all set for 2015 Spg rewards card

There’s a lot of useful information on this graph. Thanks for creating it. I love your blog and have been following it for quite some time now but this is my first time posting.

I’m getting ready to apply for a few more hotel cards soon and I’d love to use your links. However, I noticed that you only have a link for the SPG card. Would you please add links to the other cards also mentioned? Thanks!

I have to say I love the visual presentation of this Information. I’m a SPG50 for the past 2 years all on my own dime and have to say you have confirmed what I suspected. I’m backing off SPG this year and will be giving Club Carlsson more love. CC may not be the ritziest but my feeling is most time it’s just a bed and if u want to travel in the Nordic countries they are often the only game in town.

I don’t actually accumulate many points through actual stays but through credit card spending for my businesses (roughly $300k legit spending a year) it would be interesting to compare this way- almost all non bonus categories so 300,000 Starwood points or 900,000 Hilton points for example- obviously a different question here but an interesting exercise too

I think that there is an error in your assignment of points earned per spend at Hilton properties by HHonors members. This must always include the point & point earning style, which would earn HHonors members another 5 points/$. If you do this you will find that Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton get almost the same spend per free night, and your infographic on that would be the same those previously published at the following two links:

In addition, if you include the points earned by paying for a stay with each program’s highest-earning co-branded cards (e.g., AMEX Surpass for HHonors), you will find that the spend per free night of HHonors members is slight better than Hyatt’s and Marriott’s. There is general agreement that SPG has, by far, the worst (highest) spend per free night of any program.

You might wish to correct these oversights in your infographic so that it would present a more accurate picture, which I am sure is your desire in putting it out.

I am mostly Marriott and airlines with the intention to build up large quantities for grand European vacations. The Carlson last night free really had me excited and now it’s gone. I still like that option for my situation due to the 40K renewal bonus where you can build it..the others don’t really have ongoing benefits if you aren’t using their properties extensively.

The new Marriott benefit for Platinum members is really a great deal for me though. The status is not nearly as hard as some of the others if you can have a personal card and a business card where you get 15 status nights for each card. Platinum now comes with United Silver status. I haven’t tried it yet but my understanding is that United is reserving their business/first class award seats for elite status members. It may have been all awards but not sure. I can say the United non elite status for good seats seems to have diminished greatly so I’m hopeful the Marriott United alliance will prove very beneficial.

The IHG card is now a MasterCard, not a VISA. The offer for that card is now 70K (80K if you can get targeted).

This is really great information, presented perfectly man.

Do you have any data points on people ‘stringing Free Night Certs Together?’ – IE Hyatt – Aniversary Gift of one Cat 1-4 Night, combined with 2 Free Night Certs at the same resort? It would be from 2 diff accounts obviously, One would have to be a year+ old. Same deal for the IHG Rewards – I heard you could use the Free Night Anywhere Cert up to a a year later – but I don’t see any verifiable reports on that working properly. (Use BOTH your Free Night Certs for back to back stays)

My gf and I will be travelling to Africa in September, and this trip will include a 3 night stay in Botswana for safari along the Chobe River. Are any of the major hotel rewards programs useful for staying at any of the lodges/chalets in this area, or is this a job for just using Barclay Arrival+ miles to defray the net cost?

Thank you for creating these info-graphics, they gave me great insight into the world of Hotel Loyalty Programs. I was just wondering is there a 3rd party program/system that does the ‘brokerage’ kind of service in which they combine all or most of the same category hotels benefits together for example

‘4 star hotel alliance’ or ‘5 star hotel loyalty group’ that helps the customer to cover more locations and can open up benefits that are not locked to certain hotels/chains?

I was wondering what is the best way to get the following for a trip: (I assume they are useful to most travelers?)

free hotel-transfer (return)

free club lounge access

or is there a group or company that just sell these ‘add-ons’ to certain hotels in their list?

or maybe someone here should start one??

Thank you for your contribution : )

I was wrong above about Marriott giving you a 15 night status credit for each credit card. They only allow the one 15 night credit so I’ll be cancelling my first card shortly. I’m now experimenting with the Club Carlson program and have one card so far.

Great job, man. You guys really managed to simplify a great amount of information and to present it in a pretty way.

This is amazing. Your blog is rad!

I’m hoping you can help me find a bit of info.

I read someone’s comparison of hotel rewards programs and deep inside was a note about one program that allowed a person to only use some of their points for an award stay and pay the rest in cash for a total of $30 per night at a basic hotel. However, for the life of me I cannot find this review/posting again? It may or may not have been you, but since you are both one of the world’s top aficionados on this topic, and a nice guy, I’m hoping you might know which program this is? I need to get some super cheap hotel stays – 3 weeks plus worth) sooner than I can earn them via any MS-ing etc (this month & December etc.) My other half just got a job in Merritt Island, Florida near Orlando and will be living in hotels. I get to visit with our 10 year old son for 3 weeks. I’ve called around for longterm stay rates but it’s still $50 -$60 per night for the cheapie hotels. Would of course like something cleaner for my son and I when we visit.

Thanks for your help and I promise to click on one of your credit card links when I’m ready. You seem like a great honest guy. I loved reading one of your posted comments, (or was it a twitter comment…) that you were concerned with something about earning money off of people clicking links in your posts. No guilt needed- Us good people are all here to help each other out and love to share the wealth by clicking your links instead of going directly to say Chase bank’s site!!

Lela, Anacortes, WA (A sweet seaside town with mostly independent hotels- so you and Carrie might need to crash at my house if you ever want to come visit… perhaps I should strike that comment since you’ve never heard of me! I think I’ll leave it in, cuz, well, it’s not worth not being oneself in this world!)

PS, feel free to pitch out any other tips on that area too if they come to mind. Maybe I’ll get to meet you at the Chicago Seminars next year- I’m new to most of this, like after they happened in October!

I’m new to your site and love how you presented this information. What a great resource!


Starwood Preferred Guest Discount Codes, Promotions & Deals

Find everything you need to Earn More SPG Points! Save on Starwood Hotels & “Travel like a Pro” with the Starwood Preferred Guest Program. Here is a list of the latest Starwood Preferred Guest Discount Codes and Deals, Best Rate Guarantee Offers and Starwood Preferred Guest Promotions, as well as all of the credit cards that will help you earn even more Starpoints from your everyday spending!

Current Starwood Preferred Guest Promotions

Spg rewards card

Earn double points on weeknight stays & triple points on weekend stays between May 27 and September 4, 2017.

Registration Expires 8/30/2017

Spg rewards card

Earn free Starpoints when you fly with Delta. Plus a whole lot more when you stay with SPG

Spg rewards card

Earn free Starpoints when you use Uber = 1 SPG point for every $1 spent with Uber

Spg rewards card

Earn Emirates Skywards Miles when you stay with SPG, Starpoints when you fly with Emirates and elite benefits all around.

Starwood Preferred Guest Discount Codes, Deals & Best Rate Guarantee Offers

Spg rewards card

Lock in the lowest rates, get free Wi-Fi and earn Starpoints on your next hotel stay at over 1,300 hotels and resorts worldwide. Must be a SPG Member to qualify.

Spg rewards card

Stay one night and the next is 40% off! For every night you pay regular rate, you can get the next night 40% off.

Spg rewards card

Stay one night at regular rate and your second night's rate will be equal to the year you were born. Born in 1968? Pay $68.

Spg rewards card

SPG Members enjoy great rates on suites and 3,000 bonus Starpoints!

This Offer Expires 12/31/2017

Spg rewards card

Start your weekend right with 35% off and breakfast for two at participating hotels in North and Latin America.

Spg rewards card

Save up to 15% Off your next stay at Starwood hotels and resorts across the U.S., Canada, and Latin America

Spg rewards card

Book now and save up to 15% off weekend stays

Spg rewards card

Spg rewards card

Spg rewards card

Spg rewards card

Spg rewards card

Spg rewards card

Spg rewards card

Spg rewards card

Spg rewards card

Spg rewards card

Starwood Preferred Guest: Credit Card Options for Starwood Points

The quickest way to earn SPG Points, especially if you are not a road warrior, is through credit card spending and sign up bonuses. With Starwood, you can earn miles through a variety of credit cards – either with a co-branded Starwood SPG Credit Card or with one that offers transfer options to Starwood such as American Express Membership Rewards, Marriott and Chase. Here are the best credit cards for earning Starwood Points and Starwood Elite Status.

Starwood SPG Credit Cards from American Express

American Express offers both a SPG co-branded personal card and a business card. These cards will send Starpoints directly to your account each month you use the card. They will also give you some additional credit toward SPG Elite Status.

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards cardSpg rewards card

  • Starpoints® bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus points after you use your card to make $3,000 in purchases during the first three months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

  • Starpoints® bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus points after you use your card to make $5,000 in purchases during the first three months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply

American Express Membership Rewards Cards that Transfer to SPG Points

AmEx Membership Rewards Points can be transferred to the Starwood SPG program. 1,000 Membership Rewards points will equate to 333 Starpoints. American Express offers many cards that earn Membership Rewards points – both personal and business cards.

  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2K during your first three months of Card membership
  • Earn triple points on airfare, double points on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, double points at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets and single points on other purchases
  • Select a qualifying airline and then receive up to $100 per calendar year in statement credits
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards cardSpg rewards card

  • Get 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to over 900 airport lounges, including The Centurion lounge network, Delta Sky Clubs, and Airspace Lounges
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Receive Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status
  • $450 Annual Fee

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you charge $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of Card Membership.
  • 5x points on select Mercedes-Benz purchases
  • 3x points points at US gas stations for each transaction that is $400 or less
  • 2x points at US restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee.

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, based on your creditworthiness.
  • $95 Annual Fee

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate.

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

  • Earn 2x Membership Reward® points for flights booked directly with airlines and at US restaurants.
  • Get 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent, in addition to a $75 hotel credit to spend on dining, spa, and resort activities when you book a stay of at least two consecutive nights at American Express Hotel Collection
  • No Foreign Transactions Fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then $160.

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

  • Earn 1x Membership Rewards points for every dollar of eligible purchases
  • No Annual Fee.

Marriott Co-Branded Credit Cards that Transfer to SPG Points

Now that Marriott has acquired Starwood, you can use Marriott Credit Cards to earn Marriott Rewards Points, then transfer them to Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints at a ratio of 3 Marriott points to 1 Starpoint:

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards that Transfer to SPG Points

Chase Travel Cards can now provide you with Starpoints, even though Starwood is not one of their transfer partners. You can Transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Marriott, then transfer your Marriott points to Starwood.

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards cardSpg rewards card

  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months- that's $625 toward travel rewards!
  • 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Get 25% more value on airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Ultimate Rewards℠
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs - that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

Spg rewards cardSpg rewards card

Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program

Like most major hotel companies, Starwood has a loyalty program called Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”). The SPG program provides a variety of benefits for its members, including the ability to earn and use points at any Starwood Property, 5th night free option on rewards stays, the ability to fast track to elite status and much more.

It only takes a minute to sign up. Here is the SPG Registration Link…

Starwood Hotel Discounts and Deals

We are continuously checking the web to find great offers like Westin Coupons and Discount Codes, as well as Promotions and Deals at other SPG properties like Sheraton, W Hotels, Le Meridein, Four Points, etc..

We hope you find one that helps you save on your next trip!

If Starwood Properties are not your cup of tea, check out the deals, promotions and discounts available at the other major hotel properties here…

About Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Spg rewards cardStarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is the most global high-end hotel company in the world. Starwood has over 1,300 properties in 100 countries with 9 brands, including:

St Regis, Westin, Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Element, aloft, Four Points, Le Meridien and Sheraton.

As a September 23, 2016, Starwood is now part of Marriott International. Since combining with Starwood, Marriott International, Inc. is the world’s largest hotel company with more than 5,700 properties in over 110 countries, spread across 30 hotel brands.