Stack SPG Offers for Big Savings, Qualifying Nights and Valuable Points
Before I get into the new SPG promo that was announced a few days ago, I’ll quickly summarize the stackable promotions that you can use to cheaply earn elite status. First, the SPG Amex Offer that came out in the last couple months was available on almost every Amex card. It was $60 off $300 spend on eligible room rate and charges. Second, stays booked through the website sometimes earn portal cashback or miles, right now Mr. Rebates is paying 2%. The other promotion you can stack here is the SPG Explore More promo. Basically, earn bonus points at participating SPG hotels between September 12, 2017, and January 15, 2018.
- 1,000 bonus Starpoints per stay at St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Le Méridien, Westin, Sheraton, Tribute Portfolio and Design Hotels. List here.
- 500 bonus Starpoints per stay at participating Aloft, Element and Four Points.
- 10,000 bonus Starpoints when you stay 25 or more nights
Last, these are stackable with the SPG status challenges! This means you can cheaply earn your way to Gold or Platinum Status. Click here for a more in depth post about the challenge requirements.
New Promotion: Get 40% Off Second Night When You Pay with ANY Amex Card
SPG has a new promotion that can save you money on stays of two nights or more. As long as you stay an even number of nights, each second night is 40% off. There are some significant limitations to the promotion, and it may not always yield the best price, so you should definitely compare.
Book two or more consecutive nights at any participating SPG property and receive 40% off every 2nd night. You must book the offer through this link or call Starwood directly and mention code P4B and P4C. Promotion Page
Offer is valid at participating SPG Hotels & Resorts found here when you book and stay between October 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018 and pay with any American Express Credit or Charge Card.
- A minimum stay of two consecutive eligible nights is required
- Offer is for 40% off the best available unrestricted retail rate of every second night.
- Free night awards cannot be redeemed for first night stay.
- A limited number of rooms may be available at these rates.
- Advance purchase required. American Express® Card will be charged at time of booking. Reservations cannot be changed, are pre-paid and non-refundable; if cancellation takes place, guests forfeit total room charge plus tax. Offer valid when you book and pay with any American Express® Credit or Charge Card.
Let’s Put it All Together!
Should we try to earn Gold or Platinum status this way? If we look at an example we can see just how easy it is to attain elite status by combining these deals. Of course, I was looking for areas that might have cheap SPG options since we’re going to have to pay cash for these rooms. I have a friend I’d like to visit in Houston and it looks like there are a ton of great options at low prices. I found the Sheraton Houston West for $91 a night with the 40% off promo (though if the promo is not available, I wouldn’t sweat it because the base rate is higher. So in reality, your not saving as much as you think- here I think it was $6/night.) Lucky for us, this is a Sheraton and it’s included in the SPG Explore More Promo- which means you get an extra 1,000 points per stay! The total with tax comes to about $200 for 2 nights. Looking at other properties in the area you could easily go on a Thursday, stay 2 nights, then switch hotels for another 2 nights. There were plenty of cheap Sheratons in the area so I’ll assume you can get 1,000 bonus points again. Now you’re at 4 nights and you’ve spent about $400.
Progress Toward Gold Status and Money Spent
4 Qualifying Nights toward Gold or Platinum Status
2,000 Bonus Points from Explore More Promotion
800 SPG Points for the $400 spent + 800 More Points if you used an SPG Amex Card
We have $400 in spend towards those Amex Offers- here’s where it gets a little tricky. You’ll need to split the charge for the second stay on two different Amex Cards or pay for both stays separately with different Amex cards. The second solution seems a bit easier because the 2 night 40% off promo requires the charge to be paid up-front. To get max value- we need to put as close to $300 on each card without going too far over. I’ll assume we can split it up perfectly and equate this as a 20% discount. I think it’s feasible to get pretty close.
We’ll need to get to 9 nights for Gold Status. We still have 5 nights as well as some spend to get to the $600 to trigger the Amex offer on both cards. I am headed to D.C. for a long weekend in December and I’ve found a few Sheratons there that are crazy cheap and will give me the 1,000 point bonus.You are only required to stay 1 night for the 500 and 1,000 Point bonuses. If you’re up for it, you could switch hotels each day and theoretically get the bonus each time. For my own sanity- I’ll assume you do 2 nights. Here’s an option I found that will give us 1,000 Bonus Points and is only $85/night including taxes and fees.
We’ll do another one for the next two nights and assume similar cost but add $10/night just to be safe. Then for the last night, find the cheapest rate or stay in the second hotel.
Part 2 Costs – SPG Gold Status
Out of Pocket Cost $455
SPG Points for Stay 910
Bonus Points 2,000 (or 3,000 if you switched for the 5th night)
Our Grand Total Out of Pocket is $855 (with a little wiggle room). For the Amex offer we need $900, so make sure you order room service or charge a couple of drinks to your room to make sure we get to $900. Once you get your 3 AO credits, your out of pocket cash rate is $720. You’ve also racked up 6,500 (or way more if you’re a crazy person and did mostly 1 night stays) SPG Points- which would be worth about $140. Assuming you’ll get full value from your points and you got about 2% cashback ($18)- you just bought Gold Status for $562 or less.
How About Platinum Status?
I actually think it’s very easy to utilize the same process as above and double your numbers to get a good idea of what it would look like to do the full 18 nights over 3 months to meet the Platinum Status criteria. As a gold member you would get 3 points per dollar spent as opposed to 2, so we can add about 1800 Starwood points to the final calculation. Also keep in mind, those numbers would change for the worse if you didn’t have enough SPG Amex offers. Another option to consider would be to simply find the absolute cheapest hotel you can find and do multiple nights there- this could bring down you out of pocket cost around $200.
If we assume you follow the same type of plan as above to meet the Platinum Challenge criteria, you would be looking at approx $1400 out of pocket and SPG points worth around $320. Your theoretical cost is around $1100- assuming of course these points are very useful to you.
But is it Worth it?
It really depends on how much use you can get out of the benefits. If you don’t already have Gold Status because of the Amex Platinum Card and you stay mostly at Marriott and SPG branded hotels- then Gold Status is great- especially for Marriott.
Platinum Status is where the true value comes in. SPG Platinum will earn you Marriott Platinum. You’ll also receive Crossover and reciprocal benefits with several other programs like Delta and United. See here for complete list of benefits for SPG and Marriott Platinum members.
If you already have some trips planned and can organically make up some of the nights required for Gold or Platinum- then I think there are ways to complete these challenges to earn status at a cheap enough price.
If you’re not interested in status, you can still use these methods on any upcoming stays to earn extra points and save money on SPG branded hotels. I love the idea of getting 1,000 valuable SPG points for staying in a Sheraton that costs me well under $100! I happen to have a lot of trips coming up this year where the Platinum benefits will be useful to me, so I may complete the challenge.