Starwood is the first to announce their next promo for the summer season. It’s called “Earn Away. Get Away.”
It’s essentially a double points promo from May 1, 2014 to July 31, 2014. There’s a chance for triple Starpoints, but only if you include a Sunday night stay. Most normal folks won’t include a Sunday night stay, as business travelers don’t typically stay on Sundays and leisure travelers usually have to be back at work (or get the kids back to school) for a Monday.
Double Starpoints beats a sharp stick in the eye, but there’s a fairly decent list of non-participating properties here. Almost 70 in the US aren’t, which is more than 10% of the total US property base if my memory serves me well. So, be sure to check the list before counting on those double and triple points. Personally, a promo that doesn’t let you earn at all properties kinda stinks, IMO. I think SPG should either be picking up the tab or requiring everyone to participate. Leaving it to the customer to figure out where they can earn doesn’t strike me as customer friendly.
This promo is potentially stronger than “Bring On The Nights”, their first promo of 2014. There you were essentially earning 500 bonus points per night stayed. Here, with triple points on higher rates you can earn a lot more than 500 bonus points. But, on par I think most folks will earn about the same. The benefit here is that you don’t have to hit a tier every 5 nights to trigger the bonus like Bring on the Nights did.
There is an opportunity to leverage this a bit if you can find ultra-cheap rates at hotels for a Sunday night and book just a one-night stay. That would earn you 6 Starpoints per dollar plus any elite bonuses. Still a crappy price for points, but if you wanted to get away for a night anyway, it might be a good deal. But, if you’re just looking to collect Starpoints, the better value is probably to buy them in the current sale.
Starpoints are hard to come by, as the relative value of these promos indicate. If you’re trying to build up Starpoints, the SPG AMEX cards are still the best way to do so.