Friday, October 3, 2008

Insider info. – What Hotel Programs don’t tell you.

I have completed the 25 annual stays that are needed to qualify for Platinum Starwood Elite status and I was planning to use some of my points for the rest of the year so I am a bit peeved that they have an offer to attain elite status more easily than I have been doing it.
Starwood has an offer that they say is ,” The biggest offer in Starwood Preferred Guest® history.” You Choose your own rewards. - The most popular choice is the unlimited double Starpoints® option where you can aspire to reach elite status with stays counting double. Register your choice, complete an eligible stay at any of the participating Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide between October 1 and December 31, 2008, and then reap your reward.
I don’t need it but may wait for it in case they offer it again next year because most hotel chains offer promotions to entice one into accumulating more points. Marriotts fall MegaBonus delivers rewards when you stay at Marriott properties September 15, 2008 to January 15, 2009, and payment is with your Visa Card.

Marriott offer a better deal for less frequent stayers than for Platinum members because Plat members have to stay the full 20 total Visa-paid nights to earn 35,000 bonus points, whereas silver members can start earning bonus points on their second stay but can only earn a max of 25.000 points. They feel better than I did when I stayed 19 nights one year and got NO mega points Zilch! I don’t need points to maintain Platinum level for this year so I won’t even try to get the 20 nights this year since I am not eligible for the 2nd to 19th stay.
The stars have to be perfectly aligned when you register for the MegaBonus promotion if you want to earn 5,000 Marriott Rewards points (up to 25,000 points), for every third Visa-paid stay you make at Marriott (Platinum members are NOT eligible). Some guests stars are aligned to get points after their second stay.
Some earn up to 25,000 Bonus Points Stays and only need 15 stays to achieve a goal. They raise the bar to 20 stays for Platinum members and don’t give any points on the way to the 20 stays. One more reason that makes me think that they want to discourage Platinum members.

They really mean it when they advertise that the stars have to be aligned !

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