Starwood Program - very hard to earn points?

Discussion in 'Other Hotel Loyalty Programs' started by simongr, May 26, 2007.

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  1. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Hi all
    I am just reflecting back on the three hotel programs I am in - Starwood, Hilton and Mariott. I havent planned my travel very effectively over the past year so am a bit all over the place.

    Roughly I have had about 18 nights in Mariott (approximately US$4K) 6 nights in Hilton (approx US$4K) and 4 nights in Starwood (approx US$3K) . I have had stays in other hotels but not chains.

    This has translated to 45K points in Marriott, 40K points in hilton and 5K points in Starwood. Now that is because I seem to get 1point/US$ spent in starwood vs. 10/$1 at Hilton/Marriott. This would be ok if the points required for nights was different - but I have checked potential awards on all three in New York next July and all require roughly the same amount of points - roughly 35k/night.

    Am I missing something? Is starwood really that difficult to earn enough points for a stay? It seems like a total waste of time to me if its that tough.

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers

    S
     

  2. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    393
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    BNE
    You should be earning 2 points per USD spent; elites (gold and platinum) both earn 3/USD.

    Even so, if points are earnt only by eligible stays rather than credit card earning, then achieving enough for a free night is very difficult. This is more so in light of recent adjustment of hotel categories, which increased the points required for most hotels. Using points for upgrades is more realistic.

    Obviously, Americans have access to the Starwood credit cards to boost their starpoints; you can divert Australian Amex points to SPG (1000 to 330 conversion). I suspect that many on this forum would be using this channel to convert credit card points to AA.

    I've never really compared programs. I stayed in the Sheraton on the Park earlier in life and was hooked, so have stayed where possible in Starwood residences - putting all my eggs in one basket. I don't stay in hotels much for work, so my points accumulation has been based on leisure stays i.e. very slow:(
     
  3. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    4,441
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    Brisbane / Sydney
    Same here. :(

    Main reason why I have an SPG is because I'm a big fan of the W hotels. Was hooked on the Sydney one till that went away. :evil: Don't stay at hotels a lot so I thought I'd just do SPG anyway when there aren't Ws around so that I can consolidate all my hotel points.

    Now I've set up a BAEC account (yep got the correct address ;)) to launder SPG points over for MFU on BA flights. :D
     
  4. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    I have just emailed SPG to ask why so few points - it was basically US$2000 for the stay. Unlikely to make elite status on SPG as staying in the Hilton (Conrad in HKG) and Mariott mostly for business.

    I dont think this will be a program for me unless I start pushing AMEX points there. I am really focussed on making sure we can stay somewhere good in NY when we go there next July and maybe in Venice as well - so focussing on one program is a priority.

    Cheers

    S
     
  5. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
    17,750
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    Sunshine Coast
    For me hilton is much easier to get awards so that is my basic hotel program-a lot of my travel is in the USA.i have rejoined SPG for one reason only-laundering CC points to SPG-then AA.Good to get the 5000 point bonus when you transfer 20000 points.My major goal at present is getting to 1 million AA miles then hopefully a chance at 2 million.
     
  6. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
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    Hehe I did think about that. But then I also thought that it'd be a long way to go b4 I hit LT Plt and the program would inevitably be 'enhanced' along the way *taps on my wooden coffee table*. So might as well use my miles on more fun stuff that I can immediately take advantage of like GUARANTEED-if-space-available MFU on BA.
     
  7. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
    0
    Brisbane
    Sorry for hijacking this thread Simongr but based on your conclusions above about the lack of earning and the fact that I prefer not to stay in SPG hotels, I decided when I checked out from Four Points in Sydney this morning that I would prefer to credit the points to QF rather than to SPG. However, the girl at check-out said that they no longer credit to QF and all transfer to frequent flyer programs must occur though SPG. :confused: Isn't this going to mean a devalue on the old 3 points per dollar spent? I also checked and Four Points is still listed as a partner of the QFF website.
     
  8. shillard

    shillard Guest

    I used to be in pretty much every programme, but have ditched all but two:

    - Hilton HHHHHOnours
    - Sofitel Privilege

    The latter is one of the most under-rated programmes around. Offers great value with every $ spent counting towards gift certificates you can redeem to spend at any time, on any hotel service.

    You also get some niceties like a complimentary drink, fruit in the room, extended check-out time, etc.

    Sofitel properties have proven 100% reliable at crediting my points, and will often permit a double-up (like Hilton) providing credit in both Sofitel Privilege and QFF.

    I stay pretty much exclusively @ Sofitel in SYD, MEL & BNE now - and mostly maintain the HHHHHonours membership for my visits to ADL, PER and the rare trip to the USA.

    My only complaint about Sofitel at all is the lack of a pool @ the Melbourne property. Otherwise the hotels are first-class, the service exceptional and the value to me and my employer (when combined with an Accor Advantage membership) exceptional.
     
  9. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
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    I have not used the Sofitel Privilege much (use other programs more), but it does seem nice. I really wish Accor would sort out their programs, and have one that covers the whole range of their hotels. Other chains manage to do it, and they have the building blocks in place.

    I actually joined SPG while having dinner one nght at a Sheraton. I like the idea you can get points without having to stay there!
     
  10. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
    0
    Brisbane
    Unfortunately I have to stay with my colleagues for most of my work trips. I love the Hilton in Sydney and try to stay there. The most frustrating thing about four points is no pool and I have to walk to Hyde Park for a swim.

    For Christmas each year I get an Accor Advantage Plus membership which gives me some discounts and a free night but is over rated at $245 a year.

    So does anybody know if its true that Sheratons don't credit to FF's anymore?
     
  11. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
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    Perhaps you need to have made your booking via the 'ReadyRooms' link on the QFF site?
     
  12. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
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    158
    HKG
    Got any more details on that one? Is it free?
    The only Australian link I could find was https://secure.aapc.com.au/sofitel/card.asp which seems to be down at the moment.

    I'm sure I asked about frequent-stayer programs when I stayed there a few months ago, and was told they had nothing (apart from the paid Accor Advantage program).

    Cheers,
    - Febs.
     
  13. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    According to their website (Frequent Flyer - Earning Points - Hotels - Within Australia), Qantas are still offering 3 pts per $ on Qualifying stays domestically and 1000 pts per stay internationally.

    Methinks either your checkout girl was uniformed or there has been a change to the way these points are credited (with no change to the end result) or she was simply confused.
     
  14. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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  15. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    They are still listed a QFF hotel partner.

    The easiest thing to do is fax the invoice to the QFF support centre and ask for the FF points to be credited to your account.
     
  16. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
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    Certailny with international starwood stays, you have to make a claim through the Ff service centre. They do not happen automtically.

    Did not think that there had been a change domestically.
     
  17. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
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    Thankyou. :)
    I'm guessing this isn't very popular/well-known in Australia? (Or just not well-known amongst Sofitel staff in Australia? ;))

    Cheers,
    - Febs.
     
  18. shillard

    shillard Guest

    Sofitel: Sofitel Privileges loyalty card, luxury hotel

    Totally free, great programme. The usual email updates, exclusive offers, etc.

    The stays credited to my FF points have also counted towards my Sofitel Privilege points. Just got my first lot of vouchers redeemed - took around 9 days to get to me from France.
     
  19. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
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    Brisbane
    Thanks guys. Only problems is that she insisted it would go to SPG or I would get nothing, so I'll be double dipping. I think I'll give it a go but.
     
  20. QF WP

    Moderator

    Jun 20, 2002
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    Not wanting to hijack the thread but instead get it back on topic for simongr, I think most of the experienced members here (and on Flyertalk) have probably 2 or 3 programs in their stable of frequent guest programs. Yes, I think SPG is hard to earn (using bum-in-bed method)...

    I maintain Priority Club as my first line program, then Hilton, Starwood & Hyatt (in that order). It's all about achieving elite status in one and maintaining it...perhaps two for some. I'm probably able to maintain Plat with PC for the foreseeable future and probably Silver with Hilton. Hyatt just gave me Platinum (tie-in to AA status) and I'll stay in Coolum next weekend with Mrs LW for her birthday weekend. Starwood is my flush through to AA account, so it will stay alive for a while. Like shillard, I have particular favourite hotels in each Aust city I frequent and back-ups (if I'm unable to get a room in my first choice). For example (in this order):

    BNE: Hilton, Holiday Inn (if I needed to stay in my home town)
    CNS: Hilton, Holiday Inn
    SYD: Crowne Plaza, 4Points, Sheraton on the Park, Westin
    MEL: Holiday Inn, Hilton, Westin
    ADL: Hilton, Holiday Inn
    PER: Hilton, Holiday Inn, Sheraton

    Horses for courses and I'll get picky in the latter half of the year to decide where I need to stay for retention of elite status.

    This helps to diue e:tthe cicapit Hilton is my choice in ADL, PER and the occasional MEL or CNS trip.
     
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