Monday, December 7, 2015

W Ft Lauderdale - Stacking SPG Bonuses

Hotel Details Hotel:
W Ft Lauderdale
Dates: December 3-7, 2015
Rate Paid: $216/night
Suite Upgrade: Complimentary
Suite Rate: $737/night
Base Points Earned: 2,835 SPG points
Total Points: 19,380 SPG points

As some of you may know, it's actually quite difficult to rack up a lot of Starwood SPG points. The traditional ways are as follows:

1. Credit Card Spend. Spending on your American Express SPG credit card (earning mostly 1 SPG point per dollar, except we get 2x for Starwood hotel spend).

2. Hotel Stays. They only give you 3 SPG points per dollar (excluding taxes).

3. Welcome Amenity. And if you have Gold or Platinum status, then you can elect a welcome gift of 250 or 500 SPG points at full service properties.

4. Green Choice. If your stay is for 2 or more nights, then you can elect to forego housekeeping and earn 500 SPG points per day.

So on our most recent stay at the W Ft Lauderdale, we were lucky enough to book at a very attractive corporate rate, getting us a standard "Wonderful room" for just $195 + $21 in taxes per night. But on the day of our check-in, my father saw on his SPG app that our 4 night reservation had been upgraded to a 2 bedroom residential suite!

The W Ft Lauderdale is a multi-use property. There's the traditional hotel side, but it's also linked to a residential condo side where the units are larger, have better fixtures and are equipped with a full kitchen, dining room table, livingroom, 2 bathrooms and washer/dryer in addition to the expansive master bedroom and spa style shower.

The kitchen included stainless steel appliances, including a fridge, oven, dishwasher, appliances and standard silverware and cooking utensils.

Of course, no 2 bedroom suite would be complete without a panoramic ocean and causeway view from the 50 foot balcony.

Regular Earnings
The hotel stay started out great and for our loyalty, we'd earn a few thousand SPG points.

A. Credit Card Spend - 2,140 SPG Points ($1070 spent x 2 SPG)
B. Hotel Stay - 2,835 SPG points (Room + Food/Beverage spend x 3 SPG)
C. Welcome Amenity - 0 SPG points (chose 4 days of free $25/day of breakfast credit)
D. Green Choice - 1,000 SPG points (for 2 days of skipping housekeeping)

Total SPG points earned were 5,975 for the stay which are worth $149 to us (2.5 cents/pt).

Promotional Bonus Earnings
It was also wonderful that we were able to sign up for some special Starwood promotions that would boost our SPG point earnings for our paid stay. In this case, the promotions overlapped, so they "stacked" to further our points-earning.

1. Stay for More - Earn 2x Starpoints + 500 Starpoints

So with this promotion and our 4 night stay, we'd double the base points for our stay, which would be another 1890 SPG points (2x base rate) + 500 SPG points, totaling 2,390 SPG points worth $60.

2. Blogger - Earn 2,015 SPG points

This promotion is called the Blogger promotion, but in reality, there's no social media / online qualification required to register and earn. Since we signed up for this, we'll earn another 2,015 SPG points (worth $50).

3. SPG Keyless - Earn 2,500 SPG points for using SPG Keyless

SPG Keyless is a new feature that only works with Element, Aloft and W hotel brands. Since we were staying at the W Ft Lauderdale, our stay could have unlocked an extra 2,500 SPG points! Unfortunately, my mother's iPhone was still running the IOS 8 so the SPG App didn't have the SPG Keyless feature on it. And my father's phone was a Blackberry, so we weren't able to earn this promotion.

4. Big Brand Bonus - Up to 11,000 SPG points for staying at all 11 Starwood Brands this year

Last year, we achieved my father's personal goal of staying at all 9 Starwood brands, but there was no official (or unofficial) reward for doing so. This year, however, they acquired 2 additional brands (Tribute and Design Hotels) and announced a bonus reward of up to 11,000 SPG points if you stay at all 11 of them. Fortunately, they also reward people who fall short by giving them 9,000 points for hitting 9 of them and 10,000 points for getting to 10.

For 2015, this stay at the W Ft Lauderdale will be brand #9 for us, allowing us to earn an additional 9,000 SPG points (worth $225).

Regular Points Earned = 5,975 SPG points
Total Bonus Promotional Points Earned = 13,405 SPG points (worth $335+)
Total Points Earned = 19,380 SPG points (worth $485+)

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