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Million Mile Secrets reader JM comments:
I have a starwood question…. I just applied and was approved…. I got an email that said I have received credit for 5 nights and 2 stays toward SPG status….what does this mean? the link provided is not really clear….do I now have 5 free nights? or credit towards it? thanks
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card
JM is referring to the 5 nights and 2 stay credits which comes with the American Express Starwood credit card.
Starwood hotel points are valuable because they can be used for airline tickets or hotel nights. When JM transfers 20,000 Starwood points to airline miles, he gets a 5,000 mile bonus. So 20,000 Starwood points becomes 25,000 airline miles in most airline frequent flyer programs.
JM could also use his Starwood points for hotel nights. Hotel redemptions start at only 2,000 points a night. For 2,000 Starwood points a night, JM could stay at the Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa in Indonesia.
5 Nights Credit With The Starwood Hotel Credit Card
Starwood has Gold elite and Platinum elite membership levels depending on how many nights (referred to as “nights”) you stay at Starwood hotels. Or how many times you stay at Starwood hotels (referred to as “stays”).
For example, you earn Gold status after 10 stays or 25 nights at Starwood hotels and resorts.
And Gold status gets you:
- 3 Starpoints points per $1 spent at Starwood hotels and resorts
- Enhanced room at check-in
- Welcome gift (choice of free internet, 250 bonus Starpoints or 125 points at Aloft, Four Point, or Element hotels, or a free beverage at the restaurant or bar up to $15 or 15 Euro)
- 4:00 pm late checkout
But JM gets 2 stays or 5 nights credit towards Starwood hotel elite status by having the Starwood card or 4 stays or 10 nights credit towards elite status if he has both the business and personal cards.
So he’d have to get only 6 more stays or 15 nights to get Starwood Gold elite status.
In general, you have to book your hotel room through the Starwood website to get the benefits of your elite status. So chasing elite status may not make sense if you don’t stay in hotels much or can get rooms much cheaper elsewhere (Priceline’s name your own price etc.)
Read my series on the Starwood program to learn lots more on how to earn and use Starwood points!
JM gets 5 nights or 2 stays towards Starwood Hotels elite status by having the Starwood credit card.
But the 5 nights count towards reaching elite status and are NOT free nights, though I wish they were!