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Of course you know that the sign-up bonus on the American Express Starwood credit card has increased to 30,000 points up to September 4, 2012. But here’s a way to get back 500 points a night when you either pay or redeem points to stay at a Starwood hotel.
Points Unseen reminds me that some Starwood hotels will give you 500 Starwood points or a $5 food and beverage credit for each night you decline housekeeping via the Make a Green Choice initiative.
I’ve experienced this at some Sheraton and Westin hotels, and Googling “Make a Green Choice” suggests that other Starwood brands (W, Le Meridian etc.) are also participating.
Starwoods’ marketing spin suggests that using less water and energy is better for the planet, and that’s certainly true. But it doesn’t mention that not providing housekeeping also improves the profit margins of the hotels. Is it really so hard to say “Listen, we save money AND help the planet by not cleaning your room, so here’s a little something from us.”
On the other hand, I don’t know of any other hotel chain which provides an incentive to decline housekeeping and earn points or a hotel credit.
Emily and I have never taken the extra points, because we like bringing back the hotel amenities for care packages to give away in India.
But some of you may prefer the 500 Starwood points or $5 credit. So look for the green “Make A Green Choice” tag to hang outside your door or call the front desk or housekeeping to find out if the Starwood hotel you’re staying in is participating in the program or not.