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An introduction to the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program
You can now earn and redeem points with over 29 hospitality brands.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) has finally merged with Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards. The new, unified program is called Marriott Bonvoy. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find inside the loyalty program.
Starwood Preferred Guest is now part of Marriott Bonvoy
SPG merged with Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards in August 2018, and rebranded to Marriott Bonvoy in February 2019.
This was a big deal in the travel world and came with many changes. The programs now share the same elite system. Also, the points you earn in each program can be redeemed for nights at eligible properties in all three portfolios.
Note: As SPG is now part of Marriott International, we’ll refer to its loyalty program as Marriott Bonvoy.
How much are Starwood Preferred Guest points worth?
SPG points range in value, with an average of 0.9 cents apiece based on our calculations as of January 2019. At this rate, SPG lags behind chains such as Hyatt and Wyndham. But it still beats competitors Hilton and IHG.
For lower-priced Marriott Bonvoy properties, your points could be worth as little as 0.3 to 0.4 cents each.
Do Starwood Preferred Guest points expire?
SPG points can expire if your Marriott Bonvoy account is inactive for 24 consecutive months.
After five years without activity, Marriott may deactivate your account.
How to stay active in Marriott Bonvoy
- Earn points in the program by using your Marriott Bonvoy cobranded credit card, earning rewards through a travel partner, holding an eligible event or meeting or a similar action.
- Redeem points.
- Convert points to airline miles or vice versa.
Marriott Bonvoy travel partners
As of January 2019, Marriott Bonvoy travel partners include:
- Hertz. On eligible rentals, you’ll receive a discount on the base rate and earn up to 3,000 points.
- CruisesOnly. Book through Marriott Bonvoy’s dedicated portal and earn 3x points.
- Travelling Connect. Earn 10 Marriott Bonvoy points per minute of foreign call time through participating networks.
These activities won’t keep you active in Marriott Bonvoy
- Gifting or transferring points.
- Receiving points from a gift or transfer.
- Earning points through social media initiatives such as #MarriottBonvoyPoints.
How do you earn Starwood Preferred Guest points?
Although the points you earn will no longer be called SPG points, you can still earn points through Marriott Bonvoy. To start earning points, sign up for a free Marriott Bonvoy program membership.
As a basic member, you’ll earn 10x points on qualifying charges at most Marriott Bonvoy properties. These are called base points.
At some properties, you’ll earn 5x or 2.5x points on qualifying charges.
Earning more points: Elite status
In addition to base points, you can earn bonus points through elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
For example, as a Silver Elite member, you’ll earn a 10% bonus on your base points. Instead of earning 10x points, then, you’ll earn 11x points. This bonus increases as you move up in elite tiers.Back to top
Here are the redemption costs for Free Night Awards as of January 2019, according to the Marriott website:
|Off Peak||Off Peak||Peak|
|8 (Available 2019)||70,000||85,000||100,000|
Compare Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
SPG-branded cards are no longer available, but you can still choose from these Marriott Bonvoy products.
One of them is a business card and the other is a premium travel card.
Other cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points
The cobranded Marriott Bonvoy cards aren’t your only options for earning points. Through select travel cards, you can transfer points to the Marriott Bonvoy program. Then, you can use those points to book stays at eligible properties.
Marriott Bonvoy elite tiers
It’s free to join via the Marriott Bonvoy program. You’ll achieve elite tiers based on how many nights you stay at qualifying Marriott Bonvoy properties.
Members — 0 to 9 nights a year
Regardless of whether you want to move up in elite tiers, it’s worth joining Marriott Bonvoy. You’ll get a discount on most stays, so joining pays dividends in real dollars.
Silver Elite — 10 to 24 nights a year
Silver Elite comes with all of the benefits of Member tier. You’ll also get a points bonus among other perks.
Gold Elite — 25 to 49 nights a year
Gold Elite tier includes benefits of lower tiers and valuable perks like room upgrades.
Platinum Elite — 50 to 74 nights a year
Platinum Elite comes with the benefits of lower tiers plus other even bigger perks. Even later checkout is a nice touch, as are complimentary lounge access and an annual choice benefit.
Platinum Premier Elite — 75 to 99 nights a year
Get all the perks of lower tiers with Platinum Premier Elite. Among other extras, you have additional options for your annual choice benefit.
Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador — 100 or more nights a year and $20,000 in annual qualifying spending
In addition to benefits from lower tiers, this tier comes with personalized Ambassador Service and the flexibility of Your24.
Starwood Preferred Guest has long been a well-regarded loyalty program, and many travelers like that it’s merged into Marriott Bonvoy.
Your points will often be worth more if you redeem them for stays at more expensive properties. If you like staying at low-cost hotels, consider a general travel card.
Many cards can help you earn points, including a few Marriott Bonvoy cobranded cards. Other products can be useful, too, letting you transfer rewards to the Marriott Bonvoy program. You can also check out Hyatt, Hilton and IHG rewards cards if you tend stay more frequently with one of these brands.Back to top
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