15 Best Ways to Earn LOTS of Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints [2017]

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Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints are extremely difficult to earn, but that’s what makes them so valuable. While difficult, earning Starpoints is possible with great tactics and a little strategy applied.

You can earn Starpoints with participating credit cards and the SPG elite status perks that will help boost your earnings. Plus partnering companies that will get you extra points.


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Using a Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

Open a Starwood Preferred Guest Account

Like all other point programs, you can’t believe earning points until you open a points account. The sooner you open a SPG account, the sooner you will be on your way to earning Starpoints.

This points program differs from bank-established points programs (e.g., Chase Ultimate Rewards Points) since you do not need to have an affiliated credit card to start earning miles right away.

To open an SPG account, visit starwoodhotels.com.

SPG has an app that helps members organize and check their points. Unfortunately, the SPG app is only available for Android or Apple devices.

Hot Tip: Look out for earnings randomly offered specifically to SPG account members. In October 2015, members could earn an easy 150 Starpoints simply by completing their account security questions. 

securitquestions1. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

There are only two Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards available for earning Starpoints. One of the two cards available is a personal card, whereas the other is a business card. You will need to check out the following links to see what current sign up bonus is available:

Loyalty Program Credit Card Review Application
Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>
  Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>

The sign-up bonuses are one of the very few opportunities you will have for earning bulk Starpoints at one time.

To apply for these cards, simply click the link above and complete the application. For more information about credit cards and credit scores, read Credit Cards and Credit Scores Explained to learn more about getting approved.

2. No Credit Card Category Bonuses or Shopping Portal

Unfortunately, there are severe limitations on points earning when it comes to everyday spending. The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express do not offer any category spending bonuses, nor to the cards offer an online shopping portal.

You will only earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 spent on all purchases with the cards, except for the bonus for staying at SPG or Marriott hotels (see #13).

Check out Upgrade Your Earnings: How to Earn the Most Miles to find out some general tips for earning points/miles.

3. SPG Restaurants and Bars

Luckily, SPG has a searchable group of restaurants and bars  to help member earn extra Starpoints.

While the options aren’t as extensive as American Airline’s AAdvantage Miles Dining Program, there are still plenty of options to choose from.

restaurants

With Preferred Guest status or any of the Pro SPG statuses (i.e., Preferred, Gold, or Platinum pro status), you will earn Starpoints at SPG restaurants and bars even if you are not staying at the hotel.

Be aware though; you must spend a minimum of $10 before taxes and gratuities to receive the extra points.

Look for limited-time promotions offering extra points on dining at Starwood Preferred Guest restaurants and bars.

Previously, SPG offered 2x Starpoints for each dollar spent on dining at SPG participating restaurants and bars during May through July in 2015. SPG members received an additional 250 Starpoints if they spent $200 or more at these dining locations.

To receive this previous promotion, you had to register for the promotion and present your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or SPG membership number to the wait staff before ordering.

The promotion was applicable only for non-stay related food and beverage purchases.

These promotions are typically offered in addition to ongoing SPG restaurants and bars discounts, but they cannot be combined with other food and beverage points earning offers.

4. Rewards for Show Tickets

Earn up to 2,500 Starpoints per ticket to various theatrical and performance shows by signing up for Audience Rewards with SPG.

Shows include Broadway, off-Broadways shows, cabarets, operas, exhibitions, workshops, and more.

Use your SPG membership number to sign up, then search for tickets at spg.com/broadway. You can search for shows in a city near you, including Chicago, Charlotte, Durham, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Jose, and Tucson.

wicked

5. Only One Option for a Big Spend Bonus

Unfortunately, neither credit card offers a “big spend” Starpoint bonuses. Instead, SPG credit cards offer elite status membership that will give you extra opportunities to earn Starpoints.

Card Name Big spend bonus
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express SPG Gold status with $30K annual spend (Terms Apply)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express SPG Gold status with $30K annual spend (Terms Apply)

SPG Gold status will earn bonus Starpoints on specific transactions. In other words, you will still have to spend money for the extra Starpoints even after meeting the big spend bonus.

However, being a Gold Preferred Status member does come with the following perks:

  • Earn 3 Starpoints for each $1 spent on eligible stays
  • Earn 1 Starpoint for every $2 spent on eligible revenue when you book a group for any occasion, business or pleasure (e.g., weddings, conferences, reunions, etc.)
  • Earn 3 Starpoints for each $1 spent on Uber rides during your stays with SPG after registering with Uber

6. Refer a Friend

Since American Express offers a Refer-A-Friend Bonus and SPG cards are issued by American Express, you may be able to earn additional Starpoints by getting a friend to sign up for your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

Amex usually only offers this promotion for short periods of time. Look out for this offer in your email or by logging into your SPG account.

During past promotions, you could earn up to 55,000 Starpoints a year for referring eligible friends who apply through the link you send and are approved for the card.

You would get 5,000 Starpoints for every eligible friend you refer.

7. Transferring to Miles with Credit Cards

You will earn a 5,000 Starpoints bonus whenever you transfer a total of 20,000 Starpoints all at once to an SPG airline miles partner (Terms Apply). For a list of airline partners and their transfer ratios, go here.

airmiles8. Earn Retention Bonuses

Sometimes you’re just not spending enough on a credit card in order to justify the annual fee you will pay for it.

If you are thinking about closing your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express account or if you have had it for a year or more, you may be eligible for an offer from Amex to keep you with them for longer.

Call the number on the back of your card to speak to Amex directly about cancelling. They may offer you Starpoints to keep you as their customer. Recent reports show offers of up to 10,000 Starpoints to keep your account open!

Earn Points for Business or for Pleasure

9. Host a Meeting or Event

Hosting events and meetings in the ball rooms available at hotel chains are usually great ways to earn points. At Starwood Hotels, you can earn one point per $3 spent if you’re a Preferred Member, and one point per $2 if you are Gold or Platinum.

So if you’re hosting your wedding reception at the hotel, you will be able to make lots of points for all the money you are spending, and usually can cash in on the guests rooms as well!

Earn Starpoints by Traveling the World

10. Airfare Purchases

SPG has a number of airline partners, some of which will earn you bonus Starpoints when purchasing flights. Usually, earning these extra points require like registering your SPG membership with a rewards program.

Additionally, you must have elite status membership with SPG to receive these bonus Starpoints.

If you are a Platinum Preferred or Gold Preferred SPG member, you will need to register for two programs to get the most points from your travel purchases.

Status Action taken Bonus Starpoints
Platinum Preferred or Gold Preferred Register with Delta Crossover Rewards 1 Starpoint on each $1 spent on eligible Delta flights
Register World Rewards with SPG and Emirates Skywards 1 Starpoint on each $1 spent on eligible Emirates flights

As you can see above, flights on Delta and Emirates are the only two partnering airlines that will earn you bonus Starpoints.

If you are either a Platinum or Gold Preferred SPG member, you must first register your SPG account with either Delta Crossover Rewards to receive Starpoints through Delta flights or World Rewards to receive Starpoints through Emirates flights.

Yes, registering for these programs takes time, but you’ll earn more Starpoints. Registering will be especially useful if you have no need for Delta Skymiles or Emirates Skywards.

11. Uber Rides

uber

Uber is a low-cost and reliable car service company with an accompanying app to make it easy to get around in participating cities. Lucky for you, they have partnered with SPG to help you earn tons of Starpoints.

SPG created a great reference chart to make it extremely easy to figure out how many Starpoints you will earn on your Uber ride depending on your SPG membership status.

uber2

Not only can you earn Starpoints on your Uber ride every day, but you earn even more Starpoints when you use Uber during your stay at SPG hotels and resorts.

To being earning Starpoints with Uber:

  1. Sign in to your SPG account and select “SIGN UP FOR UBER” (Bonus: You’ll get a credit toward your first ride with Uber!)
  2. Go to spg.com/uber and link your SPG and Uber accounts
  3. Be sure to complete one qualifying SPG stay this calendar year
  4. Download and start using the Uber app to take rides and earn Starpoints

12. Car Rentals

SPG offers bonus Starpoints for using two partnering car rental companies: Avis and SIXT.

Avis car rental locations exist around the world, are accessible from many airports, and are available in over 120 countries. SIXT has rental car locations in over 105 countries around the world.

Rental Company
Starpoints
Avis 50* points per day
SIXT 250 points per car rental
500 points per limo rental

13. Book Starwood (or Marriott) Hotels

As you can imagine, hotels will earn you the most Starpoints considering Starwood Preferred Guest is a hotel company. With a little planning, the right credit card, and knowing your SPG status will earn you tons of bonus Starpoints.

IM000071.JPG

Stays Paid With Amex

With both credit card options offered by American Express, you will earn 2x the points for every $1 spent at Starwood Preferred Guest as well as Marriott Rewards properties (because of the merger). Don’t worry, there’s lots of properties out there from which to choose.

You can find over 1,500 hotels and resorts partners listed in the SPG directory.

Stays With Elite status

SPG members who reach elite status membership can take advantage of extra ways to earn Starpoints through hotel stays. These are outlined below.

Status Action taken Bonus Starpoints
Platinum Preferred Guest SPG stays 3 Starpoints/$1
After 75 nights 4 Starpoints/$1
Book a group stay 1 Starpoint/$2
Gold Preferred Guest SPG stays 3 Starpoints/$1
Book a group stay 1 Starpoint/$2
Preferred Guest SPG stays 2 Starpoints/$1
Book a group stay 1 Starpoint/$3
Pro Platinum SPG stays 3 Starpoints/$1
Book a group stay 1 Starpoint/$2
Book a group stay after 75 nights 2 Starpoints/$3
Pro Gold SPG stays 3 Starpoints/$1
Book a group stay 1 Starpoint/$2
Pro Preferred SPG stays 2 Starpoints/$1
Book a group stay 1 Starpoint/$3

Note that when you book a group stay this can be for any occasion. SPG advertises this as any group booking made for others by you, “from weddings to meetings to family reunions.”

Hot Tip: Use SPG’s sustainability program called Make A Green Choice to decline housekeeping and receive 250-500 Starpoints for each night you opt out! What’s not to love about reducing your environmental footprint and earning extra points?

Transferring Points from Marriott Rewards

As you well now be aware, Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards will be combining their loyalty programs after the recent purchase of Starwood by Marriott. Because of this, you can now transfer points in between each program.

Transfers are instantaneous but must be in increments of 1,000. The transfer ratio is 1 Starpoint for 3 Marriott points. This also means that when you earn sign up bonuses and points with Marriott credit cards, you can share those points with SPG:

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Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card Apply Here >>

14. Use Diner Club Card on SPG Stays

Diners Club Rewards points are directly transferrable into Starpoints. You can earn Club Rewards from Diners Club when you stay at a participating Starwood hotel or resort and pay with your Diners Club Card.

Some great aspects to Diners Club Rewards is that your points will never expire and here is no limit to the amount you can earn.

This means you can earn tons of Starpoints this way. Find out more and enroll in Club Rewards by calling 1-800-234-4034.

15. Special Promotions

You should always check for additional promotions on stays. Look on the SPG website frequently, sign up for their promotional emails, or follow their social media accounts (e.g., SPG on Twitter) to be on top of the latest offers.

SPG will often have at least one active promotion to earn more Starpoints per nightly stay. You can always check for the most up to date promos at spgpromos.com.

Hot Tip: SPG members can also link their SPG and Caesars’ Total Rewards accounts to earn Starpoints for stays at Caesars Entertainment hotels. Caesars hotels include Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Paris and more.

As a registered SPG member, you will earn 2 Starpoints for each $1 charged to your hotel folio at Caesars. These Starpoints will be earned in addition to Reward Credits earned through Caesars’ Total Rewards program.

Register for Caesars’ Total Rewards and link it to your SPG profile by signing in with your SPG login and then signing up from there.

hotel-1500509
Poolside at an SPG hotel

No Extra Starpoints on Vacation Packages or Cruises

Unfortunately, SPG does not offer any bonus Starpoints on vacation packages or cruises.

No Specialty Earnings

Specialty earnings usually involve making donations, purchasing goods or services from partnering companies and banks, or filling out surveys. But SPG does not have any partnerships offering the chance to earn miles in thee ways.

U.P. Pro Tips

I do not currently earn SPG Starpoints, but I have been thinking about doing so. The sign-up bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is not huge but Starpoints on their own are quite valuable.

I recently became enamored with Uber rides and have been trying to work out a way to make these rides most lucrative via points.

Linking an SPG account with Uber would get me 1 Starpoints per $1 spent on Uber. The best way to earn, however, would be to use Uber in conjunction with a SPG hotel stay so I can earn 2x Starpoints per $1 on Uber rides.

Summary

There are a very limited number of ways to earn SPG Starpoints. You will earn the largest number of Starpoints in one go through sign-up bonuses from the two available credit cards offered by American Express.

These credit cards will help you earn lots of points when you stay at participating SPG hotels and resorts.

If you register your SPG credit card with Uber, you can earn tons of Starpoints every day with Uber rides and when you use Uber during your SPG hotel stays.

It’s a great way to earn extra Starpoints considering Uber is reliable and offers a great low-cost travel option.

Finally, aim to reach elite or pro status membership. The extra Starpoints you earn on hotel stays and other offers with elite membership will make earning Starpoints faster and easier.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Limited Time Offer- Earn an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints® after you make an additional $2,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. Offer ends 4/5.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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Frequently Asked Questions

Which credit cards earn Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints?
There are only two official Starwood cards: the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

You can also transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points into Starwood Preferred Guest.

When do Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points expire?
Starpoints will not expire unless your account has been inactive for 12 months.

Which hotels does Starwood Preferred Guest own?
Starwood owns over 1,500 different hotels worldwide. These include Sheraton, Westin, Aloft, St. Regis, and W hotels, among others. View them all here.

What are Starwood Suite Night Awards?
Sweet night awards are a room upgrade to a suite or premium room. Suite night awards can be earned through promotions or are given to Platinum Preferred Guest members who stay 50 nights at SPG hotels in 1 year.

For meeting that hotel stay minimum, Platinum Preferred Guest members will receive 10 Suite Night Awards.

How many SPG points do you need for a free night?
For a category 1 hotel on a weekend, you need as few as 2,000 Starpoints to redeem a free night. You'll need 3,000 Starpoints for the same hotel on a weeknight.

For a category 7 hotel, you need as many as 35,000 Starpoints to redeem a free night.

The amount for each category are listed in the above article under # 9 (SPG Hotels Worldwide).

Are Starwood points transferrable?
Yes. They transfer to several partner airlines, hotels, charity partners, and more. Some of these are listed in the above article.

How many SPG points do you need for a free flight?
You will need about 10,000 Starpoints for a flight with a ticket value of up to $150. Tickets around $1000 require about 80,000 Starpoints.