A free night after three Starwood stays?
Sounds good. But you'll have to travel pretty far afield to earn the bonus, as well as to use it.
Between November 1, 2010, and January 31, 2011, Starwood Preferred Guest members can earn a free weekend night after completing three stays at around 250 participating properties in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa charged to a MasterCard.
The free night may be redeemed on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night from December 2, 2010, through February 27, 2011, at Category 1 through 6 hotels in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, or Africa.
Only one free night per member may be earned with the promotion. Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
- A free night after three stays amounts to a 25 percent discount if the three qualifying stays are one night each. Not bad.
- Three months is a decent qualifying period.
- For Americans, three stays outside North America is a high hurdle, no matter how generous the bonus.
- On the award side, requiring program members to use their free night within just three months limits its value, especially for Americans.
- By the same token, limiting the free nights to weekend stays further undermines the value of the incentive.
The verdict: Most North America-based travelers will be better served by Starwood's double/triple-points offer, which is in effect through December 15 (but registration must be completed by October 31).
Reader Reality Check
Three trips to Asia Pacific, the Middle East, or Africa? In three months? Anyone?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.