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Starwood Extends Bonus Points Offer Through November

Wondering when the seemingly endless stream of hotel bonus promotions will peter out?

In a recent blog post discussing Hilton's latest promotion, I noted that September 30 was the latest termination date for most major promotions, raising the possibility that the end of September would mark the end of the longest sustained period of hotel promotional activity travelers have ever been privy to.

But a new offer from Starwood, announced today, pushes the end date of at least one promotion through the end of November, potentially forcing competitors to also extend their bonuses.

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Between August 6 and November 30, members of Starwood's Preferred Guest program can earn 500 or 1,000 points per stay, depending on the property, at many participating Starwood hotels in North America and Latin America. And beginning on September 1, the offer will be extended to include "nearly 250 additional hotels in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East."

In its marketing communications for the offer, Starwood is quick to point out that free night awards begin at 2,000 points, so a free night can be earned after two qualifying stays. That's important because free nights are prominently featured in offers from Best Western, InterContinental, and Marriott.

Starwood claims to have 960 hotels in its network, around 200 of which are not part of this promotion. So, unlike chain-wide offers, Preferred Guest members will have to make it a point to confirm that a particular hotel is offering a bonus, and, if so, how many bonus points are on offer.

The fact that a significant number of individual Starwood properties opted not to participate in this promotion is noteworthy in another respect as well—it could indicate that they're seeing signs of a travel rebound and don't feel the need to amp up the incentives to keep their rooms occupied.

For now, though, consumers have yet another reason to cheer the travel slump on.

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