New Offer Rewards Frequent Starwood Stays

Members of Starwood's Preferred Guest program who register for the Rewarding Returns offer and complete five stays between July 1 and December 31 will receive a choice of three bonuses. The bonuses vary somewhat according to the member's profile—yours will be displayed only after you register.

The basic bonus, that most members are offered, is a choice of one of the following:

  • 4,000 bonus points
  • $50 certificate redeemable for hotel services during a stay
  • 25 percent discount on an award redemption of up to five nights at any Category 1 - 5 property through July 31, 2011

The offer may be combined with other Starwood promotions.

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Deal or No Deal

Unless you're a business traveler, or a leisure traveler blessed with inordinate quantities of time and money, the five-stay requirement probably puts this offer out of reach.

And the bonuses themselves are hardly stellar.

If this were all we could expect from Starwood for the rest of the year, average Preferred Guest members would have reason to look to other hotel chains for solid bonuses. My best guess, however, is that Starwood intends this to augment rather than to replace more mainstream promotions.

The Rewarding Returns offer is combinable with Starwood's other current promotion—one free night offer after three stays through July 31. And I expect we'll see at least one more similarly accessible promotion, also combinable with Rewarding Returns, this year.

For bona fide frequent travelers who can log the required five stays, the question is which of the three bonuses to choose. Your mileage may vary, but using the 25 percent award discount to reduce the price of a five-night Category 5 award stay from 48,000 to 36,000 points looks like a winner to me.

That's a lot of points, to be sure. But if you qualify for the promotion, you probably have them.

Reader Reality Check

Do you plan to complete five Starwood stays by the end of the year?

Which of the three bonuses would be most valuable to you?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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