The Westin Restort & Casino, Aruba

New Starwood bonus: 2X + 1000 Starpoints through mid-April

As the hotel company does often, Starwood today announced their Double Play promotion – and although it isn’t going to change your life, it’s certainly more points you didn’t already have if you’re staying at a Starwood property for two or more nights between now and April 15, 2015, and even better if you’re staying for longer.

It’s simple: sign up for the deal, and do what you’d normally do – stay at a Starwood hotel (except these) and rack up extra points.

Stay two or more nights, earn double the Starpoints – and if you stay five nights, you can earn an additional 1,000 points (up to 4,000 points) on top of the double.

For example

It's easy to sign up for Starwood's Double Play bonus

It’s easy to sign up for Starwood’s Double Play bonus

Say you’re staying at the Westin Washington, DC City Center – one of my favorite in the area, primarily because of its location – from Jan 21 through Jan 28. It’s going for $179/night for all those nights.

Normally, you’d earn two points per dollar spent. 8 nights at $179/night normally would score you 2864 points, plus whatever elite status bonus you’d receive.

How it works

Normally, you earn two points per dollar spent.

(7 nights at $179/night) * 2 standard points = 2506

However, this bonus program would earn you double that:

2506 base points plus double bonus = 5012

Then, because you’re staying between 5-9 nights, you’ll earn another 1,000 Starpoints (and, of note, you don’t have to stay consecutive nights to get this bonus).

5012 points plus 5-day stay bonus = 6012 points

You can see how this can add up very fast – and even faster if you have elite status which earns you 3x the base points if you’re SPG Gold or Platinum.

There’s a ton of choices

Remember, Starwood hotels comprise of 1,200+ hotels across the globe, and include Westin, St. Regis, W Hotels, Sheraton, aloft, Element, Four Points, Le Meredien, and The Luxury Collection. Again, just remember not all participate.

But you can still do better

Of course, if you put the hotel charges on the Starwood card from American Express,
you earn an additional 2X the points for every dollar spent on top of the above bonuses.

Although if you signed up for the card with a 25,000 Starpoint bonus, you could have four times the points without the hotel stay after spending $3,000 as you would ordinarily.

Point is: there’s no reason to skip this bonus offer if you’re planning on staying at a Starwood hotel (and paying) between now and April 15, 2015.

Sign up for the bonus

United Airlines’ and Marriott’s loyalty reward programs now have reciprocal benefits

Today, United Airlines and Marriott announced a deal where frequent fliers or frequent hotel guests will have significant benefits with the other after registering with either one of the companies. United Gold and above automatically become Marriott Gold, and Marriott Platinum become United Silver – potentially bringing significant added benefits to hotel stays, like free Wi-Fi, lounge access, bonus miles, and more.

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Earn 1,300+ Starwood points when you watch your next musical

Starwood Preferred Guest is running a promo where you can earn anywhere from 400 to 2,200 Starpoints per ticket on upcoming musicals in New York City. Although there are some major limitations (Wednesday performances only, $127 per ticket, shows only through July 31, 2013), 2,200 Starpoints, when purchased by themselves, could be worth $66 at 3 cents per point.

You might find a better deal (read: pay less) through ticket liquidators and other resellers in the city, but if you’re going to buy your tickets in advance, this isn’t a bad deal whatsoever.

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The value of being honest when asked “How was your stay?”

Recently, when I stayed at the Westin Los Angeles Airport hotel for LAX Appreciation Day, I had almost no hot water when I woke up in the morning. Although I didn’t expect to be compensated for this, I mentioned it to the hotel’s staff when I checked out, and not only received an apology (which is often enough for me), but the hotel team member also comped my parking — $25 per night.

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