10 reasons why SPG is the best hotel loyalty program

SPG Thrifty Traveler

It’s no secret that I think Starwood Preferred Guest is the best hotel loyalty program. It is a great program for frequent travelers, or even infrequent travelers who can take advantage of the points provided by the co-branded American Express credit cards, without even setting foot in a hotel. The best way to build up a pile of SPG points is by combining frequent stays at SPG properties with the co-branded credit cards. Here are my top ten reasons to enroll in the SPG program.


starwood preferred guest is the best hotel

Gold Status (10 stays/25 nights), Platinum Status (25 stays/50 nights)



Ability to transfer SPG points 1:1 to almost any airline. When you transfer at least 20k Starpoints to any airline you receive a 5k mile bonus! (Essentially a 25% bonus!)



SPG Personal and Business American Express Cards – Each card counts towards 5 nights for status annually. You can only get the sign-up bonus once per lifetime. The sign-up bonus is typically 25k points. SPG credit card holders who spend $30k in a year get automatic Gold SPG status.



Redeem points for four nights and the fifth night is always free! Works great for our annual winter/spring beach vacation.



Platinum SPG members (50 nights or 25 stays) receive free breakfast and 4pm checkout. Gold also receives 4pm checkout.



Delta Crossover rewards – Receive SPG points when flying Delta. Don’t leave points on the table!



SPG points transfer 1:3 to Marriott, which offers some great redemptions.



Luxury Collection Hotels -> In addition to the standard Starwood hotel brands there are also the unique properties such as the absurd Castle Hotel in China, to the very cool Schloss Fuschl in Austria, to Boston’s trendy Liberty Hotel. Every single hotel in the collection has a unique story. The Luxury Collection properties are by far our favorite Starwood hotels.


Can transfer points to a spouse or friend, you just need to have the same address in your SPG account for 30 days.


Redeemed free nights count as qualifying nights for status.


Ten suite night upgrades are provided annually for Platinum members


Bottom Line

If you’re not signed up for the SPG program then you’re missing out. You should also snag the two American Express Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards. Each offers 25k points and those points can be used at SPG properties, transferred to Marriott, or transferred to almost any airline with a 25% bonus. I’ve had elite status with SPG for the last 8 years, and earned Lifetime Gold Status a few years back. If you’re going to pick one hotel program, this is it.


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2 Responses

  1. countcristo says:

    #8 You can only get the sign-up bonus once per lifetime.
    Thrifty Tip: Get both American Express cards to load up on sign-up bonuses and then close and open the business card every 12 months to get the bonus again.

    Can you explain please?

    • You’re absolutely right there is conflicting information in that post. It’s from July 2015 and had been partially updated. I have deleted the Thrifty Tip at the bottom. Thanks for the heads up!

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