Free Sheraton Night for Every Five Paid Sheraton Nights. Gameable?

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Starwood Preferred Guest has two summer promotions that should be stackable, and for some people, the value of the promotions will make mattress running a viable option.

The first promotion–Make It Count–offers 1,000 bonus Starpoints for each eligible 2+ night stay that includes at least one weekend night. Eligible stays must be completed by August 31, 2015. Eligible stays are paid stays booked through an SPG channel.

Weekend nights are a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday in most of the world and a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday in the Middle East.

I got an email to register, and I registered in two clicks.

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The other promotion is Sheraton Free Weekends, which has been announced in part on FlyerTalk, but we’ll get more details in a week. From the announcement on FlyerTalk, we have the following information.

  • Free weekend night at any Sheraton worldwide to be used by December 13, 2015 for every five eligible paid nights at any Sheraton worldwide during the promotion period.
  • Paid nights must be completed between July 9 and September 30.
  • Eligible paid nights do not include award stays or cash and points and must be booked through SPG channels.
  • The list of participating properties will be unveiled July 9. Expect Sheraton Suites to count and Four Points by Sheraton not to count.

Whenever you see a stay that allows X number of nights at any property (ie cheap ones) to earn a free night at any property (ie expensive ones), there is a possibility to game the promotion. This promotion’s five-for-one nature makes it a lot tougher than one-for-one or two-for-one promotions, but let’s do some digging to see if there is value.

Ideally, you would get two free nights at an expensive Sheraton worldwide by making five two-night stays at cheap Sheratons. The five two-night stays would each include a weekend night, so that those five stays would earn 5,000 bonus Starpoints through the Make It Count Promo. You’d also earn SPG points based on the price of those stays.

Costs

  • Five two-night weekend stays at a Sheraton

Benefits

  • Two free weekend nights at any Sheraton from Sheraton Free Weekend Promo
  • 5,000 SPG points from Make It Count Promo
  • 2x or 3x SPG points per dollar on paid stays based on your SPG status

There are 14 Category 1 Sheratons that are likely to be cheapest for a paid stay.

There are 77 Category 2 Sheratons including 21 in the United States:

Let’s imagine you could stay at the cheapest hotel on this list, which might just be the Sheraton Lampung Hotel in Indonesia. After taxes, a stay booked at least 14 days in advance for this summer for two nights costs under 1.2 million rupiahs or about $45 per night.

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Ten nights–booked as five weekend stays–would be $448. In return, you’d earn:

  • 2 free Sheraton weekend nights to be used anywhere by December 13
  • 5,000 bonus points from the Make It Count Promo
  • 896 Starpoints for spending the $448 (or 1,344 for Gold members)

I value 5,896 Starpoints at 2.5 cents each or $147. That means the free nights only need to be worth $150 each to have made a profit on these stays even before factoring in how much you value the paid hotel stays.

These are the Category 7 and 6 Sheratons. No word for sure on whether any is excluded from the promotion.

The Sheraton in the Maldives goes for $564+ per night for a weekend in October.

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If you value the Sheraton Maldives anywhere near the retail rate, you can get a lot of value from stacking these two promotions and making some stays at cheap Sheratons.

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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa

 

You Don’t Live in Indonesia or Want to Go to the Maldives

The purpose of all the above examples and math was just to show that these two promotions could be a good deal under some circumstances and to show you how to calculate whether the promos are a good deal for you. They probably aren’t a good enough deal for you to alter your behavior much.

But if you have a super-cheap nearby Sheraton and want to stay at a very expensive Sheraton later this year, a mattress run could be in order. (A mattress run is where you get no value from the hotel stay, and might not even sleep there; you are just paying and checking in to trigger more valuable bonuses than the cost of the stay.)

Or if you have some upcoming work travel that you can steer to a Sheraton, it may be worth doing even if the Sheraton is more expensive or less convenient. In this case, the cost of steering those stays to a Sheraton is the extra money spent over your best option and the extra cost of the inconvenience of not staying at your best option. If those costs are less than the thousands of Starpoints and value of the Sheraton free nights, you earn, steer your discretionary stays to Sheratons this summer.

Bottom Line

Two SPG promos combine to be a good deal for some folks:

  1. 1,000 Starpoints for a 2+ night stay by August 31 that includes at least one weekend night at any SPG property.
  2. One free Sheraton weekend night (used by December 13) for every five nights stayed at Sheratons by September 30.

Pure mattress running or changing summer stays to Sheratons could be in order. Do the math for your situation.

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Is it possible to check-in remotely? My local SPG hotels are not as cheap as the Lampung hotel. I presume if I book, don’t show, but pay for the stay it won’t credit as a stay?

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