Incredible Starwood Preferred Guest Promotion: One Paid Night = One Free Night


Update: Reading through comments here and on Twitter and Facebook, this promo is clearly targeted. About a quarter of us got the free night offer, a quarter are getting 2k or 4k points per stay, and half are getting nothing. Try your luck, and leave a comment, tweet, or facebook comment.

Reader Daniel tipped me off about an incredible Starwood Preferred Guest promotion called Bonus Beginnings. He told me to go to and type in my SPG account number.

I am now signed up for a free weekend night at any Category 1-6 SPG hotel after one paid night at any SPG property.

I typed in my number, and I got an email saying I had registered and what I had registered for.

The email says that if I book and make one paid stay at any SPG property by February 28, 2013, I can get a free weekend night at any category 1-6 SPG property worldwide between now and February 28, 2014.

Conveniently the email included some terms and conditions because I couldn’t find any anywhere else online.

The free night can be any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night. The terms and conditions imply there may be some non-participating properties, but again, I can’t find the list.

The last part of the terms and conditions says that registration closes today, so head over and register RIGHT NOW.

The rest of the paragraph confuses me. It talks about a “member [choosing] his or her offer.” I wasn’t given a choice. By googling “SPG Bonus Beginnings,” I do see that promotions were run under the Bonus Beginning name in 2012 that did involve some choice of your bonus, but I don’t think I had any choice in this promotion.

Is Bonus Beginnings Targeted

I don’t see anything saying it is, and I’ve searched all my email inboxes without finding any emails about the promotion. That tells me I wasn’t targeted, and I am enrolled. The best thing for you to do is type in your number and see if you are enrolled.

My Plan

Daniel reported success signing up his account and a family member’s. He also said that in one account, he had already made a cheap stay for about $60 and that his free night award has already been deposited into his account.

I have signed up already, so I beat the registration deadline, now I have to beat the stay deadline of February 28. I think I may book a hotel for one night on my mid-Atlantic swing next week. If I can find a hotel for under $100, I can get one good night sleep now and one aspirational redemption in the next year. That’s an incredible return for $100.

The last deadline to hit is to redeem for a stay before 2/28/14. I can redeem for up to a category 6 hotel–full list. Category 6 is the second-highest category, and free nights go for up to 25,000 Starpoints normally. Does anyone have any suggestions for a great Category 6 hotel? I’d probably use my free night this summer in Europe to save myself hundreds of euros.


Did you register successfully? Did you get an email confirmation?


  • Today is the deadline to sign up for SPG’s Bonus Beginnings promotion. Sign up for the promo today at
  • You should receive a confirmation email with the terms and conditions.
  • Stay one paid night at any Starwood property by February 28, 2013.
  • Receive one free night at any Starwood Category 1-6 property between now and February 28, 2014.

Tip Policy

Please send any tips you have for incredible promotions, redemptions, fares, or anything else. If you ask me to keep the tip secret, I will. Daniel told me about this deal on Saturday right before the MileValue dinner in Los Angeles and asked me to keep it secret. I didn’t blog it or tell anyone at dinner. He then reconsidered and told me I could share the promotion, and here it is. If you have any tips, let me know.

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

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  1. Just signed up for a SPG account and tried the link. I was sent to a screen that said I was not eligible for the promotion and “Sorry for any misunderstanding. Check out for other amazing offers.

  2. I think this may be “semi-targeted” — I have no activity in my SPG account besides some Audience Rewards points, and I received a different offer:
    “No time like the present — book now and complete an eligible stay¹ with us between December 1, 2012, and February 28, 2013, and 4,000 bonus Starpoints® are yours for each stay — up to 12,000 bonus Starpoints.”

      • 4k bonus Starpoints might be a better offer for people who like miles and not hotels. Worth mattress running three cheap Starwoods

        • I was going to do the mattress run on this until someone pointed out that you can get 4000 points with the AMEX SPG card and $32 in Vanilla Rewards cards. Its hard to find a room for that price.

  3. Different people got different promotions so not everyone can get this. You probably missed the email that was sent out to you. We have 4 accounts and only one got it. The other three got 4000 or 2000 per stay.

    • I’ve checked all my email accounts for key words that SPG would have to have included. I don’t see anything.

  4. Didn’t work, said I was already registered for another promotion. Tried signing up for a different account and said I wasn’t eligible.

  5. Did a status match last year and have had no stays since last Feb. tried the link and it worked for me! Thank you!

  6. Bummer.. I got this:

    Sorry for any misunderstanding. Check out for other amazing offers.

  7. I tried to sign up and didn’t get it either. I’m in the middle of 30 nights at SPG property so this would’ve been great, on top of the 18k additional points i will earn during this trip.

  8. Didn’t qualify for this one but it let me register for another promo with 2k bonus per stay that I didn’t even know I was eligible for, so thank for the heads up and great posts!

  9. This has been widely discussed on FT for at least 8 weeks now. The offer you received appears to have been targetted to highly non-active members. A fried of mine received the very same offer as you, but was alerted to it via email.

  10. This is not a new promo and it’s definitely targeted. In the past several of my family members were able to successfully register but no one was eligible this time around. It goes by how new and inactive your account is.

  11. We had each signed up for Bonus Beginnings recently, a much less-attractive offer so we were not allowed to sign up for this one. Wahhhh!

  12. We’re sorry to tell you, you’re not eligible for this offer.
    Sorry for any misunderstanding. Check out for other amazing offers.
    Not an SPG® member? Join now >

  13. Here’s what I got : 2,000 bonus Starpoints per stay — up to 6,000 bonus Starpoints

    With Free Night Awards starting at just 2,000 Starpoints® at Category 1 hotels and resorts, you’ll already have enough for a night on us. Your Starpoints are also redeemable toward airline tickets, suite upgrades, unique SPG® MomentsSM experiences and more.

  14. After I earn the free night, can I book it for my parents to stay?

    Also , it says “A qualifying rate is any rate that is eligible to earn Starpoints in the Starwood Preferred Guest program”. I wonder if Cash+points can earn any points? What about BRG?


  15. quick question – i’m looking to stay in a hotel on 2/14 and 2/15. If I pay for the 2/14 stay, will the 2/15 stay be immediately free upon booking? Or will I have to pay and wait for a period of time before my second stay becomes eligible? Thanks!

  16. I was given the offer to qualify for Gold status after only two stays. I am currently completing the status challenge and will be Platinum by mid February 🙁 No value for me here…

  17. It has been targeted since Dec. My husband got the offer for 1 free weekend night Cat 1 to 6 after 1 paid stay back in December via a targeted email. I was not eligible. The difference seems to square on he has not made a single SPG booking since he signed up for SPG program. (All the pts in his account were directed to airline miles transfer.)
    We did the paid stay on past Saturday and the cert already in his account. Must phone to book though.

  18. @@ blog title should clearly include YMMV at the end

    I tried 3 SPG Gold card #’s. They are all very inactive (haven’t stayed in SPG hotel forever, and only got them because of AMEX). Then I got error when I tried to register anyway, so back to Marriott MegaBonus then (Stay 2 nights, earn 1)

    #1 – nothing <– my primary one
    #2 – 2000 pts offer
    2,000 bonus Starpoints per stay — up to 6,000 bonus Starpoints
    #3 – 4000 pts offer
    4,000 bonus Starpoints per stay — up to 12,000 bonus Starpoints

  19. Seems to be for new memebers and targeted. My cousin just sign up for a spg a month ago. They sent her this offer. She completed a stay and is now redeeming her free stay at the ST. Regis in Bangkok =*( I not eligible.

  20. Not eligible either (status is Starwood Gold so maybe it’s for people who haven’t stayed at Starwoods in a while). Also, Milevalue, can you have your links open in a new window or tab? Every time I click on one, I realize I’ve left your page and then have to go back.

    • I’ll look into it. I would prefer that. But I always click links while holding CTRL (or command on a Mac) to open them in new tabs, which is a good stop gap in the meantime.

  21. I got a $68 room several weeks ago and I plan on a Saturday night later in the year in NYC or a night at the Le Meridian in Munich next February. I don’t have cable so I checked in, watched some TV and left.

  22. “…you’re not eligible for this offer.”

    I’ve had an SPG account for about two months but I haven’t stayed at an SPG property yet, nor have I accrued any SPG points.

  23. Thank you for posting this! I tried my number and my husband’s, and he was eligible for the free night! We are driving up through CT in a couple of weeks, so booked a room for $89 (also includes breakfast for 2). I’m not sure where we will use the free night, but we have many trips planned before it expires, so I am sure it will be very useful. Thank you!

  24. Me, SPG Platinum, lots of stays: Nothing.
    My temporary bait account with no points: Nothing.
    Wife’s account with points from CC’s and no stays: 2,000 points per stay up to 3 stays by end Feb.

    Now I have to figure out if I can make use of the wife’s offer. I registered her for it. We may have one stay where she’s actually going to be there. The rest of the time I travel and she stays home, so other stays in Feb would normally be on my Platinum. How can I book a room on her SPG number and stay there myself but have her get credit?

    • Book the room under her name. Add yours to the reservation. Check in. It should work out. Worst case scenario, they credit the points to you, but they should credit them to her.


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