How to get Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold membership without the stays

So I recently got booked to go on a business trip that was going to last 7 weeks. I’m not really excited about being away from home for 7 weeks… so I figured if I’m going to be away from home, I might as well try to find the best possible rewards program available right now and max it out.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had lots of good experiences being a Hilton Diamond member. However, since I didn’t travel much last year, I’ve been downgraded to Silver, and I’ve looked through the Hilton catalog many times and don’t feel like there are any amazing properties I’d love to stay at. I always thought Starwood had the nicest properties, and lo and behold, they’ve got some great promos going on right now.

1) Stay three, getaway free – this promo is pretty awesome. Basically for every 3 stays, you get a free night at over 200 of their resorts, to be redeemed before Dec. 21, 2011.

  • Stay three times from May 1 through July 31, 2011, at any of our more than 1,000 hotels and resorts across all nine brands and earn a Free Resort Night Award — with no earning limits.
  • Redeem your awards at over 200 luxurious resorts seven days a week with no blackout dates through December 21, 2011.

I thought that maybe the resorts available would be limited to the US, or maybe only ghetto hotels – but no, there are some NICE properties listed here! This is way better than the Hilton promo that got me free stays in Bora Bora (1 free night for every 4 stays), and I’m just trying to figure out now where I’m going to go on vacation this year!

2) Link your Starwood and Foursquare accounts for 250 points with every stay.  I’ve gotten a bit addicted to checking in on Foursquare, but I haven’t actually received any special offers yet.

  • Your FourSquare and SPG accounts must be linked.
  • You must have a reservation at the hotel to earn 250 bonus points.
  • Paid stays and award stays (Points only and Cash & Points stays) count for 250 bonus points.
  • Only one 250 points bonus for FourSquare checkin per hotel stay.
  • You must complete FourSquare checkin using a mobile app on your phone.

3) And lastly – the main topic that I found out about today – how to upgrade your membership to Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold without the stays! Since I know I’m having this upcoming trip, I didn’t want to wait for 10 stays or 25 nights before earning Gold status. I scoured the internet trying to find offers for complimentary Gold upgrades, and while I found some, my account was never eligible for any of the promos. However, one message seemed to be consistent throughout all the forums/boards that I looked at – SPG Gold upgrades are pretty easy to come by. So, I decided to just ASK for it. Yup – I called the Gold Preferred Guest customer service number at 888-625-4990 and asked them to upgrade me to Gold, stating that I knew that I had a heavy travel schedule coming up and was planning to stay at a Westin. And they upgraded me on the spot! No promos, no codes… just asking. It didn’t even take 5 minutes to kick in – I refreshed my login page and there it was. AWESOME!

So there you have it… when you want something, it doesn’t hurt to ask!


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  1. #1 by Bk on March 15, 2012 - 7:58 am

    Thanks, great info. Worked 100%

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