Details of the New Starwood-CaesarsPartnership: Limited Elite Earning and No Elite Recognition for SPG Members

When I wrote about the new Starwood-Caesars relationship earlier this morning few details were available yet.

The award price — how many points it will take to redeem for which properties — isn’t yet available.

However, both the Starwood and Caesars pages for the partnership are now up and running, and reveal the basics of how the program will work — both for earning and redemption and for elite status.

Here are the key elements of the partnership:

  • Earning and redemption begins January 9.
  • Members earn 2 Starpoints per dollar in addition to Caesars Total Rewards credit. Points-earning at Caesars is capped at 100,000 per year.
  • Earning elite status with Starwood through Caesars stays: You earn nights only, not stay credit. You are capped at 10 nights per year. These nights will only count up to earning Platinum status at 50 nights — they will not help you get Starwood’s 75 or 100 night levels. And they do not count towards lifetime elite status.
  • Caesars Total Rewards Seven Stars members receive Starwood Gold status. There is no elite status benefit at Caesars for Starwood members.

Overall the lack of elite recognition at Caesars for Starwood Platinum members is disappointing, as is the inability to count Caesars stays as ‘true’ elite qualifying.

Here are the participating Caesars properties:

Bottom-line: As a Starwood member I wouldn’t choose a paid stay at a Caesars property on the basis of this partnership unless I needed elite nights towards becoming a 50 night Platinum. Someone not going for Platinum, or who reaches 50 nights without the stays, will see few incremental benefits as Starwood earning for in-hotel spend is relatively weak.

It will be nice to have the option to spend Starwood points at Caesars properties, but room rates at Las Vegas hotels bounce around a lot and points requirements will either assume average rates or be tied in some way to those peaks. It will take higher than average room rates to warrant points redemptions.

Overall the deal isn’t as extensive or beneficial as the one between Hyatt Gold Passport and MGM M Life, which offers reciprocal elite status matching.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. A couple thoughts off the cuff:
    1. Can’t hurt mentioning your SPG status (play dumb) at check-in when confirming they have your number on file. Add in the “$20 trick” and you should be looking at some upgrade even w/o the reciprocal status.

    2. Don’t forget to charge all your meals, etc. to your room if you want to earn more SPG points that way.

  2. This is great news for SPG members who are in Vegas a lot on business anyway. And IME most of those hotels offer upgrades for ToDs anyway, so lack of SPG elite benefits is mitigated, although elite check-in would have been huge…

  3. This is a lot weaker than the Hyatt-MLife agreement since it omits elite recognition (Hyatt Diamond to Total Rewards Diamond would have been very valuable). A modest level of play at a Total Rewards property generally equals very attractive room rates anyways, so for anyone who gambles at all it should be rarely worth burning Starwood points for Caesar’s stays at least in Vegas. Depending on the cost of the Atlantic City Harrah’s property though there might be some value in high-season Friday/Saturday redemptions there.

  4. Vegas has been very weak for SPG stays. The Westin was a great option until they started charging a $19.95 “resort fee”. At that point their rates were no longer competitive and you are paying for things that Platinums get free at other Westins and everyone gets free at Embassy Suites down the street. If the Caesars room cost is below that of the Westin, then I can see a benefit. If not, I’d invest in stays with other properties or just enjoy a casino room and catch a SPG room in another city…..

  5. While the relationship as a whole, isn’t very rewarding….at least I would get some points/credit for my hotel stays in Vegas. I generally go back and forth between MGM and Caesars’ resorts. I usually have my stays comped. But my last trip, I had to pay for one night. Not big deal for me. But I know people who do conventions in Vegas, and staying at a nice property on the strip, and earning points would be icing for them. Even limited to 10 nights, one will still earn points. Staying off the strip is very limiting, even for business. Most won’t even consider off strip hotels, so for them this is a win.

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