Yesterday I blogged that Starwood appeared to be rolling out award stays as qualifying towards elite status beginning October 1. It had been confirmed to me by two sources, but I hadn’t seen it in writing.
However, the following memo was sent out from Starwood Preferred Guest to hotel properties at the end of last week:
Update: In my original posting of the memo sent to Starwood hotel managers, I redacted some information that struck me as internal and proprietary. On reflection, more of the particular memo ought to be kept internal to Starwood, out of respect to them. In publishing the document itself I was looking primarily for confirmation and explanation of the changes. And the changes have now been publicly confirmed. So the memo itself is no longer necessary.
Key details of the changes are: Effective October 1, 2011, and onward, all SPG Award stays and nights will count toward elite status qualification, including Free Night Awards, Cash & Points and promotional awards. This is a permanent change to the program, not a temporary one as had been speculated by some.
All nights on these award rates count, however they will not count towards promotions (whether for bonuses, free nights, or accelerated status qualification).
And when receiving a gifted award stay, the person actually staying in the hotel will receive the stay/nights towards qualification (and not the person doing the gifting).