Frequent Flyer

An Easy 200 Starwood Points (and Why They’re Worth Earning)

Good: Earn a quick 200 Starwood bonus points by opting to receive promotional emails. Better: Extend the life of all the Starwood points in your account.

Starwood wants you to opt in to receive their promotional emails. And the company is offering 200 bonus Preferred Guest points to close the deal. Here’s how it works:

  1. Log onto the Starwood site with your Preferred Guest credentials
  2. On the Dashboard page, look for the “Opt in and earn” link
  3. Click on “Update Your Account”


If you don’t see the opt-in bonus, it’s because you’re already receiving Starwood’s promotional emails. In that case, go to “My Profile” and opt out of Preferred Guest e-statements and click “Save.” Then log back into the Starwood site in a private-browsing window, and the bonus offer should appear.

As is often the case with such easy points, the face value of the incentive may be far exceeded by an altogether different consideration: Earning these 200 bonus points qualifies as account activity, thereby resetting the clock on the period during which points won’t expire. In other words, you’re not just earning a handful of points; you’re extending the life of all the other points in your account.

For the minority of travelers with frequent account activity, expiring points are a non-issue. But for those who travel less frequently, the importance of keeping points safe from the dreaded expiration policies (an especially harsh 12 months in Starwood’s case) can’t be overstated. It’s certainly worth a few minutes of your time.

For many, this is an opportunity to save a lot by earning a few.

Reader Reality Check

Have you ever lost miles or points due to a program’s expiration policy?

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By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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