Starwood Preferred Guest has improved dramatically when it comes to quickly posting stays and promotional awards including the current Select Member Exclusives.
The Select Member Exclusives are individually targeted and my account was selected for up to two free night certificates Cat 5, one for 2 paid stays until June 30th 2016.
Unfortunately I found out about this promotion way too late and by coincidence when looking over the SPG Dashboard. LoyaltyLobby wrote about it late May (access here).
I managed to squeeze in 2 stays to at least get one of these free night certificates, one of which has been completed last Monday. The stay was credited roughly 12 hours past checkout time and yesterday (Wednesday) the Free Night Certificate was credited to my SPG account.
The Free Night has to be used until September 30th so the validity is quite short and as mentioned capped to a Category 5 property.
This was one of the reasons why I decided against irregular stays which would have cost me min 90$ each, 180$ total. Since I don’t need additional stays for my Platinum re-qualification I figured that 180$ isn’t worth the extra free night. SPG award categories are steadily creeping up so that a Category 5 property is nothing special anymore. I can buy a night there almost anytime for the 180$ investment.
If you have received a promotional award either through this current or a different promotion you see the button that says ‘Award must be booked by phone’ which is not totally correct. You can also book it through the SPG Platinum Chat. Better bring some time though, it’s always a mystery to me why this service takes forever for almost anything, even the most simple and straight forward requests.
Always check your account to see if the awards were credited correctly. Also, have a look at the SPG Dashboard every now and then, otherwise you might miss out on promotions. I have not received an email about this targeted promo and strangely enough it just showed up in the middle of the actual promotion period. This was I was only able to fulfill half of the promotion, too bad!