Starwood Hotels has a longstanding policy to reward SPG members with points for dining spend even when not staying at the hotel and Hyatt also jumped on the bandwagon back in 2011.
This article is supposed to serve as a reminder for people that it’s possible to earn points in this way and there are plenty of instances where it can actually make sense to dine at a hotel restaurant.
There are a couple of Food & Beverage outlets at Starwood and Hyatt hotels worldwide where I often go for a meal even if I’m not staying at the hotel itself, either because I have a local residence or I’m staying with the competition.
- W Hotel Bali, Woobar
- W Hotel Taipei, Kitchen Table
- Westin Grande Bangkok, KISSO
- Grand Hyatt Bangkok, Sunday Brunch at Tables
- Grand Hyatt Berlin, VOX
- and many more…
There are a few choices how to utilize bonus programs when dining at hotel restaurants.
For one there are local dining ‘clubs’ that come with an annual fee (Starwood Eat, Drink & More ; Club at the Hyatt, Hyatt Gourmet Club) and offer specific benefits such as 2 for 1 dining, vouchers for a firm discount and free night vouchers. Those clubs are more or less targeted to a local audience to get them in the door as a lot of F&B business at hotels can’t survive without a steady influx of local clientele. You will however NOT earn any points either with SPG / World of Hyatt when utilizing such dining club benefits.
Then there is the discount that Starwood advertises under the SPG Cravings program (access here) where restaurants give members up to 20% discount on the bill just for being a SPG member. At the same time members will also earn SPG points for their dining spend based on the regular earning rates (2 points per 1 USD spent and a 50% bonus for Gold/Platinum Elite members).
Here are two examples of recent earnings I had, the first one with Hyatt:
Another two earnings from Starwood SPG back from 2017:
These transactions can add up over the year depending on how much one actually spends on F&B at the hotel outlets. Sometimes it’s easy to rack up a couple hundred dollars worth of F&B even though often times you don’t earn any points on alcohol (varies by property and local laws).
Always make sure that your hotel loyalty membership number is put in correctly so that the points post according to your spend. In fact, Hyatt has a system in place that posts points immediately after the check is closed while SPG still works with paper forms the venue has to fill in and I assume someone at the property has to post them manually by entering it all into a database.
Hyatt’s way of handling this is very good because you will have have the points available instantly. In January when I had my dinner at the Park Hyatt Tokyo I needed roughly a thousand points to book an award stay worth 20k points at another property. Sure I could have bought the points online as well but why do so and waste money in the process when I can just as well have a nice dinner at a Hyatt venue and take it as a discount.