Weekend Reminder – Collect cash/points for every Starwood booking

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This is a simple reminder to collect cash/points back for every Starwood booking.  As entrenched as I am on a daily basis in earning points, I must admit I sometimes forget to collect these easy points when booking hotel stays.  As I recommend, EVERY online purchase should begin with www.evreward.com.  This website does a pretty accurate job consolidating the cash back/points back earning options available based on the website you are buying through.  My two favorite cash back/points back portals are ebates which offers cash back mailed to you in a check quarterly and the Ultimate Rewards mall which deposits UR points into your account.  Ebates is open to anyone while the Ultimate Rewards Mall requires you be a cardholder of a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Bold.

For Starwood bookings, you can collect either 2 UR per dollar or 3% cash back from ebates.  Only ‘Westin.com’ is listed on the UR portal though you can book any of the Starwood properties (Sheraton, W, St. Regis, Aloft, etc.) through the Westin website.  I value UR points around 2 cents per point so I book through the UR mall for Starwood properties and estimate a 4% return.   Your valuations may vary, but I think it’s safe to say everyone values some return over nothing. (Except that baby in the Capital One 360 Checking / Savings Account commercials of course)

I use the Starwood example because I know I have left several points on the table forgetting to use the portals for simple hotel bookings.   If you aren’t a Starwood guy/gal, you can also collect cash back/points back for several travel booking websites and properties including Marriott and IHG.  Here is a sampling from the UR mall though earning rates may be higher at other cash back/points back portals.  As always, evreward should help guide your decision.


Hotel and travel options at UR mall

The bottom line

Clicking through a cash back/points back portal takes two seconds.  Don’t leave these EASY points on the table!

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at pmmalex@gmail.com

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  1. Is this considered an “agency” booking where elite benefits then don’t apply? Great idea, but I’m afraid to pull the trigger on an UR booking for fear it’ll yank my PC benefits. Thanks.

  2. I didn’t know this, thanks!!! Do we still get hotel points and elite benefits for booking this way? Also, does it also count for the various hotel seasonal promotions?

  3. @Colleen, @Jenny—In my experience I’ve received all of the hotel points and elite benefits by using these portals. The portals really only take you to the hotel’s website itself, so I expect that all the hotel sees is that you used its own website to make the booking. I’ve been doing this for a few years and have never had a problem with hotel points or elite benefits.

  4. Say you use the Ultimate Reward Mall to book a stay at an SPG property. To get the bonus points, you are supposed to pay with your Chase card. Are you better off getting the Chase points with the bonus or using your SPG Amex to pay for your SPG stay?

  5. @Lawrence – You can use whatever card you want to pay the actual hotel bill. The UR mall does not require you to pay with the Sapphire or Ink Bold. In the scenario you describe, I see a wash. I value SPG points and UR points equal at 2 cents per point. Using either card will net you 2 (for spg bonus) or 2.14 (travel category bonus plus 7% UR dividend) points per dollar plus the 2 UR points per dollar for using the portal. You should choose the currency you find most useful.

  6. @Alex did they always post for you? I remember going through UR website early this year and I dont remember the points getting posted. I am on another such stay now and lets see if they post this time. Any recommendation for Hyatt stays?

  7. @ikonos – Admittedly the portals have lengthy and variable posting delays which make tracking them difficult. I see good results but I doubt they are posting 100% of the time.

    For Hyatt, take a look at the Amex Business cards with OPEN. The Business Gold Rewards card is my favorite offering 3X Points on Airfare. AMEX Business Cards in the OPEN program offer a 3% statement credit for Hyatt reservations. These statement credits are far more reliable than the portals.

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