SPG Cravings guide – CreditCards.com

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How to fill up on Starpoints and get discounts with the SPG Cravings rewards program

By Jane Frye  |  Published: July 6, 2018


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If you’re hungry to get the most out of the
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program – whose Starpoints can be used toward free
night awards, award flights and SPG Moments — you’ll want to start taking advantage of the SPG Cravings rewards
program as soon as possible. 

The Cravings program, whose mission is to
inspire you to “live deliciously,” not only offers discounts on food and drink
at more than 1,500 restaurants and bars worldwide, it also lets you earn even
more Starpoints each time you pull out your card. With so many options, finding
a place to dine won’t be the hard part — narrowing down the options will. 

The best part? Even if you’re dining at a hotel
but not staying there, you can still cash in on the SPG’s dining rewards program. 

What Is SPG Cravings? 

The SPG Cravings program is part of Starwood’s
loyalty program and lets SPG members save up to 30 percent at participating
Starwood hotel bars and restaurants around the world (discounts vary
by location) – whether or not
you’re staying at the hotel. Even if you’re not on vacation, you can use SPG
Cravings’ site to find participating restaurants and bars in your neighborhood
and cash in big. 

The discount doesn’t include service charges,
tax and gratuity. Also, it’s only good for food purchases during lunch
and dinner – not breakfast (so check with the restaurant first to find out how
it defines “breakfast”) – and doesn’t apply to drinks (sorry, all you liquid
lunch-ers out there). But, the good news is the discount can be used for
parties up to 8 people. 

SPG Cravings is a great way to get discounts on
restaurants and bars you will likely already be visiting, especially if you
have a Starwood hotel stay coming up. 

How do you join SPG Cravings? 

Before taking advantage of the SPG Cravings program
you need to sign up for Starwood Preferred Guest’s loyalty program. Sign
up is free and easy and has benefits beyond Cravings eligibility. 

Visit the SPG site and enroll by entering your
name, address, contact information and creating a username and password. 

Once you’ve enrolled in SPG’s loyalty program,
no additional sign up is needed for SPG Cravings. Simply head to the SPG
Cravings website to find out which of the 1,500 participating restaurants and
bars is closest to you, and what discount is available (up to 30 percent
depending on the business). 

How to use SPG Cravings 

SPG Cravings can be used anytime, anywhere – no
matter if you’re staying at an SPG hotel or if you’re on vacation or traveling
for business. 

SPG Cravings provides an easy search tool on
its site that lets you search by destination, hotel or restaurant, so you can
find a participating business nearby even when you’re visiting somewhere new.
 With tons of Starwood hotel restaurants and bars to choose from, your
toughest decision will be which spot to choose. 

As mentioned, the discount is only good for
certain meals – usually lunch and dinner – so confirm with the business that
your meal will be covered before you dine. If you can, pick up the tab for a
group of diners (up to eight people) and maximize your Starpoint earning
potential. 

Also, make sure to check in before ordering with
your waiter to request your discount, and have either your SPG membership card
or your SPG member number handy. If you are staying on-site, the discount
cannot be applied when checking out at the front desk. 

While it’s always a good idea to save your
receipts or take a photo of them (including your SPG number), your bonus
points should automatically post to your Starwood account. For those of you who
took advantage of the Marriott-Starwood merger, remember that you can transfer the Starpoints that you earn from the Cravings program to Marriott rewards at any time. 

At what rate do you earn Starpoints? 

By having an SPG loyalty account, you are
automatically eligible to earn bonus Starpoints. 

If you’re using the Starwood Preferred Guest
Credit Card from American Express
or the Starwood Preferred Guest Business
Credit card from American Express
, you’ll earn yourself 2 Starpoints for every
dollar spent at Starwood hotels. If you’ve joined the SPG loyalty program,
you’re eligible for another 2x points. Gold and Platinum status SPG members earn
3 Starpoints for every dollar spent. That’s a chance to earn 5x Starpoints if
you play your cards right, on top of the Cravings discount. 

If you don’t have an AmEx
card, you can use your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which lets you earn 3
Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar on dining purchases. 

How to maximize SPG Cravings 

  • Use SPG credit cards to pay the bill. Use
    the Starwood Preferred Guest card or the
    Starwood Preferred Guest Business card to
    earn 2 Starpoints for every dollar spent on top of the 2x points that you
    earn as an SPG loyalty program member.
  • Get elite
    status
    . Gold and Platinum elite status members earn 3
    Starpoints for every dollar spent.
  • Use a credit
    card with a dining bonus, if you don’t own an SPG card.

    There are a plethora of credit cards that offer bonus points on dining
    purchases (see our chart below).
  • Dine at qualifying restaurants. Use
    the SPG Cravings site to do your research before the bill comes. With
    150,000 participating restaurants and bars worldwide, the options are
    endless.
  • Search for restaurants with the highest discount. Using
    the easy search functions on the Cravings site, choose participating
    restaurants and bars that offer the highest discount (up to 30 percent).
  • Pick up the tab and have others pay you back. Choose
    an optimal credit card and pay the bill for yourself and up to seven
    dining companions. You’ll get even more points than if you’d only paid for
    your portion of the meal. 

The SPG Cravings sign-up bonus 

While there aren’t currently any special
promotions for SPG Cravings, in the past SPG has offered deals such as the
Twice as Nice promo, which offered double Starpoints on food and beverage purchases
at eligible restaurants after registering online. Program members also earned
status-related points on these purchases. The only caveat: You could only take
advantage of this deal if you were not
booked to stay at the Starwood hotel where you were dining on the date of
purchase. 

The SPG Cravings site also mentions access to
“special offers and exclusive culinary experiences with celebrity chefs and local
food heroes,” but no word yet on what those will be. 

The best credit cards to use with SPG Cravings 

As mentioned above, either the Starwood Preferred Guest
card or the Starwood Preferred Guest Business
card is your best bet when taking advantage of SPG
Cravings. 

In case you don’t have a Starwood card, your
next best option is to use a card that offers a bonus on restaurant purchases.
Here’s a list of the best credit cards to use with the SPG cravings program:
 

SPG Cravings restaurants

The list of restaurants and bars available to
you under the Cravings program (all 1,500 of them) are no joke. From celebrity
chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Lamb’s Club in NYC to a big ol’ plate of pasta at
Mezzo in the Sheraton Shenzhen Futian hotel, we promise you won’t go hungry. 

The site makes it easy to find the perfect spot,
by sorting through the “SPG recommended” or newly opened restaurants. You also can
view your options on a handy map, in case finding the closest option is most
important. 

Here are just a few of the notable restaurants
included in the SPG Cravings program:

  • SB&G, Sheraton Tarrytown Hotel
  • Lambs Club, The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel
  • The LCL: Bar & Kitchen, The Westin
    New York Grand Central
  • Living Room Bar & Terrace, W New York – Downtown
  • Foundry Kitchen & Bar, The Westin
    New York at Times Square

Related stories: Marriott announces new loyalty program, Starwood Preferrred Guest cards offer $200 introductory bonus




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