Emirates Skywards, Starwood SPG partner for points and perks

By Chris C., November 10 2014
Emirates Skywards, Starwood SPG partner for points and perks

Elite members of Emirates Skywards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) will be able to earn points as they sleep both on the ground or at 35,000 feet, and can soon enjoy reciprocal status benefits when jetting abroad with Emirates and staying with Starwood.

Your World Rewards kicks off on November 19, at which time travellers can link their Skywards and SPG accounts to double-up on points and perks.

"The focus of Your World Rewards is to encourage Skywards members to stay at Starwood hotels, and to encourage Starwood SPG members to fly with Emirates," Emirates Skywards' Senior Vice President Brian La Belle told Australian Business Traveller.

"This is a unique proposition in the travel industry - typically, you have to choose miles or you choose hotel points, but this gives you both."

At its heart, the deal covers journeys taken with Emirates on EK flight numbers – not when booked as Qantas codeshares – and is unique to Skywards members, rather than those travelling with their Qantas Frequent Flyer number attached to the reservation.

There also aren't any benefits for travellers touting base-level Blue status with Emirates Skywards and 'Preferred' status with SPG, so if you're not already a frequent guest of Emirates or Starwood, this doesn't apply to you.

Perks for Emirates Skywards members with Starwood

Whenever staying with Starwood around the globe at brands such as Westin, W Hotels and Sheraton, Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members can earn one Skywards mile per US dollar spent at the hotel, or the equivalent in its local currency.

That’s on top of the regular Starpoints you’d earn, making it a similar arrangement to the ‘Points and Miles’ earning option in the competing Hilton HHonors scheme.

At the higher Gold and Platinum tiers, Skywards members will also enjoy SPG elite check-in, a 4pm late check-out wherever available and free in-room Internet access.

Where members already receive free ‘Net by way of their SPG membership, they’ll instead be given a different reward – such as 250 bonus Starpoints.

Westin Dubai and Le Meridien Mina Seyah aren't part of the new tie-up, although Starwood still has you covered with 14 other participating hotels in Emirates' global Dubai hub.

Perks for SPG members flying with Emirates

In a similar fashion, Starwood Gold and Platinum members will earn one Starpoint per US dollar spent on their airfare when travelling with Emirates, in addition to the Skywards miles they’d normally earn.

Platinum SPG members also pick up priority check-in and priority boarding at airports across the globe, although not lounge access unless they also hold Gold or Platinum status with Skywards.

Members of both programs simply need to link their accounts online to ensure that everything is handled smoothly, with Starwood members not required to present their SPG card at the airport.

Benefits given to SPG Platinum members will instead be linked to their regular Skywards account, which makes things easy when you're juggling bags and boarding passes.

For more information, here's a two-minute video explaining the Emirates/Starwood hook-up:

New to Skywards and Starwood Preferred Guest?

If you're a newcomer to Starwood Preferred Guest but have an Emirates Citibank World MasterCard, you're in luck – SPG Gold status could be yours after just one night!

The fast-track is also open to holders of other World MasterCards including Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards and Westpac Earth Black/Altitude Black, making that status boost even easier to achieve.

Simply stay at any Starwood hotel in the Asia Pacific region through July 2015 and you'll be catapulted to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status, delivering perks such as free room upgrades, late check-outs and in-room Internet access.

Then, head to the Starwood website from November 19 to link your Starwood account to your Skywards membership to earn both Skywards miles and SPG Starpoints whenever you take to the skies.

More on Skywards and SPG:

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

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