SPG Cravings guide
How to fill up on Starpoints and get discounts with the SPG Cravings rewards program
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:
|Credit Card||Rewards for dining||Annual fee|
|Starwood Preferred Guest||2x points||$95, $0 first year|
|Starwood Preferred Guest Business||2x points||$95, $0 first year|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||3x points||$450|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||2x points||$95, $0 first year|
|Uber Visa Card from Barclays||4% cash back||$0|
|Capital One Savor Cash Rewards||3% cash back||$0|
|Citi ThankYou Preferred||2x points||$0|
|Citi ThankYou Premier||2x points||$95, $0 first year|
|Citi Prestige||2x points||$450|
|Discover it chrome||2% cash back (on up to $1,000 combined gas and restaurant spending per quarter, then 1%)||$0|
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
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