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If you wanted to say more than thank you to a Starwood employee, the way to do it was always handing out certificates sent to elites by Starwood Preferred Guest.
Starwood used to send these paper coupons to Platinum members:
There were similar certificates handed out to Gold members.
These certificates have been reported to be worth 500 Starpoints each to an employee who receives them.
While Starwood no longer mails them out, you can now print them online. I don’t recall Starwood announcing this to members, I’d be most do not know they even still exist.
Logging in I see (8) certificates expiring at the end of the calendar year.
Here’s what each one looks like:
Each certificate has a number, which you can give to an agent who helps you over the phone or print out the certificate and hand it to an employee in person.
Terms and conditions:
Certificates are nontransferable to other members. Distribution of the certificates to associates is at the discretion of the member holding the certificates; however, the certificates cannot be used as a form of bribery or fraud, nor may the certificates be sold in any manner.
The member is not under any obligation to use the certificates. The certificates have no cash value if unused after the expiration date printed on the back of the certificate. No copies or substitutions of the certificates will be accepted.
Each certificate includes a unique code that can only be used (and registered) once. Please use by the expiration date on the back of the certificate.
The Starwood Preferred Guest® program reserves the right to modify or cancel this recognition promotion at any time. Not responsible for omissions or typographical errors. Void where prohibited by law.