This occurs roughly every quarter, and SPG is now again sending out targeted offers (mostly to new members) for a chance to earn a hefty reward just for staying at any hotel on any eligible (points-earning) rate, which is pretty sweet and awesome. Make sure you check! You never know! To check, go to http://www.spgpromos.com/bonusbeginnings.
Unfortunately I didn’t get anything, but I can tell you I have recieved a Category 5 certificate just for staying one night through the promotion several months ago. It was a smoking hot deal.
As far as I know, the offers have been:
2000-5000 points for one night
1 Category 1-4/5/6 certificate
12000 points with a 3 night stay
SPG Gold status with 2 days
With the exception of the latter (which can be achieved through SPG Amex Spend/Amex Platinum), those are worth “mattress running” for, especially if you can stack it with Better by the Night, the new Le Meridien promotion, the Aeroplan promotion, and BRG.
Potentially you’re looking at 3000-5000 points for a stay as well as the additional bonus points/free night certificate.
Tell me if you’ve got anything good!