At least someone is still getting a Christmas bonus: Starwood Hotels has teamed up with the Clear Card in order to wish their Platinum Preferred Guests a Merry Christmas. Beginning this month, the top-tier members of Starwood's loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guests, will receive a free year subscription to the Clear card, which speeds its holders through security checkpoints at select airports (and random football stadiums) around the US.
Since this is actually a functional and time-saving accessory for frequent travelers, the $199 Clear card will surely be a more welcome present than another leather money clip or embroidered duffel bag. For those SPG Preferred members who haven't quite yet achieved Platinum status, we've got goods news for you too: Starwood will be sending its Gold and regular level members three-month offers on the card.
We've watched Clear grow exponentially over the last year, and their airport list (which already includes cities like Denver, Orlando, San Francisco, Atlanta and most of NYC) will officially become impressive once they secure LAX in 2009. Benefits like these are one of the many arguments for hotel loyalty (Hyatt Hotels offered this to their top-tier loyalty program members last year), but it also doesn't hurt to practically live out of their properties as the Starwood Platinums do.