- Thanks to everyone who left a comment to win the $25 Amazon Gift card. There were lot of wonderful comments and seriously I learned a thing or two about my awesome readers. The winner of this giveaway is HS who left the following comment –
” My dream destination city is Amsterdam, I admire the canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades.”
Congratulations HS!! You will receive your Amazon gift card via email shortly and please dont be disappointed if you did not win there are more exciting giveaways coming up as I come closer to the official launch of my new website milesmaniac.com
2. The 30,000 Starwood points personal and small business cards are back for a limited time. The usual bonus on these cards is 25,000 points. You would have to spend $3000 in purchases on the personal card within 3 months and $5000 in purchases on the business within 3 months of getting approved. I used the sign-up bonus of 30,000 points to stay in a suite at Le Meredien Barcelona for three nights giving us a value of $1500 from just one card which is awesome!!! SPG points are extremely valuable as they are difficult to earn and there are some fantastic properties around the world you can use these points for a free stay.
Why are SPG points so valuable?
Starwood points are so useful for transfer purposes that it’s easy to forget they can also be quite valuable for hotel award stays. There are four main reasons why Starwood points used for hotels can rival the value of airline transfers:
- Fifth night free. When you book four consecutive award nights, Starwood lets you stay the fifth night for free. This can increase the value of your points by 25%.
- No blackout dates or capacity controls on standard room awards. Unlike most airline awards, Starwood will let you redeem your points for any available standard room. That said, some hotels maintain a large quantity of rooms that they label “superior” in order to circumvent this rule.
- Reasonable award chart for mid-range hotels. Award nights start at just 2,000 points per night for a Category 1 property (though there aren’t many of those). Hotels in Categories 2-4 are easy to find, and cost just 4,000, 7,000, and 10,000 points per night, respectively. Competing hotel chains often price award nights at similar properties much higher.
- Few taxes and fees. Booking an international award flight can involve hundreds of dollars of taxes and fees, and even more expensive fuel surcharges. On the other hand, governments typically impose hotel taxes based on the rate paid, so an award night is often truly free. With Starwood, the exceptions include properties classified as “resorts”, which add a resort fee to award bookings, as well as any location where an occupancy tax is collected based on the number of persons in a room.
What can you do with 30,000 SPG Points?
Below is the Starwood Award chart with various award tier Hotels. There are hotels from Category 1-7.
Another interesting option that only Starwoods offers is a Nights & Flights package.
With Nights & Flights, you’re booking a hotel and transferring to an airline at the same time.
But here’s the cherry: the miles don’t have to be used in conjunction with your hotel stays.
Once the points are transferred to your airline account (whether it be AA, USAirways, etc.) you can use the miles anytime!
Basically, you’re getting great value by booking a hotel and transferring to an airline at the same time, even though they don’t have to be used together!
By doing this, you’ll save some serious points.
The Nights & Flights option is available for either Category 3 or Category 4 hotels (which I think are the best value anyway).
- Category 3: 50,000 airline miles + 5 nights at a Category 3 for 60K SPG points
- Category 4: 50,000 airline miles + 5 nights at a Category 4 for 70k SPG points
If you didn’t use Night & Flights, you’d normally pay:
- Category 3: 40k SPG points for 50k airline miles (because of the 25% transfer bonus) + 28k for 5 nights = 68k SPG points
- Category 4: 40k SPG points for 50k airline miles (because of the 25% transfer bonus) + 40k for 5 nights = 80k SPG points
That means that you are saving 8k SPG points for the Category 3 option and 10k SPG points for the Category 4 option!
To book a Nights & Flights award, you’ll need to call in, since these can’t be booked online.
So if you are sure that you want to make a transfer and have to book a hotel stay with SPG, you might as well combine them and save yourself points!