Posts Tagged With: SPG

Get 5 Hotel Nights + 50,000 Miles from Two Credit Cards

There is less than one week left for the temporarily increased 30,000 point sign-up bonuses for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card Amex and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Amex, and so to encourage those on the edge or planning a vacation I wanted to share what I think is potentially the very best use of those points in case it may help get your wheels turning on what you could do for your family.  Since we are firmly back in the “little kid” stage for many years to come, we are now focused on  easily attainable family-friendly options.

If you are in a similar position, or even in a totally different phase of life, the Starwood Nights and Flights program is something that might be the perfect way to cover a big chunk of hotel and airfare costs for your next vacation.

nights-and-flights

SPG Award Nights and Airline Miles via Nights and Flights:

I think that SPG “Nights and Flights” is the most under-discussed gem of all SPG point redemption options.  Nights and Flights allow you to redeem SPG points for a combination of frequent flyer miles and hotel nights.  It’s kind of like a vacation package of sorts using points.  With Nights and Flights, you can redeem 60,000 SPG points for 50,000 airline miles plus five award nights at a Category 3 hotel or resort.  With Nights and Flights II, you can redeem 70,000 SPG points for 50,000 airline miles and five free nights at a Category 4 hotel or resort.  There are Category 4 hotels located in lots of great cities like: Scottsdale, Avon/Vail Valley, San Diego, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Asheville, Vancouver, Los Cabos, Kailua-Kona, Orlando (on Disney property), Sydney, and Hong Kong.

Let me put this deal another way…you can use the 70,000 points to not only get five free nights at a Category 4 hotel or resort (normally 10,000 points per night), but you also get 50,000 airline miles.  If the hotel you want is in the contiguous US or Canada, that means that you and your partner can use the 50,000 miles to each fly for free on saver award tickets on an airline like American Airlines, and then have five free hotel nights at your destination.  That is incredibly valuable from roughly just two credit card sign-ups!  I think this truly is the “hidden gem” of all SPG redemption options.

Get Over $2,200 in Hotels and Flights From Two Credit Cards:

As an example, if you have been looking to take your family to Disney World you can use SPG points to stay at the Walt Disney Swan or Walt Disney Dolphin Resorts that are located on Disney property and within walking or boat distance of both Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios.

dolphin-swan-hotels

Walt Disney Swan Dolphin

Via Nights and Flights you can stay at either of those resorts for five nights and then have 50,000 airline miles deposited into your airline account of choice with a program such as Alaska Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta, British Airways, and more.  You can use the 50,000 airline miles for the same trip as your hotel redemption, or save them for whatever you want to use them on in the future.

I priced out a five night stay in a standard room at the Walt Disney World Swan (a Westin) from May 9 – May 14 2016, and the lowest price on the SPG website was a non-refundable stay that rang in at $1,740.  If you wanted a refundable reservation that would cost you $1,795.  Those are huge numbers!

Screenshot 2015-09-11 at 11.58.08 PM

Airfare for those same dates on American Airlines from Houston to Orlando currently starts at $275 round trip each, so $550 for two people.  However, there is saver award availability for 25,000 miles each on American Airlines flights.

In this very random example, using 70,000 SPG points via Nights and Flights would save you over $2,100 in hotel and airfare costs for a Disney vacation!

How to Quickly Get 66,000 SPG Points:

To get these SPG points quickly, if you and your partner both get the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card Amex while the sign-up bonus is at 30,000 points (through 9/14/15), you would each have at least 33,000 SPG points after meeting the minimum spending requirement.  Since SPG allows you to combine points for free with anyone who shares your household address, you and your partner could easily have at least 66,000 SPG points just from each getting one credit card.  Earn just 4,000 more points between the two of you and you would have enough for five nights of hotel and 50,000 airline miles as described above thanks to Nights and Flights!

Note that Nights and Flights are only available for Category 3 and 4 hotels, they must be requested at least 14-30 days in advance (depending on the airline of choice), and the selected airline must have a 1:1 points transfer option from SPG.

Categories: American Express, Citi Credit Cards, SPG | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

$25 Amazon Gift Card Winner , 30,000 Points Starwood offer is back and how to use them wisely

  1. 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.

barcelona suite 4

Warm welcome to our Suite at Le Meridien Barcelona

barcelona suite 1

The room has awesome view of Las Ramblas

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.

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Starwood Award Chart

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).

They include:

  • 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!

sheraton calrsbad

Sheraton Calrsbad Resort and Spa by the ocean for just 12,000 SPG Points 

dolphin-swan-hotels

Swan Dolphin Orlando – Stay at a hotel on Disney for just 10,000 points a night and enjoy all the perks

Categories: Amazon, Carlsbad, Disney, Le Meridien, SPG | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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