Limited time offer expires soon! Earn up to 25,000 bonus Starpoints® when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This signup bonus could be worth up to $750 in free hotel nights. Hurry, offer may be for a limited time only!
When I first started learning about travel hacking, I couldn't understand what was the big deal about Starwood points.
Starwood is the brand behind Sheraton, Westin, and some other brands that have nice hotels, but in my opinion, was hardly worth the incredible reputation that the Starwood Preferred Guest program (also known as SPG) had among travel rewards enthusiasts.
My opinion was swayed, however, when I took the time to look a little bit deeper and realized what the fuss was all about, and started doing everything I could to collect this valuable currency.
Want to begin collecting Starwood points as well but not sure where to start? Read on through to the end.
1. Starwood points can be transferred to airline miles
A lot of credit cards earn miles with one airline, but this program actually allows you to transfer miles to over 30 different frequent flyer programs!
Need points with Alaska Airlines, Al Nippon Airlines of Japan, or Aegean Airlines of Greece? Then Starwood's got you covered!
Additionally, when you consider that each program typically allows you to redeem miles for flights on several of its partner airlines, then you understand how you can use Starwood points for free travel on the vast majority of all the airlines in the world, which is seriously cool.
2. You get a 5,000 point bonus when transferring 20,000 points to miles
Most airline credit cards offer one mile per dollar spent, and the Starwood Preferred Guest® card from American Express offers one point per dollar. But since you always receive a 5,000 point bonus when transferring 20,000 points to miles, this works out to 1.25 miles per dollar, which is 25% better than most airline credit cards.
3. You get free hotel nights with NO blackout dates
Some airlines and hotels like to offer free nights and flights, but then get pretty tight about releasing actual dates that you can book those awards.
With Starwood's program, you can redeem your points for any unsold standard room. So if you find a standard room available during the Super Bowl, or in New York on New Year's Eve, you can redeem your points for it, no matter how much it's selling for. I absolutely love this about the program.
4. Book four consecutive award nights, get one FREE
This benefit is the icing on the glorious cake.
Just like points are worth 25% more when transferred to miles, you can get 25% more value when redeeming four consecutive award nights. Have you heard of a better BOGO deal on reward travel?
5. Award nights are reasonably priced
There are some hotel loyalty programs that want 30,000 - 40,000 points for a mid-priced or even a budget hotel, which I think is crazy.
The Starwood program has plenty of nice Westin, Sheraton, and Aloft properties from 3,000 -12,000 points per night, which is a steal.
6. Starwood customer service ROCKS
Customer service in the travel business is often pathetic, but not at Starwood.
I haven't experienced too many problems with them, but every time I've reached out, they always surprise me by responding quickly and addressing my issue professionally. That's a pretty low bar for most companies, but sadly, this kind of service is rare in the travel world.
If you're just starting to collect Starwood points, here are two of my favorite ways to maximize your points:
1. You can earn 2-3 points per dollar spent from staying at Starwood properties
2. Use the Starwood Preferred Guest® card from American Express to pay for purchases. Pro tip: use this credit card to pay for your stay at a Starwood hotel and you'll earn double points (up to five points per dollar).
Can you guess correctly which amazing Starwood property is below?
So now that you know why everyone is so gaga about Starwood, it's time for you to start imagining how and where you'd use your own Starwood points.
I know I'm excited to see where mine take me and my family this year!
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Disclaimer: This content and the opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and have not been provided, commissioned, or endorsed by the credit card issuer. All information was accurate at the time of this post but card terms and conditions may change at any time.
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