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I wrote the other day about the increased limited time offer for the American Express SPG cards –
30,000 EXPIRED bonus points instead of 25,000 bonus points. This limited time offer is good through September 3rd, so I will be taking some posts to help you realize the potential this card has for your travel. Today, we look at…
American Express SPG Personal Card – 25,000 Bonus Starpoints – application link
American Express SPG Business Card – 25,000 Bonus Starpoints – application link
3 Reasons for the Runner to Apply for the SPG Card
The Starwood Preferred Guest program is easily one of the most flexible award programs around. They offer so many different redemption methods that every person can benefit from at least one of them. This post will focus on 3 reasons for the runner to get one of these cards and how you can benefit from this program.
1) SPG Hotels as Featured/Host Race Hotels
I have mentioned before that many marathons will use the SPG brand hotels as their host hotels or featured hotels. In fact, Westin just recently partnered with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. As such, you can get specialized marathoner packages for certain of their races and find their hotels featured in many of those races.
For other marathons, you can always find Westins or Sheratons as great race hotels. Even when they are not the featured/host hotel, they still provide excellent location to the start/finish area and consistent hotel quality. In fact, most of the time that I head to a race location, my first option is to look for Westin hotels in the area.
It might be assumed that since Westin and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series have formed a partnership and that many other marathons use them as host/featured hotels that you will be unable to find race availability. Here are some screenshots of those hotels and their availability on the weekends of the marathons in those particular cities.
So you can use Starpoints earned from these cards to stay at the SPG hotels that are near your marathons, especially the Westin hotels when running the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathons. To read my review on a hotel that would make a fabulous hotel should you run the Washington Marathon, check here.
2) Weekend Award Rates
Fortunately, SPG offers special weekend point rates when staying at Category 1 and 2 hotels. This works out very well for races as just about all of them take place on a Saturday or a Sunday. These weekend rates are for Friday and Saturday night stays. It reduces the required points by 1,000 Starpoints per night for those stays. Some of these Category 1 and 2 hotels are near marathon sites so you can get some great value out of these with the reduced weekend point rate.
3) SPG Award Nights Have No Blackout Dates
It is nice to find a travel source that does not have blackout dates. This means as long as there are standard rooms available, you can secure it with points. So, even if the website shows that there are no award nights available, if it is showing standard rooms still being available, you can book it with points at the category rate. This works exceptionally well at marathon cities that typically have very full hotels. Rooms are cancelled all the time so if you do find a hotel totally booked, keep checking back for a standard room to open up. When that happens, you can snag it with points and save a lot of money. When the standard rooms start to become less available, the cash rate on those rooms tend to go closer to the rack rate. So, if the room normally costs $150 if paid in advance, it may cost over $300 if it is one of the last rooms available. Yet, you can use the same amount of points as you would if the whole hotel was empty!
Summary: Here are just three of the ways a runner could really benefit from applying for the SPG American Express card. You will be able to get 25,000 Starpoints for free and they can be extremely valuable for the runner looking for a great hotel for race weekend!
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.