As you may know, today is the final day to earn 35K SPG points from the highest offer ever on that card. If you are wondering what you would do with those points, here are 5 great ways to use the biggest SPG offers ever. They expire today so hopefully this list will help you decide if the offers are valuable for you right now.
5 Great Ways To Use The Biggest SPG Offers Ever
The Starwood Preferred Guest Program is easily one of the best in the miles/points world. It is so great because it has such incredible flexibility. Not interested in hotels? No problem! There is something you can do with the points! Like experiences? Yep, SPG has that!
There are two cards – the personal and the business – and they both offer 35,000 bonus points after meeting the minimum spending. If you had the opportunity to get both (or you plan on getting it today), you can really stretch those points out!
To get links to these offers (and help other readers), please refer to this post!
Cash & Points
Points Needed: From 1,500 – 15,000
I am a huge fan of the cash and points model at hotels like Starwood and Hyatt. It basically allows you to buy the remaining points you need for a full night award stay, and at a better value than buying the points outright. In other words, it helps you stretch out your points.
Note: Unlike Hyatt, Cash & Points nights with Starwood do not count for promotions but they do count for elite status.
With the SPG program, it is very easy to get a lot of nights with the Cash & Points redemption as it starts at a very small amount. Here is what is required by category:
- Category 1 – 1,500 points + $30
- Category 2 – 2,000 points + $35
- Category 3 – 3,500 points + $55
- Category 4 – 5,000 points + $75
- Category 5 – 6,000 points + $100
- Category 6 – 10,000 points + $180
- Category 7 – 15,000 points + $275
As you can see, you will earn enough points from just one of the current SPG card offers to get at least 2 nights a SPG property with the potential to have up to 23 nights at a Category 1 (while paying the cash component as well).
You can also redeem a Cash & Points option for upgraded rooms or suites. But, both the point and cash costs will increase quite a bit, especially for suites. You can see those prices on this page.
Fifth Night Free
Points Needed: From 28,000 – 140,000
If you are planning for a vacation, this is a great deal. The basic math for this offer is that you pick a SPG category and multiply the needed amount of points for 4 nights and the 5th night will be free. This makes staying a little longer a bit easier to justify when it comes to redeeming with your points!
This reward is redeemable right online and you will see the award display just like all other award searches. The only difference is that the points per night is averaged according to the 5th night being free. The only bad part is that it is not available at Category 1 or 2 hotels (likely because of the weekend discounted rates).
Here is the breakdown for each category for the whole 5 nights:
- Category 3 – 28,000
- Category 4 – 40,000
- Category 5 – 48,000 – 64,000
- Category 6 – 80,000 – 100,000
- Category 7 – 120,000 – 140,000
Transfer Air Miles
Points Needed: Transfer in blocks of 20,000 points to get 5,000 mile bonus
Now, this is often a highly praised or highly criticized redemption option. It is criticized because you can get a lot of value with just redeeming for hotels but you can also get great value from transferring your Starpoints into airline miles.
This redemption option allows you to transfer your Starpoints to dozens of airlines. They transfer at a 1:1 ratio (for most of the airlines) but for every block of 20,000 points you transfer, SPG will give you 5,000 miles as a bonus. See the list of airlines and their transfer ratios here.
This is a great way to bulk up your airline mileage balance and the list has some airlines that may often be more difficult to earn miles in without flying. With this method, you can get more of those miles quicker and redeem them right with the airline.
Keep in mind that for the last couple of summers, AA and SPG ran a promo where you would receive a 25% bonus on your miles received. That means if you transferred 20,000 Starpoints, you would actually receive 30,000 AA miles! While not as valuable as they once were (for premium awards), AA miles still have value so let’s see if this promo pops up again this year!
Note: The minimum amount for general members for transfer is 2,500 points, for Gold members it is 1,500 points, and for Platinum members there is no minimum.
Nights & Flights
Points Needed: 60,000 for N&F 1 & 70,000 for N&F 2
This is one very powerful, hybrid redemption from SPG. It allows you to use a fixed amount of points to redeem for 5 nights in a Category 3 or 4 as well as have 50,000 miles in an airline of your choice (that is a 1:1 partner of the SPG mile transfer program).
Category 3 and 4 hotels within the SPG program are a bit of a sweet spot as they have some excellent properties in that range. My family and I stayed at a Category 4 a few years ago (review here) that was a fantastic redemption!
Of course, you also get the airline miles as well! Remember, you do not have to book a flight as part of this package. You could redeem for the package (must be done over the phone), book the hotel, have the miles transferred and then just drive to the hotel instead of flying. The miles can be used anytime later that you would prefer!
This is an excellent redemption option! Note that you will need to have all of the points for the package but they are easily attainable by getting two of these SPG offers – either one business and one personal for you or 2 of the same offers for someone in your household.
Points Needed: Varies
I have written about SPG Moments quite a bit as it is an incredibly interesting way to redeem your Starpoints. You can redeem for some great experiences and, in some cases, get some great hotel accommodations with the redemption as well.
This would be the best option for anyone that does not have a desire to stay in a Starwood hotel or does not want to transfer the points to an airline. It is because you can get things like box/suite tickets to concerts, sporting events, and more. They make great gift opportunities and are a great way to use points and still receive value.
There are actually so many different uses for SPG points that it can be hard to detail them all. Of course, redeeming for free nights is just a given! But, for Category 1 and 2 properties, that becomes a little bit sweeter of a proposition and earns a bonus redemption line.
A weekday redemption at a Category 1 property will require 3,000 points while a Category 2 will require 4,000 points. On the weekend nights, that drops 1,000 points on each to bring Category 1 to 2,000 points and Category 2 to 3,000 points. This just another great way to stretch out your points! This also works exceptionally well for race hotels as (almost) all races take place on the weekend!
What are your favorite redemptions with SPG points?