This is a post to show that it always pays to consider all options and not move so swiftly! My recent decisions with points cost me 7 free hotel nights – and I am still kicking myself!
My Mistake Cost Me 7 Free Hotel Nights
I am sure some of you already know what I am about to refer to and will likely head down to the comments to berate me for it. 🙂 The truth is, I have been doing that enough to myself lately. It is a mistake I can’t believe I made but I made it simply because I made a move before I should have.
There is the current Aeroplan bonus going on now which allows you to get a 35% bonus on converted hotel points. The real gem for this transfer is SPG Starpoints since you get 1:1 in trade plus a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. I had about 100,000 Starpoints and had been planning on originally transferring them to Aegean for a family trip. With this transfer bonus, I decided to transfer enough over to cover 2 of the tickets (since we would be splitting a couple of things anyway) and then transfer the rest to Aegean as planned.
So, I went ahead and transferred 60,000 Starpoints for a transferred total of 75,000 miles (thanks to the 5,000 mile bonus). Eventually, that will become 101,250 miles. But, some things switched around with our trip plans and I got some good boosts in my Amex Membership Reward points as well as more Aegean miles so I decided I would transfer the rest to Aeroplan.
What I Messed Up
Thanks to the merger with SPG and Marriott last year, you can transfer points between the program at a 1:3 ratio (SPG to Marriott). If you get at least 270,000 Marriott points, you can book a Hotel + Air package. This would give you 120,000 Aeroplan miles plus a 7 night stay at a Marriott Category 1 – 5. While there are not a lot of high-end options in that category range, there are specific hotels we could have used on our trip that cost over $1,200 for a week stay!
That’s right, because I acted before thinking everything through, I lost out on the option to use a Hotel + Air package. I would have transferred 90,000 Starpoints to Marriott and received 162,000 Aeroplan miles (after the bonus) plus the 7 nights in a hotel.
Instead, I will end up transferring 100,000 Starpoints directly to Aeroplan and getting 168,750 Aeroplan miles (after the bonus) – and no free hotel.
Yes, I am kicking myself over and over again! I should have waited and considered all of my options before making the initial transfer!
The miles and points world has a lot of information and even those of us who keep up with things can make mistakes (with things like miscalculating/forgetting sign-up bonus end dates, certain cards for certain categories, booking with miles instead of points, etc.). This is one I will likely remember for a while. Hopefully, it serves to show you that I do make (bad!) mistakes like this as well and helps you to avoid some of your own!
REMEMBER – think through all of the options before you move!