The Starwood Preferred Guest program is probably one of the best award programs in existence – and not just because of their great hotels! As I have covered in the past, they have many fantastic redemption opportunities, including transferring points into airline programs with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred.
One of the redemption options that I have not done much with is their SPG Moments program. This is a program that offers a host of unique opportunities (like concerts, sporting events, culinary events, etc) that may not be available for purchase without going through this program. The best thing about the SPG Moments program is that you are actually not even purchasing these items – you are exchanging your points for them.
Most of the items are available through auctions and some are available through buy it now type presentation. For the auction ones, count on the high end offers (like playing some sport with a pro) to be driven very high before the auction closes. On the other hand, it is possible to get some very cool events at really good SPG prices. Some of these include tickets to baseball games with box access, tickets to sold out events in foreign countries (travel is not included), and niche events that might not draw the normal SPG crowd.
While perusing through the SPG Moments catalog for a gift idea for an upcoming birthday, I noticed something I had not seen before. A running SPG Moments package! Not just any running package, but one to run here in Greece with Dean Karnazes! The best thing – there were no bids on either package and they started at 15,000 Starpoints! The bad thing? I am already registered for a half-marathon on that Saturday, the running event with Dean is a half distance also so that wouldn’t be too bad. The real problem is that I have to leave that weekend on a trip that has taken me three months to get lined up. No way I can cancel that one for this. Oh well.
Even though this package is for Greece and it is in less than two weeks, there still might be some in my reading audience that wants to take advantage of it, so here are the details of this fantastic package.
- Date: October 18 – 20, 2013
- Place: Costa Navarino, Greece (the region of Messina)
- Auction Cost: Currently at 15,000 Starpoints with no bids (2 packages available)
- What you get: Shoe signing by Dean Karnazes (Friday), 21.1km run led by Dean followed by a private dinner (Saturday), 15km run led by Dean followed by a complimentary spa experience (Sunday), two-night stay in a deluxe room at the Westin Resort Costa Navarino, nutrition workshops, transportation from resort to both runs.
- Where to find it: Auction Link
That is a really cool package! For one thing, the Westin Resort Costa Navarino gets very high marks. For another, it is a SPG category 5 which requires 12,000 Starpoints per night for a weekend. This totals 24,000 Starpoints just for the room! These auctions end in 3 days and no one has bid on them! If you get them at the current price, you will basically be using points for one night but getting two plus all of the package for free! Even if it climbs, I doubt it is going to get too high (given the proximity of the date and that it is in Greece, not the US). Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! If I did not have plans, I would be there in a heartbeat. What if you are in the US? There are many options to get to Greece on the cheap with points. If you are up to being adventurous, get going with booking a flight and take advantage of this unique opportunity.
SPG Moments and Running
I am very happy to see this for a couple of reasons. One is the great value of the package, but the other is that I foresee this being just one of many running centric SPG Moments packages that will be coming out in the coming year. The reason is Westin’s major push towards the running community (which you can read about here). I would imagine that we will be seeing other SPG Moments packages that will be targeted to the runner – and I can’t wait!