I write quite a bit about the SPG Moments packages (and Marriott Moments, though Marriott reps seem to think they don’t exist). I think they have been an incredible use of SPG points, especially when you can get that unique package for a gift or a special event! They can also be a great use of points when they include travel.
The Huge Value Potential in SPG Moments
I wrote about a SPG Moments auction last month that was for 2 business class tickets on the inaugural Dubai to Santiago flight next month. It was for 2 roundtrip business class tickets and it also included a 5 night stay in the W Santiago in a suite! It also threw in some other items in the package as well.
I had said that, for someone who loved these kinds of flights, I could see the bidding going up to 300,000 SPG points. Of course, there are “better” uses for SPG points! But that is part of the beauty of SPG Moments – people can redeem their points for packages that they find to have tremendous value to themselves!
Well, it actually did not go for 300,000 SPG points. In fact, it went for just a little more than half that many points at the final total of 176,500 SPG points! Let’s break down just how good of a deal that is.
The SPG Room In Points
First of all, you cannot redeem points for the Marvelous Suite. You can only redeem them for the standard room. The cost for a 5 night redemption comes out to 64,000 SPG points.
Now, keep in mind that the Marvelous Suite is almost 3 times the size of the standard room! But, we will keep this with just the points for now!
After deducting the actual cost of SPG points for a 5 night stay at the W Santiago, we are left with a total of points (that won the auction) of 112,500 SPG points.
The Value of the Remaining SPG Points for Flights
Since SPG points transferred in blocks of 20,000 points give a bonus of 5,000 miles on airline transfers, we would be able to get a total of 137,500 airline miles when transferring that remaining block from the auction to an airline. What could that give us?
If transferred to Aeroplan, it would give first class in one direction from the US to Europe and business in the return – for one person.
If transferred to Alaska, you could book Cathay Pacific in first class to Asia in one direction and Cathay Pacific in business in the other – for one person.
You could also choose to transfer 90,000 SPG points to Marriott to get a flight and hotel package. That would give you 270,000 Marriott points that you could redeem for 5 nights in a Category 1-5 and 132,000 United Airline miles. Again, that would give you enough for roundtrip in business class to Europe – for one person.
Are you getting the theme? There are a lot of ways you could use those remaining SPG points for premium cabins with miles but for only one person.
This auction gave two business class tickets in the classic Emirates business class cabin on the very long flight from Dubai to Santiago – over 30 hours altogether in Emirates business!
The Important Point
Yes, you would need to get to and from Dubai from where ever you live – to fly to Santiago. I realize that is not ideal for a lot of people but it does give another tack on city for holiday. If you had redeemed miles and points to get to Dubai, you could have taken in some of Dubai prior to the trip to Chile.
But, there is no way to get around the fact that this SPG Moments package gave the winner some really great value! I estimated the cash value of this package at just over $20,000. If we wanted to assign a value to the SPG points used for this (which I am not a big fan of but I know some like to see this!), we would get a value of 11 cents per SPG point for this package. That is a really tremendous value on even the highly rated SPG points!
What To Look for in SPG Moments or Marriott Moments for Top Value
Look Past the Title
I have said this before – even if you have no interest in the headline event for the package (maybe you do not care for a painting class), click on it to see what is offered! If it is a multi-day event, it will almost certainly come with lodging (at a Starwood property, of course). This is where you can realize some tremendous value! I have seen Category 6 hotels (20,000 – 25,000 points per night) that had a two night stay included go for only 20,000 points!
Check the Event Date and End Date
There are a lot of auctions that end just a couple/few days before the actual event! If it is a package that is in Europe, that can mean that you may be able to get it at a good rate since not that many people are going to plan for a trip around an auction win – with a day’s notice. I have seen many European and Asian packages go for a tremendous value in points likely due to the fact that the end date was just a couple of days before the event. If you are flexible, this could be a big help!
Check the Room
Many SPG Moments packages come with upgraded rooms at the SPG hotels. There was one that I was really wanting to win that put the winner in one of two (at the time) Bentley Suites in the entire world. This suite went for over $5,000 per night! I have seen many packages include deluxe or upgraded room/suites with the SPG Moments packages so always check that out, especially if it is a city that you were planning on visiting as the upgraded room may make room for more people than what you could redeem points for.
At the end of the day, using points for packages like this comes down to what kind of value you think you can get from it. It is not so important to chase the incredibly high value per point as it is to find something that is a great fit for you at a price that you are really happy with.
Congrats to the winner of the Emirates package – that is a steal for a flight like that and it is a nice bonus to have that 5 night stay in a non-points suite as well. I saw a bit of Santiago when I was running my 5th marathon run there for South America and I would gladly return to spend some more, slower time checking out the city.