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TPG/Starwood American Express Contest: Win 100,000 Starpoints

by on August 16, 2011 · 404 comments

in American Express, Contests, General TPG Business, Starwood

Starwood Preferred Guest points are one of the most valuable points out there. Most points aficionados value SPG points highly because there are many ways to get really good value out of them – such as Cash & Points, airline transfers, free nights (including 5th night free), Starwood Moments and night & flights packages.

To highlight all of the different redemption opportunities, American Express approached me recently with an opportunity too good to pass up: run a contest where TPG readers give their suggestions on how they’d use 100,000 Starpoints and then I get to choose one lucky winner who will receive 100,000 Starpoints. I’ll also create a post on how I’d use 100,000 Starpoints and for my efforts, I’m also getting 100,000 Starpoints. Sounds good to me!

To enter, simply comment on this post with how you’d use 100,000 Starpoints. Since I will be the sole judge, I’ll be looking for a mixture of point-savvy and creativity. Your proposal must include at least 2 redemption methods (for example, you can’t just say you’d convert 100,000 points into 125,000 American miles and get a first class ticket to Tokyo).

While I’d love to learn something new (for example showing how transferring points to an obscure airline transfer partner can be beneficial), I’m really most interested to see how you go about researching the best usages and how these points would benefit you. This contest is for open to everyone with a Starwood Preferred Guest account (if you don’t have one, you can sign-up here for free) and most importantly, I want to see that you are having fun with this.

Rules (trying to keep this simple):
1) Your math must total exactly 100,000 points (there can be a cash component if you choose to use Cash & Points)
2) Keep it short and sweet. You can give me background on why you’d use the points, but please don’t post a novel. I anticipate I’ll have many entries to evaluate!
3) Be original.
4) You can create a video if you’d like, though it can only be 30 seconds and the link to the video must be posted in your comments entry and it must be public so everyone can see.
5) TPG family members and employees/consultants are ineligible (sorry!).
6) You must submit your entry in the comments section of this post by Saturday August 20th at 11am Eastern Daylight Time. The winner will be announced on Sunday, August 21st.
7) One entry per person and you must use a valid email address when you leave your comment (only I will see it).

To get your creative thought processes started, I’ll be posting several Starwood related posts in the next couple of days and I’ll post my 100,000 point showcase on Saturday after the entry deadline. Feel free to ask any questions below!

This contest coincides with the special limited time offer of 30,000 points for the Starwood American Express when you spend $4,500 within 3 months. A great deal since the $65 annual fee is waived the first year and normally this card only offers 25,000 points after $15,000 in spend (though I could see the bonus going back down to 10,000 after this limited time offer which ends on Monday August 22, 2011).

Update: The 30,000-point bonus is no longer available. The bonus is now 25,000 points for the Starwood Amex business and personal cards.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below (don’t worry, it won’t count as your entry).

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • Carl Jr.

    If I had 100,000 starpoints, I would do the following: I would use 4,800 points x 4 = 19,200 points + $90 x 4 = $360 for a 4 night stay at the Le Meridian in Paris, but really, it would be a 6 night stay since this hotel has stay over the weekend for 4 days get the 5th and 6th day free. My wife has been asking me to take her to Paris for a while now. And remember, happy wife = happy life. :)

    Now after that, I have 80,200 points. Looking on United’s website about redemption options, it takes 30,000 miles to get a round trip ticket to Europe, so we would need 60,000 miles. I would redeem 50,000 starpoints to get 60,000 United Miles for my wife and I to go (yay extra 5000 miles bonus for redeeming 20,000 points at a time). That leaves me with 30,200 points.

    I would then go to the spg.com/moments site and then bid on a Britney Spears concert (hey, I’m married, I have to do these things, expecially when my wife loves Britney Spears) for 5000 starpoints when she’s in Paris. Thus, I’m now down to 25,200 points.

    Then I would redeem 3500 starpoints for a Avis Car rental $50 certificates. Bringing me down to 21,700 starpoints. This will help pay for a car in Paris.

    Then I would redeem 5000 starpoints for a iTunes gift card, so my wife can have something to listen to. We both like audiobooks, and I know she’s been interested in getting a few more. Yes, this redemption option is only 1 point per dollar, but the value of listening to the book is worth more. That brings me down to 16,700 points.

    Then I would redeem 6000 starpoints for upgrading my room to a speciality select room at the hotel. This brings me down to 10,700 points.

    The final 10,700 points I would put up for a raffle at a charity that I support – LLI. I’ve done this before, and donated starpoints, and it has turned out well. Lots of people bid on charity events, expecially when you mention that you can use these points at fancy hotels downtown.

    That’s how I would redeem 100,000 points!

  • Rahul Francis

    I would use the points to take my Mom to Europe for the first time! We’d stay at a few Starwood properties, and use the points to help top off our mileage balances!

  • Anonymous

    This is an awesome promo! Thanks for offering this.
    Here is my use and story:
    Background:
    We took our honeymoon to St. Lucia 5 years ago and loved it!
    I used all points last year with Star Alliance for a return trip to the Caribbean (Jamaica) for our flights and our stay at an all-inclusive resort. Again, loved it!
    So, my goal would be for a return visit to the Caribbean – this time, Aruba!

    It would be a birthday trip for my wife (September 3)
    We would leave September 3 and return September 8.
    I would use the 5th night free promo combined with 40,000 SPG points to stay at the Westin Resort in Palm Beach, Aruba.
    I would transfer 60,000 SPG points to Delta, taking advantage of the 5,000 bonus every 20,000 transferred for a total of 75,000 Skymiles (tickets to Aruba are 37.5K with low availability – and I actually found them for those dates! :) ).
    I am a Diamond and my wife is Gold, so we would both be eligible (and in good position) for upgrades on Delta.

    That is it! A great birthday gift and a fabulous time of relaxing in the sunny Caribbean.

    Good luck to everyone out there!

  • Anonymous

    Actually, Carl, the United chart is showing you the price for ONE-WAY award travel, not round trip. So it would actually be 60,000 miles per person (plus the conversion is 2:1 so it would take 240,000 SPG points just to get the flight).

  • http://infamousdx.com infamousdx

    One thing you should edit. Starpoints to UA/CO transfer is 2 Starpoints : 1 UACO mile.

  • for real?

    are we to believe that you are an independent authority on the “best deals” when you are now, clearly, a Starwood shill? too bad…

  • Josh

    I’ll take a first crack at it.

    My wife’s sister is going though a bad break-up. To help her, and get her crying fits away from me, last night I suggested they get away on a girl’s beach vacation. I’m looking at the following idea in reality. 100,000 extra points would make it even easier to do.

    I’d redeem 60,000 points for a Nights and Flights redemption, getting five nights free at the The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta and 50,000 Alaska miles. Alaska is an often overlooked airline by a number of frequent flyers and my personal favorite (plus I personally think their associated credit card is the best in the business). I’d then redeem the additional 40,000 points using the 25% bonus to get an additional 50,000 Alaska miles.

    100,000 Alaska miles will presently get them two first class tickets on the flight down. They’ll need to fly coach on the way back up (it’s nice to be able to split that), but they’ll be so rested that it won’t matter.

    So, in the end, two free plane tickets to Mexico (one-way in First) and five free nights at a beachside Westin resort. All free (and since my wife is Starwood Platinum they might score a nice upgrade).

    That’s a nice value. Not priceless, but a nice value.

    5 nights for me without the sounds of sobbing from our spare bedroom. Priceless.

  • Austin

    I am short on hotel points, and have a two week vacation to Europe planned next summer. I would transfer 40k of the Starwood points and get 50k Hawaiian Air miles, then transfer those 50k to Hilton for 100k Hilton points. In all I would have 100k hilton points and 60k starwood points to use for stays at some nice hotels in Europe. The flights to and from Europe are in First Class. AA to LHR, and Lufthaunsa from Vienna. Thanks for all the tips and credit card deals! It should be a great vacation.

  • MilesGirl

    STARTING: 100,000 Starpoints

    1. Transfer 50,000 Starpoints to Amtrak Guest Rewards at 1:1 ratio
    2. Transfer 50,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards to Hilton Honors at 1:2 ratio

    BALANCES
    1. Starwood: 50,000 points
    2. Hilton Honors: 100,000 points

    REDEMPTIONS
    Starwood: 11 nights at Category 4 C&P ($60), 5 nights at Category 1 ($25). Total redeemed = 11 x 4,000 + 5 x 1,200 = 44,000 + 6,000 = 50,000

    Hilton: 4 nights at Category 7 hotel ($85). Total redeemed = 25,000 x 4 = 100,000 points.

    So, I’ll be able to stay a total of 15 nights at pretty good (Starwood Cat 4)-awesome (Hilton Cat 7) hotels and 5 nights at so-so hotels (Starwood Cat 1).

    SOURCES
    1. Starpoints->Amtrak: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/account/starpoints/transfer/partners/detail.html?PartnerCode=AMTRAK&IndustryType=TRANSPORTATION

    2. Amtrak->Hilton: http://hhonors1.hilton.com/en_US/hh/points/amtrak.do

    3. Starwood C&P Rewards Chart: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/account/starpoints/redeem/cash_points.html

    4. Hilton Honors C&P Rewards Chart: http://hhonors1.hilton.com/en_US/hh/rewards/freenight.do

    I’m hoping there are no extra fees to make the transfer from Starwood/Amtrak. I couldn’t find any mention of fees on the websites I looked at….

  • Anonymous

    The goal of this site is to help people amass points for free or on the cheap. This promo will make that possible for one of my readers and will give everyone else ideas on how to use SPG points (which are widely known to be among the most valuable points). A lot of companies approach me to do promos like this, but I only choose the ones that are mutually beneficial for me and my readers.

  • Anonymous

    They are correct Carl. Feel free to edit your entry. If you wanted to fly Star Alliance to Europe you could transfer to US Airways for 50,000 Starpoints per ticket.

  • MilesGirl

    Hmm…Am I supposed to specify the exact hotels I’ll stay at?

  • Anonymous

    That would be ideal

  • Scott Bernard

    Great contest! Here’s what I’d do…

    For my honeymoon next Labor Day weekend, I’m trying to maximize time away, variety of fun/memorable experiences, and overall value with the points. I’d two of the Fifth Night Free deals at Category 4 hotels, totaling 80k SPG points for 10 nights. For the remaining 20k points, I’d use it for the wedding night at the St. Regis in DC and how they throw a free upgrade my way… hard to turn bride in a pretty white dress, right? :)

    I’ve got the flights in F covered thanks to US Airways miles, but for the hotels:
    20k Points: St. Regis Washington DC (wedding night)
    40k Points for 5 nights: The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
    40k Points for 5 nights: Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort

    With a few overnight connections in First Class on Luthsansa, Thai Airways, and ANA I think this makes for an amazing two week honeymoon that I’d never be able to afford without using miles/points!

  • Lauren

    This contest idea is really good
    I’d like a vacation combining relaxation and food

    I would pick Buenos Aires to visit an old friend
    I liked doing the starwood math even if it was pretend

    I did my research using a helpful post: http://thepointsguy.com/2011/04/how-to-use-british-airways-miles-post-2-booking-a-lan-award-jfk-lim/
    I really hope TPG likes my idea the most!

    65000 BA Flight from JFK to Buenos Aires – transfer to BA Miles (total would be 80,000 BA miles with the 5K bonus)
    28,000 5 night at the Sheraton Libertador Hotel – 5th Night Free
    7,000 1 night at the Sheraton Mar del Plata Hotel
    =100,000

  • Matthew Adams

    Awesome idea. I’ve been recently thinking about this as an actual trip, so here goes:

    First step is to redeem 48,000 SPG points for LANPASS km. This yields (40,000*2*1.25)+(8,000*2)=116,000 km

    Those miles are then put to good use on a premium business ticket from WAS to LIM (100K km), with a two-night stay in LIM at the Westin, 4,000 starpoints plus $60 per night. Most common lowest available rate of $185 mean redemption value of points is a little over 3.1 cents ((185-60)/4000))

    Next leg is a bus down the Pacific coast to Paracas, with a stay at the Hotel Paracas for 5 nights as a base of operation for exploration of the islands, Nazca lines, etc. 7 nights cash & points is 4,000 per night plus $60, with a not-so-great redemption value of almost 2.4 cents ((155-60)/4000)).

    Bus back up to LIM, with a LAN economy redemption to CUZ (16K km). Grab PeruRail to Urubamba with a 6 night stay at the Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, which will be used as a base of opertations to explore the Sacred Valley. Once again, using cash & points at 4,000 points and $60 per night, for a nice redemption value of 4.4 cents ((235-60)/4000))

    Return to LIM, with return in business class to WAS.

    Total points used:

    Flights – 48,000
    Hotels – 52,000

    13 nights, $780 total spend, plus taxes and ground transfers.

  • MilesGirl

    Well, I’ve always wanted to travel to Rio and Maldives, so:

    Starwood Category 1 Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport
    Starwood Category 4 Hotel: 11 nights at Sheraton Rio Hotel & Resort
    Hilton Category 7 Hotel: Hilton Maldives

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=41900029 Josh MacDonald

    My wife travels a ton overseas for work, she will be in Thailand in November for two weeks. For 100k SPG points I would convert 70k to CO for 2:1 (insert sadface) for a one-way award ticket @32,5k miles, I’ll pay the return route. Since she works 12 hour days when she is overseas she needs to get away after a long international trip, so at the end of it we’ll take a long weekend (Friday-Monday) at The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa @10k a night. Then magically 100k points become a fantastic mini-vacation with the wife. No really original but if I had an extra 100k points it would really be nice.

  • jaba

    Here’s what I would do. I’d transfer 40000 points to LAN, who does a 1:2 points to kilometer transfer. With the 5000 bonus for every 20000 transferred, that gives you 100,000 km. I’d use 70000 km to fly roundtrip JFK to Buenos Aires. I have high-tier status with OneWorld so my chances of getting upgraded to LAN’s lovely premium business class are good. When in BA, I’d stay at the Park Tower for 12000 points a night. With a 5th night free, that’s 48000 points for 5 nights. BA has amazing food, awesome shopping, fun clubs, great bars, and beautiful neighborhoods to explore. Then, I’d use 20000 more of my LAN km to fly roundtrip to Mendoza, where I know the best wine guide ever (all the wineries know him and his clients get special private tastings and tours). In Mendoza, I’d use 7000 points a night to stay at the Sheraton Mendoza for 2 nights (14000 points total).
    Unfortunately, this is a little over at 102,000 points but hopefully it’s close enough, especially for a trip to two of the best places I’ve ever visited.

  • Tim

    If I had 100,000 Starpoints, I’d plan a vacation for my family of four (4) to New York City for (4) four days from our home in Columbus, Ohio. To do this, I would transfer 36,000 star points to LAN, and since they have a transfer ratio of 2:1, this would give me 72,000 LAN Pass km, enough for 4 tickets, since on their distance-based award chart, flights of that distance require only 18,000 km (or 9,000 star points). Then I would book us four nights at the Westin Times Square for 16,000 points a night. Total value of this trip: Approximately $3,200!

  • Beau Sorensen

    My favorite SPG hotel is the Westin Miyako in Kyoto, so I would use 40,000 of the points to spend 5 nights there with the 5th night free room redemption offer. Of course, I would have to get there first, so while I would like to splurge and transfer the miles for a business class seat, that isn’t an option. Instead, I would transfer the remaining 60,000 Starpoints into 70,000 Delta SkyMiles and fly from SLC-KIX round trip. Perhaps not the most original option out there, but for me it’s the best one! Economy Comfort + room and lounge at the Westin Miyako = 100,000 points well used.

  • Hint

    clearly you meant 4 nights as the 5th night is free ;)

  • Solo3

    Kewl promotion as well as a great learning tool for us NEWBIES. There’s no way I can compete but am jotting down new ways to stretch my points… MANY THANKS, yet again!!!!

  • Jasher

    I’d travel to Peru (Lima and Cusco)
    +70K Starpoints for “Nights & Flights” option = 50K AA miles + 5 Nights in Category 4
    +10K Starpoints = additional 10K AA miles (for total 60K AA miles)
    +20K Starpoints = 2 Nights at Category 4

    Redeem 30K miles for a one-way business class ticket on LAN to Lima. Stay 2 nights at the Westin Lima (see the city and museums). Buy a one-way promo fare on TACA ($99) to Cusco (sorry, no stopover in Lima is allowed). Stay 5 Nights at Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa in the Sacred Valley (see Machu Picchu!) Redeem 30K miles for one-way business class ticket on LAN from Cusco to U.S. Sounds good to me!

  • Chris D.

    I have many “aspirational awards” overseas, but more and more I’m seeing there’s a lot of stuff to see and do here in the U.S. that I don’t have the time for. With 100K Starpoints, I could trade 40k over for 50k airline points (DT? United? Many others!), which would get me 2 roundtrip flights from Detroit to about anywhere. Both San Francisco and New York city would be worthy places to base and fill up 5 days of sight-seeing. A “fifth-night-free” award would be 60k at many SPG hotels in either location (48-64k at category 5). Five nights wouldn’t be too much away from the kids, but more than enough for me and the wife to reconnect!

  • Klhunter84

    I would use the points to take a 5 day cross country trip from Washington DC to Vancouver, BC. I’d start out by transferring 25,000 points to Amtrak to use on 2 3-zone business class certificates that can be used for travel on Amtrak from DC to Vancouver with stopovers in Chicago and Seattle for 1 night each. Then I’d use 12,000 Starpoints for the W Chicago City Center for 1 night, and 10,000 Starpoints for either the W, Sheraton, or Westin in Seattle (whichever had availability for my dates). I’d then use cash and points for the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver at 4,000 Starpoints plus $60 per night for three nights (12,000 points and $180). Finally, I’d transfer 40,000 Starpoints to American Airlines and use those (plus the 10,000 bonus for transferring, so 50,000 AAdvantage miles total) for 2 business class tickets back to DC via DFW. Oh, and then with the 1,000 Starpoints I’d have left over I would donate those to UNICEF.

    Total points used= 99,000
    Total out-of-pocket to me = $200 ($180 for the cash and points nights and $20 to redeem the miles on American).

  • NYBanker

    Somehow I doubt using your SPG points for a stay at a Hilton will get you far in this contest.

  • Girl

    Wouldn’t it be 106,000 km? Do you get the extra 5,000 per 20,000 after or before you calculate the transfer rate?

  • http://valentijn90.waarbenjij.nu Valentijn Kuperus

    What an amazing opportunity! If I would have 100.000 Starpoints, I would use them to make a mini RTW-trip, visit my family in Canada and surprise my girlfriend who is currently studying abroad in Hong Kong!

    1) Convert 20.000 Starpoints in 25.000 Flying Blue Miles (5.000 miles bonus)

    2) Use the Flying Blue Promo Awards to make my FIRST BUSINESS CLASS FLIGHT for 25.000 Flying Blue Miles :)! AMS-CDG-YUL, so I can experience the AF A380 as well!

    3) Visit my family in Canada

    4) Convert 20.000 Starpoints in 25.000 BA Miles (5.000 miles bonus)

    5) Fly YYZ-HKG-HKT on CX, with a stopover in Hong Kong to surprise my girlfriend who is studying there the next year

    6) Spend 5 nights (5th night free!) at the Sheraton Krabi resort for 28.000 Starpoints

    7) Convert 30.000 Starpoints in 35.000 Krisflyer Miles (5.000 miles bonus)

    8) Fly HKT-SIN-AMS on SQ, maybe with a stopover in Singapore.

    9) Use the remaining 2.000 miles for a saturday night at the Le Méridien Dead Sea resort in Israel, where I happen to be next spring!

    I think the 100.000 Starpoints will have an amazing value this way!!

  • Pulley

    If I were lucky enough I would transfer the points 20,000 at a time(4x) to net 100,000 BA miles. I would then use BA miles to fly my wife J class on CX to visit her son, daughter in law & grandchild in Bangkok. The remaining 20,000 points would be used for the parents to spend 5 nights ALONE at the Royal Orchid Sheration.

  • Josh G

    Spring Break in New York…

    I would take a trip to New York City for 5 days during my spring break. I would fly through American Airlines for a total of 25k miles (20k Starpoints). I would stay at the Manhattan at Times Square Hotel while in New York (40k Starpoints). From what I understand, TPG lives in NY so I’d offer to treat him to Starbucks. I have $50 gift card to Starbucks to burn (5k Starpoints). However, before I went to Starbucks with TPG, I’d stop at the Banana Republic to buy a new tie using my $50 gift card – first impressions are everything (5k Starwood). Lastly, before I left New York, I would drop off a charity voucher to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which is headquartered in New York (30k Starpoints).

    Great trip…and I also get to meet Brian.

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    Documentation of Points

    Flight
    RDU to LGA and then LGA to RDU
    First I’d transfer 20k Starpoints to AA for 25k AA miles.
    To: March 13, 2012 – Flight 4464 (12,5k Economy MileSAAver)
    Return: March 17, 2012 – Flight 4447 (12,5k Economy MileSAAver)
    Total = 20k Starpoints

    Hotel
    The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel (Category 4 -10k Starpoints per night for 4 nights)
    Check in – 3/13/2012
    Check out – 3/17/2012
    Total = 40k Starpoints.

    Starbucks
    $50 gift card
    Total = 5k Starpoints

    Banana Rebublic
    $50 gift card
    Total = 5k Starpoints

    UNICEF Donation
    Total = 30k Starpoints

    20
    + 40
    + 5
    + 5
    + 30
    ____
    =100 K :)

  • TJ

    My wife and I couldn’t go on a true honeymoon this year as the economy/market has taken a toll on our bank accounts. We’ve always been talking about going to Whistler, British Columbia though and 100k SPG points would be the perfect way to get us there.

    First, I’d put 40k in Aeroplan to net 50k points (due to SPG adding 5k points per 20k you send to airlines). I would either book on Air Canada or Star Alliance which would cost 25k per ticket to get from our east coast, US hometown to Vancouver. Using a Star Alliance carrier might be preferable to save money on taxes/fees.

    With the remaining 60k, I’d book 6 nights at the Westin in Whistler, a category 5 hotel. From what I hear it’s a fantastic place to stay. It typically costs 12k per night, and since you get the 5th night free, 60k gets you 6 nights (first 5 nights cost only 4 nights worth, or 48k points, and adding the 6th night adds another 12k to bring the total hotel cost to 60k points).

    I tested a couple dates and the out of pocket cost for us would be $1620 for the hotel (USD incl. tax) and $850+ each for the flights. That’s getting over $3,300 out of 100,000 points.

    There you have it — a great trip we’re simply dreaming of taking for a mere 100,00 points!

  • Stranger in the Alps

    I’d donate my 100,000 points to for real? because they seem a little crabby.

  • http://qbrain.randomnonsense.com qbrain

    Transfer 80k SPG to American for 100k miles, redeem for a business award to Asia 1 (100k miles). Book DFW-(AA 763)- HNL-(JL)-NRT-(JL 777)-JFK/LGA-DFW. HNL and JFK are the international gateways, so stop overs are allowed. 20k points for 3 cites, that’s tough. HNL: Sheraton Princess 4k +$60; NRT: Sheraton Miyako Hotel 10k; JFK: Sheraton LaGuardia East $4k + $60. 2k to UNICEF

    That trip would require some money to extend the stays so it looked a little more like a vacation and less like a mileage run.

  • Jeff Tjiputra

    Since I never been to Hawaii, I would plan a trip there. I would like to visit the Westin Maui Resort and Spa (4,800 points + $90 per night) and the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas (also 4,800 points + $90 per night).

    I would first transfer 60,000 points to British Airways and with the 25% bonus, I would get 75,000 miles. This is enough for a Business Class ticket from my location (Washington, DC) to one of the island in Hawaii (either Kauai or Maui).

    I would also transfer 7,500 points to Hawaiian Airlines. This is enough for a Coach ticket between Kauai and Maui. Since this is a short flight, I don’t really need to get Business or First class ticket.

    Three nights at Westin in Maui would cost me $270 plus tax and 14,400 points. Three nights at Westin Princeville would also cost me the same. Although not the best points to cents ratio, I would at least get 4 cents per miles. Not bad. Plus, since I would be paying with my Starwood Amex, I would also get some starpoints (at least 540 points).

    So, here are the breakdown:

    60,000 to BA
    7,500 to Hawaiian Airlines
    14,400 to Westin Maui
    14,400 to Westin Princeville

    Total: 96,300 points.

    I would have 3,700 points left over. Add the 540 points that I would have received from the Cash and Points, I would have 4240 points. I plan to spend this by donating this to the Red Cross. They only allow donations in increment of 2,000, so I’d be donating 4,000 points and have 240 points left over to remind me of this trip.

    Including the 4,000 points, I would have spent all 100,000 points from this contest.

  • PJ

    Is my understanding correct? 1 AMEX MR point= 1 starwood point i just noticed : the cash and points option to pay option is welll wlll too good

    anybody got declined on applying for the SPG card now in motion here ? I have blue gold and platinum a points chaser with > ~800 credit score How is my chance to get another AMEX card ?

  • Anonymous

    1 Amex point = .33 Starwood so I don’t recommend transferring Amex MR to Starwood.

    If you have good credit, you can easily have multiple Amex cards since they offer both charge cards (Gold/Platinum) and Credit cards (Blue/ SPG).

  • Aaron

    Do a Tequila/Wine/Carnival Adventure!

    Transfer 32,500 *wood points to LAN to get 70k LAN miles (1:2 = 65k + 5k).

    Then book JFK-MEX-EZE-MEX-JFK.

    Fly to Mexico city where you book a 1 day stop over.

    Spend 4,800 (Miles + Points) to stay 1 night at the W Mexico City.

    Have dinner at the award winning Solea Restaurant and party at the Terrace doing Tequila shots.

    Fly from Mexico City to Buenos Aires.

    Spend 17,500 to recieve $250 in Avis Credit. Rent a car for 5 nights.

    Spend 9,600 (Miles + Points) to Stay 2 nights in the Park Tower Buenos Aires.

    Go to the beach, party Carnival style.

    Drive to Mendoza

    Spend 5,600 (Miles + Points) to Stay 2 nights at the Sheraton Mendoza.

    Tour some of the world famous Malbec wineries and hike the Andes.

    Drive to Iguazu National Park.

    Spend 9,600 (Miles +Points) to Stay 2 nights at the Sheraton Iguazu Resort and Spa

    Spend an additional 10,000 points for an Instant Reward at the Sheraton – including a guided tour of the rainforest.

    Drive back to Buenos Aires, fly back to Mexico City, where you book another 1 day stop over.

    Spend 4,800 (Miles + Points) to stay 1 night at the Mexico City St. Regis.

    Spend an additional 10,000 points for an Instant Reward at the St. Regis of Spa Treatment (massage, etc.)

    Relax, watch the sunset, and have a massage and spa treatment.

    Total points spend – 99,600. Donate the 400 to charity.

  • PJ

    thanks brian. I just get all my family members to apply me wife 2 daughters and one son in law .. to bad my granson just turned 2 on the July 4th …no transfers

  • Carl Jr

    Here’s my edited entry (I wasn’t sure how to edit it otherwise, so please count this as my official entry):
    ————————————-
    If I had 100,000 starpoints, I would do the following: I would use 4,800 points x 4 = 19,200 points + $90 x 4 = $360 for a 4 night stay at the Le Meridian in Paris, but really, it would be a 6 night stay since this hotel has stay over the weekend for 4 days get the 5th and 6th day free. My wife has been asking me to take her to Paris for a while now. And remember, happy wife = happy life. :)

    Now after that, I have 80,200 points. Since the redemption rate is 2:1 for United, I would use US Airways, and I would transfer 50,000 starpoints to get 60,000 US Airways miles to get a round trip ticket to Europe (noting that you get a 5000 mile bonus when you redeem 20,000 starpoints for miles at a time). That leaves me with 30,200 points.

    I would then go to the spg.com/moments site and then bid on a Britney Spears concert (hey, I’m married, I have to do these things, expecially when my wife loves Britney Spears) for 5000 starpoints when she’s in Paris. Thus, I’m now down to 25,200 points.

    Then I would redeem 3500 starpoints for a Avis Car rental $50 certificates. Bringing me down to 21,700 starpoints. This will help pay for a car in Paris.

    Then I would redeem 5000 starpoints for a iTunes gift card, so my wife can have something to listen to. We both like audiobooks, and I know she’s been interested in getting a few more. Yes, this redemption option is only 1 point per dollar, but the value of listening to the book is worth more. That brings me down to 16,700 points.

    Then I would redeem 6000 starpoints for upgrading my room to a speciality select room at the hotel. This brings me down to 10,700 points. It is Paris, after all.

    The final 10,700 points I would put up for a raffle at a charity that I support – LLI. I’ve done this before, and donated starpoints, and it has turned out well. Lots of people bid on charity events at a raffle, expecially when you mention that you can use these points for a free night at a fancy hotel downtown.

    That’s how I would redeem 100,000 points! For a 6 day stay in Paris in a swanky hotel in a sweet room, 1 completely paid for round trip ticket to and from Paris, a partial car rental, several audiobooks and tunes, a concert, and the satisfaction of contributing to a cause to help children literacy in Huaycan, Peru.

  • Cheeco

    I’m getting 104,400 SPG there – is there an additional promo or something that isn’t mentioned?

  • jcmitchell21

    Using Nights and Flights option:

    70,000 SPG for 5 nights at Category 4 and 50,000 airline miles (AA) – 5 nights at the new Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel – Opening September 16, 2011

    10,000 SPG points for 1 additional night at the above hotel.

    20,000 SPG to 25,000 AA

    75,000 AA miles for Economy Award seat to Seoul and a Business Award seat on the return.

    Cost of trip: AA booking fees
    Cost of trip if paid out-of-pocket: ~$6269/100,000 = 6.3 cents/point

  • Brianchan77

    It has always been my wish to visit Angkor Wat. I would plan the most economic way to get their with the 100k points. I would do the “Nights & Flights” deal, where you can redeem 60,000 Starpoints for 50,000 airline miles (I’ll pick BA) and five free nights at a Category 3 hotel or resort (I’ll pick Le Méridien Angkor). I transfer the other 40k Starpoints to BA as well (with 10K bonues) to give me a total of 100k BA miles. I use the BA points to book economy tickets for myself and my wife from JFK (where I live) to Phnom Penh with a stopover in HKG where we can stay with friends for a few days. However, I can book a business class ticket for myself instead and leave the wife at home but she’ll probably divorce me after my trip. Once in Phnom Penh, we will be taking a bus leaving from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap with travel time of 5-6 hours. With flights and accommodation covered, the only expense we will have is $800 in fuel charges and minimal transportation expenses. Taxis and buses are so cheap in Asia! Sounds like a great deal to me.

  • Anonymous

    My sister is getting married in September 2012 and my gift to her will be a honeymoon. I travel a lot for work so i told her i would pay for airfare and hotel. I also wanted to make sure they flew first class. With 100k SPG points i would be able to realistically buy there flights using spy points for 140k spy points (BOS – CDL 70k each). Then use SWU or CO OP miles to upgrade them to first. The 100k prize would make that a realistic option. Plan B would to use the 100k points to secure them suites for all/part of their trip. They haven’t decided on where to go yet, but the Punta Mita resort in Mexico would be out of their price range (30k/night), but with the 100k points i would be able to send them for at least a week+.

    TL/DR – For my sister’s honeymoon that i am paying for w/ SPG Points and Continental Miles

  • Kevin N

    My friend and I have for years talked about seeing the so-called New Seven Wonders of the World. As luck would have it, 100,000 SPG points would cover our accommodations as follows:

    (1) Rio (Christ the Redeemer) – Two Cash and Points nights at the Sheraton Barra Hotel & Suites for 9600 SPG points and $180.

    (2) Peru (Machu Pichu) – Two nights Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa for 20000 SPG points.

    (3) Mexico (Chichen Itza) – Two nights at the Hacienda Temozon for 24000 SPG points

    (4) Rome (Colliseum) – Three Cash and Points nights at the Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center for 8,400 SPG points and $135

    (5) Agra (Taj Mahal) – Two nights at the ITC Mughal, Agra for 14000 SPG points

    (6) Jordan (Petra) – Three Cash and Points nights at the Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel & Towers for 12000 points and $180

    (7) China (Great Wall) – Three Cash and Point Nights at the West Beijing Financial Street for 12000 SPG points and $180

    Grand Total – 100,000 SPG points

  • jeng

    I will go with my wife to israel with the following amazing redeeming options without fuel surcharges!!!
    i would use 20k to transfer for 25k flying club to get 1 way jfk-tlv straight with delta with $2.50 tax!! and another 30k to make it 35k continental points for 1 way straight with continental tlv-jfk with about $40 tax (+add 10k from my own amex points i have enough thanks to the points guy) so total will be about $100 including everything for a roundtrip for 2 which is pricing now much above $1800 each for a total of $3600

  • http://twitter.com/M4rkJ4cks0n Mark Jackson

    As someone who GOT the SPG American Express card (my very first credit card) because of your website, here would be my plan for those 100,000 points.

    As a college student approaching his Senior year, I have begun fretting the ever-elusive “job.”

    So I planned a trip. A graduation trip. Before I graduate (in January). It’s also my girlfriend’s birthday.

    I’m going to Europe, and thanks to the mileage bonuses I’ve received with my card over the past 6 months, I was able to get a roundtrip flight from LAX (with a free stopover in Chicago and London (on New Year’s Eve!) to Lisbon, and flying back from London to LAX for two.

    Now that my points are all gone now, I thought that hostels and maybe a starwood stay or two would be about it.

    That’s when this contest hit, so here is my (hopeful) itinerary:

    In Lisbon, it’s a relatively cheap city, so I would still stay in a cheap bed and breakfast there. (3 nights)

    We then move onto Granada, where there are no *wood hotels :( (2 nights)

    Next, Barcelona, with the fabulous new W Hotel. We’ll stay there for two nights (40,000 points)

    We then go to Paris, which is notoriously expensive for hotels. We’ll stay at the Westin Vendome for three nights at 60,000 points each.

    Next, we’d stay in London, which through more spending leading up to January I’d hopefully be able to book the new Aloft Hotel.

    So there you have it, a good use of 100,000 *wood points.

    Please make a loan-burdened college student very happy!

    Mark Jackson

  • PJ

    Mine is plain and simple: for 100K SGP points can get me stay 25 nights at Westin Resort and Spa in Los Cabos Mexico. The hotel costs a minimum 429 +18 % TAX and fees= 506.22 per night when East Coast is shivering in the cold winter. add on the book 5 night ( maybe 4? ) get one free promotion I can stay the whole month in Cabo San Lucas for $60 X25= 1500 plus the 100K SPG points without the 100K the snow bird would have to pay (506.22 X 30 -1500) a savng of ~ 13687 ie each point gets used at 13.7 cents.. addios talk to you from Mexico in December ~~January

    By the way how is this compared to the time share deals? no intial offer shock no annual maintenace fees etc etc

  • Victoria

    I’d use my 100k Starpoints to fund two vacations: one to Brussels, and one to Rio.

    First the transfers: I’d do a nights and flights redemption with US Airways for 60k, giving me 50,000 US Airways miles and five free nights at a Category 3 hotel. I’d transfer an additional 20k to US Airways. At the end of the transfers, I’ll have 75k in US Airways dividend miles, 5 free nights at a SPG Cat 3, and another 20k Starpoints left over.

    Trip One: 4 nights in Brussels in February, using US Airways off-peak redemption rate to get me there and back for only 35k miles. A night at Le Meridian Brussels will cost you 4,000 Starpoints + $60, and I’d plan on staying there for four nights at a total cost of 16,000 Starpoints and $240. If moules frites, chocolate, and diplomacy don’t excite you as much as they do me, alternative routings include four nights at the Aloft London Excel for some culture and curry, or four nights at Le Meridian Munich if you fancy some charming German efficiency.

    Trip Two: Six nights in Brazil, in March, again using an off-peak US Airways rate to get me to Rio and back in coach for only 35,000 miles. I’d spend the first night in Rio de Janeiro itself at the Sheraton Rio Hotel and Resort to soak up some of the city culture. From there I’d head out to the Four Points by Sheraton Macae: a Category 3 hotel where I can stay for five nights free as part of the nights and flights redemption. (It’s also the #1 hotel in Macae according to Trip Advisor.) The hotel is well positioned for hiking and ecotourism, plus the beach is a short walk away for the days when I just want to lounge around: with five nights, I’ll have plenty of time for each.

    Grand total for 100k Starpoints:

    1 roundtrip ticket from DC to Brussels, Belgium
    Four nights at Le Meridian Brussels (+$240 using cash and points)
    1 roundtrip ticket from DC to Rio de Janeiro
    One night at the Sheraton Rio Hotel and Resort (+$60 using cash and points)
    Five nights at Four Points by Sheraton Macae

    All the options are currently bookable, including the off-peak rate tickets. I’d spend exactly 100,000 Starpoints, although I would end up with an extra 5,000 US Airways miles for a rainy day. In theory I could get around that by doing two 10k transactions to eschew the SPG transfer bonus points, but somehow I feel the Points Guy would never forgive me.

  • Ndesq

    I’d go for the short-haul, long weekend splurge option: I’m an avid skier and though my partner’s not, he thoroughly enjoys the sitting-by-the-fireplace-in-the-lodge-with-a-bourbon aspect of ski trips. We live in LA. I’ve always coveted the new St. Regis Deer Valley in Utah, and Deer Valley is one of the best ski resorts, and Park City is the best ski town, in the USA.

    Because flights from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City are not terribly expensive (for Martin Luther King Day weekend in January 2012, for instance, $249 round trip) it makes little sense to transfer Starpoints to Delta miles for a 32,500 mile redemption per round-trip ticket. Instead, I’d use Starwood’s redeem for flights option, which classifies tickets based on the base price. Two round-trip tickets at $249 each would be a total of 40,000 Starpoints — a much better deal than the transfer to SkyMiles. Plus, since I’m now a Delta Gold Medallion thanks entirely to your site, my partner and I would stand a more-than-decent chance of being upgraded to domestic first — although it’s a short flight, so coach would be okay, too.

    The St. Regis Deer Valley is $1099/night for the Fri/Sat/Sun nights of MLK Weekend. Yikes! But, it’s 20,000 Starpoints a night for a free night. So, three nights at the St. Regis in Deer Valley is 60,000 Starpoints.

    And now I’ve spent 100,000 Starpoints, but we have a luxurious weekend in Deer Valley, Utah. Could I have come up with more exotic trips or more bang-for-your-buck uses for Starpoints? Maybe. But to me, spending a free bank of Starpoints is all about splurging. I’d rather have a short flight and a long weekend away with my partner at a phenomenal luxury resort in a great skiing town than fly halfway across the world in coach by myself and stay at a Category 3 hotel for a few nights, jet-lagged the entire time.

  • Scott Bernard

    I find contests like this to be MUCH more beneficial and fun than others than only request you to post ANYTHING to qualify. At least everyone is learning about SPG points and their varied utilities here… no harm in that, for real. For real.

  • Adrian

    I would use the points for a 5 year wedding anniversary trip. I would first use my British Airways bounty for 2 Business class tickets on LAN from SFO to Valdivia, Chile with a stopover in Lima. I would then do a return to SFO with a stopover in Santiago, Chile.

    Upon arrival in Lima, we would go to Paracas and I would first use use 40K points for 5 nights at the Hotel Paracas in Peru. (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/luxury/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3513&neverShowCheckAvail=yes)

    I would then fly to Valdivia and use 40K points for 5 nights at the Villarrica Park Lake hotel (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/luxury/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3614).

    When we arrive to Santiago, we will go straight to ViñA del mar and stay at the Sheraton for 2 nights (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1536&neverShowCheckAvail=yes)

    This trip will be maximize the use of points at luxurious properties over 12 nights!

  • James M

    Great idea! My main objective was to put together an actual itinerary, i.e. something that could be booked with real dates in mind right now (well, at the time of this post anyway). For me, it’s one thing to say “I could use X miles to fly round-trip to Y”, but given all the restrictions on using points and miles, I think there is an art form in redeeming awards for exciting itineraries within that whole world of blackout dates and limited availability.

    August seems like a perfect time to start planning a SKI vacation! I am starting from NYC and want to bring my girlfriend with me on the trip. Here goes:

    Transfer 40,000 SPG points to AA for 50,000 total AA miles (including bonus).

    Redeem 50,000 AA miles for 2 round-trip tickets in coach from JFK to EGE, departing on flight 2397 on 2/10/12 and returning on flight 2396 on 2/16/12.

    Drive to the St. Regis Aspen Resort and check in for 6 nights. The first 5 nights using cash & points (category 6: 8000 points + $150 per night) and the last night using a free night (20,000).

    Ski Aspen’s champagne powder by day and party like a rock star by night.

    Return flight back to NYC on 2/16/12.

    The CHEAPEST room at the St. Regis for these 6 nights is currently $979 +tax per night!!! Total cost for this trip, however, is only 100,000 SPG points, $750 cash, taxes, lift tickets and some serious hangovers.

  • Katie

    Brian – clarification on rules…can I use points I already have in addition to the 100K points?

  • Charlotte

    Oh and I have been wanting to do some train travel in the old style. So, I would take 20K and converted them to 25K of American Airline points which will get me a one way ticket from Seattle to IAH Houston and a one way ticket from IAH to Chicago, economy (it’s a short flight and I’ll want to save miles to use elsewhere). Then, transfer 30K to Amtrak and take the Empire Builder train ride from Chicago to Seattle. Before the train ride, I’ll use 40K of Starwood points for 5 nights at the Sheraton Chicago (fifth night free promo). Then I’ll have a good day of shopping in Seattle and go to Pikes Place Market and stay at the W in Seattle (10K). Then back to Texas after seeing a great deal of the USA that I have not seen. Fun, Fun.

  • Anonymous

    For the sake of this contest I want to see what each person would do with just 100,000 Starpoints. You don’t have to use the Starwood points for airfare (you can just say you will get airfare buying a ticket or using airline miles), but for your example, your total trip should equal 100,000 Starpoints- that way its easy for me to compare for each person (and it doesn’t put anyone at a disadvantage who doesn’t currently have any Starpoints). Make sense?

  • Bluto

    I would use the 100k Starpoints to start a travel blog and my opening contest would be a giveaway of 90k Starpoints where my readers give their best suggestion on how they’d use 90k Starpoints. One of those readers will probably realize that the best way to generate more great ideas for Starpoint redemptions is to run a similar contest with 80k points. I’d pick that person to win. The daisy chain of contests would likely continue in this fashion, creating 9 additional fun-filled contests spawning Starpoints redemption genius.

  • PJ

    2 nights at Park Hyatt Paris is free if you get the Hyatt card now I just did it, Chase was on the SLOW ( pending in progress) mode when I called in to speed up the approval. Same phone call i got Hyatt and Southwest after the very friendly credit guy allocated 5K and another 5 K out of my Freedom card and BA ( all with Credit line 20K) another success on ” good things in life at small price”

  • Katie

    Yes, perfect sense. I can still do my same trip, just clarify things differently on when I would use the 100K points.

  • Aaron

    Good catch – you are right, I meant to say 1 night at the Sheraton Iguazu not 2, which would bring the points down 4,800 to 99,600. I wrote in the wrong number based off my first calculation – it should be obvious since the car rental (5 nights) would not match up with the total length of stay (6 nights). Thanks!

    Here is the correct itinerary:

    Transfer 32,500 *wood points to LAN to get 70k LAN miles (1:2 = 65k + 5k).

    Then book JFK-MEX-EZE-MEX-JFK.

    Fly to Mexico city where you book a 1 day stop over.

    Spend 4,800 (Miles + Points) to stay 1 night at the W Mexico City.

    Have dinner at the award winning Solea Restaurant and party at the Terrace doing Tequila shots.

    Fly from Mexico City to Buenos Aires.

    Spend 17,500 to recieve $250 in Avis Credit. Rent a car for 5 nights.

    Spend 9,600 (Miles + Points) to Stay 2 nights in the Park Tower Buenos Aires.

    Go to the beach, party Carnival style.

    Drive to Mendoza

    Spend 5,600 (Miles + Points) to Stay 2 nights at the Sheraton Mendoza.

    Tour some of the world famous Malbec wineries and hike the Andes.

    Drive to Iguazu National Park.

    Spend 4,800 (Miles +Points) to Stay 1 night at the Sheraton Iguazu Resort and Spa

    Spend an additional 10,000 points for an Instant Reward at the Sheraton – including a guided tour of the rainforest.

    Drive back to Buenos Aires, fly back to Mexico City, where you book another 1 day stop over.

    Spend 4,800 (Miles + Points) to stay 1 night at the Mexico City St. Regis.

    Spend an additional 10,000 points for an Instant Reward at the St. Regis of Spa Treatment (massage, etc.)

    Relax, watch the sunset, and have a massage and spa treatment.

    Total points spend – 99,600. Donate the 400 to charity.

  • Matthew Adams

    From SPG website: “Plus, for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints!”

    So by transferring 48,000 Starpoints, it will actually be like transferring 58,000, which puts you at 116,000 km after the 2:1 transfer.

    I think I’m reading that right, at any rate.

  • PJ

    anybody can show me how to get down to Iguassa Falls and RIO using points most economically? I have MR Sapphire CO BA points and ideally I cud possibly combine the visits to BUE argentina and /or SCL /Chile and/or LMA ( Peru)

  • AD

    Is this what your site is about now? Sweepstakes and contests? Your site used to be awesome. Brian, I don’t even know who you are anymore. I think that your desire for social media exposure has trumped your ambitious creativity in benefiting your readers. One person stands to benefit from this offer. One! Yet it monopolizes your entire home page. You know how I would use those points: I would think outside the box. Rather than looking for transfer rates, I would put them up on Ebay/Craigslist under an anonymous name and sell them for cash to the highest bidder. I would then use the cash to start a travel blog and develop contacts with the hotels and airlines so that I could stay for free like you, Mr. Kelly. If I win, then you can witness the case study.

  • Anonymous

    This is a great way to get TPG readers to try and develop some great uses of points and miles on their own. It actually makes Brian’s site all the more beneficial since now people will have a better sense of what the different point opportunities can yield. It also helps all of us find new ways to use points we may have around – I have picked up a few tips from the comments on this post already.
    Thanks, TPG! This is a great contest and those of us who appreciate far outweigh those who have nothing better to do than complain about you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/corymilan Cory Milan

    Being a family guy I have to make the wife and kids happy… So If I had 100,000 SPG points…. Four days at the beach and two days in the snow!!!
    - Transfer 60,000 points to LAN = 150,000 LANPASS km’s
    -Redeem 96,000 LANPASS km’s for 4 round trip economy tickets from LAX to SJD on Alaska Airlines or American Airlines!
    -Stay four nights at The Cat. 4 Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos using cash + points = 16,000 points + $240
    -Redeem 48,000 LANPASS km’s on AS/QX again to fly 4 in economy from LAX to MMH (Mammoth Mountain)!
    -Stay 2 nights at the Cat. 5 Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth = 24,000 points

    Why is this an excellent redemption?
    1) Utilizes the distance based mileage chart LAN uses which is outstanding for short-hop flights and cross boarder flights that normally cost lots of $ or miles. Using AS miles alone this flight redemption would have cost 200,000 miles! If I would have transferred SPG to AS it would have been 160,000 points vs the 60,000 I used!
    2) Uses SPG’s Cash + points option which gives additional options for bringing down the price on expensive hotels or when you want to stay additional nights when you are short on points.
    3) Everyone on the Horizon flight to MMH gets free beer!

  • PJ

    SOS

    Is the link for the 30K starpoints still good?

  • Anonymous

    Yes- y0u just need to sign out of your Amex account before clicking it

  • Brian Reagan

    Great idea for promotion! My family’s been dying to see the grand canyon, so I’d book a short trip west before school starts.

    Step 1 — 3 nights at Westin Kierland resort (2 rooms, one for kids, one for parents)…10K points per room per night, or total 60K points

    Step 2 — redeem points for $50 towards Avis rental, to make the drive north to canyon…3.5K points

    Step 3 — all that travel means loading up iPads with movies for kids…$50 itunes credit = 5K points

    Step 4 — travel also means caffeine for mom and dad…$50 starbucks credit = 5K points

    Step 5 — reserve 500 points for an instant reward at the resort — perhaps towards a spa treatment or room service

    Step 5 — transfer remaining points to American for one free round trip (will pay rest out of existing AA points)…26K points

    Total spend: 100K points.

    As an added bonus, SPG is running a promotion to add 5K more points with the transfer, so that will also count towards rest of family’s flights!

    Can’t wait to read the rest of the creative ideas

  • Margie Dodd

    wow, this is a lot of reading for you to sift through Brian! I’d use the points for Starwood hotels only..visiting and my son who is just off THIS SATURDAY to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn of all places. I know I won’t win but just wanted to succinctly join the conversation here!

  • RKS

    Road trip in the States with wife and dog.
    Leave DC to Virginia Beach Sheraton – Zero pet charges and 7K points

    Visit friends in Four Points Sheraton Asheville – Zero pet charges and 7K points

    Friends in Sheraton Augusta – Zero pet charges and 14K points (2 nights)

    Friends in W Atlanta Midtown Atlanta – $150 2 day charge (boooo) and 20K points (2 nights)

    Friends in Westin Memphis Beale Street – Zero pet charges and 10K points

    Friends in Dallas at the Joule – Zero pet charges and 10K points (preupgrade using 2K points)

    Family in Austin – FREE

    Friends in Westin Phoenix Downtown – Zero pet charges and 10K points

    Las Vegas – fill any hotel name here

    San Diego – Family/friends at the US Grant – $150 pet charge per stay – and 20K points

    Would take a different path home and pay cash to make sure I get my platinum status!

    Not the most exciting, but visiting friends and family while hanging out with my wife and dog are great times!
    Saying bye to friends as they curse you for staying up late and drinking downtown like we were in our 20s! Friends, family, dogs, food, great hotels and drinks!

  • Mark

    I would take a 10 day (9 night) vacation to Israel. Total cost Air and hotel= $633 to Flying Blue + 100,000 Starpoints
    First trade in 40,000 starpoints for 50,000 FlyingBlue miles that would get me from JFK-TLV and back.
    Then, I would stay at the Le Meridien Dead Sea for a relaxing 4 nights (12,000 starpoints) and days full of massages!
    Then off to Tel Aviv to stay at the luxurious Tel Aviv Sheraton for 5 nights (48,000 starpoints AND fifth night free!)
    I would then check out (late, of course as I am a Starwood Gold from my Amex Platinum card), and after spending a nice evening in Tel Aviv, off to the Airport to await my 12:05am flight back to JFK (in the Priority Pass lounge also from my Amex Platinum)
    Thanks!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LCJGK63M2BLQWJJ75LS6LI6KA JonB

    I would transfer 60,000 SPG points to AA for 75,000 total AA miles (including the bonus) and use Miami as my “gateway city” to allow the ability to build in much needed free trips. I would use the remaining 40,000 towards various hotels as detailed below. The estimated hotel cost would be $4,132, however, I would be required to pay only $690 by using cash + points. In addition, I would likely save several thousand dollars on airfare.

    Peru
    My first trip would be a one-way award to Lima, Peru in early November, which would be used as a starting point to visit either Machu Picchu in Cuzco or the Amazon river in Iquitos. By leaving in November, I could take advantage of the off-peak dates price of 15,000 miles. I would also use 4,800 SPG points (1,600 + $30 night) towards 3 nights at the Sheraton Lima Hotel ($172/night).

    Denver
    Next, I would book a one way award from Lima to Denver (for my long awaited ski-trip) with Miami as my gateway city/stopover until February. Again, by leaving in early November I would take advantage of the off-peak dates price of 15,000 miles and by using Miami as my stopover, I have the ability to essentially build in a free trip to Denver for my ski-trip. I would also use 19,200 SPG points (4,800 + $90 night) towards 4 nights at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain ($435/night).

    Scotland
    I would book a one way award from Denver to Edinburgh, Scotland for the annual golf trip with Miami as my gateway city/stopover until May. By leaving in early May I would take advantage of the off-peak dates price of 20,000 miles to Europe and by using Miami as my stopover, I have given myself the ability to get home to Miami after the ski-trip and a ticket to meet the boys in Scotland all for 20,000 miles. I would also use 8,000 SPG points (4,000 + $60/night) towards 2 nights at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh ($478/night with current exchange rates).

    San Diego
    For my last redemption I would book a one way award from Edinburgh to San Diego for a good friend’s wedding with Miami as my gateway city/stopover until the wedding date. Again by leaving in the off-peak dates the cost would be 20,000 miles, giving me a ticket home to Miami as well as a one-way ticket to San Diego for my buddy’s wedding. I would use my last 8,000 SPG points (4,000 + $60/night) towards 2 nights at the Westin San Diego ($460/night). I would use my last 5,000 AAdvantage miles (if my math is correct) towards my ticket back to Miami.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Torsten-Jacobi/536346041 Torsten Jacobi

    New Years Eve in the tropical paradise of Fiji!

    Convert 60k SPG points into 75k AAdvantage Miles.

    Call AA and book these flights (they are currently available):

    Air Pacific 12/27 LAX-NAN
    Air Pacific 01/08 NAN-LAX

    75000 miles + taxes $83

    Then check into The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji. It has wonderful lush tropical gardens and rooms.

    http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=202

    35000 Starpoints
    Total for 6 night(s)
    Every 5th night is free!

    Use 5k points for a spectacular breakfast in the Westin.

    Then make a 2 night trip out to the Yasawa islands.

    http://www.ssc.com.fj/fiji_island_yasawas.aspx
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasawa_Islands

    Even as a jaded tropics traveler (like me) you will be stunned by the unspoiled beauty of the Yasawa islands. They filmed the movie Cast Away (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cast_Away) and it really looks just like that.

    We did this trip in April thanks to many accumulated Starwood points.

  • Ben Groner

    I would transfer 60K starpoints to 75K US Airways miles. Use 65K (5K discount for US Airways card holders) to book a Envoy Class ticket from EWR to HNL via PHX. If Possible I would try to convince the US Airways agent to allow me to fly Continental BF direct from EWR to HNL and still get the 5k discount. (Continental charges 80K for BF to Hawaii – that’s a savings of 15k!) I would use the additional 10K for a round trip from HNL to LIH on Hawaiian – a partner of US Airways. I would stay one night in the Royal Hawaiian using Cash and Points (8,000 points + $150) And 4 nights at the magnificent St. Regis Princeville using Cash and Points (32,000 + $600).

    Total: 100,000 Starpoints + $750 = not a bad deal for a first class trip to Hawaii + 5 Star hotel accommodation.

  • Khang

    I’m a huge figure skating fan. I’ve been following figure skating since the Tonya-Nancy era. Every year, I look at the Grand Prix schedule and only dream one day to get to see it in person from the beginning to end. The 2011-2012 season is on its way.

    The first Grand Prix event, Skate America, will take place in Ontario, CA from Oct 21-23
    1 night – 3000 SPG points at the Sheraton Ontario.
    1 night – 1600 + 30 at the Sheraton Ontario.
    The next GP event, Skate Canada, will be in Mississauga, Ontario from Oct 28-30
    2 nights – 6000 SPG points at the Four Points by Sheraton Mississauga.
    The next GP event, Cup of China, will be in Shanghai, China, from Nov 4-6
    2 nights – 20000 SPG points at the Le Royal Méridien Shanghai.
    The next GP event, NHK Trophy, will be in Sapporo, Japan, from Nov 11-13
    2 nights – 5600 SPG points + $90 at the Sheraton Sapporo Hotel.
    The next GP event, Trophée Eric Bompard, will be in Paris, France, from Nov 18-20
    2 nights – 16000 SPG points + $300 at the Westin Paris – Vendôme
    Will stay 3 extra nights in Paris for a total of 5 nights – 40000 + $750.
    The final GP event, Rostelecom Cup – Cup of Russia, will be in Moscow, Russia, from Nov 25-27
    2 nights – 9600 + $180 at the Sheraton Palace Hotel, Moscow
    Will stay 1 extra night in Moscow for a total of 3 nights – 14400 SPG + $270.

    After 6 events, the top 6 men, ladies, pairs, and ice dance teams will be invited to compete at the Grand Prix Final in Quebec City, Canada from Dec 8-11.
    3 nights – 8400 SPG + $135 at the Four Points by Sheraton Lévis Convention Centre.

    Transfer the final 1000 SPG points to AA.

    Total: 3000 + 1600 + 6000 + 20000 + 5600 + 40000 + 14400 + 8400 + 1000 = 100000 SPG points
    Cash: $1275.

    This is a trip of a lifetime for any figure skating fan. I think I will be the first figure skating groupie. :)

  • Dan

    Brian,

    This contest reminds me of something similar I did for a six-week SE Asia trip I did with my wife last year. I had a decent stash of SPG points, and I knew that SPG points go far in Asia. My wife and I were talking about various places to go, and I decided that if we could get our rooms on cash and points, we’d go. We did deviate from SPG properties at a couple of stops, and we did pay cash at two SPG properties along the way. In the spirit of your contest, I submit the following:

    Purchase/redeem other points to fly from DC-BKK.
    5 nights at the Plaza Athenee BKK (Cat 3, 2800 pts+$45/night)
    Fly Air Asia non-stop BKK-Chiang Rai
    5 nights at the Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort (now Cat 2, 2800 pts+$35/night)
    Private transportation Chiang Rai-Chiang Mai
    5 nights at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai (Cat 2)
    Fly Chiang Mai-Phuket, ground transportation to Khao Lak
    5 nights at the Le Meridien Khao Lak (Cat 3)
    Ground transportation Khao Lak – Krabi
    5 nights at the Sheraton Krabi (Cat 3)
    Fly Air Asia from Krabi or Phuket to KUL
    5 nights at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur (Cat 2)
    Fly Air Asia from KUL-DPS
    3 nights at the W Resort in Seminyak (Cat 6, 8000 pts+$150/night. Would rather stay in Seminyak than Nusa Dua)
    Fly local airline DPS-Lombok
    2 nights at the Sheraton Sengiggi Beach (Cat 1, 3000 points at weekday rate)
    2 nights at the Sheraton Sengiggi Beach (Cat 1, 2000 points at weekend rate)
    Return DPS-DC

    Totals – 100,000 points, $1650++ cash, 37 nights

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SZIMEUFYVJGNWA5GIEEMIWJFHI none

    Ernest Hemingway was a great adventure traveler. 90 years ago he traveled to places most people never would have the opportunity to go. Today through miles and points we can travel to places most people never have the opportunity to go. I would use my 100,000 SPG points to trace the life of Hemingway and cover all hotel and airfare with the SPG points. Starting in Oak Park, Ill to Venice, It to Paris, Fr to Madrid, Sp to Key West, Fl to Ketchum, Id and back to Chicago.

    Step one convert 55,000 SPG points into 65,000 AA miles and convert 9,000 SPG points into 9,000 BA miles. This will leave 36,000 points for hotel rooms.
    The trip will begin in Oak Park, Illinois the birth place of Ernest, followed by a night at Category 4 The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago for 4,000 points plus $60 cash and points.
    The next morning use 20,000 AA miles from the conversion to fly non-peak ORD-EWR, JFK-MXP. Followed by a quick train from MXP to Venice, Italy.
    Category 5 Spend one night at the Westin Europa & Regina, Venice for 4,800 points plus $90
    Fly on BA Venice-Heathrow-Paris using miles and dollars option selecting 4500 BA miles and $150.92.
    Category 5 Spend two nights in Paris at Le Meridien Etoile using 4,800 points per night plus $90 per night cash and points for a total of 9600 points
    Fly on BA Paris-London-Madrid using miles and dollar option 4500 BA miles and $171.71.
    Category 5 Spend two nights in Madrid at the Westin Palace, Madrid using 4,800 points plus $90 per night Cash and points for a total of 9,600 points
    Fly on AA nonstop Madrid to Miami using 20,000 AA miles off peak from the conversion. Then rental car from Miami for the 3 hour drive down highway 1 to Key West, Fl.
    Category 4 Spend one night in Key West at the Sheraton Suites Key West for 4,000 points and $60 using cash and points.
    Then Drive back to Miami and Fly Miami-Dallas-Salt Lake City using 12,500 AA miles.
    Category 2 Spend the night in SLC at the Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel for 4,000 points, points only.
    The next morning drive from SLC to Ketchum Id to spend the final day at Hemingway’s final resting place. Then continue driving to Boise.
    Fly Boise-LAX-ORD using 12,500 AA miles to complete the Trip.
    Summary
    55,000 points to 65,000 AA miles (use 20k +20k + 12.5k = 12.5k)
    9,000 points to BA Miles (use 4.5k +4.5k)
    4,000 points Category 2 stay (SLC) 1 night total
    8,000 points Category 4 Cash and Points (Chicago, Key West) 2 nights total
    24,000 points Category 5 Cash and Points (Venice, Paris, Madrid) 5 nights total
    Total trip 100,000 SPG points.
    Each day will require a toast to EH. By the way if any of you have not read Hemingway since High School I would recommend giving him another try. I appreciate the books much more now that I have traveled.

  • Chris

    Ernest Hemingway was a great adventure traveler. 90 years ago he traveled to places most people never would have the opportunity to go. Today through miles and points we can travel to places most people never have the opportunity to go. I would use my 100,000 SPG points to trace the life of Hemingway and cover all hotel and airfare with the SPG points. Starting in Oak Park, Ill to Venice, It to Paris, Fr to Madrid, Sp to Key West, Fl to Ketchum, Id and back to Chicago.

    Step one convert 55,000 SPG points into 65,000 AA miles and convert 9,000 SPG points into 9,000 BA miles. This will leave 36,000 points for hotel rooms.
    The trip will begin in Oak Park, Illinois the birth place of Ernest, followed by a night at Category 4 The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago for 4,000 points plus $60 cash and points.
    The next morning use 20,000 AA miles from the conversion to fly non-peak ORD-EWR, JFK-MXP. Followed by a quick train from MXP to Venice, Italy.
    Category 5 Spend one night at the Westin Europa & Regina, Venice for 4,800 points plus $90
    Fly on BA Venice-Heathrow-Paris using miles and dollars option selecting 4500 BA miles and $150.92.
    Category 5 Spend two nights in Paris at Le Meridien Etoile using 4,800 points per night plus $90 per night cash and points for a total of 9600 points
    Fly on BA Paris-London-Madrid using miles and dollar option 4500 BA miles and $171.71.
    Category 5 Spend two nights in Madrid at the Westin Palace, Madrid using 4,800 points plus $90 per night Cash and points for a total of 9,600 points
    Fly on AA nonstop Madrid to Miami using 20,000 AA miles off peak from the conversion. Then rental car from Miami for the 3 hour drive down highway 1 to Key West, Fl.
    Category 4 Spend one night in Key West at the Sheraton Suites Key West for 4,000 points and $60 using cash and points.
    Then Drive back to Miami and Fly Miami-Dallas-Salt Lake City using 12,500 AA miles.
    Category 2 Spend the night in SLC at the Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel for 4,000 points, points only.
    The next morning drive from SLC to Ketchum Id to spend the final day at Hemingway’s final resting place. Then continue driving to Boise.
    Fly Boise-LAX-ORD using 12,500 AA miles to complete the Trip.
    Summary
    55,000 points to 65,000 AA miles (use 20k +20k + 12.5k = 12.5k)
    9,000 points to BA Miles (use 4.5k +4.5k)
    4,000 points Category 2 stay (SLC) 1 night total
    8,000 points Category 4 Cash and Points (Chicago, Key West) 2 nights total
    24,000 points Category 5 Cash and Points (Venice, Paris, Madrid) 5 nights total
    Total trip 100,000 SPG points.
    Each day will require a toast to EH. By the way if any of you have not read Hemingway since High School I would recommend giving him another try. I appreciate the books much more now that I have traveled.

  • Lana

    I would use these 100,000 points to take my husband of 5 years back to his homeland. He hasnt been home in Isreael since he was 7 years old. He has been wanting to go back since we first met back in 1999. Unfortunately, we havent been able to do so with ticket prices and expensive hotel rates. However, we have been using out SPG Amex card for every purchase we have done for the last 5 years. We also recently both signed up for the Amex Gold Card and each received 50,000 bonus points. We were able to scrap up together 230,000 miles between membership reward points and SPG points. We have already transferred SPG points into our Delta account. It was a great deal. We transferred 100,000 spg points and received 25,000 free points. (LOVE LOVE LOVE SPG transfer benefits) In short, we some how scrapped up just enough for 2 Buisness Class tickets to Tel Aviv. Now, we have been scratching our heads on how we can afford to stay at the Sheraton Tel Aviv and Towers and 12K points a night or at an average of $350. We currently have 11 nights/12 days in israel.
    This 100,000 point giveaway will be a g-d send to us. It would be just enough for our once in a lifetime dream trip.

    This is how we can use the 100,000 points.
    Sheraton Tel Aviv and Tower is 12,000 points a night. we would like to stay there for a total of 6 nights. We would purchase 5 nights and receive 1 night free. 6 nights would total = 60,000 points.
    That would leave us with 40,000 points.

    We always wanted to do a trip to the Dead Sea and Red Sea. Driving from Tel Aviv to Eilat in the south, we would stop at the dead sea for a day of Floating in the most unique place on earth. Then, we would head south for 5 nights in the Le Meridian Eilat. It is 10,000 points a night. We would get 4 nights at 40,000 points and the 5th night free!

    After everything, we would get 11 nights total in the beautiful country of Israel that we havent had a chance yet to visit. A place that my husband has been dreaming about since he was 7 years old. This would save us an average of $350. for 11 nights, that would equal to a small fortune for us of about $3850.

    keeping fingers crossed! This would be a dream come true for my husband :)

  • Sara

    My mother works really hard as a teacher ( and we all know how much they get paid!!) I would love to take my her away on a trip without her having to worry about spending a penny!! She deserves a break! :)

    Here’s what I got planned if I win:

    70,000 = Night And Flight deal (5 nights in Category 4 hotel with 50,000 Airline miles )

    -taking the 50,000 Airline miles and booking 2 tickets from DTW-YYC (taxes around $120)

    5 NIGHTS in Calgary staying at the WESTIN CALGARY with day trips to Banff and Lake Louise (She’s always wanted to go! )

    17,500 Starwood points redeemed for 5 $50 Gift certificates for Avis (3500 points each )
    -covers our $245.00 full size car rental – (Starwood Preferred Amex covers insurance for those of you who’ve got it! )

    11,000 Starwood points transferred to my SkyMiles account and redeemed through Delta.com marketplace for a $100 Amex gift card ( to cover $100 from taxes from the airline tickets)

    1,500 remaining as a start to saving for my next trip!

    Total Cost= 15 minutes researching on starwoodhotels.com + 5 minutes posting on Thepointsguy.com
    Another estimated 20 minutes actually booking hotel/car/flight and ordering gift card (iF I win )
    98,500 Starwood points + $20 = A PRICELESS TRIP WITH AWESOME MEMORIES MADE!!

  • Chananya

    I would use a kind of Mr. Pickle idea. I just recently started my journey to get to be a lifetime gold with AA. So I recently did the 3 applications for the Citi’s AA cards, thanks to your advise, got approved for all of them, that would give me at least 232,000 AA miles. adding the new SPG card for 30,000 plus 100,000 I hope I’ll earn, plus the bonus of 25% would give me very near to 500,000 AA miles. And when half is done, I think I will have an easy way going forward.
    All the above I’ve learned from your posts that you all posted this week, 1. Citi cards. 2. SPG card. 3. current bonus. look what people benefit following The Points Guy.
    After meeting a Million miles and getting status, I’ll book them for my wife and myself on ELAL (bookable thru AA) for the next couple of years for the Jewish holidays, 90,000 each ticket. So i’ll be able to fly for free, fir at least the next 5 years. Thanks TPG

    BTW, I think this contest should be called “TPG/SPG”.

  • Fun Game

    This is a really fun contest. Here is what I would do:

    -Transfer 12,500 SPG points into Flying Blue Points (I know, bad form not to get extra 5K on transfer)
    -Using Nights and Flights, transfer 60,000 points into 50,000 British Airways points and 5 nights at Cat 3 hotel
    -Transfer an extra 5K into British Airways
    -Use 22,400 SPG points at various hotels

    Total usage: 99,900 SPG points

    The 12,500 flying blue points would get me a one-way economy ticket from IAD-TLV (through CDG on the A380!!). Flights are available the end of August so I hope you decide soon!!! Total taxes on this one way trip would be $337.00 (CPM: $0.15 based on last search via kayak)

    Stay 3 nights at Le Meridien Dead Sea for total of 6000 SPG points. Hotel retails for $480/night at end of August so CPM is $0.24

    Using British Airways miles, book a one way ticket on Royal Jordanian through Amman (stop) to Bankgok – total cost – 30,000 BA points and $170

    Stay 3 nights at Le Meridien Amman using cash and points (8,400 points and $135)

    Once in Bangkok, spend 2 nights at Le Meridien Chaing Rai (6,000 SPG points) and one night at Le Meridien Chiang Mai (2,000 SPG poings) for a total of 8,000 SPG points

    Fly Air Asia (I’m out of pocket $50) to Phuket and use the 5 free nights from Nights and Flights Transfer at Le Meridien Khao Lok

    Return to JFK through HKG on Cathay Pacific using 25,000 british airways miles and $218 in taxes

    Total miles used: 99.9K
    Total cash spend: $910

  • Katie

    Okay, here is my official entry. :)

    I would plan a castle and beer themed vacation next May for our 4th anniversary.

    We would use our own miles to get to Europe and fly into London.

    In London, we would take a train to Edinburgh, then rent a car and head to the Turnberry Resort. It is a category 5 hotel in which we would stay 5 nights for 64,000 points (5th night is free). We would use our rental car to explore the areas castles and the countryside. We would then go back to London the same method in which we arrived to the glorious Turnberry.

    I would have transferred 20,000 points to BA miles to have enough miles for two, one-way flights from London to Munich.

    In Munich, we will rent a car and head to the Arabella Sheraton Alpenhotel. It has a point and cash rate of 2800 points and $45/night. We would again stay for the 4 plus 1 deal and our total points would be 11,200 for the 5 nights.

    So, the point total so far is 64,00+20,000+11,200=95,200. I would use 3500 points to get a $50 gc to sixt to offset a bit of our rental car expense. The remaining 1300 points I would then to donate to charity as I couldn’t really find anything else to use them on and the fact I was given 100,000 points to begin with it just seems fair.

  • Nachshon Block

    I would use the 100K starpoints for an exciting long weekend in Belgium at the end of October. Let me explain:
    Step 1) I would use 5K starpoints to purchase (via spgmoments) two premium seats to the Lenny Kravitz concert on Sunday, October 30, 2011 at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp.
    Step 2) I would use 28K starpoints for hotels in Antwerp from Oct 28 – checking out Nov 1. I would use cash and points for two nights in the Le Meridien Brussels (4K points and $60 USD per night which converts to 3.7 cents per point (144 current SPG rate x 1.44 current Euro/USD rate – 60 cash outlay = 147.36 divided by 4K points = 3.7 cents per point) for and then book 2 nights at the Aloft Brussels Schuman for 10K points each night (value of 2.58 cents per point 179 current SPG rate x 1.44 current Euro/USD rate = 257.76 divided by 10K = 2.58).
    Step 3) I would convert 67K starpoints into 80,400 AA points and use those to purchase two roundtrip tickets from New York to Belgium using the milesaver off peak rate of 40K points per ticket (the milesaver off peak rate is Oct 15 through May 15)
    Step 4) Finally, I would purchase a subscription to Los Angeles Magazine with my remaining 400 AA miles which will provide me with ideas to already start planning my next vacation of 100,000 starpoints.

    In Summary: Exciting weekend in Belgium using 100,000 starpoints and $120 with a free subscription to Los Angeles Magazine to provide ideas for my next long weekend away.

    Good luck all.

  • Rajnish

    We are a family of five and would like to go to Brazilia/Rio de Janiro for vacation. Transferring 100,000 points to LAN(1:2) can get us 5 flights in economy. I think this is the best deal that you can get for a whole family.

  • Gergely Timar

    My parents will both be 60 years old this year and I would surprise them with a “second honeymoon” in the Seychelles. They live in Budapest, Hungary and could never afford something like this. So here is my plan (for this November):

    1. Transfer 2 x 20000 SPG points to the Delta accounts of myself and my wife. Result: 25K+25K Delta miles
    2. Use the current 100% Delta mile transfer bonus to first move 25K from my account to hers. Result: 75k+0 miles, cost: 280$
    3. Repeat above step with 75k. Result: 0+150k, cost: 840$
    4. Repeat above step with 50k. Result: 100k+100k, cost: 560$
    5. Book 2 business class tickets from Budapest to the Mahe Island with a 1 night stopover in Paris. Since the flight arrives in the morning and leaves in the evening, it’s effectively 2 full days in Paris. Cost: 100k miles/ticket (would cost ~ 4000$ for November).
    6. Book 1 night at the Westin Paris Vendome for 20k SPG points. Cash price: 555 EUR
    7. Book 5 nights at the Le Meridien Barbarons in the Seychelles for 40k SPG points. Cash price: 950EUR

    Summary: 1 week of vacation, 2 days in Paris, 5 nights in the Seychelles, flying business class each way. Out of pocket cost: 1680$+taxes, hotel+flight value: 1500EUR+8000$ ~ 10000$, 8.3c/SPG point.

    Greg

  • Josh_brooks

    1.) Use 12,500SPG/ for flying blue points to bring my friend back from Iraq in style (Kuwait City-NYC)
    2.) 20,000 SPG/for Delta points to arrange for my cousin to get his Kidney Transplant in Iowa (ATL-Des moines)
    3.) Use 40,000 SPG / Delta points to bring my two parents home for Xmas to see their grandson for the first time in 9 years.
    4.) Use 18,000 SPG points at the Charlotte, NC Cat 4 hotel so my family and I could build a home for charity. (Habitat for Humanity)
    5.) 9,500 SPG (convert to Delta for gift cards). Use the $95.00 buy 15 basketballs for the local YMCA.
    :P

  • Josh_brooks

    J/K of course. Great ideas people. Loving this thread.

  • Michael

    I have an Uncle Harry who is 70 years old and never left the U.S.

    45 years ago he met his true love when she was an exchange student from Germany. But instead of asking her to marry him – he felt he was “too young.” He told me: “It was the height of the 60’s and why tie yourself down then? I knew I would meet someone better.“

    Of course he never did.

    He is single and has always mourned not spending his life with Britta. Last year, through Facebook, they reconnected. She lives in Munich and is a widow. He just spoke to her on the phone for the first time the other day and could not broach the subject of reuniting. Nerves got the best of him. Well, 100,000 Starpoints would be his antidote. I’d transfer 84000 Starpoints to US AIRWAYS, yielding 100,000 miles on Lufthansa, where he would make his maiden flight outside the United States in business class towards Munich. I’d book him at the Le Meridien Munich for four nights during Oktoberfest at 4000 points a night plus $60 (according to their website), as my Uncle loves a good brew.

    And when he could muster the courage, he would call Britta and ask her to dinner.

    When she asked where he was, he could simply reply, “In town. To see you.”

  • Jeff Rose

    BIG Thumbs up on Hotel Paracas, by the way (just stayed there), but you’re a brave man taking the bus if you haven’t done this before. You might want to brush up on your spanish and get a good map and directions (trust me on this). The Westin in Lima is beautiful but I personally think the big two hotels in Miraflores (Marriott and Miraflores Park) have the better location.

  • Jeff Rose

    BIG Thumbs up on Hotel Paracas, by the way (just stayed there), but you’re a brave man taking the bus if you haven’t done this before. You might want to brush up on your spanish and get a good map and directions (trust me on this). The Westin in Lima is beautiful but I personally think the big two hotels in Miraflores (Marriott and Miraflores Park) have the better location.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scotti-Mac/100002677567421 Scotti Mac

    Hey Jon, good trips! I’m unfamiliar with the concept of a gateway city, can you explain that a little bit?

    Thanks,

    Scott

  • Waltermr85

    Thanks for the great promotion. If chosen I would use the Starpoints to plan the first ever “thepointsguy.com engagement”!

    I plan on proposing to my girlfriend in the spring and it is very important to her that she is able to share the day with her three best friends. The only issue is that they live all over the U.S. We live in Chicago but her friends live in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chattanooga. My goal is to use points to pay for everyones travel in order to make the experience a memorable one but also one that will not break the bank!

    I would use the 100,000 SPG points as follows:

    LAX Friend: Redeem 20,000 SPG points for 25,000 American Airlines Advantage Miles for a LAX to ORD round trip

    Dallas Friend: Redeem 20,000 SPG points for 25,000 American Airlines Advantage Miles for a DFW to ORD round trip

    Chattanooga Friend: Redeem 20,000 SPG points for 25,000 US Airways Dividend Miles for a CHA to ORD round trip

    Hotel: I plan on popping the question after dinner downtown so I would redeem 40,000 SPG points for two rooms (one for the friends and one for my girlfriend and I) for two nights each at the Westin Michigan Ave. at 10,000 points a night.

    If chosen I also promise to write up a trip report to let all of the loyal thepointsguy.com readers how successful… the big day is!

  • Matthew Adams

    I have done the bus from Lima before (Cruz del Sur, I believe), but luckily I speak passably good Spanish and consider the bus itself to be part of the adventure.

    How did you get to Paracas, if you don’t mind me asking? Cruz del Sur was a pretty decent experience when I took them, and I expect the Panamericana Sur to be a more pleasant travel experience than a bus through the mountains would be.

  • Zzzzmd

    creative or valuable?
    just use the 100000 points for 6 nights in south beach w at prime time, say 1/11/12 to 1/17/12
    (you get one extra free night) the cheapest rate is $609 a night, would be $3654, since I usualy get upgraded at least to a Fantastic suite, a 722 a night, equivilant to $4332, the oasis upgrade( very easy to get if you are platinum is $857, or $5142. 100,000 3.6 to 5.1 cents a point, and you don’t have to pay alot for air, roaming charges, and other huge out of pocket costs, and it is smoking hot!

  • Josh_brooks

    Retail Value: $14334
    14 cents per mile!
    1.) Transfer 20,000 X2 SPG points to 2 Delta accounts. (25K, 25K delta)
    2.) Delta 100% mile bonus to move from my account to his (75k)
    3.) Do again and have total 150,ooo in my account.
    4.) Transfer another 60,000 SPG to Delta for total of 225,000 skymiles.
    5.) Buy an Around the World far from Delta in Coach:
    6.) Fly JFK-Taiwan-Seoul-Singapore-Dubai-Cape Town- JFK (with bonus stopovers in Amsterdam!)
    7.) Donate extra miles to Delta charity, as I just saw the world! ($450)

    I am sure someone else can get a higher cents per mile calculation if they mess around with the routing, but I have actually done this trip, so it meant something to me. If someone can figure out how to get to 280,000 skymiles, they can do this business class and then you will see at least 30 c/m!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LCJGK63M2BLQWJJ75LS6LI6KA JonB

    I think I have somewhat of a grasp of the concept of using the gateway city to maximize miles, but I don’t think I could explain as nearly as clearly as Brian did (thank you again for yet another informative and extremely useful post!!) . . .

    http://thepointsguy.com/2011/06/maximizing-stopovers-transfers-and-open-jaw-ticketing-on-american-airlines-awards/

  • MarkR

    Wow, what a great contest. I love reading all the ideas. Here’s mine: As a huge Top Gear (BBC) fan, I’d like to drive some of the best roads in the world, especially the Col de Turini in the Italian Alps and the Stelvio Pass.

    I’d transfer 35k starpoints to AA for 2 one way tickets to Europe (totalling 40k AA miles). I’d go in late April/early May to take advanate of the off-peak season.

    Day 1: Dallas to Frankfurt

    Stay at Westin Grand Frankfort for 4k points + 60 USD

    Day 2: Drive on the Autobahn to Munich (4 hours)

    Stay at Le Meridien Munich for 4k points + 60USD

    Day 3: Drive in the Italian Alps

    Stay at the 4 Points by Sheraton Bolzano – 4kpts

    Day 4 & 5: Drive to Nice, France
    Stay 2 nights at Le Meridien Nice for 12k points per night

    Day 6 & 7: Drive to Barcelona

    Stay 2 nights at Le Meridien Barcelona for 12k points per night

    One way ticket to Dallas with a stopover in New York

    Stay with a friend in New York and use starpoints with the new audience rewards to see the brand new revival of Rent for 2,500 points + $51

    I’d time it for a Wednesday so I could see a matinee in the afternoon and then see the musical Chicago in the evening for 2,000 points + $82.00

    With my last 500 starpoints, I’d spend my last day in New York seeing the Tony Nominated How to Suceed in Business Without Really Trying for 500 points + $106

    Then home to Dallas.

  • Bryce Reynolds

    Here is how I would use my 100,00 SPG points:

    My brother is getting married in about a year and is currently trying to find a cheap yet amazing honeymoon location. I would, as part of my wedding present, book him and his fiance 8 nights at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali for 96,000 total points which would result in 10 nights in Hawaii for them (he currently has about 400,000 Continental/United miles which he is saving in order to fly himself and her first class to wherever they go, which would be Hawaii in this case). I would then use the remaining 4,000 points to stay at the The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village using the cash ($60) + points (4,000) option in order to stay for free the night of his wedding (they’re getting married about 20 minutes away from here). While this might not be the most efficient use of the points, it would certainly mean a lot since it would let them have an absolutely amazing honeymoon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502421664 Leon Yuan

    Mine is easy and simple.
    I would transfer them to Japan Airline(JAL)
    since i would have 125,00 points (base 100,000+ 25000 SPG transfer bonus)
    JAL is running a promotion from Nov 19/11 – Feb 29/12 (blackout Dec 22-Jan4), i can fly out from JFK->HKG with stop over in Tokyo. Rountrip on JAL’s awesome service JAL Seasons business class is only 75000 miles.
    Therefore, i would still have 50,000 points left over that i plan to stay at W Hong Kong for 24000pts for 2 nights, and the remaining 26, 000 points I would redeem at Sheraton Miyako Tokyo 1 award night for 10,000pts and then 4000pts+$60/night cash+point where i can get 4 nights and out of pocket $240, which gives me a wonderful 5 nights 6 days to stay in Tokyo to enjoy the fresh seafood at world famous Tsukiji market and dine at the Japanese cultural Izakayas for 5 days!

    To pay on my own? On JAL from JFK to HKG + Hotels is well over US$10,000. this is an AWESOME redemption!

  • Sara

    Does the total need to add up to 100,000 points exactly? Can it be a bit less?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-McKelvey/1321945870 Michael McKelvey

    I like this! …especially since it’s not far off from what I’m doing this year and next, although C&P availability will affect the plan. First off, I value SPG points for Starwood properties, period. Although I can get a good transfer rate with an airline, airline miles have been so easy to get this past year that I’ve been able to accumulate the equivalent of over 1M between my wife and me…thanks to TPG of course! What I cant do with those other miles though is transfer to SPG (other than MR, which has a terrible conversion rate). Second, C&P offer the most valuable use, so that’s what I go for first. And third, I like to use my SPG points for something really special and memorable.

    So here’s the plan. In short, I want to take my wife to Hawaii to celebrate our 10,000th day anniversary. We were married in June ’84, so that date is coming up this year, which she knows nothing about

  • Michael

    That kind of snarky reply deserves the same, but I’ll be kind and echo what others have already reiterated: the purpose of a contest like this, as opposed to just hitting the reply button and saying, “I’m in” and winning a random contest, is to hopefully yield some knowledge on how to redeem the most valuable of all travel gelt: SPG points. Sure, I’d rather have 5 winners getting 20,000 points, but the one winner will have to be creative and we can all learn from that. In addition, I don’t begrudge Brian one iota that he has developed contacts with various travel promoters: this is what he does for a living and he always used any freebies he obtains to provide input and knowledge. (It’s a slippery slope if he doesn’t acknowledge all gifts received, but his integrity has never been impugned.)

    Better still, Brian is often the first to post with offers that clearly are designed to help travel nuts such as myself ace the system. He has often given information out that others sell for a price and that is why his site is rising near the top of all travel blogs.

    I say have MORE not less of these contests!

  • Michael

    Great trip!

  • Jeffros34

    I drove to Paracas from Lima (actually, my wife did — she’s from Peru and had done the route before). The Panamericana Sur is fine for about 2/3 the trip, a modern two-lane road. Then it goes through a time machine, and it’s all old one-way road behind slow moving trucks and slower moving three-wheeled taxis. My main hesitancy with the bus was that it didn’t seem that the stop was all that close to the hotel and it might be a bit of an adventure getting to the hotel (hence, good directions and passable Spanish could be handy — there’s little in the way of signage). I could be wrong about this, but that was my quick take driving by. The hotel, however, is great. Food a bit pricey, but the service and environs are really top notch. Can’t go wrong there.

  • Jeffros34

    I drove to Paracas from Lima (actually, my wife did — she’s from Peru and had done the route before). The Panamericana Sur is fine for about 2/3 the trip, a modern two-lane road. Then it goes through a time machine, and it’s all old one-way road behind slow moving trucks and slower moving three-wheeled taxis. My main hesitancy with the bus was that it didn’t seem that the stop was all that close to the hotel and it might be a bit of an adventure getting to the hotel (hence, good directions and passable Spanish could be handy — there’s little in the way of signage). I could be wrong about this, but that was my quick take driving by. The hotel, however, is great. Food a bit pricey, but the service and environs are really top notch. Can’t go wrong there.

  • Life_Is_a_Journey!

    I just finished my Ph.D. this spring, and to celebrate graduation, I transferred the 45k points that I accumulated in my SPG account in two years to United, got 55k miles (enough at that time for a return trip to Europe), and went on a trip to Germany and Russia (SFO-FRA (stopover)-Moscow-SFO).

    And guess what! While in Russia, I met the love of my life, and we are getting married in September! My bride is still in Russia, so we need to do it in Moscow, and hotels there are, well, like hotels in Paris or Tokyo, I guess. How do I wish I had some more SPG points now!

    So here is how I’d use the 100,000 points:

    1. Fly to Moscow in September on Star alliance, one way, for 25k miles (transferring to 30k United miles, because of 5k bonus);
    2. Book Hotel National, one of the finest hotels in Moscow, overviewing the Kremlin, for 5 days, using miles and cash (4.800 miles x 5 = 24,000 miles);
    3. Get married, go to consulate, receive visa for her.
    3. Transfer the remaining 50k SPG points to United, get 60k miles (with 2x5k transfer bonus).
    4. Buy two (!) tickets on United to return to the US.
    5. New life begins!
    6. Well, what about the remaining 1,000 miles? Since we’d be a family from then on, and share the same address, I’d open an account for her and transfer the 1,000 miles to her new account, so that she starts accumulating SPG points as well!
    7. And then, who knows how many points we’ll have when its time for the first anniversary trip :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-McKelvey/1321945870 Michael McKelvey

    I like this! …especially since it’s not far off from what I’m doing this year and next, although C&P availability will affect the plan. First off, I value SPG points for Starwood properties, period. Although I can get a good transfer rate with an airline, airline miles are much easier to get…thanks to TPG of course! What I can’t do with those other miles though is transfer to SPG. Second, C&P offer the most valuable use, so that’s what I go for first. 4 nights with the 5th night free comes close, but still not as valuable as C&P. And third, I use my SPG points for something I really want to do rather than just seeing if I can get a really expensive room for free :)
    So here’s the plan. In short, I want to take my wife this fall to Kauai for 10 days to celebrate our 10,000th day anniversary. Next year my son gets married, and I want to send him to Maui for a week for his honeymoon. We also love the beach, and we are lucky enough to have a Cat 3 Sheraton right on the ocean here in Virginia Beach, so we can use points to spend a couple weekends down there.
    The points work out like this: 2 x 2-night C&P weekends at the Sheraton Virginia Beach (11,200 pts), 5 nights C&P at the Westin Princeville Kauai on the north shore and 5 nights C&P at the Sheraton Kauai on the south shore (48,000 pts), and finally 6 nights C&P and 1 free night at the Sheraton Maui (40,800 pts).
    Now although this needs to be relatively simple, the reality is that C&P are not always offered on the dates that line up with the free airline flights, so I will most likely have to make some adjustments (which I’ve done this year). Back-up plan: 1) signed up for SPG promotion that gave me a free night ANYWHERE on ANY night after three stays. 2) 2 x 2-night paid stays over the summer at the Sheraton Virginia Beach ($560). 3) 5 nights free at Westin Princeville Kauai (48,000 pts). 4) 2 nights C&P and 3 paid nights at the Sheraton Kauai (9600 pts and $900). 5) Spend $692 during the 10 days at the Westin and Sheraton in Kauai. 6) 5 nights free, 1 C&P, and 1 promotional award (52,800 pts and $90). 7) spend $728 at the Starwood properties in Virginia Beach and Kauai. With all charges put on my SPG card, I earn 2 pts per $ for non-qualifying expenses (C&P) and 5 pts per $ for qualifying expenses. Total points earned on the card prior to the Maui trip next year are 10,400 pts.

  • Sundance77

    How I would use 100,000 SPG points.

    My wife is on active duty with the Army in Afghanistan for the next year, returning home in July 2012 (maybe if they dont extend her). She will get a 2 week rest & recuperation (R&R) leave sometime around Feb 2012. We plan on meeting in Dubai, UAE and spending time together after being apart for the first time since we have been married for more than a week. We will want to just have a relaxed time together and will want to have her feel special and pampered and I feel the SPG hotels in Dubai can provide that for her. So my plan is to use the points to pay for 4 nights at the Grosvenor House in Duabi, UAE. SInce this is a Category 6 hotel it will cost 20,000 points a night and therefore 4 nights @20K a night = 80,000 SPG points total. The remaining 20,000 points I would transfer to the American Red Cross who was instrumental in assisting in the notification and assistance to a family and parents of a fallen soldier that we both knew and counted as a friend. They do a great job and service to our military and military families all over the world. So I would transfer 4,000 points x 5 times = 20,000 SPG points for a total of $200 to the American Red Cross.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-McKelvey/1321945870 Michael McKelvey

    Sorry for the multiple posts — edit function doesnt seem to be working. I was trying to delete the #5 line near the end. Total spending that earned 5 pts per $ is $2,008 for 10,040 pts. The $180 C&P in Kauai earns 360 pts.

  • Cpns72

    Awesome to win this contest. All I will do is to transfer all the points to my priority rewards to use any IHC hotels to visit my relatives more and nice to be away from home once a while to vacation.

  • brian hoyt

    Dear Points Guy,

    Thanks for the great blogging.

    I currently live and work in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. There is a 5X/week flight from Port-au-Prince to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe operated by Air France that I have wanted to take since moving to Haiti. However, an economy ticket on this hour and half flight sells on average for $800, quite expensive for such a short flight. I have many Delta Skymiles, but Air France does not allow Delta award redemptions on this flight. They do allow for Flying Blue redemptions, but I don’t have any Flying Blue miles. Hence, I would convert 25,000 SPG points to 30,000 Flying Blue miles and book a business class ticket (25,000 SPG points for a $1250 ticket, around 5 cents per point).

    I would use the remaining 75,000 SPG points to invite three of my closest colleagues to join me, as they would also like to visit the French Antilles but cannot afford the high prices demanded by Air France. By booking business class, we are allowed to check two bags each, which means we can fill up eight ice chests full of French meats, cheeses and vegetables to bring back to Haiti and share with our colleagues here in Port-au-Prince.

  • Danny

    This is my honest answer despite any and all mocking that I may receive in this comment thread ;) I am a 30-yeard old guy who also happens to be a massive Disney fan. It’s cool, I’ve accepted that about myself. It has long been my dream to go to all five Disney parks around the world in one trip – that’s Orlando, LA, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong for those who are spending their brain space on some more useful facts. I’d really like to get this trip in before 2016 when the new park in Shanghai opens and I’d have to do all six ;)

    Thanks to a combination of the knowledge of The Points Guy and Lucky (over at One Mile at a Time) and points from Starwood and American Express, I currently have a mini-RTW ticket booked for next May with Aeroplan. I was just planning on doing a quick one because I can’t really afford many nights in hotels, especially as I used all of my various points to book the airfare. But these 100k Starwood points would allow me to fulfill my dream – and I’d be happy to guest blog about it for TPG. That would, if nothing else, drive some Disney fanatics to the site for a little while though whether you’d want us sticking around is another question!

    The hotel details:

    1) Orlando – Sheraton Safari Hotel & Suites Lake Buena Vista – 3 nights, category 2 = 12000 points

    2) Anaheim – Sheraton Anaheim Hotel – 3 nights, category 3 = 21000 points

    3) Tokyo – Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel – 3 nights, category 5 using cash and points = 14400 points and $270 cash (a remarkably good deal!)

    4) Hong Kong – Le Meridien Cyberport – 2 nights (the smallest of the Disney parks), category 4 = 20000 points

    5) Paris – Le Meridien Etoile – 3 nights, category 5 = 36000 points

    Total = 103,400 points, $270 cash, the happiest guy on earth?

  • Danny

    Regardless of the outcome, this was quite fun to dream about. Any chance American Express will be running a 100k SPG business card sign-up bonus after August 22nd? A man can dream…

  • Vishal

    Would you award those points on my behalf to someone else if I win?

  • CU

    I am recovering from stage III breast cancer, and next on my bucket list is Aruba! So I would divvy up the 100,000 starpoints as follows: Take 70,000 starpoints & do a “nights and flights” trip to Aruba (which would give me 50,000 miles on US Airways) — add this to my miles I have accrued thanks to TPG to date and the flight would be free. Then that 70,000 “nights and flights” would also get me 5 free nights at the Westin Resort & Casino in Aruba (category 4). I would use the remaining 30,000 starpoints to get 3 more free nights at that hotel (category 4). All in all, a dream come true!

  • Jason

    I think an opportunity like this is the time to keep it simple and absolutely luxurious. I have a romantic getaway to the city of lights in mind for my wife and I.

    I would stay at the Westin Vendome in Paris for 5 nights using Points plus Cash for 8000+USD150/night with the 5th night free for a total of 32000 Starpoints.

    I would transfer the remaining 68000 Starpoints to US Airways and end up with 83000 Dividend Miles after the bonus. I would then take advantage of the current promotion of tiered bonuses at US Airways buying 20000 Dividend Miles for $550 and getting another 20000 as a bonus. This would be enough for my wife and I to fly Envoy class to Paris (off-peak award in Jan. or Feb.) on one of the newly outfitted A330-200 jets and enjoy the new Envoy lie-flat seats.

    For 100k Starpoints and $1150, we would be enjoying the comforts of the Westin Vendome for 5 nights and US Airways Envoy class flights to and from. The Westin would normally be approximately $3000 over this time and the airfare would normally be over $9000 for the two tickets. Even with paying $1150 of the trip, the reward payoff works out to 10.85 cents per Starpoint.

  • Nguyen

    This is how I would use 100,000 SPG points (keep it simple and nothing fancy):
    My brother-in-law is going through a messy divorce, and my in-laws have not seen his family for years. I would like to redeem 80,000 points for 4 AA tickets to bring him and his three daughters from Houston to Sacramento. For him, I then use 20,000 points to book two nights at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square. The poor guy can enjoy some quiet time by himself. Thus, 80K + 20K = 100K

  • Nguyen

    My apology since I make a mistake. 20,000 points would be good for three nights. Thanks.

  • PJ

    when is your target date to check in Sheraton Iguzu? I tried the may 23 24 and cash & points = 4800 Starpoints+$90 and 12K without Cash

  • Rob S.

    Collecting and redeeming points/miles is all about being able to get apirational awards – what we wouldn’t otherwise be able to get/afford right? Well I am a huge tennis fan and love going to the US Open every year. So I would take the 100,000 Starpoints and use 35,000 to get two tickets to the SPG luxury suite, which is fully catered (food and alcohol) for an evening at Arthur Ashe (the SPG luxury suite is right next to the USTA President’s suite!).

    You cannot buy individual tickets to a luxury suite without buying the whole suite, which depending on the session goes from $14,000 to $40,000+!! (each suite holds 20 people). Then having it catered is at least another $1,800+.

    So I would redeem the Starpoints on something I likely wouldn’t be able to get any other way.

    I would then get a room at the W New York for the night I attend the Open, which is 20,000 Starpoints.

    The remaining 45,000 Starpoints I would donate to the American Red Cross through SPG (~$560).

  • Anonymous

    *****South America: Tale of Two Cities***** @40,000 SPG = 100,000 LAN KM, enough for a biz class from the US to Rio, with a stopover at Sandiago @30,000 SPG = 3 nights at W Sandiago @24,000 SPG = 2 nights at Sheraton Barra Rio @3,500 SPG = Avis Certificate @500 = UNICEF donation *****100,000 SPG: See the World, and Give Back*****

  • Anonymous

    This would be the basis of a long weekend experience getaway for my partner and I to celebrate a special occasion, my partner currently on assignment in Barcelona.

    - Checking out spg.com/moments I see a George Michael concert in Barcelona in September (Tue 27th Sept) good for 2 VIP tickets. A good combo. So I would add a bid to win at nominally 5800 points.
    - Then looking at spg.com I would book at the Le Méridien Ra Beach Hotel & Spa a short distance from Barcelona downdown with Points + Cash at 4800/$90 a night, booked in for 4 nights, all showing with availability
    - Lots of options to use points for flights, but I find Aeroplan has the best award levels (although fees can be high). Checking on their site and playing around with hub cities I see I can use 90k for international business class round trip from Philly to Barcelona (Lufthansa on the way out, US Airways on the way back). I’m based in NYC but getting to Philly shouldn’t be a problem on the train. I’d need 75k points with the 5k every 20k to get 90k into Aeroplan

    So, 4 night biz class trip, spa hotel, VIP George Michael concert in Barcelona for
    - 75,000 flight (+ taxes)
    - 19,200 points + $360 for Spa hotel
    - 5,800 to win the VIP tickets

    (note that Aeroplan also shows 60k coach rewards, so the above could be done with 15k less points given the transfer bonus. I chose that option I could transfer to Amtrak awards for an award rail ticket, and then use anything I left over to buy a travel blanket/pillow from the westin@home store by using points to buy $60 of westin store points!)

    Voila and safe travels!

  • Tiffany

    This is not going to be nearly as exotic as some, since our needs are a little more simple right now. My husband and I are currently living in Italy, which has been very hard on his parents (he’s an only child). They have never been out of the US, and have-had a life long dream of visiting Italy and the villages that THEIR parents were from.

    So if I had 100k Starpoints, I would transfer 80k of them to my husbands’ Delta account, which would turn them into 100k. I would then transfer them to myself for the 100% bonus, yielding 200k miles – enough to bring his parents from the Western US to Italy in First/Business the entire way.

    I would use the remaining 20k Starpoints at various hotels in Italy, many of which (including the Sheraton in the city where my husbands’ grandmother was born) can be had for SPG Cash and points. We’d of course also have them stay with us for a week or so on either end.

    2 nights at Sheraton Bologna: 3200points +$60
    2 nights at Sheraton Nicolaus: 5600points +$90
    2 nights at Sheraton Firenze: 5600points + $90
    2 nights at Sheraton Roma: 5600points +$90

    It’s really amazing that 20k Starpoints and $330 can secure a weeks worth of lodging in Europe. The fact that this entire trip is done for 100k Starpoints and $1500 is incredible! This trip prices out at $1300 for the hotels and $12,500 for the airfare!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and as well as having the SPG Amex, the Platinum comes in handy to give automatic Gold elite status at Starwood hotels, so later check out and preferred room benefits!

  • Andrew

    Great contest! I’d go to Asia, since cash + points is particularly lucrative there (and available!)

    I’d transfer 40,000 points to BA, which would get me 50,000 miles and a roundtrip coach flight on Cathay. Yes, coach, but it’s worth not paying much for hotels!

    I’d book one-way from New York to Phuket, with a 2 night stopover in Hong Kong. On the return, I’d fly Bangkok to New York with a layover in HKG. In Thailand, I’d travel by train or AirAsia.

    The other 60,000 points would get me 12 fantastic nights in Hong Kong and Thailand. Since cash + points is rarely available in HKG, I’d splurge on the W Hotel for 2 nights (32,000 total). Then in Thailand I’d use all cash + points — 3 nights at the St. Regis Bangkok (14400 points and $270), 2 nights at Le Meridien Khao Lak near Phuket (5600 points and $90), 3 nights at Le Meridien Chiang Mai (4800 points and $90), and 2 nights at Le Meridien Chiang Rai (3200 points and $60).

    Exactly 100,000 points, a couple hundred dollars in taxes, and $510 on 12 nights of top-of-the-line hotels. Sounds good to me!

  • http://twitter.com/FrequentMiler Frequent Miler

    My wife and I have seen the world, but we haven’t spent a lot of time seeing our own country. By transferring points to Amtrak Guest Rewards and making use of Starwood’s Cash and Points opportunities, we would turn the 100K SPG points into a two week cross country adventure. Here is what we would do:

    1. Take Amtrak’s Wolverine from Ann Arbor to Chicago, and then the California Zephyr overnight to Denver. Stay at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain for three nights. (4800 points + $90 / night)

    2. Next, take Amtrak’s California Zephyr overnight from Denver to Oakland. Stay at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco for two nights. (4800 points + $90 / night)

    3. Next, take Amtrak’s Coastal Starlight overnight from Oakland to Seattle. Stay at the Westin Seattle for three nights. (4000 points + $60 per night vs. 239 + tax = 276)

    4. Finally, take Amtrak’s Empire Builder two nights from Portland to Chicago, and then the Wolverine back to Ann Arbor.

    All of the above overnight Amtrak trips would be in Superliner Roomettes. I’ve highlighted the Amtrak route in the attached image.

    In total, the trip would be paid for with 65000 SPG points transferred to Amtrak Guest Rewards, 32000 points used for hotels, and $570 paid for cash and points. The final remaining 3000 points would be donated to Unicef.

  • Aaron

    September the Sheraton Iguazu is 4800 points + $90 Per night.

    If you are getting it for 4800 for 2 nights then thats a great deal for a Cat 5 property!

  • Kate

    What a ball I had crafting this fantasy trip to see one of my favorite musicians Lenny Kravitz in Antwerp, Belgium!

    Check me out:

    40,000 points – R/T Economy class on American Airlines, BOS-BRU
    5,000 points- bid for Lenny Kravitz concert in Antwerp, Belgium
    40,000 points- 4 nites (+ 1 free) at Le Meridien Hotel, Brussels

    I believe there is a 5,000 point bonus per every 20,000 points converted from SPG to American, which would give me an extra 10,000 points that I would donate to the American Red Cross, combined with the leftover 15,000 points, for a total of 25,000 points donated to the Red Cross.

    Thanks for asking!

  • Anonymous

    First of all, here is a link to a video our kids made just for this contest!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0Hd1X1WqLM

    We have chosen Hawaii as our next vacation destination, and we already have our airline tickets booked using points (because of this site and the British Airways promotion we learned about here). Being able to use SPG points for our hotels while we are there would be the icing on the cake! Hawaii is so expensive, and on teacher & social worker salaries….well, it would be a huge help!

    Our son has Aspergers Syndrome, which often causes him to have an intense interest in a specific topic – and now it is the volcanoes of Hawaii (and building contraptions, as you can see!). We also have researched and learned that Hawaii is a great destination for many children on the autism spectrum, so we are very excited for this adventure!

    This is how we would use our 100,000 points:

    - 7 nights at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas = 56,000 + $1050

    (This would save us over $2,000 and give us the convenience of having a kitchen – very helpful for my son’s special dietary needs. We have been hoping that we could stay at this resort because we have spoken to other parents who have said it is extremely ASD friendly, but it is not in our budget.)

    - 5 nights at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort = 40,000 (5th night is free)

    (This is on the Big Island & would get us closer to our planned trip to Volcanoes National Park which is also on the Big Island. It would be so perfect because we could stay in a nice hotel before venturing into the park for a few days)

    - 1 night at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani = 4,000 + $60

    (We would stay here before heading back home & would also add on a few days out of pocket)

    Total = 100,000 points

    Thanks so much for this wonderful opportunity to enter this contest! And thanks for the super-informative blog. You have already helped us save tons of money and experience some vacations that we would not have been able to take otherwise.

  • Craig

    My wife and I love to travel. However, neither of us travels for work. In fact, neither of us has ever even been on a business trip. So, with every penny of every flight and hotel stay coming out of our own back pockets, travel for us has always entailed a year of budgeting to take a single trip.

    Of course, that was before we discovered TPG’s blog.

    Since discovering TPG’s blog in just January of this year, we’ve taken two separate European vacations (Italy and Spain), one transcontinental vacation to Napa Valley, and one vacation to the white powdered beaches of Florida. And we still have trips planned to New York City, Washington D.C., Denver CO, and Hawaii. In the case of Hawaii, we booked a Delta “K fare” ticket and upgraded into First Class using SkyMiles. However, even when we book the cheapest tickets available, my wife and I do most of our domestic traveling in first class these days as a result of tips from TPG that helped us to achieve Platinum status with Delta.

    Thanks to TPG, we are traveling more often and in better style than we ever thought possible. And we still have enough airline miles (mostly Delta SkyMiles) for three more trips anywhere in the world in Business Elite (i.e., Delta’s international First Class). What we don’t have, however, are enough hotel points to take these three trips.

    So, if I were the winner of this contest, I would use the 100,000 Starpoints on hotel stays as follows:

    First, it would be back to Barcelona, our favorite city that we’ve toured in our travels so far, for 10 days at Le Meridien Barcelona using cash and points. At 4,800 points and $90.00 per night, that totals 48,000 points and $900.00. Compare that to $3370 – the cost of 10 days based on some ideal travel dates – which yields 5.15 cents per point, a pretty decent value.

    Next, it’s off to China for 5 nights at The St. Regis Shanghai, followed by 4 nights at the Westin Guangzhou. At only 4,000 points and $60.00 per night (each), that adds up to 36,000 points and $540 (yielding a value of 5.10 cents per point, based on certain travel dates).

    Finally, as for the remaining 16,000 points, we’d head to The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico (8,000 points and $150 per night) for a weekend of blissful relaxation (and a whopping 9.5 cents per point).

    There’s a lot more than hotel stays that you can do with Starpoints, but sometimes that’s all you really need.

  • Latimer

    100K Starwood Points would be perfect for the honeymoon that I’m planning! I’m pretty much set on Bali being my main destination point, but will be stopping in Hong Kong and Macau for a week. We wanted a mix of both relaxation and some excitement, so I think this will be the perfect combination.

    First, we’ll need to get there. I would start by transferring 20,000 Starpoints to receive 25,000 British Airways miles to top off the 175K I have in my account already. This should give me enough for exactly 2 round-trip first class tickets from SFO to DPS on Cathay Pacific w/ a built- in stopover in HKG! I would worry about the boat ride to Macau at a later point.

    ===Airfare===
    25,000 British Airways Miles = 20,000 Starpoints

    ===Hotels===
    The W Hotel Hong Kong (~385 per night)
    12,000 points * 1 night = 12,000 Starpoints

    The Westin Resort, Macau (~$169 per night)
    7,000 points * 4 nights w/ 5th night free = 28,000 Starpoints

    Laguna Resort and Spa, Bali (~$350 per night)
    10,000 points * 4 nights w/ 5th night free = 40,000 Starpoints

    In running my calculations on just the hotels…
    (($350 * 5 nights)+($169 * 5 nights ) + $385) / 80000 Starpoints = 3.75 cents per Starpoint spent

    To me, this is a terrific deal! Although I’ll probably spend a few extra nights in Hong Kong, I won’t mind paying out of pocket if the rest of the trip can be covered! Please please please pick me! Haha.

  • Latimer

    The backup option in Hong Kong would be to substitute the 1 night @ W Hong Kong with 3 nights @ Le Meridien Cyberport for 12,000 starpoints + $180 (4,000 + $60 cash & points redemption)

  • Tim

    OK I would book BOS-JFK-MIA-LIM on AA R/T in Business class.

    Why the Stop in JFK you ask?
    Obviously to pick up THE POINTS GUY because he is going to want to go to Machu Picchu!!!

    Stay two nights in Lima at the Westin; and while in Lima go to the famous dancing Lazer water show.

    Purchase a ticket to Cusco and stay at the Tambo Del Inka for 5 nights. (get a massage in the Spa)
    While in the sacred valley go with the Points Guy white water rafting (in Peru – how cool!!) and go horseback riding.

    Take the Vista Dome train to Auguas Caliente & visit Machu Picchu for 3 days. While in Auguas Caliente go in the hot springs.

    How?
    Nights & Flights 2 which is 70k *pts for cat 4 @ 5 nights & 50k miles over to American
    Send over another 10k *pts to American for a total of 60k AA Miles
    Redeem those 60k miles for a round trip business class ticket on American
    Redeem the remaining 20k *pts for the Westin in Lima for two nights.
    Full use of the 100k *pts; Short and sweet like you requested.

  • Ryan L

    There are honestly so many moving and inspiring stories in this comment thread that I think you’re going to have a helluva time picking a winner, TPG.

    Having read the many different situations, I would probably do my best to donate about 5K starpoints to 20 different commenters on here. Not the best redemption value, but honestly, how could you choose between a son wanting to help his mom through a divorce, a woman who is beating cancer, and a soldier who’s husband is waiting for her?

    Hope you’ll consider breaking it up some, because there are some real winners in these threads

  • Ayss22

    Donate to a charity

  • Joe W

    Good evening TPG, below is my plan on how to use the 100,000 points to visit Hong Kong, two cities in southern part of Mainland China, and Bali for 15 days. My round trip flight will be on BA and my hotel stays will cover category 2 -5 SPG hotel chains of Sheraton, Four Points, Westin, and W brands.

    Step 1. Use SPG “night and flight” option to convert 70,000 SPG points to 50K BA miles and 5-night stay at the Category 4 Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali.

    Step 2. Using 50k BA miles to redeem a round trip economy fare from New York – Hong Kong (7-night stopover) – Bali (destination, 5 nights) – Hong Kong (2-night stopover) – New York. (Est. cash cost to cover BA surcharge: $350)

    Step 3. Here is how I will use the remaining 30K SPG Points (=100K – 70K redeemed under “night and flight” option under step one above) for SPG hotel stays:

    (1) Day 1-2, Shenzhen, China: Flight from New York to Hong Kong (7-night stopover). Upon arrival, take airport express train or bus from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen, China (approximately 1 hour ride), sightseeing Shenzhen and stay at Four Points by Sheraton Shenzhen for 2 nights (cost: 3,200 SPG points + $60)
    (2) Day 3-4, Guangzhou, China: take train or bus from Shenzhen to Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, China (approximately 3 hour ride), sightseeing Guangzhou and stay at Westin Guangzhou for 2 nights (cost: 8,000 SPG points + $120)
    (3) Day 5, Guangzhou-Shenzhen: take train or bus back from Guangzhou to Shenzhen in the afternoon, stay at Four Points by Sheraton Shenzhen for 1 night (cost: 1,600 SPG points + $30)
    (4) Day 6, Macau: take the ferry from Shenzhen to Macau (approximately 1.5 hours ride) in the morning, stay at Westin Resort, Macau for 1 night (cost: 2,800 SPG points + $45)
    (5) Day 7, Macau – Hong Kong: take ferry from Macau to Hong Kong (approximately 45 minute ride) in the afternoon, stay at Sheraton Hong Kong for 1 night (cost: 4,800 SPG points + $90)
    (6) Day 8-12, Bali: Flight from Hong Kong to Bali, stay at Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali for 5 nights (cost: 0, covered under step one above)
    (7) Day 13-14: Hong Kong: Flight from Bali to Hong Kong (2-night stopover), sightseeing Hong Kong, stay at W Hong Kong for 2 night (cost: 9,600 SPG points + $180)
    (8) Day 15: Flight from Hong Kong to New York.

    In summary, total SPG points spent: exactly 100,000, total cash out of pocket: approximately $875. Total estimated cash value of entire trip (flight plus SPG hotels): approximately $5,000 – $6,000.

    Estimated SPG point value per $ on this trip: approximately $4.1-5.1 cents/1 point.

  • Tim

    You’re absolutely right! So this would be a trip for five nights!

  • Tim

    And I also just realized that I forgot about the transfer bonus! Transferring 36,000 Starpoints to LAN, would actually result in 82,000 LAN Pass km, so I would have 10,000 Lan Pass km to spare when all is said and done .

  • Worldtraveller2

    You’ve had some great posts! So here it goes – my “handle” is Worldtraveller2, and I like adventure and to be moving on a trip. It is really hard for me to stay in one place for very long. So my adventure would start like this:
    One way ticket, off peak season from PHX-SCL (Phoenix to Santiago, Chile) on AA in November. (It is actually a great time to be there, right before the hot summer time starts). Redeem 35,000 Starwood points to make 40,000 AA points. (Each way from the USA to South America is 20,000 AA points.) You arrive at 7 AM in the morning, so then you would have the entire day to explore Santiago. Check in at either the W Santiago or San Cristobal Tower, a luxury collection hotel (10,000 Starwood points). Eat lunch at NRG Plus in Bella Vista, while visiting the Bella Artes Museum and then the lapis lazuli factories close by and/or riding the gondola at the Parque Metropolitano to Cerro San Cristobal Hill. Reserve dinner at Zanzibar in BordeRio. Sleep late, then rent a car from Avis (3500 points per $50) and take a drive to Algarrobo, just to see the world largest swimming pool (http://www.gizmag.com/worlds-biggest-and-deepest-swimming-pools/8891/) then make your way to Vina de Mar to stay at the Sheraton Miramar (cat 4) 10,000 Starwood points. Next morning, drive back to SCL to catch a flight to Calama, Chile (CJC) to see one of the most intriguing and interesting places on earth, San Pedro de Atacama. Stay at a great B and B here, because there are no Starwood hotels in San Pedro de Atacama (I stayed at the house of the museum curator and it was fabulous!). From CJC, take a flight to Iguzu Falls, Argentina and stay at the Sheraton (Cat 5) for 16,000 Starwood points per night. From Iguzu Falls, take a flight to Montevideo, Uruguay, staying at the Sheraton (cat 4) for 10,000 points, get some sleep and then take a day trip to Punta del Diablo (only a 2 ½ hour drive along the coast), spend the night at El Diablo Tranquilo Playa Suites(awesome!) Drive back to Montevideo and take the ferry across to Buenos Aires, Argentina, my second favorite city in the world! Stay at the Sheraton Libertador Hotel (cat 3) for two nights @ 7,000 Starwood nights per night. Fly back on a one way AA ticket from EZE to PHX (20,000 AA, but redeemed on 35,000 for both ways).
    Recap:
    • 35,000 Starwood pts= 40,000 AA for flights to and from South America (PHX – SCL, EZE-PHX)
    • 10,000 Starwood pts (W Santiago or San Cristobal Tower in Santiago, Chile)
    • 10,000 Starwood pts (Sheraton Miramar, Vina del Mar, Chile)
    • 16,000 Starwood pts (Iguzu Falls, Argentina)
    • 10,000 Starwood pts (Montevideo, Uraguy)
    • 14,000 Starwood pts (2 nights at the Sheraton Liberador, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    • Spend the last 5000 Starwood points for AVIS rental car (to decrease the car costs @ less than $100 off)

  • Worldtraveller2

    You’ve had some great posts! So here it goes – my “handle” is Worldtraveller2, and I like adventure and to be moving on a trip. It is really hard for me to stay in one place for very long. So my adventure would start like this:
    One way ticket, off peak season from PHX-SCL (Phoenix to Santiago, Chile) on AA in November. (It is actually a great time to be there, right before the hot summer time starts). Redeem 35,000 Starwood points to make 40,000 AA points. (Each way from the USA to South America is 20,000 AA points.) You arrive at 7 AM in the morning, so then you would have the entire day to explore Santiago. Check in at either the W Santiago or San Cristobal Tower, a luxury collection hotel (10,000 Starwood points). Eat lunch at NRG Plus in Bella Vista, while visiting the Bella Artes Museum and then the lapis lazuli factories close by and/or riding the gondola at the Parque Metropolitano to Cerro San Cristobal Hill. Reserve dinner at Zanzibar in BordeRio. Sleep late, then rent a car from Avis (3500 points per $50) and take a drive to Algarrobo, just to see the world largest swimming pool (http://www.victory-cruises.com/pool.html ) then make your way to Vina de Mar to stay at the Sheraton Miramar (cat 4) 10,000 Starwood points. Next morning, drive back to SCL to catch a flight to Calama, Chile (CJC) to see one of the most intriguing and interesting places on earth, San Pedro de Atacama. Stay at a great B and B here, because there are no Starwood hotels in San Pedro de Atacama (I stayed at the house of the museum curator and it was fabulous!). From CJC, take a flight to Iguzu Falls, Argentina and stay at the Sheraton (Cat 5) for 16,000 Starwood points per night. From Iguzu Falls, take a flight to Montevideo, Uruguay, staying at the Sheraton (cat 4) for 10,000 points, get some sleep and then take a day trip to Punta del Diablo (only a 2 ½ hour drive along the coast), spend the night at El Diablo Tranquilo Playa Suites(awesome!) Drive back to Montevideo and take the ferry across to Buenos Aires, Argentina, my second favorite city in the world! Stay at the Sheraton Libertador Hotel (cat 3) for two nights @ 7,000 Starwood nights per night. Fly back on a one way AA ticket from EZE to PHX (20,000 AA, but redeemed on 35,000 for both ways).
    Recap:
    • 35,000 Starwood pts= 40,000 AA for flights to and from South America (PHX – SCL, EZE-PHX)
    • 10,000 Starwood pts (W Santiago or San Cristobal Tower in Santiago, Chile)
    • 10,000 Starwood pts (Sheraton Miramar, Vina del Mar, Chile)
    • 16,000 Starwood pts (Iguzu Falls, Argentina)
    • 10,000 Starwood pts (Montevideo, Uraguy)
    • 14,000 Starwood pts (2 nights at the Sheraton Liberador, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    • Spend the last 5000 Starwood points for AVIS rental car (to decrease the car costs @ less than $100 off)

  • Worldtraveller2

    sorry for the double post – the link to THE WORLD’S LARGEST POOL wasn’t working!

  • Mindamcc

    With 100k points I’d live the dream
    Of simpler pleasures, it would seem
    To mother, self, and daughters, the definition of ‘grand’
    Would be a week at Disneyland

    Nights and Flights in Anaheim Sheraton category 3
    Takes 60k points — that’s for my mom and me
    The next 40k turns to 50 for flights on AA
    Two kids join us — we’re on our way!

    It’s not Rome or Rio, Tanzania or Timbuktu
    But to four girls, three generations, it’d be the place “where dreams come true”

    Value:
    airfare to Anaheim, average of $250 per person X 4 = 1000$
    five nights hotel at Anaheim Sheraton @ $149/night = 745$
    seeing the face of any child on his/her first trip to Disneyland = priceless

  • Stecap77

    100,000 points and dreams come true:

    If I win the 100,000 points I would like to take my husband to a long deserved trip to Brazil. He is originally from there but he has not been back for a long time. This year it will be our 10 year anniversary and it would be a perfect way to reward him for all he has done for our family (he graduated from college last year by working and studying full time with a family of 3 kids). I am so proud of him.
    This is how I would do it:

    I would redeem 44,000 SPG points for LANPASS Km. With LANPASS ratio of 1 to 2 and their 5,000 bonus Starpoints we should yield 98,000Km (44,000 SPG*2) + (5,000*2) = 98,000Km.

    A RT in economy from LAX to Rio de Janeiro is 48,000Km per person with LANPASS. Once in Rio we can stay at the Sheraton Barra Hotel & Suites (category 5) for 4,800 SPG + $90/night. With 24,000 SPG (4,800*5) we can spend 5 nights at this beautiful hotel and pay just $450 for it.
    44,000 SPG + 24,000 SPG = 68,000 SPG

    The remaining 32,000 SPG we would like to donate them to Bill and Victoria Strong from the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (www.gwendolynstrong.com). We have known Bill and Victoria for quite a while and their beautiful daughter Gwendolyn has the same age as our daughter. We are sure Bill and Victoria would love to receive the SPG points and put them to good use.

  • nd.mp

    I’ve always wanted to see more of America. My convocation from university is in late november, so I’d leave immediately after.

    1. Transfer to LAN: Toronto- Chicago roundtrip: 16,000 LAN kms = 8,000 starpoints
    2. 2 nights at Westin Michigan Avenue: 4,000*2 = 8,000 starpoints (+120 cash for C&P)
    3. Train/hitchhike to St. Louis (it’s $24 cash for the train)
    4. 2 nights at the Sheraton city centre = 2,800*2= 5,600 starpoints (+90 cash for C&P)
    5. Transfer to Amtrak: St. Louis to San Antonio (business class): 6,500 AGR = 6,500 starpoints
    6. 3 nights at Sheraton Gunter hotel San Antonio = 2,800*3= 8,400 starpoints (+135 cash fro C&P)
    7. Train to New Orleans (it’s $70 cash)
    8. 3 nights at the Sheraton New Orleans = 4,000*3= 12,000 starpoints (+$180 cash for C&P)
    9. Train to Atlanta ($62 cash)
    10. 3 nights at the St. Regis Atlanta = 12,000*3=36,000 starpoints
    11.Transfer to AAmiles for one-way flight to Chicago: 12,500 AAmiles = 12,500 starpoints
    12. 1 night at aloft chicago o’hare = 3,000 starpoints
    13. Fly home

    I would’ve converted more starpoints to AGR, but the redemption value is so low considering the cost of the train segments.

    Total:

    8,000
    8,000
    5,600
    6,500
    8,400
    12,000
    36,000
    12,500
    3,000
    ———
    = 100,000

    Cash: 120+90+135+180 = $525 for C&P + $156 for trains.

    Not too shabby, I think, as a mini grad trip.

  • Cfmoore

    While I’d like to spend it on the big trip, currently being a chiropractic student in Portland year around and living on student loans limits me somewhat. I get about a week four times a year that I can be away from school, so instead of one trip I’ve broken the points down to be apart of many to help my sanity and that of my girlfriend’s.

    Plan:
    First break New York! We will use her soon expiring Alaska $99 companion ticket to get there and use 70,000 SPG points for nights and flights – 5 nights Four Points by Sheraton SoHo Village. Storing away the 50,000 airline miles in Aeroplan for now. I’ll then use another 2,000 on two Audience reward Broadway tickets (2x- 1,000 SPG points + ~$60)

    Another 7,000 SPG points(3,000 Sat night, 4,000 Sunday night) used for a weekend getaway to downtown Seattle from Portland in the fall at the newly opened Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle Center.

    Christmas time I’d like to take her home with me to Edmonton, AB where I’m originally from to see Canada in the winter. Considered a short-haul flight on Air Canada ($500+ flight or a 16hr drive). So 2x – 15,000 roundtrip from Portland. (20,000 miles left over)

    End of March we’ll use her next Alaska $99 companion ticket to explore Hawaii. Planning on camping a few nights, then really enjoy ourselves with Cash and Points, 2 nights at St. Regis Princeville Resorts 16,000 points (2x- 8,000 SPG points + $150)

    I’d transfer my last 5,000 SPG to Aeroplan, giving me 25,000 which I can use on United (to avoid Air Canada’s award fees) in the summer to fly to St. John’s, Newfoundland ($800+). To visit my dad’s family.

    Summary:
    5 free nights New York, 2 Audience reward reduced Broadway tickets, 2 free nights Seattle, 2 round-trip tickets to Edmonton, 2 Cash and Point nights Hawaii and 1 round-trip to St. John’s.

    70,000+ 2,000+ 7,000+ 16,000+ 5,000 = 100,000 SPG points!

  • Steve

    Ok, It’s not that tricky or glamorous, but my wife and I are thinking about having a baby and it would be nice to have one last spontaneous luxury trip first. We both work, so I can’t go for long, but the traveling is part of the fun for me, so that doesn’t matter too much. Here’s what I’d do:

    Convert 80,000 points into 100,000 Flying Blue miles.

    Redeem for a flight from Europe (where we are now) to Montreal using Promo Awards (100k for 2 business class
    tickets)

    Use the remaining 20,000 points for two weekend nights at Le Westin Montreal, where we relax and enjoy the city for the weekend.

    Just a bit of indulgence to break up an otherwise mundane weekend – made possible by points.

  • Mitch

    I’m London-based, and here’s my take on things (probably a bit different from most in the US!). Being a mathematician, I have tons of Indian colleagues. However, I’ve never been to India and think it would be a great trip to make. To make it even better, ANA works out great as a transfer partner for me on this one. I transfer 58K starpoints to ANA for 68K ANA Miles. (Yeah, yeah, transferring another 2K would give me 7K total ANA miles, but I have no use for the leftovers at the moment and would rather spend them on hotels.) There are lots of options for me from LHR to DEL and BOM in business class: LH via MUC, OS via VIE, and non-stop on 9W. Since I can’t check 9W award inventory easily and can’t combine it with *A partners on ANA, we’ll assume one of the Miles & More members, as ANA tool has shown several workable options in the spring for an open jaw from LHR into DEL and back from BOM. This clocks in at just under 9K miles round trip, requiring 68K ANA miles in business class. I’d then use my remaining 42K starpoints as follows

    Le Méridien New Delhi (Category 4, two nights for 20K)
    ITC Mughal, Agra (Category 3, two nights for 14K)
    ITC Grand Central, Mumbai (Category 4, two nights on cash+points for 8K + $120)

    Intra-India travel (and a few more nights along the way) will be paid with cash.

    An alternative is to take a stopover in MUC on my way to DEL, just to be on the ground for over 24 hours. I’d keep the hotels above in New Delhi and Agra, but only do one night on cash+points at ITC Grand Central in Mumbai. I’d then take one night cash+points at Le Méridien Munich (Category 4). Why would I do this? The UK Air Passenger Duty for UK-India in Business Class is £150. However, if my first stopover is in Europe, I pay APD at £24. This saves me over $200 at current exchange rates (minus $60 for the cash+points in Munich), and $140+ will go a long way toward another night of hotel in India.

  • Bill F

    I love points and enjoy your blog and reading all the posts and marvel at the innovation in earning and using them. I am travelling to Europe next month on BA miles, staying in London and Paris with Hyatt certificates and then Rome with Radisson points. How wonderful to to be free and be able to play this game. If I won, I think it would be savvy to ask American Express to double their prize and donate it to Wounded Warriors for hotel rooms our returning troops. 200K points could equal 100 cat 1 rooms for therapy, doctors visits or to be close to injured loved ones.

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  • marben

    This is what I think I’d realisticly do with the pts:

    Plan to use them for a trip in 2013 so I could wait to see what x-fer bonuses pop up. If USAir runs thier hotel bonus promo again I’d qualify for a 50% bonus.

    Under a USAir scenario I’d:
    – Move 60k SPG pts to USair for 112k miles to fly Envoy from PHL to FCO
    – Use the remaining 40k for a 5 night cash+pts stay at the Sheraton Rome (3cpp)

    If the 50% bonus didnt work out it would be a tough choice between the following:
    – Move 75k SPG to Virgin Atlantic to redeem for a 90k upper class award to London. I’d move 80 but, but I’ll probably never use them again.
    – Use the remaining 25k for 2 nights at the Park Lane London (3cpp)

    Or…

    – Move 75 SPG to Aeroplan for a 90k USAir Envoy award and only spend 3 nights at the Sheraton Rome on cash+pts.

  • marben

    Forgot to mention that the Virgin would be out of IAD, anything USAir would be out of PHL.

  • Tim

    Nights and Flights to Dublin, staying right acrossthe street from Trinity College.

  • Sean Buchanan

    My mother is retiring after a 35 year career with the State of Florida. She’s a fighter having battled cancer twice, overcome both her parents dying before she was 30, serving as a single parent after my dad left us when I was only two and a multitude of setbacks and obstacles.

    She will be retired before the age of 60 and wants to travel to see all the places she couldn’t see while she raised me. Working in the public sector doesn’t allow you to retire very comfortably so her only international travel will probably be to the Bahamas but she is dying to see Europe. I got into this game, and subsequently hooked on sites like TPG, because I wanted to eventually give her the trip around the world she’ll never have on her own.

    She’s always wanted to go to Spain so I would redeem 60K points for Nights & Flights. The Category 3 Hotel would be the Sheraton Santa Maria de El Paular in Rascafria, Spain (just outside of Madrid).

    The 50K airline miles would be transferred to American Airlines for the first leg to Spain. I would transfer the remaining 40K (with 10K bonus) to American as well for a total of 100K points on American. This will allow for a Business Class ticket to Spain and will mark the first time she’s ever flown anything other than Coach.

    100K points starting
    60K = 85K value (Normally 35K for 5 nights in Cat 3 and 40K points for 50K miles)
    40K = 50K value with 5K/20K bonus

    100K points = 135K value

    Thanks TPG!

  • Russell Reynoso

    What would I do with 100 grand? …. I’d eat it…. *rim shot followed by crickets*

    One of the things my wife and I wanted to do was to drive down the pacific coast highway. Visiting San Francisco is also on our list.

    So I would convert 40,000 SPG points to AA for 50,000 AA miles. Then book two one way economy awards from Norfolk, VA to San Francisco and Los Angeles to Norfolk for two people for a week time period. We would then spend 3 nights at the W hotel in San Fran. Reserve a rent-a-car to drive down the pacific coast highway for a couple days (spending a night in a campground preferably). Arrive in LA and spend 2 nights @ the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Finally, take the AA one way award flight back home (LAX-ORF).

    So my usage summary for the 100k SPG would be:
    1. 40k SPG to 50k AA
    2. 12k per night at the W San Fran for 36k SPG
    3. 12k per night at the SLS LA for 24k SPG

  • Stephanie

    My dad died of Multiple Myeloma in April and my family received an generous invitation to attend a Multiple Myeloma Event in Los Angeles in November but we are on our own for the airfare and hotel.

    If I was given 100,00 Starwood points, I would use them to complete my trip to California. I already purchased 5 one-way tickets from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles so but I still need 5 one-way tickets from LAX to FLL. (15,000 points x 5 – 75,000 points) We would need 2 rooms at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills (12,000 points x 2 = 24,000). With the 1,000 leftover points, I would purchase a Starwoods Certificate offering 50% off a future stay for up to 5 nights and donate it to the Multiple Myeloma Auction.

  • Anonymous

    I would redeem 70,000 points to take the hotel and miles, Starwood category 4 hotel. That gives my husband and me two round trip tickets from Chicago to San Francisco plus a 5 night stay at the St. Francis hotel to celebrate our 30th anniversary. The remaining 30,000 points can be cashed out directly at the hotel for meals and spa treatments (the St. Francis has a spa) and then the only remaining costs are meals and the BART. You don’t need a car in San Francisco because it’s easy to get around there on public transportation and I would go in January so that we can be there for restaurant week so the meals would be fabulous and cheap.

  • Joe W

    One small typo above. Under this travel plan, I would visit SIX cities in Asia (Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Macau, and Bali during the 15-day trip.

  • Joe W

    Oops, should be FIVE Asia cities. I am too excited to count………

  • Ben

    My boyfriend and I love to spend our vacation time outdoors and undertaking new adventures. Picture it: a villa resort nestled in the Beaver Creek mountains. It would be fall, fortunately before all the skiers showed up, with crisp air, beautiful foliage — a deeply relaxing setting. The days would be spent hiking for miles through the nearby mountains, perhaps taking a fly fishing lesson, and most importantly having the chance to spend time together away from the hustle and flow of everyday life. If we’re lucky, we may even have the chance to attend Beaver Creeks’ Oktoberfest and try out new brews. Nights would be spent strolling Avon — checking out intimate restaurants.

    How much would our romantic (yet adventurous) trip cost? 1) transfer of 40k miles into Continental, taking advantage of the 5k bonus, for a total 50,000 continental miles — which would garner us 2 tickets into the closest airport (Aspen). 2)We’ll need a car to get from Aspen to Beaver Creek, and will gladly use 3,500 Starwood points for a $50 off coupon for avis. 3) Eight days/seven nights at the The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain using cash and points: 33,500 + $630 out of pocket. 4) After all that hiking we’re going to need a nice massage: a couples massage is $280 at the beautiful Anjali Spa — converting to 21,000 Starwood points. 5) And the final 2,000 Starwood points would be used in the Westin’s Lobby Wine bar for two glasses of red wine before we head out one evening. Romantic, adventurous, practical, and relaxing — I look forward to our trip!

  • EricT

    Since I’m still way out of my league in the points game, I would give 20k of my 100k miles to someone who could act as my “planner” to optimally get my wife and I to Bali, Fiji or Chile, and stay as long as possible for free on 80k points plus reserves I currently hold. Yes, weak attempt at the points but after reading some of these posts it reminds me of how little I know after taking up this new hobby a month ago.

  • FBG

    Mine’s actually rather simple – a dream vacation to Japan.

    Nights and flights for 4 nights at the Westin Miyako Kyoto – 70K points.

    The other 30K points would go to three nights at the Sheraton Miyako Tokyo.

    That’s the 100K spg points.

    The 50K miles from nights and flights would go into my main program (AA) and I would either upgrade an economy ticket to NRT/HND or supplement with my own miles and buy a first class award. It would depend on availability and whether I could requalify for status without the 13K miles traveled.

    Since the 3 nights in Tokyo don’t need to be in a block, I would take 1 night on arrival and 2 before departure to ease the fatigue of the transpacific flight and not have to race from Kyoto to the airport.

  • Friedmjl

    Great contest, thanks for doing this!

    My mom is getting married in January (my dad passed away when I was young), and I would like to help her celebrate her honeymoon in style. She lives in China so there are some excellent award opportunities on this side of the world. Her dream honeymoon is the Maldives. So here is an even 100,000 SPG points:

    Transfer 50,000 points into 60,000 USAirMiles. Use the 60,000 miles for a business class flight on Singapore Airlines (Beijing – Singapore – Male), an amazing value for 11 hours of Singapore Business Class!

    The remaining 50,000 points will then be used for two nights (out of a 5 night stay) at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa for 25,000/points a night, another good deal as rooms are over $500/night.

    Both SQ and the Full Moon have availability for the trip when it will happen in January.

    Will be a trip of a lifetime, and in luxury and style the whole time!

  • falconred

    A lot of vacations are spent rushing around, traveling here and there, seeing many cities and sights. It’s rare I take a vacation to just RELAX and get away from things.

    1) Transfer 20k SPG points to AA -> 25k AA miles.

    2) Redeem Nights & Flights -> 50k more AA miles.

    3) AA Partner award on BA with the 75k AA miles. SFO -> LHR -> MRU (Mauritius). Hard to get further away (11,430 flight miles away each way) from hectic day-to-day life on a single reward ticket!

    4) 5 nights from N&F at the Le Méridien Ile Maurice for some sweet beach relaxation!

    5) Donate 10k miles to Charity directly through SPG. I would give the 10k miles to Unicef, as traveling to a resort in Africa is quite a privilege when so many there need help. I could book 1 extra night with the same points, but really this is a better use.

    There it is. 1 destination, no stopovers. Short, sweet, and hopefully blissfully relaxing.

  • Federico V

    Brian, there is a limit of days/nights? Do I have to tell you what to do on any destination (like Joe W and others)? or just 3 things like (for example)
    3 night in Brussels (visit the city, take a train to Bruges, take another to Amsterdam)

    what about the value of each point? Is better if I tell you that?

    Thank you

    Federico V.

    PS: I will use my Facebook account to post my (big) trip later because FB is blocked at work

  • David Hotz

    TPG – this is a great contest. Thanks a lot for holding it!

    My fiance and I would each get the 30K SPG point credit card, and then we’d transfer all the miles into one account giving us 160,000 points to plan our honeymoon after our wedding in October.

  • David Hotz

    Sorry for the multiple posts. The first one messed up.

    TPG – this is a great contest. Thanks a lot for holding it!

    My fiance and I would each get the 30K SPG point credit card, and then we’d transfer all the miles into one account giving us 160,000 points to plan our honeymoon after our wedding in October. We’ll transfer 100K points to Delta, yielding 120K miles. Then we’ll transfer them from her account to my account using the 100% bonus, giving us 240K miles allowing us to fly Business class. We would have a stopover on Malta, because, well, I’ve always wanted to go to Malta. There, we would stay at the the Westin Dragonara Resort. It’s a Category 4 resort, so we would stay there 5 nights using cash and points. That would be 20,000 points and $300. From there, we’d continue onto the Maldives where we’d stay at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. It’s a Category 6 hotel, so 5 nights would cost us 40,000 points and $750.

    So with 100,000 points, we’d fly business class to the Maldives with a stopover in Malta and stay at 2 different SPG resorts for 5 nights each. That gets us an almost 2 week honeymoon for right around $2,000 (including cash and points and Delta transfer fees) and a couple points on our credit score. C’mon TPG, make this dream come true!

  • Wesley

    I read The Underground City by Jules Verne and my favorite part of the book is a sunrise at Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.

    I would redeem 100,000 Starpoints to see the sunrise I read about with my fiancée, and explore the surrounding area. We would be flying out of Florida.

    Using the Nights & Flights II option I would redeem 70,000 Starpoints for five nights at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh and 50,000 JAL miles.

    I would transfer an additional 20,000 Starpoints into 25,000 JAL miles, taking advantage of the 5,000 mile bonus.

    I would transfer an additional 5,000 Starpoints into 5,000 JAL miles, so that my JAL mileage balance would be 80,000 miles. I would then redeem the 80,000 JAL miles for two off peak return flights in Y from North America to Europe Zone 1 on British Airways.

    I would transfer the remaining 5,000 Starpoints to a Banana Republic gift card to buy a sweater for the trip, as I would be traveling in colder off peak weather.

    While I had a lot of fun planning this, I would have a lot more fun actually doing it!

  • Wesley

    I tried to include the JAL / British Airways Award Chart URL but the link got butchered. I’ll include it here with spaces and hopefully that will work (just take the extra spaces out).

    h t t p : / / w w w . j a l . c o . j p / e n / j a l m i l e / u s e / p a r t n e r _ a i r / p _ b a / b a _ m i l e . h t m l

  • Spadams

    Greetings, Comrade! 100,000 points give me two options for traveling to mother Russia.

    The priciest item is, of course, the airfare – 80,000 points get me 100,000 miles with Finnair or United, both of which have tickets for that amount of miles from Sea-Tac to SVO Moscow.

    Option 1 : Travel to Moscow, St. Petersburg – this is if I’m feeling adventurous when I book. I’ll spend four nights traveling, staying in different cities and finding cheap rooms to pay for [or if contest allows, then OF COURSE I'll use my HH and PC points to get nicer rooms :) ]

  • David

    I’m a huge tennis fan based in Brazil.

    I’d redeem 40,000 SPG points for 100,000 LANPASS KM.

    Then I’d fly GRU-JFK in LAN business.

    Next I’d redeem 35,000 SPG points for their “Game On With SPG” promotion, and enjoy the 2011 US Open from the SPG Luxury Suite. The redemption awards 2 tickets so I would get to take my college roommate, who also loves tennis and lives in New York.

    I’d use cash and points to stay at the W New York Times Square for 3 nights for 24,000 SPG points + $450.

    Donate the remaining 1,000 points to UNICEF.

  • Spadams

    Greetings, Comrade! 100,000 points give me two options for traveling to mother Russia.

    The priciest item is, of course, the airfare – 80,000 points get me 100,000 miles with Finnair or United, both of which have tickets for that amount of miles from Sea-Tac to SVO Moscow.

    Option 1 : Travel to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novgorod, via rail, hopefully squeeze in the Ukraine as well – this is if I’m feeling adventurous when I book. I’ll spend four nights traveling, staying in different cities and finding cheap rooms to pay for [or if contest allows, then OF COURSE I'll use my HH and PC points to get nicer rooms !! ] The last night in Russia, use 16,000 points to stay at the NICE Hotel National on Mokhovaya.

    80,000 points get me there
    16,000 for one night stay
    4,000 get a discounted car rental, since I’ll only have a day or so to drive around Moscow proper.

    Option 2: Spend the week just seeing Moscow and hanging out – no car rental, but the hotel offers guided tours of the city, and 20,000 points plus $360 gets four nights at the same hotel. Also known as the ‘lazy but awesome’ option.

    80,000 points to get there
    20,000 points to stay there for four nights.

    Now my wife has to hope that she wins a similar contest so she can come with :)

  • Federico V

    Hi Jason, AFAIK you can not get the 5th nigh free using points+cash

  • WillWork4Points

    My partner and I are huge St. Regis fans and we have been itching to visit mainland China (we’ve been to Hong Kong and Macau already). 100K SPG points would make this really easy.

    Transfer 40K SPG points to get 50K BA miles to book a round trip ticket to Beijing on Cathay.

    Cities and hotels I would be staying at are as follows:

    St. Regis Beijing 5 nights at 4800 SPG points + 90/USD per day
    St. Regis Shanghai 4 nights at 4000 SPG points + 60/USD per day
    St. Regis Lhasa 4 nights at 4800 SPG points + 90/USD per day

    Intercountry transporation would be by bullet train (hopefully all the recalled trains are fixed by then!).

    Thanks for the gread advice, TPG!

  • Tricia C.

    I would use the 100,000 SPG points for my husband and I to visit Japan and Korea during Xmas and New years.

    As a teenager growing up in the 80′s, my family and I lived in Misawa, in case you aren’t familiar, it is a small US air force base and Japanese town located in the Aomori prefecture in Japan, it is located just north of Sendai ( the region that was hit hardest by the Tsunami and earthquake). The destruction that ripped through Japan was truly awful and it became personal to me as I felt an intense feeling of loss along with a sense of solidarity for the lovely people of Japan. I did not lose any family or friends that day , but I felt saddened like I was watching my happy childhood and teenage memories being swept away. I knew I had to return to the place where I had so many wonderful experiences and see how it all felt today.

    So, let the planning begin!!! (Awesome contest by the way!)I have relatives that live in Seoul and it just so happens that my best friend’s family resides in Sendai. She is planning a trip to visit them for the holidays and it would be great to join her! Winter can be an ideal time to visit Japan, we would hang with her and her family , do some charity work, participate in the holiday festivities, see the snow Monkeys of Sapporo ,do some skiing, visit the snow covered temples of Kyoto, see the lights and action in the big cities of Seoul and Tokyo, visit Korean relatives, karaoke, and of course, drink tons of warm/cold sake and soju! Doesn’t that sounds amazing!

    We live in San Diego, so here is how we would arrange the trip:

    Use our British Airways miles for business class tickets on partner JAL ,taking advantage of stopover rules with one way tickets ( learned from your excellent tutorial on using BA miles…thanks TPG!!!).

    Drive to L.A.
    Outbound: Los Angeles-Osaka ( stop…take bullet train to/from Kyoto) -Seoul
    Return: Seoul- Tokyo( own transportation to/from Sendai and Sapporo) Tokyo (stop) – Los Angeles
    Drive to San Diego

    Hotel Stays:

    Sheraton Gateway LAX : 1 free night Cost: 3000 point

    Westin Miyako Kyoto: 3 nights Cash and pts Cost:12,000 points plus $180.00

    Westin Chosun Seoul: 5 free nights Cost: 40,000 points with 5th night free
    2 nights Cash and pts Cost: 8000 points plus $120.00

    Westin Sendai: 2 nights cash and pts Cost: 9600 points plus $180.00

    Sheraton Sapporo Hotel 3 nights cash and points Cost: 8400 points plus $120.00

    Westin Tokyo 2 nights cash and points Cost: 16000 points plus $300.00

    Sheraton Gateway LAX : 1 free night Cost: 3000 point
    (substitute Four Points Sheraton LAX if Sheraton Gateway is more than 3000 points on night of return)

    TOTALS: 19 nights COST: 100,000 Starwood points plus $900.00

    Sounds fun…right????

  • Mooper

    Peak-season Spring Break for a family of five that needs to stay within the US but still wants to get the most value from their points: 70K SPG points for a Nights & Flights II package to snare five nights at a Category 4 property – the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale AZ – plus 40K points transferred to the airline of choice. The standard 25% SPG-to-airline mileage conversion bonus is nice, but not the holy grail. Instead of the typical 50K Delta miles it would normally secure, I’d time my redemption with the frequent stackable conversion promotions that yield 50% more miles – 75K in all. I’d then convert my remaining 30K SPG to 55K additional DL, using the same stacked bonuses. The 130K DL would be enough to get all five of us to AZ, and because we’re all Gold Medallion or better, all have a shot at first class upgrades on awards! I’d use my Starwood Platinum status to shoot for a room upgrade. The remainder 5K DL miles would be donated to charity. Total value of this trip if we get all upgrades might run $5,000+ out of pocket (nd $3,000+ if not)… and 5CPM for hotel points is quite impressive for a domestic trip.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Points Guy,
    I call it the “Concert Moment in Northern Europe”. The 100,000 points would be allocated as follows:

    1) 5,000 SPG points = two tickets to a TBD killer band performance in Europe through the Starwood “Moments by Starwood Preferred Guest” program for two special people. I say TBD because I have been very impressed with some of the offerings available for SPG European concert options in the past (e.g. U2) but am not seeing anything posted as of today that works for me (Oh sure, a Brittney Spears concert would be a “moment” for me… but probably more like the moment one passes a kidney stone!).

    2) 80,000 SPG points transfer to British Airways for 100,000 Executive Club Points to be used in conjunction with my newly earned Chase Companion Reward Voucher for TWO Business Class tickets to the concert venue in Northern Europe.

    3) 12,000 SPG points for three night’s stay at a Starwood Category 4 Hotel using Cash and Points.

    4) 3,000 SPG points donated to UNICEF… a great cause and a nice way to wrap up.

    This was fun to think about. Thanks for teeing up the contest!

  • WillWork4Points

    Sorry, didn’t read the T&C close enough and it appears I would have 800 SPG points left. I would donate miles from my own SPG account to reach the threshold to donating to the American Red Cross.

  • Anonymous

    Would love to spend the points for my parents. Would love to give them a first class ticket on Cathay to Hong Kong so that they could visit their relatives.

    Already have 275K miles on BA so I would transfer 20K starpoints to get 25K BA extra points for a roundtrip ticket to HK on Cathay first class.

    Would take 70K points for free nights and flights and book them into the Le Méridien Cyberport for 5 nights and put the points into their American Airlines account.

    Donate the last 10K to charity. 5K to American Red cross and 5k to Unicef

    20 + 70 + 10 = 100K. =)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdhzKDrVf8s Joey

    My 100,000 points would have the 5 redemptions
    as outlined in my youtube video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdhzKDrVf8s

    Boy it’s hard to keep it to 30 seconds!

  • Joefreyre

    I would take my grandmother outside the state of Florida. She has never traveled outside Florida since arriving from the carribean in the 1960s

  • Phil

    I’ll try and keep it as brief as possible….I’m a grand nephew of a nun who worked with Mother Teresa at the Missionary of Charity in India.

    My great aunt and 4 other nuns from the order were close friends of Mother Teresa and are heading to Venice early next year. They are traveling as part of a group representing Mother Teresa’s closest friends on her last step to sainthood (she’s currently in her 3rd step, beatification). They’re meeting a group of Cardinals who will be there and will be having a service at Saint Marco’s in her honor.
    As they are retired from their life’s work of charity, they are responsible for some expenses now that they weren’t when they worked with the Missionary of Charity. I’ve solicited Alitalia to give them free flights, and they have (even waived fuel surcharges!) and secured an inexpensive room for the 3 day stay, but your contest gave me a better idea. I would LOVE to put them up at the Hotel Danieli for these nights, as it would absolutely blow them away, and make them feel so special.
    They’ve spent their life living in shacks, huts and similar places, and only later in life have they enjoyed even a modicum of comfort, mostly through senior people in the church extending their homes to them.
    They have some funds budgeted (and donated), so they could handle the $150 USD and 8,000 Starpoints per person. In this instance they’d need 3 rooms (2 would have care givers traveling with them and need their own rooms with the caregiver, the other three could be together), so 3 rooms @ 8,000 per night for 3 nights is 72,000 Starpoints.
    Given who they are, and how I’d feel if I did anything else, the balance of 28,000 Starpoints would go to UNICEF, as they worked with children all over the world their entire life, so any guilt they would have for staying at what looks like so beautiful a hotel would be offset in their knowing that the balance went to needy children.

  • Anonymous

    Four things you need to know about my wife:
    1. She is frugal beyond all comparison. If she could figure out a way to separate the 2 plys of toilet paper I am convinced she would do it just to get more bang for her buck.
    2. She is an Indiana girl, which means she loves John Mellencamp, basketball, and above all Indy Car Racing. Nascar is just too slow!
    3. My most successful attempt to get her to love something other than the three things listed above has been sushi. On the rare days when I can convince her to splurge, we go out to a great LA sushi restaurant.
    4. She’s an amazing mother to our 2 young children, I love her more than you can know, and our 10th year anniversary is right around the corner.

    And so I took on your challenge to create an anniversary present for my wife, using 100,000 Starpoints and little else. The first challenge was to get babysitting so that my wife and I could get away on our own for a few days. As luck would have it, her mom will be in town, she said she’ll do it, and she refused to accept any Starpoints as compensation, despite my attempt to educate her on the fact that Starpoints are commonly worth twice as much or more than other reward points.

    You said to be brief, so I better get to it. Here’s the plan:

    I’d convert 80,000 Starpoints into LANPASS points. LAN airlines converts 1 Starpoint into 2 Lanpass kilometers, which is actually quite the deal considering 2 kilometers is about 1.25 miles. That’s a 25% transfer bonus right there!
    In addition, SPG gives another 25% bonus when transferring 20,000 Starpoints. That means that 80,000 Starpoints converts to 200,000 LANPASS kilometers.

    Now I go to the LANPASS award chart for Oneworld partners and I discover that 200,000 km will get my wife anywhere in the world (up to 100,000km EACH WAY!!!). Also note, that LANPASS redemptions allow one stopover or open jaw for each one-way ticket, no restrictions as to what continent or anything else! LANPASS redemptions are even better for short hops. If you’re transferring in 20k blocks, you can go from LAX to San Jose for just 4,500 Starpoints, roundtrip. 6,000 points gets you to Reno roundtrip, and 9,000 gets to Cabo and back! The only caveat is that these awesome awards are in Coach. I know, I know. Coach. Listen to me all you biz/first class folks out there. When all your flying for the past 6 years has been with 2 young children screaming, crying, fidgeting, fighting, and complaining the whole trip, your first child-free trip in coach is better than Singapore Airlines Raffles Class. Believe it.

    So I could easily lay out a trip for my wife to Capetown, South Africa with a stop in the Seychelles if I wanted to impress you. But please note things number 1 and 4 about my wife. She’s frugal. She appreciates luxury, but she’s not all about exotic destinations. And this is an anniversary trip. A getaway for one hardly fits the bill.

    So we’ll go to Tokyo, which from LA is just under 8,800km, granting us 4 one-way tickets for our 80,000 Starpoints, getting us both to the Land of the Rising Sun. (Note that you could do much the same transferring the same number of points to BA, but I believe the fees would be higher. Did I mention my wife is FRUGAL?)

    Why Tokyo? Three reasons. 1. My wife loves sushi. 2. My wife loves Indy Cars. 3…I’ll get to reason 3 later.

    Now it just so happens that on auction.starwoodhotels.com right now they are auctioning off 2 VIP All Access Passes to the Indy Japan 300 at Motegi! The auction as of now has one day left and the bids have stopped at 7,000 Starpoints. I’m going to budget 10,000 Starpoints to win that auction and get those VIP Passes, tickets, before and after-party invitations, etc. I know it would rock her socks off if I surprised her with that!

    That leaves 10,000 Starpoints to play with. We’d use 8,000 to stay 2 nights at the Sheraton Miyako Hotel in Tokyo, a beautiful category 4 hotel. We’d use the Cash and Points redemption option, spending $120 in addition to the 8,000 points for two magical nights in Tokyo. Even my frugal wife can’t complain about that deal.
    And that leaves us just 2,000 Starpoints. And the third reason I chose Tokyo. The racetrack at Motegi is just about halfway between Tokyo and a sleepy little province that most people never heard of until this year. Fukushima.
    My wife and I were riveted, like so many others, to the footage of the devastation of the tsunami, and the stories of unbelievable sacrifice and bravery during the nuclear disaster that followed. Our hearts went out to the people of Japan, and so with our remaining 2,000 Starpoints, as well as some points from our own SPG account, we would donate them to the Red Cross, putting money toward the much-needed, still ongoing relief efforts in that part of the world.

  • Dmskil

    I’m a high school journalism teacher, and I would like to provide 10 students who otherwise could not afford it with transportation and hotel for the state journalism convention in Sacramento in October.
    1. Convert 22,000 SPG points into Amtrak Guest Rewards Points. Take 10 students and 1 chaperone on the Capitol Corridor Amtrak train from Fremont to Sacramento round trip x 2,000 each = 22,000 Amtrak points.
    2. Convert 78,000 SPG points into American Airlines AAdvantage points. Use the AAdvantage points to book 6 rooms (13,000 each) at the Clarion Hotel Mansion Inn. The hotel needed to be near the convention center and have rooms with two beds, and the Clarion was the cheapest conversion I could find.

  • Jimgotkp

    First of all, I would like to thank you Brian for this chance to win 100K SPG points.

    I will give a some background on why I would use the points. First of all, I am a college studying Hotel Management and haven’t had the chance to stay at high end hotels due to financial reasons. I’ve always wanted to work at high end hotels that I learned about from the Burj al Arab in Dubai to the St. Regis in Singapore. So instead of working at the hotels, it would be an opportunity to stay at some of these high end hotels and not be the one behind the front desk.

    Since I recently started to get into the credit card sign-up bonuses, I have already accumulated 150K AA miles. Since we do credit card sign-up bonuses for redemptions on premium cabins, I would like to do a redemption in Business/First as well since I never flew in International Business (well I did once when I was 5 years old so that doesn’t really count) or International First. Because of this, I would use 20K SPG points to top off my AA account.

    With the 80K SPG points, I would do redemptions at Hong Kong and Singapore since they both have great hotels and unique culture. Since I would like to hotel hop, I would use the points at most if not all the properties in both cities with a Cash and Points redemption since I think it’s the best way of redeeming points.

    So here is the breakdown:

    Hong Kong:
    W Hong Kong (CAT 5) : 4.8K SPG x 3 Nights = 14.4K SPG + $240
    Sheraton Hong Kong and Towers (CAT 5) : 4.8K SPG x 2 Nights = 9.6K SPG + $180
    Le Meridien Hong Kong (CAT 4) : 4K SPG x 2 Nights = 8K SPG + $120

    Singapore:
    St. Regis Singapore (CAT 6) : 8K SPG x 3 Nights = 24K SPG + $450
    Sheraton Towers Singapore (CAT 4) : 4K SPG x 2 Nights = 8K SPG + $120
    W Singapore (Most likely a CAT 6) : 8K SPG x 2 Nights = 16K SPG + $300

    TOTALS: Hotels (14 Nights) = 80K SPG Points + $1,410, Airline = 20K SPG Points

  • Jonathan

    Usage 1. Hawaiian vacation – 5 nights at Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, 40,000 points, 5th night free; 5 nights at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, 40k points. 20,000 to 25k AA miles, toward flight award.

    2. Trip to Israel, 48,000 points for 5 nights at Sheraton Tel Aviv, one night at Le Meridien Dead Sea 2k points, 20k points for 2 nights at Le Meridien Eilat. Since this flight would be on BA miles, 3 nights at Sheraton Skyline Hotel London Heathrow for 30k miles.

  • Jorge Sarante

    I will use all the points in every single st Regis around the world, starting at the fabulous st Regis Bahia beach!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZAKQPMBR6WNIQD37PZ26RI6N5A Harrison

    i would go on a hooker tour of the USA. make reservations in some real classy hotels and just have a blowout hooker party in each of them…..

  • John and Audrey Berman

    With the bonanza of award points in the last year my balances are now higher than I ever thought possible. All of a sudden business class tickets for my whole family are possible when before I had to try hard to get a single economy class ticket. There are so many things to do with 100,000 Starpoints, especially in conjunction with the airline miles I now have, but I think it would be best to put these points to use doing good around the world. With the huge numbers of miles we all have now, it is helpful to step back and think about how much value these points actually have.

    These Starpoints could be converted to a $1,250 donation to the American Red Cross, which the website says will be matched by Starwood (through June 30, 2011 but maybe it is still active like the American Airlines 75K offers) resulting in a $2,500 donation. But, this wouldn’t be a Points Guy contest without making it a little more complex and highlighting all of the benefits of the program, plus the cash donation, while helpful to the American Red Cross, has no relationship to points or travel.

    One of the features of Starpoints is the ability to add 5,000 points to your transfer when you transfer 20,000 to an Airline. By transferring the 100,000 points to US Airways (60,000 on one day, then 40,000 on the next to get around the daily limit), I would have 125,000 US Airways points. These miles can then be donated equally as miles into the accounts of the American Red Cross, Fisher House Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Mercy Medical Airlift where they are used by the organization to help fulfill their respective mission. In this case, the organizations can use the miles to book travel that they need, which is likely worth much more than the $2,500 cash donation, and fits with the travel theme of the site.

  • Russ

    This idea sounds fun:
    Transfer 40000 pts to airline of choice for flights for 2 to New York (giving 50K miles to redeem for flights)
    35000 pts for 2 luxury box tickets to a day at the US Open Tennis Tournament in New York (comes with all the perks of a luxury box)
    2 nights at the W New York Times square with cash and points for 16000 pts +$300 cash
    On the other night in New York go see Mama Mia on Broadway for 9500 points
    Total=100,500 points
    As is often the case with using points it is hard to be exact. Starwoods has always been great to me in this regard and I think this is a great tip for your readers: Call and ask Starwoods for the extra 500 points. In my experience if you need under a 1000 points they are very generous.

  • bill eastman

    i would bid bid 24K points for the George Michael VIP experience in Madrid. 3nights @ Westin Palace in Madrid @ 12K pts per night. catch a train to rioja and stay 2 nights @ Hotel Marques de Riscal @ 20K pts per night.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W7DY6PNFSLSWEDKPXR3LVEMNGM ping

    This 100K SPG points will be great for me & my wife to achieve 4 milestone events for a 20-day tour from US to China:

    1. Celebrate our 20th anniversary for a “luxury” vacation in China
    2. Help me to achieve the AA Lifetime Gold tier (1MM)
    3. Visit my wife’s parents (88th years old)
    4. Attend my dad-in-law 88th birthday party.

    Total with estimated out of pocket cost of $500 for 20-day! The total retail value for this vacation will be approx. $14K – using 100K SPG points  14 cents/SPG point value!

    The proposed usage of the 100K SPG points for this 3-week China vacation:

    – Redeem 60,000 SPG points for 5 nights in a category 3 hotel in China (Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou Hotel) AND get 50,000 American Airline miles

    – Redeem 40,000 SPG points for 5 nights in a category 4 hotel in China (The St. Regis Shanghai) — using the Redeem 4 nights and get the 5th free night SPG award option.

    Details of the planned 3-week milestone events:

    1. AA Lifetime Gold Tier (1MM): My lifetime AA mile balance is approx. 950K miles using all available Citi, Mile transfer, Fidelity .. mile earning opportunities. The additional 50K AA miles from the 60K SPG points for 5-night/50K miles will let me become AA Lifetime Gold Tier (1MM) immediately!  out of pocket cost = $0

    2. Days 1 & 2: Use the 50K AA miles into my AA account for 2 Business class AA tickets from FL to Shanghai, China (PEK) for 220K miles –> out of pocket cost = $83 (tax). Estimated retail value = $10K

    3. Days 2-7: Using the free 5 night category 3 hotel coupon to check into “Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou Hotel” to relax the flight “pressure” and start to plan for the in-law’s 88th Birthday party & coming bus tour –> out of pocket cost = $20 (tips). Estimated retail value = $1K

    4. Days 7-14: Take the special 8-day/7-night bus tour sponsored by the China government for $49/person (this special rate can only be obtained from a few special travel agents in US) to visit 4 major cities in southern China:

    Shanghai (Yu Garden, Nanjing Street, Shanghai Bund …), Suzhou & Hangzhou (Hanshan Temple , Liu Garden ..), Najing …

    The tour fare of $49/person will include these incredible deals:
    • Five Star or Four Star Hotel (Twin Sharing)
    • Breakfast (Western and Chinese Buffet)
    • Sightseeing and Lunch including entrance fees
    • All intra-China ground transportation
    • Professional local English speaking guide
    Total out of pocket cost: $98 + $100 (tips). Estimated retail value = $1.5K

    5. Days 14-19: Check in “The St. Regis Shanghai” using the coupon from the 40K SPG points for any category 4 hotel. Compile videos & photos taken during the tour and air the vacation photos/videos in the in-law 88th birthday party.  Out of pocket cost = $220 (tips & party $). Estimated retail value (hotel only) = $2K

    6. Days 19-20: Take the AA business class seats from Shanghai & back to FL with the best lifetime memory for achieving 4 major milestones – Thanks to the lovely support from TPG!

  • Cory

    One of my best friends and I were all set and excited to visit Japan. All hotels and flights were booked. Then a few days before we were set to depart the earthquake hit and all of the uncertainty surrounding Fukishima, water, food, and power shortages caused us to very reluctantly and sadly cancel our trip. We are determined to do this trip. 100,000 Starpoints would get us a long way toward getting that planned and paid for.

    The most expensive cities would be Kyoto and Tokyo, especially since we’d want to do Kyoto during Cherry Blossoms. Fortunately, Starwood has properties in those 2 cities. My 100,000 Starpoint breakdown assumes I would get these points SOON, and would look like this:

    70,000 used in the “Nights and Flights” for 5 nights at the Category 4 Westin Miyako in Kyoto. With the 50,000 miles I would have them deposited in Delta Skymiles. For $560 I could transfer those to my friend’s account and have them become 100,000 Skymiles. Between the miles in my friend’s account, and the miles I possess we would have 2 1st/Business Class Tickets. (I would have enough Skymiles to transfer to my friend’s account without the Starpoint transfer if it happens after my stay in Kyoto, so I’d just be reimbursing my account with what I transferred)

    I would combine the remaining 30,000 points with 10,000 points I already have to get 5 nights for the price of 4 in the Sheraton Miyako Hotel in Tokyo.

    Total for this trip would be about $600 for the transfer fee+taxes/fees on the award flight. It would require 10,000 additional Starpoints and 100,000+ additional Skymiles that I have currently. But, I think 10 nights in perhaps Japan’s 2 most expensive cities in the middle of Cherry Blossom season plus the value in the first class flight provides fabulous value for the 100,000 Starpoints.

  • Bryan

    I would mindlessly transfer 100,000 SPG points into US Airways miles for the 25% transfer bonus oso then I could add to what I have and get the wife and I on an mini RTW =)

    It’s possible I could grown a brain and use the SPG points better if I actually won them ;)

  • Anonymous

    I like the plan! One comment: I wouldn’t go for the Lima Sheraton. I was in Lima just last week and one of the first things the guide told me as we drove by was that the Lima Sheraton was in a pretty crap part of town. The flyertalk thread agrees. Okay during the day, but pretty scary at night. Now the J.W. Marriott down at the waterfront…

  • http://twitter.com/luofeid Luofei Deng

    These trips are more about the journey than the ultimate destination and are both something I have been not-so-seriously thinking of doing. My two redemption options are:

    1) Trip sailing around the Virgin Islands
    - Would transfer 50K Starpoints to AA/Oneworld (with the bonus they become 60K), that’s enough for first class RT from BOS (Boston Logan) to EIS (Tortola, British Virgin Islands). Flying first class will be nice since the trip has 3 legs unavoidably, so lounge access is key.
    - Charter a small sailboat (sub 40 foot) from Footloose Charters (~$2000 for 6 days) and sail to St. Johns in the U.S. Virgin Islands
    - Stay at the Westin St. John’s (SPG category 5) for 48K Starpoints, keeping the boat for daytrips.
    Grand total: 98K Starpoints (2K left over!)

    2) Recreate Top Gear Vietnam Christmas Special
    - Use Nights and Flights option (60K Starpoints) for 5 nights at the Sheraton Hanoi (SPG category 3) and 50K miles to Air Canada/Aeroplan miles (Star Alliance)
    - Transfer an additional 20K Starpoints to Aeroplan (with bonus: 25K miles)
    - Book economy trip for BOS (Boston Logan) to SGN (Ho Chi Minh City) and then from HAN (Hanoi) back to BOS. As much as I would love to take even half of this trip in business class (preferably the way back), I don’t know of a way to swing it with the points at my disposal, especially given that Starpoints transfer 2:1 to Continental and United.
    - Chose Air Canada of the various options (ANA, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways) because that would allow me to book this itinerary for 75K miles.
    - Spend 15 million Vietnamese dong, about ~$1000, to buy a heavily used moped/motorcycle to go from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi.
    Grand total: 80K Starpoints (20K left over! Plenty to do something else with…)

  • Pierre Le Van

    That’s a cool contest. I revised my maths for a few hours which is not too bad :)

    I would do two main things with these points :

    1) South American tour on a budget with a lovely but not rich Argentinian girl – hostels for accomodation -

    I’m in Europe but I can use all my remaining BMI miles to go to Buenos Aires from Europe with TAM for almost nothing.
    To make that tour, I’m gonna convert 60k Starwood Points into 75k British Airways miles. I will only use LAN to have the best value so the awards will be very cheap in taxes and miles. But it’s almost imposible to book it online directy so I will have to phone them.

    EZE – SCL (stopover) – IPC = 12,5k ba miles * 2 people = 25k ba miles
    Great use of miles : Going to Eastern Islands fom Buenos Aires is extremely expensive + We’ll try to get bumped in Santiago (which happens quite often on this line apparently) to get free LAN vouchers.

    IPC – LIM (stopover) – BOG = 12,5k ba miles * 2 = 25k ba miles
    Same story as above : I will try to get bumped in IPC
    Visit of Machu Picchu and Peru during the stopover / other Central American countries easily accesible from Bogota.

    BOG – LIM or SCL (GIG?) – IGR or EZE = = 12,5k ba miles * 2 = 25k ba miles
    That would be a great opportunity to visit Iguazu Falls (another expensive ticket) if possible before going back to Buenos Aires by bus.

    2) Trip of a lifetime in Egypt for my Gradma who will turn 80 next year

    I spent a lot of time to find a decent award CDG-CAI with different programmes. But due to the ridiculous expensive taxes for flights departing from Europe which makes an award ticket sometimes more expensive than a revenue ticket, I prefer paying a flight (which earns miles) from my pocket between Paris and El Cairo.
    It would cost me around 400 euros for a direct flight (I don’t want to force my grandmother to do a mileage run either). So I will use all the remaining Starwood Points in accomodation which is a pretty good deal.
    - 9 nights at “Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel and SPA” in El Cairo at 3k/nights = 27k Starwood Points (very good value for an usual cost of 143 euros/night + just in front of the Pyramids Grandma has dreamt since her childhood = priceless)
    - 1 night at “Le Méridien Etoile” in Paris at 12k points (not a fantastic deal but Grandma will appreciate a night in the capital)

    The 1k points left wil be given to the UNICEF.

  • Cory

    Thought I had managed to post this, but it doesn’t seem to show up. Sorry if this proves to be a duplicate.

    Short & Sweet Overview:
    70,000 for “Nights and Flights” in Kyoto
    30,000 to put towards a 5 Nights for the Price of 4 in Tokyo

    I tried to do this Japan trip this year, but I was supposed to leave about a week after the earthquake with a friend, so I had to pass. My friend and I would still love to go during Cherry Blossom time.

    The Details:
    70,000 “Nights and Flights” for 5 nights at the Category 4 Westin Miyako in Kyoto. The 50,000 airline miles would be deposted into my Delta Skymiles account. I would have flexibility in how to use these 50,000 miles. For $560 I could transfer those to my friend’s account and have them become 100,000 Skymiles under the current promotion for 100% match on transferred miles or a lesser value if we chose to fly economy. Those miles, combined with existing miles, would be enough for a 1st/Business Class ticket. I would also use Skymiles for an award ticket, but that’s not part of the 100,000 Starpoitns.

    I would combine the remaining 30,000 points with 10,000 points I already have to get 5 nights for the price of 4 in the Sheraton Miyako Hotel in Tokyo.

    So, the Starpoints would get me 10 nights in hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto. The miles from the Nights & Flights would get me virtually an award flight, but I would transfer them to my friend for the 100% bonus.

    But, I think 10 nights in perhaps Japan’s 2 most expensive cities in the middle of Cherry Blossom season plus the value in the first class flight provides fabulous value for the 100,000 Starpoints.

  • VG

    Creative thought processes running! Exhaustive research has revealed to me that the “cash + points” redemption is the most point-savvy and efficient use of SPG points. I’m of Indian heritage, born in America, and would love to learn more of my culture, plus I’ve only dreamed about the food in India! I’ve also always dreamed of going to the Maldives, since I saw my brother’s wedding pictures from there.

    The following plan exercised creativity in highlighting as many redemption methods as I possibly could (in honor of SPG doing this cool contest) and staying with hotels that are in the top 5 on Tripadvisor for every city I’m staying in (except for #8 in Delhi).

    Preparation: Used Conde Nast Traveller, Tripadvisor, Amazon.com, SPG, American Airlines
    Always dreamed of owning noise-cancelling headphones: $50 Amazon gift cert for 5000 points
    I have a thing of getting Starbucks mugs for foreign cities I visit: $25 Starbucks gift cert for 2800 points

    1. Cash economy round trip from LAX to DEL for < $1500 (AA through Chicago) – this could also be done with miles from the Citi AA credit card offers I just applied for
    2. Exchange 35k SPG points for 40k AA miles + $350 cash for one-way upgrade to business class for the outbound (I've always found business class to be much more helpful for the outbound, as it's so much easier to cure jet lag on the westbound return).
    3. 1 night stay after arrival in Delhi at ITC Maurya for 10k points (no cash, as cash and points wasn't available)
    4. Ground travel to Agra to see Taj Mahal, stay 1 night at ITC Mughal for 2800 points + $45
    5. Ground travel to Udaipur to stay with family I have there
    6. Ground or more likely air travel to Hyderabad, stay at Westin Hyderabad (#1 on tripadvisor!!) for 3 nights, total of 8400 points + $135
    7. Ground travel to Bangalore, stay at Sheraton Bangalore for 3 nights, total of 12,000 points + $180
    8. Air travel to Male, Maldives, stay 2 nights at Sheraton Maldives for total of 16k points + $300; I spoke with their SPG rep who said that there are frequent bonuses to choose from for Instant Rewards, but needs specific dates and reservation to discuss further
    9. Return to Delhi, then home. Option to stay with family in Delhi as needed (just didn't want to crash one night with them on the way in).

    Redemptions:
    Rooms (Cash plus Points) 39,200
    Rooms (Free nights) 10,000
    AA miles for upgrade 35,000
    Partners 7800
    Instant Rewards planned for Maldives 5,000
    Donation to UNICEF: 3000

    TOTAL: 100,000 with 6 unique redemption methods

  • Anonymous

    Hi,
    My name is Anthony. I enjoy long walks on the moon and my favorite pizza is hot pockets.

    All Kidding aside.

    I will take a trip by myself to avoid debating to harm my ear canal so I would not have to hear my lovely potential travel/life partner.

    100k Spg Points.

    -70k for a good ole night and flights with AA

    I would spend my five nights at a Cat 4 Westin Valencia
    for conversion purposes I will also involve dollar amount
    $230 US a night time 5=1150

    I will use 40 of the 50k of AA miles for flights JFK-BCN—-BCN-JFK(stopover +3 months)-HLN

    In 2 months I will take my flight to HLN, I will then transfer 7k for AA miles to add to my left over 10k aa miles to get me a one way form HLN to JFK for a total of 17K

    I will not redeem 3500 points for a rental car cert of $50. This is simply a waste of points.(1.4 cents per point)

    I will then pay for a round trip to Israel roughly 500 dollars.

    I will then stay at the Le Meridien Dead sea to experience one of the worlds greatest wonders that will soon be no more, The Dead Sea. There is a HUGE value at this hotel as it is a category 1!!

    5 nights here containing 2 weekend nights will run me 13000 points.

    The rates is a whopping 480/night x 5= $2400

    I will use my remaining points to give me a head start on my bonus trip i created with a stopover and use my last 10 k on a night at the Sheraton princess Kauilani.

    I went with getting the most value per point and I think I have done Wonderful at this aspect. Hopefully your next contest you will send us to the moon so I can enjoy one of my favorite past times….only thing we have to work on is figuring out how to enjoy pizza hot pockets on the moon.

    100K= Starting Value SPG
    -70K= Nights and flights 50K AA + 5 night at Westin Valencia
    -7k=7ooo AA miles to get me home from HLN
    -13K= 5 nights at Le Meridien Dead Sea
    -10K= One night Sheraton Princess Kauilani

    im looking at a grand total of

    $1150=Westin Valencia Value
    $2400=Le Meridien Dead Sea Value
    $1000= RT Barcelona
    $900=RT Honolulu
    $103= 1 night Sheraton princess Kauilani

    $5553/100,000= 5.55 cents per point!!!!!!!

    only out of pocket expense would be the RT from BCN to TLV plus all taxes and processing fees.

    All in all I have 11 nights at beautiful hotels. a round trip flight from jfk to Barcelona. a RT flight to Honolulu from JFK. I have packed 3 vacations worth with my points.

  • Pingback: Four travel blogs giving away 100,000 Starpoints this week - Loyalty Traveler

  • Tim

    I’m going to Europe!!!

  • Vy

    I would like to visit Vietnam and discover my root ancestry and culture. Both of my parent have large families left in Vietnam and I have not once seem them yet. My plan is to visit them after I graduate from college this fall. I have enough miles for travel to Vietnam thanks to credit card offer from your blog. My families in Vietnam live on a low income area and I would like to use the points to treat all of them on nice vacation of a lifetime. My plan would be to take them for a long trip in Nha Trang and use the points and cash option for multiple rooms at the Sheraton Nha Trang. Hopefully, they will have a wonderful memories in their lifetime.

  • Tony Chen

    I’d redeem it for SPG’s “nights and flights” option for 5 nights at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. I’ll end up with 50,000 miles at Hawaiian Air; good enough for a round trip First class ticket.

    The balance of 30,000 Starpoints; I’de use another obscure option. To assuage such a guilt laden trip, I’d donate the points using starpoints to UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. This option is one offered by SPG as well.

    Cheers!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YIMUVBM6T3I6KJS6HT2OQOADJU SayyidA

    I been longing to go to South Africa, especially after watching the World Cup and seeing the beauty of South Africa. This would give me the perfect opportunity to do so. I already have a good chunk of Alaska Mileage Points so in order to redeem for one of those elusive flights on Alaska’s redemption partner, Cathay Pacific, I will transfer 60K to Alaska Mileage Plan and receive 75K with the bonus just to have enough points to redeem for Cathay Pacific F Award redemption roundtrip from JFK to South Africa via Hongkong (1 Stopover permitted) for 140K. Rest will be used for hotels in the beautiful Westin Grand Cape Town for 4 nights for 40K SPG points.

  • Todd aka A TPG Disciple

    So my wife and I will be coming to New York City to see 2 musicals and stay at 4 different Starwood hotels. Since I was lucky enough to get in on the 100K Platinum Amex Bump, I transferred the first 50K to my Delta account for 75K miles (getting bumped to Platinum in 2012) and then transferred 50K to my wife’s Delta account for 75K miles (getting her bumped to Silver). So the First Class (we might get upgraded, by why take the chance- it is a vacation after all) round-trip airline tickets are covered. Thanks Brian!

    My wife loves musicals, so I will take her to see wicked Saturday night 9/3 at 8pm- cost is16,300 points each. We will see the Lion King on Sunday 9/4 at 630pm- cost is 11,300 each.

    Now on to the difficult part. Hotels in New York City on short notice. Friday night was easy- 9/2 Element NY for 12,000 points. Saturday required a call into SPG because free nights showed no point totals. This caused me to have go into smooth talking mode due to the fact that they wanted my member number to verify I had enough points to cover the night, which I don’t right now. I explained that I was trying to surprise my wife and just needed to know if this night would be peak or off peak. The wonderful rep, Veronica, was able to tell me it would be off peak- sweet! Saturday night, 9/3, at the W Times Square for 20K. I have never been to NY, so we will want to see the city- if only we knew someone who lived in NY and would show us around! ;o) We will need at least 2 more nights, so on to the cash & points option, Sunday 9/4 W Union Square for 8,000 points and $150. Getting low on points now, lucky for me the Westin NY is a CAT5- BOOM! 4,800 points and $90 gets us Monday – 9/5! Since I have the Amex Platinum card, I am automatically Gold Preferred so maybe we will get an upgrade (or 4!).

    9/3 Wicked- 16,300 x 2= 32,600 points
    9/4 Lion King- 11,300 x 2= 22,600 points
    9/2- Element= 12,000 points
    9/3- W Times Square= 20,000 points
    9/4- W Union Square= 8,000 points and $150
    9/5- Westin NY= 4,800 points and $90

    Total= 100,000 points and an incredible memory thanks to TPG ans Starwood American Express!

  • Anonymous

    I felt like combining this 100k with the rest of my mileage stack would be a bit too easy, so I decided to see just how far I could stretch these miles alone. The results were pretty astonishing! I’ve compiled an abridged version of my dream vacation. I present to you a ~10-night whirlwind tour of the world (a proper mini-RTW). I’ve always wanted to do this and if I win you can be damn sure I will!

    PLAN OF ATTACK:
    [*] I’d exchange 60kSPG points for an Aeroplan Mini-RTW economy class ticket (75K Aeroplan miles after the 15K transfer bonus). All of the airfare mentioned here is taken from that bucket. I’ve maximized the itinerary with 2 stopovers, an outbound over the atlantic and a return over the pacific.
    [*] I’d exchange the remaining SPG points for hotels at each stopover and the turn for Cash and Points stays.
    [*] For extra effect, each hotel stay should be better than the last, if judged at least by SPG category! Feels better that way to me, ending on the most luxurious note.

    I’m ex-SFO so naturally the trip begins there.

    (1): SFO-VIE
    Lufthansa Flight from San Francisco to Vienna via Frankfurt
    LH455/LH1238 (1445 – 1405+1)

    (2): 2 Nights @ Hotel Bristol Vienna (SPG Category 5 Hotel)
    Retail Cost: $330/nt
    Redemption Rate: 4800SPG + $90USD
    Total Cost: 9600SPG + $180
    Value: 5.0CPP

    (3): VIE-SVO
    Austrian / SAS Flight from Vienna to Moscow Sheremetyevo
    OS301/SK734 (0715 – 1545)
    [Or similar, 7AM is a bad departure time but this was my proof-of-concept routing]

    (4): 3 Nights @ Hotel National Moscow (SPG Category 5 Hotel)
    Retail Cost: $566/nt
    Redemption Rate: 4800SPG + $90USD
    Total Cost: 14400SPG + $270
    Value: 9.91CPP

    (5): SVO-NRT
    Turkish Airways from Moscow to Tokyo via Istanbul
    TK414/TK50 (1340 – 1010+1)

    (6): 2 Nights @ The Westin Tokyo (SPG Category 6 Hotel)
    Retail Cost: $806/nt
    Redemption Rate: 8000SPG + $150
    Total Cost: 16000SPG + $300
    Value: 8.2CPP

    (7): NRT-SFO
    ANA Direct Flight from Tokyo to San Francisco
    NH8 (1725 – 1045+1)

    VALUE ANALYSIS:
    Total Airfare Points Cost: 60000SPG + TAX (Matrix: ~$4000 or 6.67CPP)
    Total Hotel Points Cost: 40000SPG + $750.00
    Hotel Weighted Average CPP: 8.04CPP
    Total Weighted Average CPP: 7.22CPP
    Miles Used: 100K (100%)

    The trip as outlined above would have cost approximately $7970USD, but instead the cost comes to $750USD + the tax on the mini-RTW booking (and since it doesn’t include any Air Canada segments, the taxes and fuel surcharges should be quite reasonable). The average value of an SPG point in the redemption is 7.22 cents US, a massive MASSIVE value.

    For what it’s worth, I really enjoyed planning this itinerary. I’d never planned a mini RTW and more importantly I’d never tried to redeem SPG points. It was a great learning experience and a ton of fun, especially since I became the proud owner of an SPG Amex last week thanks to TPG!

  • Bill K.

    My vote would be to go an SPG luxury resort in Greece and reconnect with family at the same time.

    The Westin Costa Navarino in Costa Navarino, Greece is in an area of the mainland of Greece not really known for tourism, but is beautiful nonetheless. The project was essentially over 20 years in the making and looks to be amazing and is within 20 minutes of both the village that my mother who was born in Greece grew up in and another village where my father who was born in Greece, grew up in. And near some of my many relatives, including my grandmother.

    I would cash in the points for a 21 day cash and points stay at the Westin Costa Navarino next summer. Which would give me adequate time to both relax and enjoy myself with my wife at the hotel and explore the area and reconnect with family. This would put me 800 miles short if I book 21 days, but I would purchase or accumulate the additional 800 points to make the numbers work and I would save up, as I am already in planning this trip for the cash component. $90/night adds up, but it would be a trio of a lifetimes for the experience and family.

  • Lorie

    If I won, I would use the points for a Hawaiian Island getaway to Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii.

    I would first visit Kauai and stay at the Westin Princeville for 6 nights (using the five nights for the price of 4 option and adding a night). I know the St Regis is high on everyone’s list in Kauai, but this property is right
    down the street from it, has a condo set up which is nice with additional rooms and they share some amenities. That would be 60,000 points. And give me ample time to see the Na’pali coast, relax and see the beautiful island.

    I would then go over to the Big Island and spend 5 nights at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort. With the hotel being 10,000 points a night, I could stretch my remaining 40,000 points into a 5 night reward for the price of 4. I could then explore this unique island with it’s beautiful beaches, rainforests, volcano and of course wonderful coffee farms.

  • Garrett

    Since I’ve absolutely had it with my job lately and I will soon be telling my manager to shove his you know what up his you know where, I plan on stretching the 100K SPG points to its breaking point, and then maybe stretching it a bit more.

    I would first transfer 20K SPG points into my British Airways account, which would result in 25K Executive Club miles. I would redeem those miles for a one-way economy ticket from San Francisco to Jakarta, Indonesia on Cathay Pacific economy class via Hong Kong. Once there, I will begin my “Category 1 Econo-Tour” of Indonesia with a wonderful weekend stay at the Sheraton Bandara Hotel in Jakarta International Airport. With my remaining 78K SPG points, I will have more than enough to begin my 4 week journey through Indonesia, staying at only Category 1 Sheratons (hey, in this economy, you gotta live within your means).

    Starting with a ferry ride westward across the Sunda Strait to the city of Bandar, I will enjoy the hospitality of the Sheraton Lampung. Using that as my base, I will spend one week exploring Sumatra’s National Parks, including Gunung Leuser and Lake Toba.

    Heading back to Jakarta, I will spend the next week at the Sheraton Media Hotel & Towers, taking in the big city life and subsisting on President Obama’s favorite Indonesian dish: bakso soup. At roughly a dollar a pop, I figure $20 USD will last me a week and then some.

    I will work my way East through Central Java, where I will take residence at the Sheraton Mustika Resort and Spa. From there, I will explore the temples of Yogyakarta, then work my way to the volcanoes of Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park.

    Finally, I will make a dash to Lombok, where I will relax in my final week at the Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort. Yes, this is the poor man’s Bali, but a white sand beach is a white sand beach, and it won’t matter anyways once I have a few shots of Arak in my system.

    After my journey is through, I may have 2-3K SPG points left, which I will use to redeem for a $25 gift card at Starbucks (because there’s one around the corner in Lombok). I’ll purchase enough coffee to keep myself awake for 3 days straight while I use the empty cups to beg for enough money to ship myself back to SFO.

    Hopefully I’ll live.

  • PJ

    Hong Kong:
    W Hong Kong (CAT 5) : 4.8K SPG x 3 Nights = 14.4K SPG + $240
    Sheraton Hong Kong and Towers (CAT 5) : 4.8K SPG x 2 Nights = 9.6K SPG + $180
    Le Meridien Hong Kong (CAT 4) : 4K SPG x 2 Nights = 8K SPG + $120

    hi could you tell me how you got those rates? need a Diamond status to get those rates ?

  • PJ

    “stay at Sheraton Hong Kong for 1 night (cost: 4,800 SPG points + $90)”
    I am searching for a SPG hotel for early November in HKG cud you show me how you get that one ? thanks

  • Flo_147

    Attention attention here comes the next Nobel Prize winner lol^^

    What I’ll do with 100k SPG points? Well, thats damn easy, when I can WAIT to use the points, then I’ll do the following: firstly I would exchange all the points into Amtrak points, which will give me 100k Amtrak points. Then I would transfer 100k Amtrak points into 300k Choice points and wait until they run their 100% promotion for United miles again. Under this promotion I would then get 120k UA miles, which I transfer for no fee to Continental (=120k CO miles), exchange those miles into Amtrak points again, which gives me 120 Amtrak points and do this again and again like a Perpetuum Mobile ;) … Doing this I would not only win the 100k SPG points but also the Nobel Prize for being able to proove the existance of a Perpetuum Mobile in reality lol^^

    And if I had to use the miles NOW, then I would transfer 90k SPG into 90k Amtrak, then 85k of those points into 255k Choice points. I’d then use 240k of 255k Choice points for their „promotion“, where you can get hotel rooms instead of 75k points a night for just 8k a night (ref http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/choice-privileges/1225259-europe-sale.html, post #3). This will give me 30 nights in New Zealand; the remaining 15k Choice points I’d transfer into 3k US miles. The remaining 5k Amtrak points into 10k Hilton points and then into 850 US miles. This would give me besides 3,850 US miles also 2 hits for their Grand Slam 2011 promotion. To score even more hits, I’d transfer 1 SPG point (I am Plat member) directly into 1 US mile (=3rd hit) and 2,002 SPG points into 2,002 Aeroplan miles, which I then convert using points.com into 1 US mile (2 aeroplan= 1 US; =4th hit) and into 2,000 ICH points paying 20 USD fee. Those 2k ICH points would top up my ICH balance and I’d then transfer 10k ICH points into 2,000 US miles (=5th hit). This would not only give me 5 valueable hits for the grand prize at the Grand Slam 2011 but also 5,850 US miles on top of it. Moreover, I am convinced that I will score enough hits to get the big price (100k+ US miles). Using those US miles I would fly with NZ in C class via PEK to AKL. At PEK I’d Use 7,200 SPG points for a 6 day C&P-stop-over at the cat 1 Aloft Peking hotel (+150 USD). And the remaining 797 points will get me above the 0.9 mio miles with AA, geting closer and closer to lifetime status ^^. To sum it up: 100k SPG points will get me a NZ C class ticket to NZ, 6 nights in PEK and 30 nights in NZ and even gets me closer to lifetime AA status – pretty cool, innit?

    flo_147

  • http://twitter.com/sfaoffroad Ray Litteaur

    I would transfer 60k points to AA for 70k. Use that to fly me and my girlfriend to Hawaii during off peak time. At Hawaii, I would stay at cat 6 like the Royal Hawaiian or Staint Regis Princeville Resort for cash and points. 100k points + $750

  • Anonymous

    If I won the 100k points, I would transfer them to another award program when bonus points specials are available, then re-transfer them to either gather more bonus points or purchase an award flight & hotel free nights. Vancouver, BC comes to mind as a destination I would like to have a couple of days or more to explore.

  • Geo1004

    This is my slam dunk:

    For my wife’s birthday weekend, four nights at the recently renovated St. Regis in Florence, Italy at 25k SPG points per night. The location on the Piazza Ognissanti is unparalleled. She also owes me dinner at the restaurant of my choice so being walking distance from Enoteca Pinchiorri makes this ideal.

  • Becca

    I already have a lot of miles and points, so if I win, I will blow the 100K SPG points on hats.

    I would purchase Nordstrom gift certificates totaling $1050

    (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/account/starpoints/redeem/partners/detail.html?IndustryType=MERCHANDISE&PartnerCode=NORDSTROM)

    5000 points for $50
    9500 points for $100
    14500 points for $150.

    So, I would get 5 X $150 plus 6 X $50 or 10 X $100 plus 1 X $50 = 100SPG for $1050 Nordstrom gift cards.

    I would then go to the local Nordstrom and use my gift cards to purchase $1000 worth of hats, with 5% sales tax. I am, as I type, perusing all of the possibilities online:

    (http://shop.nordstrom.com/sr?keyword=hats+for+women&origin=PredictiveSearchNordstrom Hats)

    Becca
    p.s. If you do another contest, please do it with someone who partners with Lowe’s or Home Depot. I need a bigger closet.

  • Joe W

    @PJ: The trip I build above would require at least 6-9 month booking and seraching in advance in order to find available flights and hotel availability. Currently I don’t see from SPG.com that Sheraton HK is available for cash & point option in early November. One interesting one that I found (as suggest you consider) is that the St. Regis Shenzhen will open on November 1, 2011. It is very possible that it will be a category 5 hotel (like St Regis Lhasa opened last year) and I think it is likely there will be cash & point option available after the grand opening as a new hotel.

    As I mentioned above, shenzhen is just next tho Hong Kong and is one hour train or bus commute from Hong Kong (approximately $10-$15 fee) and 1 hour ferry from Macau (approxmately $15 ferry fee). So you could stay at St Regis Shenzhen as a gateway to enjoy both cities.

    Hopefully this helps

  • AJ

    80,000 transfer to 100,000 AA miles, RT business to Europe
    20,000 5 nights at cat 4 plus $300 (point and cash)

  • Paul Park

    SPG points are like Gold. Here’s where exactly 100,000 points will go.

    Transfer 60,000 SPG points to LAN = 135,000 LANPASS km
    At a 1:2 ratio and the 5,000 mile bonus per 20,000 points, this is by far the best redemption value.

    Redeem 2 x 48,000 LANPASS km for two roundtrip economy tickets from North America (in my case JFK) to Lima, Peru. (Still left with 39,000 LANPASS km’s)

    I’ll arrive in the morning, tour Lima for the day and visit the sites in Miraflores. You can’t miss the local restaurant Huaca Pucllana and the pyramid ruins next door.

    Then I’d use 36,000 LANPASS km’s to fly roundtrip for 2 in economy from Lima to Cusco, site of the famous Machu Picchu. (I’d have 3,000 LANPASS km’s remaining for future travel)

    Next I would redeem 40,000 SPG points for 5 nights (5th night free) at the Category 4 – Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa in Valle Sagrado Urubamba. Just a short train ride away to Machu Picchu and a great redemption since this is a Luxury Collection property, voted #1 in TripAdvisor with a 98% positive review rating. Rates during peak season nearly tops $500/night.

    All in all, 2 round trip international tickets, 2 domestic tickets in another country and 5 free nights at a world class resort near the heart of a UNESCO world heritage site is hard to beat.

  • AKTCHI

    My wife is so close to lifetime status at AA that for starters I will transfer not only these 100K SPG points, but also another 20K of my own, to her account and then to AA for 150K miles for her. There is nothing else that will give me even remotely comparable value.

    Now, having done that, I will ask her to please buy me the following One World Business Class award which emphasizes Eastern Europe and Asia, and will also let me visit my friends at both coasts in the USA:

    JFK-HEL-PRG-BUD-IST-AMM-BKK-HKG-DPS-HKG-PEK-NRT-HNL-SFO

    It clocks in at 24,993 miles, so 150K miles will be about right (they permit up to 25K flown miles in J).

    Rather than getting lost in my own selfish calculations alone, I would not forget Starwood’s generosity. I do want my benefits, but fair is fair and the overall travel ecosystem also has to remain healthy. So, as you must have noticed, I am not cashing any of these free points at any SPG hotel this time. Instead, I’ll make absolutely sure that I book several paid stays at Starwood hotels during this trip.

    Now, if do I win another 100K next year, I can do South Pacific and South America as well. :)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrukJvzD_ZI Travelhackerr

    That’s my entry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrukJvzD_ZI

    Please don’t be too critical, its my first youtube video :) Youtube shows 31 seconds, but iMovie shows only 30s. So I hope its still okay.

  • Cathy Lewis

    Wow, I cannot believe how far 100,000 points would go! I would take four fabulous vacations, two across the USA and two beach vacations, as follows:

    Vacation One (10 nights driving from South Arkansas, 5-7 hours driving between destinations):
    - 2 nights (Friday and Saturday) at the Sheraton Westport Plaza, St. Louis, MO (6,400 points for 2 weekend nights cat 2). Dinner on the Hill, St. Louis has fabulous free museums and a great botanical garden.
    - 2 nights (Sunday & Monday) at Four Points Kansas City Airport (2,400 points for 2 nights C&P cat 1). FYI, the airport is actually very convenient to Kansas City shopping, dining and sightseeing and is surrounded by great hotels that are super cheap on weekends.
    - 2 nights (Tuesday & Wednesday) at the Aloft, Tulsa, Oklahoma (3,200 points for 2 nights C&P cat 2). Catch a Tulsa Drillers game!
    - 3 nights (Thursday-Sunday) at the Aloft, Frisco, Texas (11,600 points for 2 nights category 2 weekend, 1 night C&P, 1 night pts, all cat 2). Frisco is an awesome suburb, minutes from downtown Dallas, the Galleria, stadiums, and dining.

    Total points used for vacation One: 23,200

    Vacation Two (12 nights driving from South Arkansas):
    - 2 nights (Thursday & Friday) at Four Points Memphis, TN (4,600 points for 1 night weekend cat 2, 1 night points). Going back to Graceland and the world’s best rib joints.
    - 1 night (Saturday) Four Points Knoxville, TN (3,000 points cat 2 weekend). Beautiful city on the river.
    - 1 night (Sunday) Sheraton Roanoke, VA (4,000 points cat 2). Blue Ridge Parkway – stunning!
    - 2 nights (Monday & Tuesday) Four Points Manassas Battlefield, VA (2,400 points 2 nights C&P cat 1). Time for history lessons and visit my cousins.
    - 2 nights (Wednesday & Thursday) Sheraton Annapolis, MD (3,200 for 2 nights C&P). Great seafood and boating.
    - 2 nights (Friday & Saturday) Sheraton Atlanta Perimeter North, GA (6,000 points for 2 weekend nights, cat 2). High Museum of art by day, ball game at night.
    - 2 nights (Sunday and Monday) Sheraton Birmingham, AL (5,600 points for 1 nights C&P, 1 night points, cat 2). A great southern city.

    Total Points used for Vacation 2: 28,800

    Vacation Three (5 nights Cancun, flying)
    convert 20,000 SPG points to 25,000 AA miles for off-peak milessaver roundtrip to Cancun
    I found availability from Little Rock in October for flight and hotel.
    Roundtrip flight to Cancun 20,000 SPG points
    5 nights using C&P at Westin Cancun, 14,000 points cat 3 (2,800 points per night + $45)

    Total Points used for Vacation 3: 34,000

    Vacation Four (driving from South Arkansas)
    5 nights using C&P at Four Points Destin, FL, 14,000 points cat 3 (2,800 points per night + $45)
    Christmas shopping and relaxing at the beach the first week of December, most days 70+ degrees this time of year, my favorite time to walk on the beach!!!

    Total Points used for Vacation 4: 14,000

    Total points used for four vacations totaling 32 nights and a round trip flight to Cancun: 100,000

    Thanks, Brian, I had a lot of fun researching and will take these trips.

  • Larry

    The greatest “benefit” to me would be to take my son to Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. He is autistic and loves the ocean and scuba/snorkeling, says the pressure makes him feel safe. 5 nights there for 100,000 points? Yes please!

    I have 370,000 miles saved up, but am pretty short on hotel points. The smile on his face with that trip would be the best !!!

  • Cmtrepp

    I would design a fabulous trip to Thailand/Cambodia and Vietnam. What a great dream trip! Three nights at the Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok (10,000/night), then 7 nights at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai (3,000/night), then 3 nights at the Chiang Rai (3,000/night). A quick flight over to Siem Reap for 2 nights at the Le Meridien Angkor (7,000/night). Then, 3 nights Sheraton Saigon (4,000 points plus $60/night), and finish off with 2 nights at the Sheraton Hanoi (7,000/night). I’ve always wanted to take the week-long Thai Cookery School’s classes. What a treat! Thanks so very much.

  • PJ

    ah i checked this out: those points+ cash are for OFF SEASON

  • Jeff D Dean

    With 100,000 Starpoints, I could take a six-night, seven-day dream vacation to the Pacific Northwest! I feel in love with region while watching the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, and I’ve longed to visit ever since! (And it just so happens that 100,000 Starpoints is precisely the right amount to make this trip possible!)
    First, I would immediately transfer 25,000 miles to American Airlines in order to pay for a round-trip AAdvantage flight from my home in Montgomery, Alabama, to Seattle, Washington, via the American hub in DFW. This transfer would drop an extra 5,000 Starpoints into my balance, leaving a net balance of 80,000 Starpoints.
    Now I would transfer 5,000 points to Amtrak in order to pay for intercity travel along Amtrak’s Cascadia route. Each day of travel in along the route requires 1,000 points, so I’m free to explore the wonders of Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia for five full days along an extensive train route! Now my balance stands at 75,000 Starpoints.
    Of course, I have to have a place to stay while I’m travelling, so I’ll leave 65,000 Starpoints in my account for nightly rooms. I’ll spend two nights at The Westin Grand in Vancouver (level 4, 10,000 each = 20,000 points), two nights at The Westin Seattle (level 4, 10,000 each = 20,000 points), one night at the Nine in Portland (level 4, 10,000 points), and splurge a little at The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler (level 5, 12,000 points). The remaining 3,000 Starpoints I’ll use in Seattle as part of their “Dine and Unwind” Instant rewards program: I’ll get to “enjoy a 3-course dinner with a glass of select Washington wine in Coldwater,” the hotel restaurant! Now my balance is at 10,000 Starpoints.
    Then I’ll take 5,000 of those points to buy a $50 gift card for Starbucks. That way I’ll have $7.14 every day of my trip to spend on breakfast…and that just happens to be the after-tax price of a medium nonfat latte and a Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon and Egg White English Muffin—a nutritious way to start my days!
    The final 5,000 Starpoints are just enough to transfer for a $50 Avis gift certificate, and $50 is the price the rent an SUV in Vancouver and drive myself to Whistler for my one-night stay there. What a coincidence!
    You see, then, that with only 100,000 Starpoints, the only costs that would remain are lunch and dinner on my trip—and a little cash out of my wallet is much more in line with the money I have available to spend for this dream vacation! I sure hope you’ll help me take my trip!
    Thanks!
    Jeff

  • Pingback: Several travel blogs giving away 100,000 Starpoints August 20-24 - FlyerTalk Forums

  • Julius

    I will use for my wedding anniversary. My plan is to purchase two tickets from LAX to Seattle; that should be around 40,000 SPG. From Seattle, we rent a car and drive to Vancouver; we will stay at The Westin Grand, Vancouver; we plan on using all the 60,000 miles; that should be around 7 days (5th night should be free).

  • Redreeper

    Well, I’ve been in greyhound rescue for the past 16 years and I’m the event coordinator for our largest event of the year, our Craft Show and Pet Expo. This is our 15th year and we really want to make it a spectacular event. Which means….donations. Our raffles bring in much needed money to take in hounds that would otherwise be destroyed after their racing careers are over, and we take in the hard cases…broken leg dogs, dogs with cancer (my foster is an example…soon to be my family), dogs that most groups cannot afford to take on due to the medical bills they would incur.

    We take them on anyway.

    Last year alone we adopted out over 400 dogs in the NJ/NY metro area and we supplied medical care and support for each and every one of them.

    So, given 100k in SPGs, I’m hitting the gift cards. Amazon is great, dog lovers can get everything there from beds to biscuits, so if selected I’m going with:
    10 x100.00 Amazon Gift Cards = 1000.00 Grand Prize Raffle Drawing = 95k
    1x 50.00 Amazon Gift Card= $50.00 Second Prize Raffle Drawing = 5k

    Thanks for the opportunity to play and thanks to PG for the great blog.

  • Frugaltravelking

    I’ve been dating the most beautiful gal in the world 5+ years. I’d use the 100K SPG points to take us on a 67 night, round-the-world adventure, staying at fantastic SPG properties throughout the journey. At the end of the long trek, I’ll ask for her hand in marriage.

    Here’s the plan:
    1) Leave work for a three month sabbatical.
    2) Immediately apply for the SPG CC since I don’t have one. Get my girlfriend to apply separately. Quickly hit the min. spending requirements. Now we have 160K SPG points to use!
    3) Use Nights & Flights for a 5 day flight + hotel (-60K SPG Pts) We’ll go DC to MALTA and stay at the luxurious Le Méridien St. Julians Hotel & Spa in Malta. Round-trip flight is on AF, using 2 half-off Flying Blue promo awards (cost=50K Flying Blue Pts). Outbound DC to Malta goes through Paris on the A380. I’ll use superior flight attendant schmoozing skills to get us into lie-flat first class.
    4) Fly one-way MALTA-ROME for $97/per person.
    5) Fly one-way ROME-BANGKOK for $503/per person.
    6) Use Cash & Points for 30 nights throughout Thailand (-48K SPG Pts & $900 USD). Stay at Category 2′s: Aloft Bangkok, Le Méridien Chiang Mai, Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand. Get around Thailand on the cheap by using low-cost-carriers.
    7) Fly one-way BANGKOK-BEIJING for $299/per person.
    8) Use Cash & Points for 30 nights throughout China (-36K SPG Pts & $750 USD). Stay at Category 1′s: Aloft Beijing, Aloft Nanhai, Aloft Haiyang. Get around China on the cheap by using low-cost-carriers.
    9) Fly one-way SHANGHAI-VANCOUVER for $559/per person.
    10) Use a low cost carrier to get down to Salt Lake City.

    With the remaining 16K SPG Pts, I’ll ask for her hand in marriage at the St. Regis in Deer Valley. We’ll honeymoon in Europe because we still have our 2 AirFrance return legs to use!

  • Frugaltravelking

    Last stay in St. Regis Deer Valley is cash + pts (16K SPG + $300).

  • Andy

    1) Convert 40,000 Starpoints to 50,000 AA miles.

    2) Redeem remaining 60,000 Starpoints for Nights and Flights for 5 nights in a Category 3 hotel and 50,000 AA miles. (Total 100,000 AA miles.)

    3) I would use the 100,000 AA miles to book a round trip ticket to Tokyo, Japan on Cathay Pacific airlines (with a stopover in Hong Kong) in their world-renowned, transpacific business class cabin.

    4) I would stay at the Sheraton Miyako Hotel (Category 3) for five nights as part of the Nights and Flights redemption. During my stay, I’d take day trips to see Japan! Yokohama; Kobe beef in…Kobe!; Tokyo; etc.

  • Guest

    You can’t count the additional 170,000 AA miles into your use total in cpp value. You also can’t count the government sponsored tour in your point redemption total. So, reducing those built-in costs, you are actually looking at $4400 for the 100K points, a value of 4.4 cents per point. Still good, but not the 14 cents you have down here.

  • Randy

    I would do the following:

    60,000 points – Category 4 Nights & Flights
    40,000 points – Transfer points to US Airways 1:1 plus 10,000 mile bonus

    How I would use:

    With the Nights and Flights award, I would book the Category 4 Nassua, Bahamas for 5 days.

    With the 50,000 miles from the Nights and Flights award and the 50,000 miles from the transfer of points, I would book First Class Awards on US Air during off peak season of September.Since I’m a Dividend Miles credit card holder, I will receive 5,000 miles off each off peak award ticket. Thus, it will only take 90,000 miles for each off peak award ticket to the Bahamas during September.

    All told, for 100,000 Starwood Points, I take my wife to the Bahamas flying first class, stay at the beautiful Shearton Nassau Beach Resort for 5 days, and pocket 10,000 miles in my Dividend Miles account!

  • C0ldlimit

    My wife and I just recently got married here in Chicago and she has never traveled outside North America. We are both foodies and would love to do an Asian tour and eat all the delicacies the Far East has to offer! Stop one would be Japan and I would try to book The Westin Tokyo for 4 nights Cash and Points (32000 points.) In the early morning we’ll head to the Tsukiji Fish Market and indulge in a bowlful of chutoro. At night we would scour the streets for the best Tonkatsu ramen and Takoyaki! Stop two would be Taipei where would hit up the night markets and chow on yummy street food like the infamous stinky tofu and cool down with bao bing. We would use SPG points to stay at the Sheraton Taipei with the 5th night free (40000 points). Then finally on to Malaysia where we would hit up its beautiful beaches and rainforests. We would probably make a stop at the Petronas Towers and rest our feet Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur with the 5th night free promo (28000 points). Dishes like Malaysian curry chicken, roti canai, and Laksa are my favorites and the best place to do that is Jalan Alor. Now that would be a great way to spend 100,000 Starwood points!

  • Worldtraveller2

    Pointsguy, please remove this post, since the linky didn’t work, I reposted the correct version!

  • LS

    Convert to Asia Miles (turn 100,000 SPG to 125,000 Asia Miles) and get a business class round trip CX tickets (need 125,000 Asia Miles) to visit parents!!!

  • Jeffrey C

    Since I have been blessed with the best wife in the world, I would take her to three places she’s always wanted to go (basically around the world. I’ll use my AA miles for the flights). Our 25th is next July. First up, 5 nights at Sheraton Montazah in Alexandria, Egypt where we’ll explore the ancient and wonderful civilazation (28k points on 5th night free). There are great libraries there, too. Then on to Morocco for for eight glorious nights at the beautiful Meridien N’Fis (32k points). And finally on to Phuket for five nights at the fantabulous Westin Siray Bay Resort (the last 40k points on 5th night free). I do hope you’ll make my 25th something extraordinarily special. Thanks for a great blog!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HR5LYOMZLAIMYR3U3YVBKEQNRE Bradley

    I live in NYC and love traveling to Toronto and Montreal. In spite of the short distance, flights are typically $400+! Another options is to spend 25k AA or UA miles for a “free” ticket. However, there are alternatives thanks to SPG points!

    Step 1 – 40k SPG points:
    Transfer 40k SPG points into 100k LAN km (they use km instead of miles). SPG transfers to LAN at a ratio of 1:2. Hence, 20k SPG points gives you 40k LAN points plus 10k bonus (bonus is also doubled from 5k), so 50k LAN points total. 40 SPG points would give me 100k LAN points.

    Now here is the real value with LAN: Because their

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JMUDVJ6DYRUALO4YLMWES7TKJE RG

    1) 40,000 points: 5-night free award at Le Westin Montreal, the city’s newest hotel in a great location.

    2) 36,000 points for 3 nights at Le Meridien Barcelona. I’ve seen awards available when the cheapest room is 460 euros!

    3) 24,000 points plus $450 cash for 3 nights at the Hotel Eden Rome. This is also an expensive stay at Rome’s most romantic hotel right near Spagna.

    I’ve estimated the total value here at around $4000 for the dates I chose. Thanks for the great offer!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HR5LYOMZLAIMYR3U3YVBKEQNRE Bradley

    I live in NYC and love traveling to Toronto and Montreal. In spite of the short distance, flights are typically $400+! Another options is to spend 25k AA or UA miles for a “free” ticket. However, there are alternatives thanks to SPG points!

    Step 1 – 40k SPG points:
    Transfer 40k SPG points into 100k LAN km/points (they use km instead of miles). SPG transfers to LAN at a ratio of 1:2. Hence, 20k SPG points gives you 40k LAN points plus 10k bonus (bonus is also doubled from 5k), so 50k LAN points total. Hence, 40 SPG points gives 100k LAN points.

    Now here is the real value with LAN: They use a distance based award, making expensive short distance flights ideal for LAN points! NYC to Toronto or Montreal r/t costs 16,000 LAN points. LAN flies NYC-Toronto and is a member of OneWorld so I can use their points on AA, which flies from NYC to both cities. While 40k SPG points would give me 50k AA miles, or 2 flights. 40k SPG points can give me 100k LAN km, or 6 flights! For this circumstance, choosing the correct partner can TRIPLE the value of SPG points!

    Step 2 – 60k SPG points:
    SPG has excellent hotels in both Toronto and Montreal at the Category 4 level. My favorite for Toronto is the Sheraton Centre (which often goes for over CDN$300). My favorite for Montreal is the W (which also often goes for over CDN$300). Using the Cash + Points option, I can get 15 nights for only US$60 instead of paying well over US$300 per night.

    VALUE:
    The 40k SPG points transferred to LAN gives me 6 flights = 6*$400 =$2,400.
    The 60k SPG points used for Cash + Points at hotels gives me 15*($300-$60) = $3,600.
    Used for either purpose, the value of the 100,000 SPG points is $6,000. 6 cents per point is good value in my mind!

  • Eric Pease

    My dream vacation would be to fly myself and my girlfriend (of the last 2 years) to Paris and get married. I’m still single at 50 and she’s the woman I’ve been waiting for all my life.

  • mickisue

    Transfer the entire 100K into Alaska Air miles, in blocks of 40/60K, for a total of 125K miles. Fly business class to see my daughter in Italy. For FREE!! and still have miles left over to give to her youngest brother to come home for Xmas.

  • Sad_pathetic_loser

    I have a brain tumor, breast cancer, sickle cell anemia, Tourette syndrome, leukemia, gonorrhea, and I just got AIDS last week. I had to leave the love of my life 70 years ago during WWII, where I lost all my limbs trying to save my entire platoon. My wife was killed in a horrific blender accident last year and my puppy just died two days ago in wood chipper incident. All of my children left because I am also a cat hoarder and my trailer was recently condemned.

    Please give me the 100K SPG points so I can rebuild my life by taking an all-expense paid trip to Bora Bora.
    Thanks.

  • Scottschmidt

    Here is my plan…

    Redeem 5000 points for SPG Moments Britney Spears in Paris on October 6:

    http://auction.starwoodhotels.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/CategoryDisplay?cgrfnbr=141580990&cgmenbr=67280009

    Redeem 24,000 points plus $450 for 3 nights Cash + Points at the Westin Paris

    Redeem 20,000 points for approx $280 airfare for a friend to fly in from London

    Transfer 35,000 points to United for 40,000 total; apply for upgrade (with co-pay)

    Redeem 5000 points for a $50 iTunes giftcard; download Britney’s music to listen on the way over

    https://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/account/starpoints/redeem/partners/detail.html?PartnerCode=iTunes

    Donate 1000 Starpoints to Unicef

    …and there go 100,000 Starpoints!

  • Swimbadger

    I am taking my Dad and brother to Japan this winter for a skiing trip and tour of Japan.

    I would use the 100,000 for:

    Tokyo Westin (2 nights) @ 20,000 – 40,000
    Kyoto Westin (3 nights c&p) @ 4000 – 12,000 pts + $195
    Sapporo Sheraton (3 nights c&p) @ 2800 – 8400 pts + $135

    With the remainder of the points I would transfer them to ANA for the Tokyo to Sapporo flight (apparently the most heavily traveled air route in the world). These flights are going for over $600 the last time I checked and I could get 2 of these during this time. The redemption rate is during high season so a roundtrip is 15,000 ANA miles. Adding the 39,600 points to the bonus would give me enough for 2 with miles leftover in my ANA account to easily use their Star Alliance search feature without the workaround.

    ANA Transfer – 39600 to ANA plus 5000 bonus. I know I just miss out on a second bonus and would supplement the 39,600 with 400 from my own account.

    Hotel Redemption – 60400
    ANA Transfer – 39600
    Total – 100,000

  • Anonymous

    Currently at the 1.2mill lifetime miles mark, I would love to add 90,000miles AA miles before the Million Miler Program rule changes to “miles flown” like the other airlines. IF I am the lucky one to win this 100k SPG points, I would probably plan out a trip throughout Eastern Asia. Here is what I came up with:

    1. Transfer 75,000 to AAdvantage and receive 90,000 after the 5000 x 3 points bonus. Not only the 90,000 will count towards my lifetime miles but this will allow me to use the One World Award.

    2. Use 90,000 to book the One World Distance Zone 5 award which allows me to fly 14,000 miles in coach.

    3. I was able to come up with an itinerary starting in Honolulu and ending in Nagoya. I chose to end the ticket in Japan since it will be a great opportunity to visit my family and I would probably stay there for long period of time after the trip. Booking a last-minute ticket out of Japan to US is quite cheap.

    HNL – HND JL 3,831 miles
    HND – GMP JL 758 miles
    ICN – TPE CX 914 miles
    TPE – HKG CX 511 miles
    HKG – BKK CX 1,049 miles
    BKK – SIN CX 899 miles
    SIN – CMB CX 1,709 miles
    CMB – HKG CX 2,534 miles
    HKG – PVG CX 773 miles
    PVG – NGO JL 919 miles

    GRAND TOTAL 13,897 miles (remainder 103miles) :D
    *Miles calculated using OneWorld trip planner

    4. Use the remaining 25,000 SPG points to book hotels in Thailand or Taiwan for 6-8nights (Category 2 redemption). I would probably try to use it at Le Meridien in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai and maybe the Aloft in Bangkok.

    I would probably spend a good 4-6months for this trip so flexibility will be the key. Also, I read on FlyerTalk that the ticket is good for 1yr and changing dates after departure is FREE so as long as I can book every segment before I hop on the first HNL-HND flight, I can change the date as I go.

    I’m used to budget travels being a regular backpacker so 6-8nights randomly at a Starwood property will be my guilty pleasure when I can’t stand the hostel bunk beds! :p

    10 Flights
    7 Countries
    Avg. 9000 AA mileage redemption/flight

    NOT BAD EH!?

  • Uscgamecock87

    I am retiring next year and would love to take the family on an around the world trip using miles/points. I have hotels covered with my current stash of Starwood Points, but these points would fill the gap I need with airline miles to put all of us in premium cabins on OW carriers.. Exciting and original? Probably not, but that’s what I would do.
    Thanks for sponsoring this contest!

  • David

    Brian, PICK ME PLEASEEEE!! I’m a 23 year old, single guy, like yourself (still the case? if not, congrats!)…. You know how single guys in their 20′s love to travel ;)

    With 100,000 SPG points I would redeem 70,000 SPG points for a Flights & Nights II to VANCOUVER, BC Canada in the category 4 hotel – Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre. So 5 nights there, and I would take the 50,000 miles in American Airlines AAdvantage for 2 round trip tickets for myself and a friend.
    We would go hiking, go to Vancouver Island, kayaking, explore the bay, eat some good sushi, and head out to Whistler as well!

    The remaining 30,000 SPG points, I would transfer to American Airways for 35,000 miles for a round
    trip to LIH (Kauai, Hawaii) by myself to do some serious sight seeing and hiking in Waimea Canyon!

  • Xizhen

    1. use 60,000 SPG points for the Nights and Flights Option, and receive 5 nights at a category 3 hotel and 50,000 airline miles. Transfer these 50K miles to British Airway
    2. transfer the remaining 40K SPG points to British Airway as well and they will become another 50K miles. so we now have totally 100K BA miles with 5 nights at a category 3 hotel.
    3. Use the 100K BA miles to book TWO Cathy Pacific tickets from NYC to Sanya, China. You can have two free stopovers at Vancouver and Hong Kong for a few days each, since Cathy Pacific has flight from NYC to Vancouver and from Vancouver to Hong Kong and from Hong Kong to Sanya and this route is in one direction. On the returning route will be Sanya->Hong Kong->JFK. Each ticket is worth $630 (JFK->Vancouver) + $840 (Vancouver->Hong Kong) + $150 (Hong Kong -> Sanya) + $150 (Sanya->Hong Kong) + $1011 (Hong Kong->JFK) – $335 (BA Booking surcharge), so the total value for these 2 tickets would be $4892.
    4. Stay 5 nights at The Westin Resort, Macau (category 3) when you stop over at Hong Kong (Macau is very close to Hong Kong)
    https://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/property/photos/index.html?propertyID=1065#photo_section_1Link
    it is a very nice resort. The total 5 nights would cost around $1800.
    5, Sanya is a premier tourism city in Hainan Island in China.
    http://www.chinaforgroups.com/china_travel/Sanya_Travel_Remotest_Corner_Earth_Resort_8.html
    Of course additionally you can tour in Hong Kong and Hainan Island and other part of southern China if you like.

    So the total value of the 100K SPG points would be $4892 + $1800 = $6692. ($0.067/point)

    An alternative is to use 50K BA miles on two one way Cathy Pacific ticket from NYC to Sanya (stop over at Vancouver and Hong Kong), and then in the returning route use another 50K BA miles on Japan Airlines from Hong Kong to NYC and stop over at Tokyo (Hong Kong->Tokyo->JFK).
    This trip will allow you visit at least 5 cities (Vancouver, Hong Kong, Macau, Sanya, Tokyo). You just need to buy your own ticket from Sanya to Hong Kong, or skip the trip to Sanya. On the Japan Airline’s website, the one way ticket from Tokyo to JFK is $5,680. I do not know why.. And the one way fare from Hong Kong to Tokyo is $699. If that is the case, the total value of the 100K SPG point would be around $18000!!

    Either case, it will be of great value for a two-person vacation like honeymoon!

  • Jake

    I will transfer all 100,000 points to Aeroplan and get 125,000 Aeroplan points to redeem for a first class to Europe. A first class flight is the best!

  • Xizhen

    1. use 60,000 SPG points for the Nights and Flights Option, and receive 5 nights at a category 3 hotel and 50,000 airline miles. Transfer these 50K miles to British Airway
    2. transfer the remaining 40K SPG points to British Airway as well and they will become another 50K miles. so we now have totally 100K BA miles with 5 nights at a category 3 hotel.
    3. Use the 100K BA miles to book TWO Cathy Pacific tickets from NYC to Sanya, China. You can have two free stopovers at Vancouver and Hong Kong for a few days each, since Cathy Pacific has flight from NYC to Vancouver and from Vancouver to Hong Kong and from Hong Kong to Sanya and this route is in one direction. On the returning route will be Sanya->Hong Kong->JFK. Each ticket is worth $630 (JFK->Vancouver) + $840 (Vancouver->Hong Kong) + $150 (Hong Kong -> Sanya) + $150 (Sanya->Hong Kong) + $1011 (Hong Kong->JFK) – $335 (BA Booking surcharge), so the total value for these 2 tickets would be $4892.
    4. Stay 5 nights at The Westin Resort, Macau (category 3) when you stop over at Hong Kong (Macau is very close to Hong Kong)
    https://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/property/photos/index.html?propertyID=1065#photo_section_1Link
    it is a very nice resort. The total 5 nights would cost around $1800.
    5, Sanya is a premier tourism city in Hainan Island in China.
    http://www.chinaforgroups.com/china_travel/Sanya_Travel_Remotest_Corner_Earth_Resort_8.html
    Of course additionally you can tour in Hong Kong and Hainan Island and other part of southern China if you like.

    So the total value of the 100K SPG points would be $4892 + $1800 = $6692. ($0.067/point)

    An alternative is to use 50K BA miles on two one way Cathy Pacific ticket from NYC to Sanya (stop over at Vancouver and Hong Kong), and then in the returning route use another 50K BA miles on Japan Airlines from Hong Kong to NYC and stop over at Tokyo (Hong Kong->Tokyo->JFK).
    This trip will allow you visit at least 5 cities (Vancouver, Hong Kong, Macau, Sanya, Tokyo). You just need to buy your own ticket from Sanya to Hong Kong, or skip the trip to Sanya. On the Japan Airline’s website, the one way ticket from Tokyo to JFK is $5,680. I do not know why.. And the one way fare from Hong Kong to Tokyo is $699. If that is the case, the total value of the 100K SPG point would be around $18000!!

    Either case, it will be of great value for a two-person vacation like honeymoon!

  • Nathan

    Four days/ three nights at the St. Regis in Bora Bora to relive my honeymoon! ( 30,000 a night, so three free nights plus 10,000 points on a relaxing spa package for my wife.)

  • Heather C

    I’ve been thinking about this for days. Obviously Cash and Points or Nights and Flights are the best redemption values, yet I can’t seem to find Category 3 or 4 hotels where I want to go, and many locations are not offering Cash and Points next summer when I want to travel. The Category 4′s that most tempted me were Edinburgh, Budapest, and Split, Croatia.

    My husband badly wants to travel to Russia, and has been teaching himself Russian over the internet. I picked the last destination (Italy) so it is his turn. Here is my best proposal:

    First I would transfer 4,000 SPG points to Delta to top off our account for a flight award. We would fly on Air France (using Skymiles) Seattle to Paris, stopover, fly Paris to Saint Petersburg, destination/open jaw, then fly home Moscow to Seattle (connecting either through Paris or Atlanta–I wouldn’t mind a 23 hour connection in Paris). We would take the 4 hour high speed train between Saint Petersburg and Moscow for the open jaw.

    I would book 2 nights at the Le Meridien Etoile in Paris for 24,000 SPG points, for a value of $0.03 per point (no Cash and Points available). Value is $686.41.

    I would book 5 nights cash and points in the W. Saint Petersburg for 24,000 SPG points plus $450 for a redemption value of $0.09 per point. Value is $2,641.90 – $450.

    I would book 5 nights (fifth night free) at the Sheraton Palace Hotel, Moscow for 48,000 SPG points for a redemption value of $0.04 per point (no cash and points available). Value is $2,150.38.

    I waited 22 months after closing my SPG personal card before opening a new one; looks like I should have left off my SPG number as other people have already gotten the 10,000 point sign up bonus and I haven’t. I only got a 10,000 point bonus last time.

    Thank you for your consideration!

  • Henry M.

    If I had 100,000 starwood points, this would be my plan. Right of the bat, I’d redeem them for 5 nights at the Westin Paris (20,000 pts a night) and try to conduct a treasure hunt at all the antique stores and ubiquitous flea markets around the area. Combing the area, I’d spend my time digging through musty shops, having the French laugh at my unbearable high school level French babble,and battling old ladies for the right to claim a Mategot magazine holder or some French lighting system that we can’t easily obtain in the US. For all I know, I could be franticly running down the Champs Élysées with a Pierre Guariche chair strapped to my back pursued by the local dealers like the scene in ‘ Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.’ as I’ve wrongly encroached on their territory. All just to ship back to the USA and have someone on Antiques Roadshow tell me, “You have a nicely made fake, but thanks for showing up.” Sigh…someday.

  • Anonymous

    It would be a wonderful thought to spend 100000 SPG points on a romantic vacation flying first class to paradise with my husband. But the reality is, like many other families with small children, there is no extra time or money to be spent on vacation away from the kids. Therefore, what better way to use up points than to let the kids build a lifetime of memories with a WaltDisney World Vacation! I would use 70000 of the points for the SPG “nights and flights” option for 5 nights at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. The awesome thing about this resort is that it grants you free and frequent transportation to and from your hotel throughout the Disney themeparks, and you even get extended”Magic Park hours” not open to the public. These are priceless amenities as a parent, especially when travelling with a 2 year old who still needs afternoon naps.
    The “nights and flights” option would leave me with 50000 airline miles, which I would use on Delta Airlines. I would transfer the remaining 30000 SPG points to Delta, and would use the 30000 SPG credit card sign up bonus, which would give me a grand total of 125,000 Delta miles (50,000 with “nights & flights”, and 60000 SPG points converts to 75000 Delta miles, for a grand total of 125000 miles!) . Exactly enough miles to get my family of 5 to Orlando on a domestic award flight for a 5 night Disney vacation. It’s not first class, it’s not transcontinental, and it’s not romantic; but luckily for me, my children have taught me very valuable lessons in life… they cannot differentiate between cloth and leather seats, or the front or back of the plane, or if someone else’s seat reclines further back than their’s. Watch any child who boards an airplane; they are relishing in the moment, anticipating the events to come, and the glow in thier eyes projects the excitement of simply living life with an appreciation which every adult should learn to follow! My children have never boarded an airplane and I want to be able to see the twinkle in their eyes looking forward to a vacation like this.
    The total cost of this trip:
    $12/day resort fee
    $10/PP Delta Award fee
    Total hotel and airline fee $110 for a family of 5

    Thank you, Points Guy!

  • Neggen

    I’d use the points to put my parents up at the Royal Denaru Fiji for my Dad’s 70th birthday

  • Heather ✈

    Hi Brian, when you say, “To enter, all you need to do is tell me how you’d use the grand prize and you have to utilize at least 2 different redemption methods,” what exactly do you mean by “2 different redemption methods”? Do you mean use at more than one hotel? Just want to make sure I understand before we post our entry. Thanks!!

  • KellyS

    I would use 48K of this to book a room for 5 nights at the Westin Villas in Kauai. (The 5th night is free). This room would be for my mother and father in law. They live in a small town in PA and have never travelled much. They took their 1st flight at 60! Now that my father in law is retired he dreams about going to Hawaii. So while we would pay for our trip, I would use the points for their trip. The other 52K would be transferred to American to top off my account. Then I would find 2 first class tickets from Pittsburgh to Kauai for them! Me, hubby and child would pay and fly coach!

    OR…as a second option we would use 40K for 2 nights/2 rooms at the Westin in Hollywood, FL…precruise! Yep…back to the parents in law “escape”. If we can’t get them to Hawaii next year, then a cruise is a back up plan. I would use 4K to pay for their hotel pre-flight from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale. They live a few hours away from the airport so I want to make sure they stay the night before! The remaining 56K would need to go over to American to help pay for flights. It would be enough for 2 roundtrip FC tickets for them on a milesaver fare!

    My father in law is one hard working man. He worked as a bricklayer in the mill from the time he was 20. It was hard work. Now he is 66 and retired. They have promised us they will take a family trip with us next June and I would love to find a way to make it happen. If not Hawaii…then the Westin in Hollywood, FL before a week cruise.

  • Greg

    I would use them at St Regis Bora Bora…………………..oh wait, 100k SPG pts wouldn’t even get me a single free night there, how pathetic. Get a grip on your Category 7 redemption rates SPG, they are OUT OF CONTROL!!!!! :-(

    Actually I would donate them to Loyalty Traveler as he’s the hotel guru and should have gotten them instead of you IMHO. :-)

  • MT

    Transfer 100k points to AA for a total of 125k AA miles. I’d chip in 5k of my own miles to book a OneWorld award that allows for travel up to 20,000 miles in business class. Would visit Europe and Asia on my way to/from India.

  • David Hong

    In Planet Earth (the BBC nature documentary), there is this paradigm shifting scene on the first disc / episode (towards the end) about the Okavanga Delta in Botswana, Africa. Words can’t describe how beautiful this place is. It is basically a 6,000-square-mile maze of lagoons, channels, and islands teeming with African wildlife. Treetop luxury hotels abound and give access to explorers who want to explore the delta on horseback or on boat. INTENSE!!!

    South African Airways is the way to get there and luckily they are a part of the Star Alliance network. So this is what i would do to make this happen.

    Out of the 100K Starpoints, I would transfer 80K to either Asiana Airlines or Lufthansa, both of whom are also part of the Star Alliance network. 80K would become 100K Starpoints (5K bonus per 20K transferred), which I would then use to book my round trip ticket to Maun in Botswana, the heart of the delta region.

    I would then transfer the remaining 20K to American Airlines, which would then become 25K AA points. From there I would convert those points into cash using http://www.points.com. They have a redemption option (read here: https://www.thepaypalblog.com/2011/02/paypal-teams-with-points-com-to-turn-airline-miles-into-cash/) which allows me to convert my AA points into actual dollars which are then deposited into my Paypal account. SWEET! I would then log into Paypal and transfer the cash to my bank account (it takes 3 days to complete) and use the money towards my stay at an Okavanga Delta Specialty Lodging (since Starwood doesn’t have any hotels out in Botswana, Africa).

    I tried to get my wife to get in on this with me for our honeymoon 2 years ago but she was too scared of living so close to the animals and the water.

    If I win the 100K, I’m doing this! With or without her! ;) OH YEAHHHHHH!!!!!

  • David Hong

    I hope that my 2nd redemption option, even though it initially uses the same method of converting Starpoints to Airlines Miles, is considered unique because I then take the next step of using http://www.points.com to convert those converted miles into actual cash. If this is not a valid unique 2nd method of redemption, please let me know so I can re-structure my plans and submit again. Wasn’t completely sure so I thought I’d ask.. thanks!

  • John

    I’d use the points for the Westin Monache in Mammoth Lakes. One three day weekend during peak season at 16k/night = 48k points, One five night stay (12k/night + one free with four night redemption = 48k). Those two trips would help get my wife to a ski ability level where we could start skiing Utah and Colorado. Of course, those later trips would require more Starpoints…
    And that’s what I’d do with the remaining 4000 points. Keep them in the someday-dream fund. If I spend all the points I won’t have the hope for a future trip. We all like dreaming about the trips we might take because it gives us hope for the future. A zero balance SPG acccount is hopeless. A too small balance is nearly hopeless. But 4k is a glimmer of hope for the next dream of a lifetime.

  • mike

    12k/night x 3 nights at the St. Regis in BKK == 36k
    65k AA miles for a first class ticket to BKK == 55k
    Remaining 9k spent on Amazon gift cards to buy a backpack for living on the streets since I have no way home.

  • tommyx

    i would convert the miles to aeroplan and take a round-the-world business class trip!

  • David Hong

    In Planet Earth (the BBC nature documentary), there is this paradigm shifting scene on the first episode (towards the end) about the Okavanga Delta in Botswana, Africa. Words can’t describe how beautiful this place is. It is basically a 6,000-square-mile maze of lagoons, channels, and islands teeming with African wildlife. Treetop luxury hotels abound and give access to explorers who want to explore the delta on horseback or on boat.

    South African Airways is the way to get there and luckily they are a part of the Star Alliance network. So this is what i would do.

    I would transfer 80K Starpoints to either Asiana Airlines or Lufthansa, both of whom are also part of the Star Alliance network. 80K Starpoints would become 100K Starpoints (5K bonus per 20K transferred), which I would then use to book my round trip ticket to Maun in Botswana, the heart of the delta region.

    I would then transfer the remaining 20K to American Airlines, which would then become 25K AA points. From there I would convert those points into cash using http://www.points.com. They have a redemption option (read here: https://www.thepaypalblog.com/2011/02/paypal-teams-with-points-com-to-turn-airline-miles-into-cash/) which allows me to redeem my AA points into actual dollars which are then deposited into my Paypal account. I would then log into Paypal and transfer the cash to my bank account (it takes 3 days to complete) and use the money towards my stay at an Okavanga Delta Specialty Lodging (since Starwood doesn’t have any hotels out in Botswana, Africa).

    I tried to get my wife to get in on this with me for our honeymoon but she was too scared of living so close to the animals.

    As such, it would be amazing if I could do this, even if it means I’d go on my own!

  • Coif55101

    So many creative answers here, I just want to go to NYC (I know most of you live there, but I don’t)

  • Sagy

    On 7-7-07 the new seven wonders of the world (http://www.travelchannel.com/Places_Trips/Travel_Ideas/Art_Music_And_Culture/Seven_Wonders_Of_The_World/New_Seven_Wonders_Of_The_World) were announced. They are:
    o Great Wall of China – China
    o Christ the Redeemer Statue – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    o Machu Picchu – Peru
    o Chichen Itza – Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
    o The Roman Colosseum – Rome, Italy
    o Taj Majal – Agra, India
    o Petra – Jordan

    I would use the 100,000 SPG points to travel to all 7 from my home airport (ORD).

    The key airports to visits are:
    ORD (Chicago, USA) – Start
    CUN (Cancun, Mexico) – visit Chichen Itza
    LIM (Lima, Peru) – visit Machu Picchu
    GIG (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – Christ the Redeemer Statue
    FCO (Rome, Italy) – The Roman Colosseum
    AMM (Amman, Jordan) – visit Petra
    Del (Delhi, India) – visit Taj Majal
    PEK (Beijing, China) – visit Great Wall of China
    ORD (Chicago, USA) – End

    The great circle map shows that this route requires 24,735 mi (http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=ord-CUN-LIM-GIG-FCO-AMM-DEL-PEK-ord&MS=wls&DU=mi).

    So with the right planning (or an open jaw from FCO to AMM, or starting in CUN), this can be done from a mileage based award which tops at 25,000 miles.

    Anyone can take 95,000 SPG points and convert them to a AA, BA or OZ for a total of 120,000 miles needed for the award. However, by transferring to CX one will only need to use 90,000 SPG points since they only requires 110,000 miles for a OneWorld 25K award. The best use is by transferring 80,000 SPG points to NH (ANA) and claim 25K Star/Partner Award for 100,000 miles.

    What to do with the extra 20,000 SPG points?

    I need somewhere to sleep so:
    1) The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun cat 3 2,800 + $45
    2) Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado cat 4 4,000 + $60
    3) Four Points by Sheraton Macaé cat 3 2,800 + $45
    4) Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center cat 3 2,800 + $45
    5) Le Méridien Amman cat 3 2,800 + $45
    6) ITC Mughal, Agra cat 3 2,800 + $45
    7) The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel Beijing cat 1 2,000 (sat night)

    Total of 20,000 SPG points + $285

    But now I still have 4,070 SPG points (the 500 Platinum amenity points per stay plus the 570 SPG points from AMEX for the $285 at SPG hotels). So use 4,000 points to donate to the American red cross. The last 70 points will be used to give USAir Grand Slam hits to lucky people 70 people.

  • Edward

    1. Redeem 60k Nights+Flights. The 50k miles goes to QR to redeem three SFO-YVR round trip on UA (15k miles in Y each) and 5 nights at a Cat 3 in Vancouver to go skiing
    2. Transfer 25k to Asiamiles, yield 30k miles. Redeem on AS SJC-OGG round trip (30k miles).
    3. Remaining 15k (use for 3 nights Cat 5 Miles and Points)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UG5BLNFDFTTLJJTS3YY45DMOHM Ranjith

    Thanks for this wonderful opportunity.
    Ever since my honeymoon trip (5 years back) to SWISS, we fell in love with the natural beauty wanted to go back again.
    With 100,000 miles I will transfer to AA for 125000 miles
    I’ll Book 2 round trip award tickets in Business class from MAA to ZRH for 120,000 miles.
    Donate 5,000 miles to Miles for kids in need (WIN, WIN!)
    Yes, my plan is very simple, but it is one of the best mileage redemptions available:
    1. AA combined India along with Middle East so the award to Europe is only 20/30/40K (ECO/Business/First)
    2. Same route with *A will cost 30/50/60K. For the same 2 business class round trip it would be 200,000 miles Vs 120,000 miles
    3. Routing: MAA to ZRH Via BRU with MAA to BRU in JET AIRWAYS Business First (Full flat seat, equivalent to 1st class in most airlines)
    4. The lowest cash price in J from MAA to ZRH is $3100 per ticket in Qatar Airways. It equates to 6.2cents per point and 5000 smiles from kids

  • Federico V

    Brian, I don’t see my post… I submitted today around 2am EST.

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  • Joe W

    @PJ, TPG has a great post on C+P availability today. He mentioned often hotels don’t load C+P availability for the entire year. So you may want to keep checking the Sheraton HK property and C+P availability may come up before your trip.

  • Travis todd

    I would use it for 8 nights(96,000) at the Sheraton in the Maldives. Located in the Indian ocean. I would use my delta points to get there and the remaining 4,000 I would use towards breakfast at the hotel as it doesn’t come with breakfast.

  • Justin

    With a 100k SPG points I would take my wife to South Africa. We would stay at the Westin Cape Town for 5 nights (5th Night Free) which would cost 40k pts. While there we’d do plenty of sightseeing. After Cape Town, to take a vacation from our vacation, we’d head over to Mauritius to stay at the Le Meridien Ile Maurice for 6 nights (5th night free) at a cost of 50k pts. To make the last evening of our wonderful vacation even more memorable, we’d use the remaining 10k pts to obtain a suite upgrade.

  • Anonymous

    Short and sweet. Transfer 40K x 2 into US Dividend miles to use for SQ F BKK-SIN-DEL. I proposed to my fiance in SQ F last year and I’ll take her to the Taj Mahal after our wedding in Nov.

    With the 20K left we would stay 1 night in New Delhi at Le Meridien for 4K + $60 and on the way home 2 nights in the St Regis Singapore for 8K + $150 per night.

  • Jeff

    Mark, you can take the same trip and pay $77 in taxes instead of $633 make your tip a lot more interesting. See the following link:

    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/15307

    Good Luck!!!

  • Anonymous

    Repost (I submitted around 2am but I don’t see it)

    Whats is my goal? visit Galapagos (Ecuador), Machu Pichu (Peru), Easter Island (Chile), Mendoza/El Calafate*/Usuahia* (Argentina),
    Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brasil) and Rio de Janeiro (Brasil), just 12 cities in 5 countries.
    I will use Miami as my gateway city (I live there)

    MIA-GYE-GPS-GYE-LIM-CUZ-LIM-IPC-SCL-MDZ-AEP-FTE-USH-AEP-IGR/IGU-(IGU-GIG-IGU)-LIM-MIA=19394 miles (12 cities/5 countries)

    My vocabulary:

    SPGp= SPG points
    k=1,000 units
    Cpp= cents per point(SPG points)
    CPM= cent per mile
    BA= British Air
    cfm=cash for miles
    RRR= Regular Rack Rate
    TA= Trip Advisor

    I will use 3 SPG redeem ways and 2 BA resources
    SPG: cash+point, 1k SPGp for 50% Off Regular Rack Rates and 5k bonus miles when you transfer 20K SPG to miles
    BA: stopover and miles+cash

    First step, redeem 40k SPGp for 50K BA miles (40k*2*1.25)
    Second, use 60k SPG points for 12 nights CAT3, 3 nights CAT2, 7 nights CAT4 and 2 nights CAT5 Hotel

    MIA-GYE
    3 nights at Sheraton Guayaquil Hotel, CAT3 3×2.8k+$135 at 5,5 Cpp ($200-45/2,800)

    GYE-GPS
    3 nights at any Hotel (approx $240)

    GPS-GYE-LIM
    3 nights at Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center, CAT2 3×1.6k+$90 at 9 Cpp ($174-30/1,600)

    LIM-*XX-CUZ
    3 nights at Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado, CAT4 3x4k+$180 at 4.44 Cpp ($235-60/4,000)

    CUZ-*YY-LIM-IPC
    3 nights at any Hotel (approx $200)

    IPC-SCL
    3 nights at Sheraton Santiago Hotel and Convention Center, CAT3 3×2.8k+$135, 5.51 Cpp ($189-45/2,800)

    SCL-MDZ
    3 nights at Sheraton Mendoza Hotel, CAT3 1K+$217.50 ($145RRR/2*3) wich is better than 8.4k+$135,
    I will save(buy) 7.4k SPGp for just $82.50(/7,400=1.1 Cpp), for 1k I will cover $217.50 (2.7 Cpp)

    MDZ-AEP
    3 nights at Sheraton Libertador Hotel, CAT3 3×2.8k+$135, 4 Cpp ($158-45/2,800)

    AEP-USH
    3 nights at any Hotel (approx $200)

    USH-FTE
    3 nights at any Hotel (Miyazato INN for $270 Top4 on TA)

    FTE-AEP-IGR
    2 nights at Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa, CAT5 1k+$310 ($310/2*2) wich is better than 9.6k+$180,
    I will save(buy) 8.6k SPGp for just $130(/8,600=1.5 Cpp), for 1k I will cover $310 (3.1 Cpp)

    IGU-GRU
    4 nights at Sheraton Rio Hotel & Resort, CAT4 4x4k+$240, 5.3 Cpp (272-$60/4,000)

    GRU-IGU on Tam, IGU-LIM-MIA on LAN

    How much will it cost me?

    Flights:

    MIA-GYE-LIM-IPC: 20k BA miles + $104.26 + $130 (OW award + taxes + cash for miles)

    GYE-GPS-GYE: 10k BA miles + $2.57 + $130 (R/T award + taxes + cash for miles)

    LIM-CUZ-LIM: 10k BA miles + $11.59 + $130 (R/T award + taxes + cash for miles)

    IPC-SCL-MDZ-AEP-USH-FTE: 10k BA miles + $35 + $31.25 (OW award + taxes + cash for miles)

    USH-AEP-IGR/IGU-LIM-MIA for 20k + $97.50 + 130 (OW award + taxes + cash for miles)

    Flight not covered with miles: IGU-GIG-IGU for $250 on TAM Airlines (200~250)

    Subtotal: 50k BA, $250.92(taxes) + $551.25(for 42.50K/cash for miles=1.3 CPM) + $250(airfare no covered with miles)=$1,052.17
    The cost of this intinerary could cost me more than $6,000, 6,000-802.17/40k SPGp=13 Cents per point

    Hotels:

    Subtotal: 60k SPGp, $1,442.50 (cash+points & 1k+50off) + $910 (Hotels not covered with SPGp)=$2,352.50
    The cost of this intinerary could cost me more than $4,883, 4,883-802.17/40k SPGp=5.7 Cents per point

    Total: $3,404.67, 8.64 Cent per point (6k+4.88k-0.8k-1.44k/100k)

    If you think that 4 cities and 1 flight not covered with SPGp is not a good idea on my (little) expensive trip…
    I can replace IPC-SCL-MDZ-AEP-USH-FTE with IPC-SCL-MDZ-AEP-GRU and save $720 (250Hotel+270Hotel+250Flight)
    then replace USH-AEP-IGR/IGU-LIM-MIA with GRU-AEP-IGR/GRU-LIM-MIA ;-)

    *XX and *YY on LIM-CUZ you can get a stopover on AQP (LIM-AQP-CUZ) and a stopover on JUL (CUZ-JUL-LIM), both are valid stopover and sometimes are available on BA.com

  • Andrew

    I’d work remotely for two weeks from the Westin Aruba. As long as I have in internet and google voice, I can do my job. Might as well do it looking out at the Caribbean.

  • Alvin

    In step 2, which airline will you take? BA miles allow only one partner; and on BA’s partner redemption chart South Asia (i mean Bali, HK is ok since it belongs to Far East) requires 80K than 50K.

  • Falon

    Hey Brian – Thanks for this opportunity!

    Using the Nights & Flights II option I’d redeem 70,000 Starpoints and receive 50,000 airline miles and five free nights at a Category 4 hotel. The Hotel would be The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, in Victoria, British Columbia. I’d go with my Husband and we would fly American Airlines. Since we would use the MileSAAver option, the flight would be 50,000 miles for the two round trip tickets.

    For the Hotel and Flight we would use a total of 70,000 Starpoints. With the remaining 30,000 Starpoints I would get a $300 Apple iTunes Gift card. I would then buy an iPod touch for my Husband since I accidentally dropped his in the toilet (which is currently water damaged).

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    == Nights & Flights II ==
    70,000 Starpoints
    == $300 iTunes Gift Cards ==
    30,000 Starpoints

  • Teachmelove

    Sorry I posted twice because I didn’t see my entry appear after I posted it. Apologies.

  • http://blongfood.blogspot.com/ Bryan

    I am a huge Disney aficionado. My wife has never been to DisneyWorld. Thus, for our 7th anniversary in November (what perfect timing this contest is), I would use 70k miles to do flight and nights at Walt Disney World Swan in Orlando, FL. This would get me a flight and 5 nights. I would then use the other 30k miles to get a flight for my wife. Please note, this may not be the most imaginative, or creative, or even best way to use 100k miles. But it would afford us the chance to do something that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time!

    Thanks for the opportunity TPG!

  • Jason

    I would spend it all at St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii.

    Why:
    Being a new spg member I am not familiar with their properties so first I started looking at the member’s favorites on the spg website. This resort shows up as a favorite under many categories including: best island, best exotic (pretty much the same resorts as best island), most romantic and best golf. I’m not exactly sure how the same place can be most romantic and best golf at the same time but it sounds like a win-win to me. Happy wife = happy life, and if you add in some golf in Hawaii, well that’s just a cherry on top. I’ve been to Maui several times and always wanted to explore the other islands not named Oahu so this resort really fits the bill.

    Point breakdown:
    12/1/11 through 12/11/11
    c&p @ 8000 x 10 = 80000

    Being fortunate enough to spend 10 days in paradise for $1500 is enough reward for me. Thanks to blogs like yours and flyertalk I have plenty of miles to get there, so I would donate the remaining 20000 to the Red Cross which is equivalent to $250. Too bad SPG is no longer matching points for donations.

    Jason

  • Jim

    How I would use 100,000 spg points

    Points Guy, I won’t let you down

    60,000 points:

    Category 3 nights and flights. For the five nights at a Category 3 hotel, I’d definitely book the Four Points Munich. Its only .3 miles from the Oktoberfest Grounds – and standard rooms are still available today during Oktoberfest, costing 374 Euros/night (five night total value is $2693). The thought of being able to stumble about Oktoberfest with a buddy for five days, knowing that I have quick access to a nearby, clean, bathroom with no line to negotiate warms my heart. I’ll even let strangers use my bathroom if they buy me a beer and a currywurst! As for the flights option, rather than 50,000 miles on most airlines, I’ll take 100,000 LAN kilometers. I live in Northern Virginia, and redeeming those 100,000 kilometers can get me 4 round trips to Miami or almost 6 round trips to Chicago, or 8 round trips to New York on American. Alternatively, I’d use them on my annual trip to Alaska, redeeming on LAN’s partner Alaska Airlines for what are otherwise terribly expensive in state round trips. Its pretty hard to pin a value on these kilometers, but I think they are priceless.

    40,000 points:

    Well, if I’m going to Oktoberfest with a buddy, I suppose I’d have to use the balance for 2 nights over Valentines day at the Category 6 W South Beach with my girlfriend. Happily, I can currently redeem 48000 of the 100,000 LAN kilometers I hope to receive for airfare. Including taxes, the two nights at the W South Beach currently cost $1715. Please don’t let her know that I’m getting it for free. Please.

  • Ann

    I would go to Europe, spending a night in New York on the way, taking in both a Broadway show and a Lenny Kravitz show.

    Taking 35K SPG to get 40K AA miles, off-season to Europe.

    Using 36K for 3 nights in Amsterdam at the Hotel Pulitzer. (71K SPG)

    Using 3500 to get to Antwerp more cheaply with Sixt’s car rental $50 off redemption (74.5K)

    The Lenny Kravitz show (currently showing as a Live Nation/SPG On Tour redemption on 10/30): 5K (79.5K SPG)

    Fly back to the US, stopover in New York.

    Go to Godspell, an Audience Rewards redemption 10.5K SPG (90K SPG)
    Spend the night at The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel for 10K SPG (100K SPG).

    Fly home.

  • Eknock007

    I would use these points to do a “Cash and Points” redemption for a month long stay at a Cat 3 or Cat 4 hotel. Would take my young daughter and beautiful wife to either Bali (Westin Resort), or Greece (Sheraton Rhodes), or Spain, Canary Islands (Sheraton La Caneta) for 28 days for 100,000 pts and $1500 (cat 4). Alternatively I could do 35 days in Mexico (Westin Cancun), or Croatia (Westin/Sheraton) for 100,000 pts and $1575. Would use miles to there and back.

  • Kent Ikeda

    I’m going to use the 100k SPG points to add to my British Airways account so I can do the following.

    My wife and I have 300k combined in our British Airways account and we currently live in Portland, OR. With the 100k spg points I would put it into my British Airways account to give us 425k miles in our family account. With that many miles I would like to buy my parents who are going to be celebrating their 50th anniversary next year 2 business class tickets to South Africa so they can go on their dream safari vacation.

  • Brad

    Great contest! As a number of people have honed in on, 100,000 points go furthest in South America. Having lived in Bolivia for a year, I’d love the opportunity to visit friends there, but approaching this from a mostly objective, trip-for-everyone perspective–

    Chile is the most laid-back, approachable country on the continent and has some of the very best people, sights, food and wine, in my opinion. It’s got a great slate of Starwood properties to boot. As amazing as some of the sights in Peru are (not to mention Chile’s own Easter Island), I’ve had the greatest time just hanging out in a number of places in Chile, and that’s what I’d recommend using these points for.

    To get the most out of the points and enjoy the most comfortable vacation, I’d transfer 65,000 points to British Airways, netting 80,000 to redeem for business class on LAN to Temuco (ZCO) with a return stopover in Santiago (SCL).

    With the 35,000 remaining SPG points, I’d use cash and points for three nights (12,000 points + $180) at the brand-new Villarica Park Lake Hotel (easy access from Temuco). The lake country is gorgeous and would offer a few days to relax and get into the vacation mindset.

    From there, I’d return to Santiago, rent a car and head west to Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Vina has wonderful beaches and the Sheraton Miramar, where I’d use cash and points again for three nights (12,000 points + $180). Here, I’d suggest splitting your time among Vina’s beaches and party scene, Valparaiso’s funky art, restaurant and wine scene (a short, modern-commuter-train ride down the coast), and wine touring in the Casablanca and Maipo valleys (some of the most famous producers are also within day-trip distance to the south). (Valpo’s also full of cool small hotels and B&B’s if that’s more to anyone’s style.)

    Finally, I’d return to Santiago for two nights. Cash and points again (8,000 points + $120) gets you into either the new W Santiago or my choice, the San Cristobal Tower (a landmark, and with butler service!). Both are in the very nice Providencia neighborhood and have killer views of the Andes. A couple days in Santiago and you’d still have 3,000 Starpoints left. There’s also the chance that you find an Instant Award at one of the hotels along the way, but I like the idea of donating them to UNESCO.

  • Jon_bukowski

    Thank you for the tip, I am still researching this trip. I proposed staying here tocmaximize use of the spg points and this hotel would be limited to thevfirst two nights before heading out to machu and the last night before flying out of Peru back to mmiami.

  • Ike

    In retaliation for my wife blowing all of our Starpoints on hats, I will use the 100,000 SPG points to realize my dream.

    First, I will transfer 25,000 SPG points for 30,000 American Airline miles. I will use those miles to book a one-way economy MileSAAver ticket to Amsterdam, arriving September 29.

    Next, I will use 35,000 SPG points to purchase 10 $50 Avis certificates. I will use those to reserve a Mini in Amsterdam from Avis from September 29 to October 19 (Approximate cost = $500).

    Then, I will use 15,000 SPG points to purchase 3 $50 iTunes gift cards. I will use them to purchase every Britney Spears album and song on iTunes.

    Finally, I will use 25,000 SPG points to redeem tickets to the five Britney Spears concerts in Europe for 5000 SPG points each (http://spg.com/moments). Budapest 9/30, Paris 10/6, Antwerp 10/8, Cologne 10/18, and Rotterdam 10/19.

    I will sell off the companion tickets in order to buy food and petrol. I’ll drive from place to place and sleep in my Mini with nothing but Britney’s heavenly voice to accompany me. At the last concert, Britney will be so overwhelmed by my dedication that she will invite me up on stage for a duet before asking me to fly back to the States on her plane. I will return to my home, where my now ex-wife will have packed all of my belonging for me. Ah, to dream!

  • Anonymous

    This is a fantastic contest. Not only will someone receive 100,000 SPG points, but everyone will benefit from the collective wisdom of your readers. I know that I’ve already picked up a few good ideas. Truly inspired TPG! Here’s my entry.

    First, before I get carried away with my own good fortune, I’d donate 2000 points to UNICEF and 2000 points to the American Red Cross (which I decided was better than spending 5000 points on Starbucks or iTunes for me).

    Second, I’d use 60,000 points for Category 3 Nights and Flights.

    Third, I’d transfer the 50,000 airlines points generated from Nights and Flights to British Airways Executive Club.

    Fourth, I would use British Airways One Oneworld Partner Award to book a ticket on Cathay from LAX to BKK, with a stop in HKG (on their 777-300 aka 773).

    Fifth, I would spend 24 hours exploring Hong Kong, spending the evening at Le Meridien Cyberport, at a cost of 10,000 points.

    Sixth, in Bangkok, I would use my 5 nights from the Nights and Flights at the Westin Grand Sukumvit (which I would prefer to the Sheraton or Le Meridien, my other options).

    Seventh, I would transfer 20 SPG points to Thai Airways, resulting in 25,000 Thai Airways miles.

    Eighth, I would use 20,000 Thai Airways miles to fly roundtrip BKK-CEI (Chang Rai) in Royal Silk Class.

    Ninth, I would use my remaining 5000 Thai Airways miles on Royal Silk Lounge access (or, buying souvineers at the Thai Airways store or for excess baggage allowance if I’d gone wild shopping in Bangkok).

    Tenth, I would spend 6000 p0ints on two weekend nights at the Le Meridien Chang Rai Resort (of, if I the time and cash, use Cash and Points to strech this out for a few more days!).

    Eleventh, I would return to LAX after 8 fabulous nights in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Chaig Rai….and start planning my next trip!

    Points used:

    60,000 Flights and Nights (Cathay and BKK hotels)
    4,000 Donations to Unicef and American Red Cross
    10,000 Hong Kong hotel
    20,000 Transfered to Thai Airways (20,000 for flight and 5 for lounge/excess baggage/Thai Airways shop)
    6,000 2 nights in Chang Rai

    This sounds so awesome that I might have to do it even if I don’t win the points!!!

  • thekid

    The UNICEF run. Visit selected UNICEF headquarters, regional offices and country offices, in accordance with a planned master thesis on the UN convention on the rights of the child. Double it as a charity event.

    Best value for points is a very YMMV. Purely $ wise its hard to beat the multi segment F trips, but as airline miles are easily available cheap from other sources + I have loads, I have chosen to spend the 100K on hotels. This is about SPG after all. US miles go for half price until sept 15, and Grand Slam is announced (however no terms yet). I have chosen not to spend on GCs, regular free nights, auctions etc, as thats considered bad value.

    For simplicity for the honored judge, all is spent on one trip/project. As time also is crucial, the standard of the hotels chosen is higher than strictly necessary, to reduce the total time on the road.

    This has the added benefit of me potentially diverting to SPG (being Hilton/Hyatt diamond and IC RA, while only SPG lowly gold). I will however use my successful tactics of approaching SPG for statusmatch/trial, and if that fails then the individual hotels. SPG cash+points is known to be of great value, but as I also spend cash it is payback to SPG as well for providing the points.

    I will not spend any *p in violation of t&c, like illegal transfers, or payment for help etc. And I will make sure to adhere to the t&c here by spending excact 100K. *p are well spent on different promos, like US 50% and different transfers for grand slam etc, but my use will stay strictly to known numbers as of today.

    TPG is challenged to join, as hotels will be booked as doubles, working together on the charity issue. We might as well throw in some miles&points workshops. With TPG plat status, the chance of suites are even higher, and we could do the workshops in-room.

    Now the plan: JFK-IST-BKK-NRT (destination)-BKK-IST (stopover)-JFK with US miles (90/120k, C/F). Premium cabin travel + extra allowance due to my star gold, lets me bring plenty of extra luggage with clothing etc for projects in Africa. This will be deposited in IST on the outbound layover, for use in the nested Africa trip on the return.

    This will all start with 2 nights in NYC. Meetings at UNICEF HQ NYC.
    JFK-IST TK F suites/new C and new TK C lounge IST
    IST-BKK-NRT TG F suites incl spa.
    Meetings at UNICEF HQ in Tokyo
    NRT-BKK-IST

    Major stopover nesting 4 one way business trips with BD cash+miles (another great value, especially here as we have used some known secrets).
    1 IST-BKK-KTM (stop in BKK) TK/TG C
    2 KTM-BKK-ZRH-NBO (stop in ZRH) TG/LX C
    3 NBO-JNB-DKR (stop in JNB) SA C
    4 DKR-IST TK C
    Combined milage for 4 trips in C is less than 50K (32,5×1,5) + cash/tax.

    Meetings at regional offices in BKK, KTM, DKR and NBO. Visit to country office at JNB stopover in Pretoria. Stopover in ZRH will be used for a train service to GVA and meetings at UNICEF HQ Geneva. and possibly the regional office.

    Return back to start with the final IST-JFK.
    Maximum flexibility is added beginning 2012 for award availability, but initial searches confirm seats.

    SPG hotel breakdown
    16K: NYC 2 nights at cat6 c+p = 2x 8k+150$ (W Times Square)
    16K: TYO 2 nights at cat6 c+p= 2x 8k+150$ in (Westin)
    14,4k: IST 1+2 nights at cat 5 c+p=3x 4,8k+90$ (W)
    19,2k: BKK 4 nights at cat 5 c+p=4×4,8k+90$ (St Regis)
    8k: DKR 2 nights at cat 4 c+p=2x4k + 60$ (Meridien)
    14,4k: JNB 3 nights at cat 5 =3×4,8k+90$ (Sheraton Pretoria)

    This leaves 12% or 12k which is a pretty fair percentage to charity. These are given to UNICEF as 10+1+1=12k. This is not done as leftovers, or for sympathy, but purely because this is the red line through the story. All in all excactly 100k wisely spent.

    I will approach all involved parties for using this for UNICEF charity, involving (social) media, and hoping SPG as well can benefit.

    Considering how little money is needed to save childrens lifes throughout the world, this can really make a difference. Good luck to all.

  • Noname

    My brother recently died. (True story) His wife has always been part of a “birthday bunch”, where over the years they try to get together for a girls weekend to celebrate their birthdays. Because of the economy they haven’t been able to do this for the last several years.
    I would use 60,000 points for the nights and flights option to cash in for 5 nights at a beach location. I would then take the 50,000 miles and convert it to DL miles where I would then in turn redeem for two domestic tickets to said beach location. I would then convert the additional 40K to DL, enabling me to cash in at 50,000 for two additional domestic tickets.
    End result is the 4 gals would have a much needed 5 day get together, grieving and celebrating in time.

  • TD

    Great idea. Here goes.

    Thanks to some very generous sign-up bonuses from Citi, my wife and I are planning a oneworld trip to Asia in the fall of 2013 to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. That’s all well and good, but the catch is that we’d like to do it without our two children (i.e. a “real” vacation), who will be 2 and 4 at the time. We’re planning on requesting some grandma support, but as both live in other locations it may be hard to coordinate. I therefore would sweeten the pot/bribe with some bonus travel as a thank you for enabling our trip.

    Grandma 1 was born in Hong Kong, and hasn’t been back in decades. I’d therefore take 70,000 of my shiny new SPG points and redeem them for Nights and Flights at the Cat 4 Le Méridien Cyberport Hong Kong and 50000 AA miles; I’d join those miles with 20k AA miles from my Citi bounty to book a roundtrip economy flight on CX from ORD to Hong Kong.

    Grandma 2 has the means to travel and has a boatload of Marriott points; she’s more interested in a luxurious stay. I’d again take 20k SPG points, convert to 25k AA, add 10k from the Citi bounty and get her a flight to Hawaii for 35k AA points, where she could stay in luxury at the St. Regis Princeville for 3 C&P nights at 8000 points + $150 each (I’ll kick in some there too).

    Summary:
    70000 SPG points -> 5 nights in Hong Kong (nights/flights)
    and 50000 AA miles + 20000 AA miles from personal stash for roundtrip economy on CX ORD->HKG
    20000 SPG points -> 25000 AA + 10000 AA miles from personal stash for roundtrip to Hawaii
    10000 SPG points to cover first 1.25 nights at St. Regis Princeville

    Additional cost to me:
    30000 AA miles (Thanks Citi)
    14000 SPG points (Thanks Amex!)
    $450

    Benefit:
    – Two very happy grandmas, great bonding time for the kids, and two weeks of daycare while my wife and I travel around Asia. Not bad :)

  • Cdub

    Our 30th anniversary is this year and I promised my wife I’d plan a memorable night on the town so here goes:
    40K to AA for 2 tickets to NYC
    11,300 2 tickets to Lion King
    20,000 for a night at the W Times Sq.
    11,000 to DL for $100 Am Ex gift cards to cover dinner in the city(might have to throw a little cash into that cause!)
    10k for itune gift card for a little romantic music once back in the room
    5k for Starbuck gift card for breakfast the next morning
    2700 pts. to give to UNICEF as a small gesture of giving back for all the wonderful things life has provided over the years.

  • Ben

    Peruvian Expedition:

    1) Transfer 42,000 starpoints to Continental, converting to 52,500 Continental points to book a mixed partner award: Air Canada economy on a saver, business return on Copa on a business saver. 58,000 starpoints remaining.

    2) Use 8,000 points for two nights at the Sheraton Lima, using Gold status to get upgraded to a junior suite (they are generous with suite upgrades). Consume enormous amounts of ceviche, hang out in Miraflores, see Pizarro’s tomb. 50,000 starpoints remaining.

    3) Convert 12,000 starpoints to Asia Miles/a oneworld carrier converting to 15,000 for the Roundtrip LAN partner award from Lima to Cuzco. A superb deal, since the RT flight usually costs $500-600. 38,000 Starpoints remaining.

    4) Use 30,000 starpoints for three nights at the Tambo Del Inka. Visit Macchu Picchu, see the nearby Seminario Pottery studio, take day trips to the ruins of Pisac and Chinchero, wander in the Salt Pans of Maras. 8,000 Starpoints remaining.

    5) After flying back to Lima, head down to Paracas for two nights at the Hotel Paracas. Cash and points, 8000 starpoints + $120. ) 0 Starpoints remaining.

    Seven nights, Roundtrip international flights, (business class return) Lima-Cuzco flight, all-inclusive for 100,000 starpoints and $120.

  • Nick

    My wife is turning 30 this March, so I would use the points for a long weekend for her and I.

    I would transfer 40,ooo SPG points to Southwest Airlines, flying roundtrip PIT->JFK.

    I would use 24,000 SPG points to stay at the Westin New York Times Square (I know, but she loves TS for some reason and it is her birthday, and I need this hotel for the next part).

    I would use use the remaining points buying SPG “Instant Awards” at the hotel, including massages and other spa treatments for my wife and I.

  • midnightRanger

    Good question. I would use the points towards my one year anniversary. My wife and I want to have kids but she doesn’t want to get pregnant until after she has a “dream beach vacation”. Therefore, I would use the points to stay at the Le Méridien Tahiti for one week. I need 48,000 points for 5 nights plus I would redeem 48,000 points for the upgrade to an overwater suite for four of those nights. The remaining 4,000 would be used for a champagne breakfast on the day of our anniversary.

  • JC

    Transfer 6k Starpoints to AA. (94k starpoints left)
    Night & Flights II for 5 nights at Westin Valencia and move miles to AA for a flight to Madrid. (24k starpoints left)
    2 nights at Westin Palace Madrid (0 starpoints left)

    Fly to Madrid. Take train (less than 2 hours) to Valencia. Stay at Westin Valencia. Take siestas every afternoon! Take train back to Madrid. Stay at Westin Palace Madrid for 2 nights. Take more siestas. Leave Spain for home.

  • Chadda Manish

    Background: Its been a year of diving and adventure trips for me and my wife who were married last august. We learned to dive this year, as a hobby to share together, and to make travels more interesting, and we’ve been augmenting dive trips with adventure trips all year.

    With 100,000 SPG points I would plan the most outrageous dive, and adventure trip I can dream of, called “Oceans and Mountains on SPG!”

    We would travel from

    1. Mia – GCM (grand cayman)

    First we Dive!
    We fly to Grand Cayman to explore one of the best dive destinations in the carribean. We stay at
    - “The Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa” on seven mile beach, SPG Cat 7
    -we pay 179/night for the room using no points, as they are not an option
    -Stay for 4 nights

    2. GCM – LIM (grand cayman to lima, peru)
    Next onto the moutains!
    -We fly to Lima Peru, where we stay for day/night to explore the city
    In Lima we stay at:
    -Sheraton Lima Hotel and Convention Center, SPG Cat 2
    -We use cash and points, using 1600 points + 30USD/night

    Next I transfer 8000 SPG points to LAN, at a 1:2 ratio, ending up with 16,000 LAN points, and fly from Lima to Cuzco RT

    -In Cuzco we stay at:
    -Tambo del Inka Resort and Spa, Sacred Valley, Urumbaba, SPG Cat 4
    -We use cash and points, using 4000 points and 60 USD, staying for one night

    Next morning we trek the inca trail to machu pichu, a 4 day trek. Arriving back in Cuzco we fly back to Lima from where we move on to…

    3. Lim – Cai (lima to cairo, egypt)
    More Diving!
    -In Cairo we stay at Le Meriden Heliopolis in Old Town Cairo SPG Cat 2
    - We stay for 3 nights, at just 3000 SPG points/night, paying fully in points (total 9000)
    -We dive the dead sea…amazing!

    4. Cai – ktm (Cairo to Katmandu, Nepal)
    Onto the biggest moutains!
    -We fly to Katmandu…where there is no starwood property, so on this leg we are on our own, witnessing the magestic mount everest!

    5. Ktm-Syd (Katmandu, to Sydney Australia)
    Back for more diving!
    -We then fly from nepal to Sydney once we are there we stay at
    -The Westing Sydney, SPG 5 using cash and points
    -we use 4800 points + 90usd/night for a total of 3 nights (14,400 points)

    -and we get to dive the Great Barrier Reef, supposed to be the best diving in the world!

    6. Syd – PPT (Sydney to French Polynesia)
    And finally just relaxing!
    -We fly from Sydney to Papeete French Polynesia, where we travel at our own expense to Bora Bora RT
    -In Bora Bora we treat ourselves to luxury, with the latest SPG promotion, you can stay at the St. Regis Bora Bora for 1000 points/night, and get 50% off the room rate (the room rate is $1200/night), and you cannot use points in any way at this SPG 7 property, which consists of individual villas set in the ocean…yes like those things you see in movies!
    -We stay for 3 nights using 1000 points/night, and getting 50% off per night
    -We fly back at our own expense to Papeete

    7. PPT-Mia
    Back to the real world…=(
    - We fly back to Miami, and leave the most amazing trip of our lives behind.

    So to do the flights from
    MIA-GCM-LIM-CAI-KTM-SYD-PPT, which using the Great Circle mapping tool comes to 28, 986 miles ( http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=MIA-GCM-LIM-CAI-KTM-SYD-PPT-MIA )

    I transfer 60,000 SPG points to ANA – giving me 75,000 ANA miles + 45,000 ANA miles from my account = 120,000 miles for which you can do trips totalling up to 29,000 miles in economy class (yes with only 14 miles to spare before the next level!)

    My wife has the required miles in her stash for ANA, so we can both travel in economy class for “Oceans and Moutains on SPG”

    So we’ve used a total of 60,000 (to ANA) + 8000 (transfer to LAN) + 1600 (cash and points) + 4000 (cash and points) + 9000 (all points) + 14,400 (cash and points) + 3000 (bora bora 50% off rate with points) for a grand total of

    EXACTLY 100,000 SPG POINTS!!!! (staying at various SPG levels all over the world, using cash and points option, all points option, 50% off with points option, transferring to LAN at 1:2 ratio, and to ANA taking advantage of 3 x 5000 bonuses for transferring 60,000 points)

    and that is

    “Oceans and Mountains on SPG!”

  • Aaron S

    I would transfer 40,000 Starpoints to LANPASS kilometers to use on a flight from my home to Rio in Brazil. Because of the transfer ratio and great redemption, this would be enough for a business class ticket.
    The remaining 60,000 Starpoints would be used at the 12,000 Starpoint per night Sheraton Barra Hotel & Suites in Rio. This would be enough for 5 nights there.

    All in all, this would be a great 5 night vacation with very relaxing transportation and accomidation. What else could I ask for?

  • Maxim

    Plenty of great entries both focusing on single destination retreat or RTW travel. It’s hard for me to add something that wasn’t pointed out already (perhaps transferring points to AA to IHG/Hyatt/Hilton and then creatively using their current promotion to gather enough points for extra night stays). So, my entry is in haiku form:

    June skiing in Chile
    New Year in Bora-Bora
    Hundred K (100,000) well spent

  • tassojunior

    Maldives !

    The Sheraton Full Moon Resort and Spa is 20,000 points per night and a bargain. 5 Nights !

    The W is one of the world’s best resorts and 100,000 might get two nights.

  • troy mcclure

    This life and this world are truly amazing and have been very generous to me. Call me dumb but I would give 100% of the starpoints won to the “Miles for Kids in Need” charity via American Airlines. Of course I would transfer them to AA netting 125,000 miles and from there pass them on to good folks at this awesome charity.

    I know many of you have more points and miles that you could ever use and if you find this cause close to your heart or maybe you have a few spare miles to chuck their way I highly suggest looking into it. Here is their website: http://joinus.aa.com/american-airlines-inc-aadvantage

    Good luck everyone and thanks Points Guy for all you do.

  • Jie

    Will use the points on Hawaii resort stay.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s how I would spend the 100,000 SPG points: by hitting two of Monocle’s top 20 city listing (Helsinki and Paris) from Montreal (currently ranked 24 by Monocle)

    Flights: I would transfer 60,000 SPG points to flying blue to leverage the 5,000 point transfer bonus.

    -Outbound: YUL-AMS (promo award in J class): 25,000 flying blue miles
    -Intra-Europe: AMS-HEL (promo award in J class): 12,500 flying blue miles
    -Intra-Europe: HEL-CDG (promo award in J class): 12,500 flying blue miles
    -Inbound: CDG-YUL (promo award in J class): 25,000 flying blue miles

    Notes: this award strategy takes advantage of the Starwood transfer bonus, incredible promo award pricing (25,000 points for business class each way transatlantic is pretty hard to beat) and flexibility of flying blue which allows you to book each leg as a one way at the same cost as round trip (allows me to fly into Amsterdam and out of Paris). Drawbacks are: 1) angled lie-flats in business with both KLM and AF, 2) high taxes and fees with flying blue, 3) intra-European business class is essentially the same as economy, they just block the middle seat, provide a small meal and lounge access, but two economy tickets would have been 13,000 SPG points, so i felt the 7,000 point premium combined with the 5,000 point transfer bonus was worth the upgrade to the front of the cabin – others may have valued an extra night using cash and points instead which I also contemplated…

    Stays: I would use the remaining 40,000 SPG points on cash & points awards as follows:

    - Amsterdam: Hotel Pulitzer (Category 5) cash and points: 4800 points + 90 USD per night for 3 nights
    - Helsinki: Hotel Kamp (Category 5) cash and points: 4800 points + 90 USD per night for 2 nights
    - Paris: The Westin Paris – Vendome (Category 6) cash and points: 8000 points + 150 USD per night for 2 nights

    In selecting the above award, I focused mostly on value obtained for points spent and to gain access to things I wouldn’t otherwise shell out the cash for (business class travel, Category 5+ hotels).
    -40,000 of the 60,000 SPG points I would transfer to flying blue would get me $5,000+ worth of flights (the two transatlatic awards)
    - the remaining 20,000 SPG points used for intra-European airfare saved me $2,000 worth of flights (although, arguably, the more representative comparison is to price out economy seats since that’s closer to the experience obtained in this “business class” cabin)
    - using the cash and points option would save me nearly $2,500 based on the difference between the best available rate and the cash component of the cash and points award (on randomly selected dates)

    Total out of pocket cost = $750 for the cash component of the cash & points awards and probably easily the same for taxes and fees from Flying blue. But hey, $1500 for round-trip / multi-city business class airfare and 7 nights in category 5 and 6 hotels in 3 European cities seems like a good deal : )

  • CVG Traveller

    CVG-RIO
    My wife’s grandmother just passed away and I’d take her to Rio for a short 4 day trip.

    40,000 SPG pts (20,000 x 2) = 100.000 LAN pts (worth 2 economy tickets)
    60,000 SPG pts – AMTRAK Guest Rewards pts – 180,000 Choice Privileges pts (4 Nights at Hotel Caesar Park Rio de Janeiro Ipanem)

  • Michael L

    I would start off by taking advantage of the annual US Airways promotion where elites/cardholders get a 75% bonus on hotel points transfers (see gary at http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfromthewing/2011/05/02/up-to-75-bonus-on-transfers-of-hotel-points-to-us-airways/) for reference to this years edition.

    Combing that with a category 4 nights & flights and you get:
    70,000 startpoints = 5 nights at category 4, and 87,500 US Airways miles (50000 miles x 75% bonus)

    Then still taking advantage of that same 75%, I transfer another 2000 starpoints to give me a total of slightly over 90,000 miles. With that, I book a round trip business class ticket to Shanghai, and using my stopover in Barcelona

    The 5 free nights from the nights+flights deal is used for 5 nights in the St. Regis Shanghai

    Cash & Points are used for 5 nights in the Le Meridien Barcelona at 4800 points and 90 dollars a night for each, and 1 night at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh for 4000 points + 60 dollars

    Summarized itinerary:
    Round trip (All in business class) from NYC-Shanghai with stopover in Barcelona and a non-stopover in Scotland
    5 nights at the St. Regis Shanghai
    5 nights at Le Meridien Barcelona
    1 night at Sheraton Edinburgh

    Total cost: 100,000 Starpoints and $510 (it also leaves me with 1000 leftover US Airways miles which goes toward a magazine subscription gift sent to TPG of his choice for sponsoring my vacation :) )

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=653705016 Roman Hans

    I’m 54. My partner is 57. This week, we have nieces and nephews in Scotland, Australia, England, and Bali.

    We have never been out of the U. S.

    We’re doing our best to keep up. We Facebook. We Skype. We Twitter. Until we leave the country, though, we’ll continue being an embarrassment to our relatives.

    If we won, we’d apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred cards and get 50,000 miles each. Using ExpertFlyer, we’d use these for roundtrip tickets to London, England. We’d stay at The Park Lane Hotel (2 nights @ 12,000 per) near Harrods. We’d use 40,000 Starpoints for two roundtrips to Paris, where Le Méridien Etoile (3 nights @ 12,000 per) is just off the Champs Elysee. We’d throw all caution to the wind!

    I know our relatives would tell us not to eat at the McDonalds there, because that’d be tacky, so fingers crossed there’s a Taco Bell.

    [email protected]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=653705016 Roman Hans

    I’m 54. My partner is 57. This week, we have nieces and nephews in Scotland, Australia, England, and Bali.

    We have never been out of the U. S.

    We’re doing our best to keep up. We Facebook. We Skype. We Twitter. Until we leave the country, though, we’ll continue being an embarrassment to our relatives.

    If we won, we’d apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred cards and get 50,000 miles each. Using ExpertFlyer, we’d use these for roundtrip tickets to London, England. We’d stay at The Park Lane Hotel (2 nights @ 12,000 per) near Harrods. We’d use 40,000 Starpoints for two roundtrips to Paris, where Le Méridien Etoile (3 nights @ 12,000 per) is just off the Champs Elysee. We’d throw all caution to the wind!

    I know our relatives would tell us not to eat at the McDonalds there, because that’d be tacky, so fingers crossed there’s a Taco Bell.

    [email protected]

  • Mujeriega

    With 100,000 SPG pts, I’d do the following:
    - Transfer 20,000 pts to UA to give me the remaining 25,000 miles I need to to get 2 RTW tickets in 1st class. I’ll finally take that sabbatical that I’ve been putting off and do it in style.
    - I tend to find that category 4 rewards internationally are quite a good value especially if you do cash and points. They give you a good blend of locations, luxury and value.
    - At some point in my trip, I would make it over to Morocco and do 5 nights at the Le Royal Mansour Meridien for 40,000 pts.
    - I would also ensure that I head over to Bali where I’d stay at the Laguna Resort & Spa for another 40,000 pts for 5 nights.
    - I’d be on a trip for much longer than these 10 nights which is where I would need to do a combination of cashing in a ton of points with other hotels and also mix in some low cost paid night options as well when on this trip.

    Although there are other uses for points, to me, there is no better value than using them for hotel stays and for airline miles when topping off for an aspirational award.

  • LadeeEye

    ThePointsGuy.com: Congratulations LadeeEye, you’ve just won our contest for Starrwood’s 100,000 points!
    LadeeEye: Really?!! OMG! *does the happy dance discreetly* Thank you!
    ThePointsGuy.com: How will you spend it?
    LadeeEye: Hmm, well, let’s see…I am married with 3 kids; work fulltime in the tech industry which means I have a virtual leash at all times and haven’t taken a weeklong vacation with my husband since our honeymoon 9 years ago and never with the kids . You mean I can actually take time off for free?!
    1.) 9500 points for a $100 Starbucks Card; this woman needs her coffee or else
    2.) 56000 pointsfor 7 nights in Hawaii-Hubby and kids have never been (cash and points)-and we get $150 credit at the hotel
    3.) 14000 points for $150 amazon.com coupon-to purchase an ipad for gift cards to restaurants so I don’t have to pay for food
    4.) 3500 points Avis rental coupon – sight-seeing with a tired 5 year old does not last long if you walk
    5.) 5000 points-$50 gift card for Itunes; can never have enough good movies for your IPhone
    6.) 1500 points-Room Upgrade
    7.) 500 points-Transfer to my husband’s SPG account
    8.) 10000 points to UNICEF-PAY IT FORWARD =)

    Thanks for the opp! Happy Travels..

  • Tracy

    I would use my 100,000 SPG points on an amazing trip in celebration of me and my appreciation for my family! I was adopted 37 years ago from Seoul and arrived in the US when I was a baby. As the story goes, I was discovered on the side of the road by a police officer and brought to a facility that provided foster care and facilitated my adoption.

    A trip with my mom to see the country I was born in and to visit the agency that handled my adoption would be phenomenal.

    As a result of your, and a handful of other, incredibly informative blogs, I have built up my British Airways account to 150,000 miles.
    1. Using Nights for Flights II, transfer 50,000 points to 50,000 BA miles – bringing my account to 200,000 – enough for 2 business class flights to Asia (my mother has never been to Asia and never flown above economy class)
    2. Trip would route: JFK – HKG – Stop – ICN – HKG – ORD – Stop – JFK
    3. 3 nights in Hong Kong at Le Meridien Cyberport (Cat 4) for 4,000 points + $60
    4. 5 nights in Seoul at the Westin Chosun (Cat 4) using Nights and Flights II
    5. 3 nights in Chicago to visit my aunt – 2 nights at the Westin Michigan Avenue (Cat 4) for 4,000 points + $60 and 1 night free accommodation at my aunt’s
    6. 3,500 points for 1 $50 Avis gift certificate for a car rental in Chicago
    7. To top it all off, we’ll satiate our cravings for Starbucks along the way with the $50 gift card for 5,000 points
    8. The remaining 1,500 points will be donated to UNICEF

    Thanks for the dream!

  • LizChile

    Hi Brian, I am an American expat based in Santiago, Chile 10+ years. My Chilean husband and I own a culinary & wine travel business that grown exponentially in the South American region. As such, South America (and the US) seem to have some sort of “magnetic effect” and it’s been hard to get off the continent. Although we travel a lot regionally, we’d like to see other parts of the world, which is a schlep from these southern latitudes. With this website, I already started using the strategies to leverage the points for personal travel so these points would be put towards that so the 100,000 points would be put to use to help us plan a real, needed!, vacation in Asia in 2012.

    –Air: Airfares from Santiago to Asia are exorbitant (normally US$3,500-4,000) and there’s no easy way to get there. Basically via the US or Sydney. LANpass requires 140,000points for a round-trip ticket Santiago-Shanghai. I have enough American Advantage miles to cover my own ticket, but I would first put 60,000 points to use for my husband’s ticket: 60,000 Starwood points x 15,000 bonus points for transfer moved out at a rate of 1:2 for LAN points. This would cover the ticket plus a little more.

    –The fastest route LAN to China from Chile is via Sydney. We’ll route the ticket to take a stopover in Sydney for 2 nights (a foodie Mecca, I may add!) and stay at the Westin Sydney with superb location and a category 5 hotel.
    The average daily rate was 340AUD for the dates we’re looking at, or US$364/night. Doing a cost analysis, definitely the cash & points makes the most sense. The total savings would be US$564 for 2 nights and 9,600 points, or 5.7 cents. Above your rule of thumb of 3 cents to be worth it.

    –We would pick up the next leg of the trip on Qantas to Shanghai and stay at the St. Regis Shanghai. I can hardly believe this is a category 4 hotel—looks so luxurious and a total deal! The average rate for our dates ran US$530 per night and we want to stay 3 nights total. This would give us US$1,320 savings for only 12,000 points, or a whooping 11 cents value, yay! From Shanghai, we would take the train (on our own) out to the Hangzhou province to stay (on our own) at the delicious Amanfayun resort amid the Buddhist temples. A big splurge, but thanks to all these savings, possible.

    –Last leg, jump a cheap flight to Hong Kong and shack up at the W Hong Kong for 4 nights. This would be the bulk of our point usage as hotels in Hong Kong can be pricey. The average price for our dates ran from US$385 per night for 4 nights. Being a category 5 hotel, I would save US$1,270 using 19,200 points, or a value of 6.6 cents. Pretty decent.

    The total savings for this trip because of these points is close to US$6,700-7,200 total.

    From Hong Kong, a 33-hour trip back to reality in Chile. Thanks for offering us all the opportunity! I almost planned my vacation, actually.

  • Lol

    You are assuming that the 2011 Grand Slam program is identical to the 2010. So this is actually a “WAIT” vacation too.

  • Lol

    Now that’s funny!!

  • Lol

    Hilarious! Menard’s is great as well!

  • Heather ✈

    “TOUR DE POINTS”
    We leave behind our poodles to travel to Europe for the Tour de France using our 100,000 Starwood points… a “Tour de Points” vacation of a lifetime!

    *Here’s our video: http://youtu.be/aiNd9EEAgDA

    Milan – The Westin Palace: 3 nights @ 12,000/night = 36,000 points
    Monte Carlo – Le Meridien Beach Plaza: 3 nights @ 8,000/night + $150/night = 24,000 points + $450
    Paris – Le Meridien Etoile: 3 nights @ 12,000/night = 36,000 points
    Red Cross donation: 4,000 points

    Total: 100,000 Starwood Points + $450
    (We will use our Delta miles to fly to Europe.)

    Thanks Points Guy! ☺

  • Mike H

    My wife and I’s anniversary is this Sunday August 21 and we never did get your gift TPG ;) so it would be amazing to win the 100,000 Starpoints on our anniversary.

    My post is going to be boring compared to others but being fresh out of college and wife still in school, we have to travel on a budget and take advantage of all the free miles we’ve accrued thanks to your site. Tip of the hat for the Chase Sapphire deal, I have over 100K points thanks to you.

    I would my Continental/United miles to fly my wife and I to Bangkok. I would love to stay at the Vana Belle Samui Resort and Spa which is going to be opening in July of 2012. I’m assuming the hotel will cost 20,000 points so I’d get 5 nights there. In the case that it’s less than 20,000 points, I would use the savings to book more nights. Phuket is supposed to be beautiful and I’d love to take my beautiful wife there.

    As a side note, I’d make sure to take pictures of TPG with a heart around it drawn in the sand :D

    Thanks for this offer and all the other miles you’ve given my wife and I and all of your loyal TPG readers!

  • Michael

    I would send my wife and mother-in-law to NYC to stay at the W New York for 3 nights over my wives fall break from being a third grade teacher. (Oct 6-9) They both deserve a long weekend filled with good food and the Bliss Spa because by mother-in-law has babysat my 4 year old and my 16 month old since birth for absolutely free and my wife does well, everything. The breakdown would be transfer 26,000 SPG X 2=62,000 CO miles. Will cost 40K to fly to NYC so will have 22K bonus to use later! W Hotel during this period is 16K per night X 3 nights = 48K. No C+P is available for this period or they would have been flying Business! 100,000K SPG total used and available according to CO and SPG from LEX to NYC if I win!

  • Rybaylor

    First of all I would like to thank you for the website. I saw in about six months ago and have gained so much. Its a big anniversary next year and my wife and I wanted to travel. We got BA and AA miles so airfare is taken care of. As for the starwood miles, I believe in value!
    Our first stop is Rome. So we would choose the Sheraton Roma hotel. We will be in rome 8 days. 2800 points plus $45.00. its 230 euro, so 330.90. That means points are worth 10.21 cents a piece.
    The second stop is in the Maldives. The sheraton Maldives looks beautiful. Its 8k per and 150.00. With the rates im seeing thats only 4.0 cents, but everyone needs to splurge. We are staying 7 nights.
    Our last stop is Dubai. We like the Al Sondons Suites. Again, they are 2800 points plus 45.00 per night. At a 1000 aed or 272.00, thats a 8.10 cent per mile return. We are going to stay 7 nights there as well.
    Overall, we would spend 98k miles and 1725.00. That is 3 weeks and a day at luxury hotels and the maldives for less than 2k. Oh by the way any good winner would give there unused 2k in points to the host!

  • SajerGuy

    My philosophy: The benefit of these points for me goes well beyond the highest monetary equivalency (cpm) achievable. Rather, I looked to maximize the experiential value of using just 100k SPG to provide the most meaningful memories possible that I can carry through life. Furthermore, I agree with James M’s comment above that it is important to not just talk theoretically about the points but to work through all the hurdles necessary to nail down precise dates with availability. Thus, my whole trip is available for booking online as of today.

    My concept: I’ve been golfing for the past 30 years but have never had the opportunity to play with true professionals on a tournament quality course. I noticed that SPG Moments has auctions for special experiences and one of them is to play in a Pro-Am event (14 Sep) preceding the Macau Open next month. I travelled through Macau a couple times while in studying in China in the late 90′s and have often wondered how the recent casino boom has changed the sleepy Portuguese colony that I remember. I could also practice my Chinese, which has grown very rusty during my service in the Army…can’t even pass the military’s Chinese test anymore so I lose out on some bonus pay. Perhaps a week’s worth of practice would get me over that hump!

    The details:

    - Spend 60k SPG points on N&F Option 1 (5 nights at a category 3 hotel and 50,000 ANA airline miles).
    - Buy 10k additional ANA miles for 10k SPG points.
    - Use 14k SPG points on two additional nights at Cat 3 hotel. If more SPG points are needed to win the auction below I could utilize C&P for these two nights (2800 SPG + USD 45 per night).
    - Bid last 16K SPG points on SPG Moments auction to play in Pro-Am event at Macau Open golf tournament and attend the whole tournament.

    Flights: Via ANA Mileage Club purchase for 60k miles a United economy roundtrip from SFO to HKG. I found available direct flights both ways (11 Sep -> arriving 12 Sep and returning 19 Sep) for a total of 60k ANA miles.

    Ferry from HKG to Macau: Arrive at HKG International on evening of 12 Sep and take ferry directly from airport (Macau Tourism Office website indicates no need to do HKG Customs and Immigration). Turbojet ferry is $30 USD each way. Taxi to hotel will be peanuts as Macau is tiny.

    Hotel: The Macau Open is played at the golf course around the Westin Resort Macau (Cat 3 hotel with oceanview availability). Checkin on evening of 12 Sep and checkout on 19 Sep for a total of 7 night (5 from N&F and 2 additional). Best available rate is $216/night (including taxes).

    Golf: Play in the Pro-Am on 14 Sep and watch the tournament from 15-18 Sep.

    Overall, I’m sure my plan doesn’t top the charts in terms of monetary value but it would allow me to book a very specific trip that I truly want to experience (and on short notice) for only 100k SPG points. Thanks for the great contest!

  • Kristin

    If I received 100,000 SPG points, my boyfriend and I would go to Peru, to stay at the fantastic Tambo del Inka Resort in Valle Sagrado. We would transfer 48,000 SPG points to 96,000 LAN kms, which is enough to buy two tickets from the US to Peru. We chose this area because we are linguists. We consider ourselves life long students, and it is our dream (and perhaps our responsibility) to hear an endangered language first hand. If possible, we would use our training to help document Machiguenga, which is spoken by only 12,000 people in Manu National Park. At 10,000 SPG points a night (and considering the 4 nights, 5th night free SPG program), we could stay for 5 nights in the hotel. Then we could transfer 10,000 SPG points to American Express Rewards to get a giftcard to buy solar powered chargers to help pay for our audio equipment. A few days of fieldwork would enable us to help in the documentation of Machiguenga, preserving a small part of the culture. Winning this prize would be a purely joyful experience: we would spend our vacation time doing exactly what we love most – interacting with a new speech community in a place we’ve never been before.

    Great contest for us new to the world of free travel, thanks for the opportunity!

  • Scott E Shelley

    Here’s my plan of action to use 100000 Starwood Points that you’re generously offering:

    First, I’d transfer 40K Starwood points to my AAdvantage account for the 50K points I require for Lifetime Gold status. This will top up my American Airlines account to just above 200K miles.

    Then I’d use the 200K AAdvantage miles to book a OneWorld Distance Zone 6 trip (14001-20000 total miles travelled) with the following dream itinerary

    New York (Where I live!)
    Amman (Petra!)
    New Delhi (Taj Mahal!)
    Hong Kong (Victoria Harbour!)
    Tokyo (Imperial Palace!)
    Vancouver (Stanley Park!)
    New York (Exhausted!)

    (Total miles: 19490)

    During my fifteen-day-long whirlwind trip, I would stay 3 nights in each city using Starwood’s Cash and Points option (12000 points, plus $180) for each of the following category 4 hotels:

    Sheraton Amman Al Nabil
    Le Meridien, Delhi
    Le Meridien, Hong Kong
    Sheraton Miyako, Tokyo
    The Westin Grand, Vancouver

    Total Starwood points used: 100000
    Total cash: $900
    Vacation of a lifetime for me!

  • Chris D

    I have always wanted to do a Rock and Roll Tour of the US. With the 100,000 SPG points, I would want to travel and party like a rock star and see the historic and iconic US Rock and Roll sites. Of course, I would try to stay at the W like I can, so I can think I am a rock star as well! My journey would go like this:

    1) Start on the West Coast at Seattle and stay at the W Seattle for one night : 10,000 points. I would see where grunge all got started and where Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Lee all lay to rest.

    2) Move on to San Francisco, stay at the W San Francisco for one night: 12,000 points. I would go to Haight Ashbury to see where the hippie movement started and where Janis Joplin, Jefferson Starship and many others used to hang out. Maybe try to plan for late October as I always wanted to see the Neil Young Bridge School Benefit as well

    3) Next would be LA. I would stay at the W Los Angeles: 12,000 points. Take a tour down Sunset Strip where Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others all get their start. I would also live my dream of seeing an outdoor concert at the Greek. Get me to the Greek!

    4) After a few days of recovery, I would jetset to New Orleans and stay at the W New Orleans. I would go twice on 2 separate trips because there is so much to see and do there. I would go one time for the New Orleans Jazz Fest in April and load up on on great music and good food. Then I would need to come back in Feb for Mardi Gras to experience this. Total : 20,000 points.

    5) I would then work my way up the delta thru Missisippi to Memphis. Stay at Westin right on Beale Street : 10,000 points. Take in Beale street, eat at Rendezvous for ribs and head on out to Graceland to see the King. Along the way, maybe take a Sunday gospel hour with the Reverend Al Green.

    6) After feeling energized and blessed by Rev Green, I would go to NYC, and spend 2 days at the Le Parker Meridien. No W here. The Le Parker is where it is at, with the hidden burger bar and the rooftop pool and lounge area. 2 days here for 12,000 a night = 24,000 points total. So much to see and do. East Village where the Beasties, Blondie and the Ramones got it’s start. Along with numerous clubs to see a host of bands on any given night.

    7) Finally, I would end in Chicago. Spend one night here at the W Chicago for 12,000 points. I would take in either the Blues Festival or Lollapalooza depending on what my music taste is at the time.

    Thats it, 100,000 points gone. Please make my dream a reality. Thanks for reading! Peace

  • Rose

    My husband and I are avid skiers. For many years, he has dreamed of skiing in Switzerland. Unfortunately, we’ve never been able to make that happen. However, with 100,000 SPG points, I could make this dream come true. I would do it by turning 100,000 SPG points into two round trip airline tickets and seven night’s accommodations at an SPG resort in one of the premier ski areas of Switzerland.

    Here’s how I would do it:

    Redeem 70,000 SPG points for a Night & Flights II award. This would provide us with 50,000 airline miles and five free nights at a Category 4 hotel.

    Redeem 25,000 SPG points for an additional 30,000 airline miles (includes the 5,000 SPG points transfer bonus).

    Redeem the 80,000 airline miles for two round trip American Airlines economy MileSaaver Off-Peak awards to Zurich, Switzerland.

    Redeem 4,000 SPG points for one Cash & Points Award night in a Category 4 hotel.

    Redeem 1,000 SPG points for a 50% Off Regular Rack Rates certificate.

    SPG points used = 70,000 + 25,000 + 4,000 + 1,000 = 100,000.

    Apply the five nights from the Night & Flights award, the one night from the Cash & Points award and the one night from the 50% Off Regular Rack Rates certificate for a total of 7 nights at the Sheraton Davos Hotel Waldhuus, an SPG Category 4 resort hotel.

    The Sheraton Davos Hotel Waldhuus is less than two miles from four ski areas with two other ski areas within a five mile radius. In addition, the hotel offers a ski valet service. After skiing, we can relax in the spa area which includes an indoor pool, sauna and solarium. I can treat myself to a massage or a facial on our last day to relieve my sore muscles from skiing. Each evening, we can indulge in traditional Swiss cuisine such as fondue at the Restaurant Waldhuus and unwind at the Matta Bar.

    All in all, a truly fabulous Swiss ski experience for 100,000 SPG points.

  • Wily

    I don’t think you can stop over at honking to sanya on Cathy as HKG to sanya is operated by Cathy’s partner airline, not a one world partner. So your plan does not work

  • Aaron

    Most of us have been lucky enough to have traveled the world. I would use these Starpoints to give back. An idea that I would take on if I won is to basically give the opportunity to travel for those who aren’t as fortunate. I would volunteer to build houses in India with an organization such as Habitat for Humanity.(Trip Paid for with my own money/miles). Whoever house I help build.. I would send that family 3-4 people on a weekend trip to any city in India that has an SPG hotel. This trip can be taken anytime they wish. I would pay for the airfare departing from the nearest airport by transferring enough miles for 3-4 tickets fto King Fisher King Club at a 1:1 ratio. Then I would use points for the hotel at 10,000 points/night. Food and other expenses would be at the homeowners own cost.

    For Kingfisher. Delhi to Chennai which is one of the longest distances intra india cost 21000 miles RT. So for 4 tickets that would be 84,000. In reality I would only need to transfer 70,000( 60,000 + 15,000 bonus +10,000). This leaves 30,000 points to spend on hotel which is enough for 3 nights. So the total should be 100K or most likely under that. So whatever points i have left I will donate to a charitable organization. :)

  • Joe W

    Cathy pacific, it’s hub HK with flight to Bali, if you use BA, it’s 50k for economy and 100k for business with free stopover at honking

  • Nick

    For my wifes 30th birthday, I wanted to do something special. Since we’re both teachers and her bday is in March, we can basically only do a long weekend. So here’s my plan:

    Transfer 40,000 SPG points to Southwest and fly roundtrip PIT -> JFK.
    Use 24,000 SPG points to stay 2 nights (12,000 x 2) at the Westin Times Square New York (I know, but she loves TS)
    Use the remaining 36,000 SPG points to buy “Instant Rewards” to treat her to a weekend of pampering, including massages, room service, etc.

  • Nick

    Sorry, double post.

  • Frank

    I would plan my dream trip to Thailand! I would transfer 40,000 SPG points to 50,000 BA miles. I would then book a Cathay Pacific flight from JFK to Bangkok, with a one night stopover in Hong Kong. Although BA miles provide great stopover benefits, I would like to spend the majority of my time in Thailand. In Hong Kong I would stay for two fabulous night of luxury at the W Hong Kong in Kowloon for 16,000 SPG points per night (32,000 SPG total). Then in the morning i would fly into exotic Bangkok, Thailand. I would spend 3 nights at the Le Meridien Bangkok for 2800 SPG + $45 per night (8400 SPG +$135 total). Then I would take the train down to Phuket to explore the famous beaches of southern Thailand. I would use The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket as my base for 3 nights for 4000 SPG + $40 per night (12000 SPG + $120 total). Then i would take the overnight train up to Chang Rai and Chang Mai staying at the Le Meridien Chang Mai and Le Meridien Chang Rai each for 2 nights for 1600 Starpoints + USD 30 per night (6400 SPG + $120 total). Then i would train back down to Bangkok for my flight back to JFK. Now that is my perfect Thai vacation in luxury and all for just 98,800 SPG points and $375!

  • Judd Patterson

    Perched at the edge of the continent, Alaska is a dream to a nature photographer such as myself. Who says you can’t see the Arctic ocean, the largest land carnivores, endless sunlight, and still travel in style? 100,000 Starpoints would be the perfect way to finance a dream Alaska trip.

    I’d start by transferring 60,000 SPG points to American Airlines, taking advantage of the transfer bonus to net 75,000 AAdvantage miles. This would cover the 10 legs of my adventure as I traverse The Last Frontier via partner Alaska Airlines in June 2012. Next, I’d grab a $50 Amazon gift card for 5,000 SPG to outfit myself for the extreme weather. One stylish fur hat and rain gear please!

    1) Miami to St. Paul Island (stops in Seattle and Anchorage) – Set 300 miles west of the Alaskan coast, the Pribilof Islands are home to a huge seal colony and amazing birds like the Horned and Tufted Puffin. (12,500 AAdvantage miles)

    2) Nome – The terminus of the famous Iditarod and home to a wealth of unique wildlife like caribou and musk oxen. (12,500 AAdvantage miles)

    3) Barrow – The northernmost town in the United States under 24 hour sunlight. I’d explore the flowering tundra and take an ATV to Point Barrow where polar bears routinely roam. (12,500 AAdvantage miles)

    4) Fairbanks – Rent a car from Avis with a significant discount provided by two $50 certificates from 7,000 Starpoints (3,500 for each $50 certificate). I’d cruise the famous Alaskan Highway to Denali National Park, and camp all the way down at Wonder Lake to witness sunset views of Denali…the highest peak in North America. (12,500 AAdvantage miles)

    5) Continuing down the Alaskan Highway I’d end up in Anchorage where I could recuperate from my adventure with 5 nights (taking advantage of 5th night free) at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa (28,000 SPG points). There would be time to enjoy a meal at Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse and a walk through Kincaid Park where it is common to see a moose in the foreground and a landing 737 in the background.

    6) Kodiak Island – With a few airline miles to spare, it would be time to tack on one final adventure before heading home. Kodiak Island is home to thousands of grizzly bear, and June would be ideal to see them chasing down spawning salmon. (12,500 AAdvantage miles)

    7) Back home to Miami (12,500 AAdvantage miles) with some amazing photographs and a huge smile!

    Summary
    60,000 SPG to 75,000 AAdvantage to fly to 6 destinations
    28,000 SPG for Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa (5 nights)
    7,000 SPG for AVIS car rental ($100)
    5,000 SPG for Amazon gift card ($50)

  • http://twitter.com/scflier SC Flier

    With 100,000 Starpoints and the freedom to dream, my starting point was simple: my own website http://www.journeysearcher.com! From there, I could pull nearly all Starwood properties worldwide into Google Earth and get a global view of their exact locations and their award category numbers.

    I had several ideas of places to go, but I kept coming back to a particular set of destinations that my wife and I have not yet had an opportunity to visit. With my virtual globe in front of me, this is what I settled on:

    We’ll start with a points transfer to US Airways as a Nights & Flights award. That will use 60,000 Starpoints, to get 50,000 Dividend Rewards miles (+ bonus miles for timing it right and perhaps a hit in the soon-to-be-announced Grand Slam 2011, of course). The miles will be used towards our Star Alliance award tickets. I’ll get to the hotel portion of this award later.

    Our award flight will be to the Canary Islands, but we’ll have a stopover in Madrid first. After all, why stop in just one city when a stopover is allowed? From Madrid, we’ll take a separate flight on Iberia up to San Sebastian for a 5-night stay at the Luxury Collection’s Hotel Maria Cristina (Category 5 Cash & Points: 4,800 Starpoints + $90 per night). I’ve been wanting to visit the Basque region for years, and am eager to see the area and savor the food. Some time in Bilbao will be necessary.

    From there, we’ll drive south to the Luxury Collection’s Hotel Marques de Riscal for two nights of Category 6 Cash & Points awards (8,000 Starpoints + $150 per night).

    Next, it’s time to return to the airport to continue with our flights to Gran Canaria. There, we’ll check in for the hotel portion of our Nights & Flights award at the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa. Time to soak in the sun, relax in the pools, and visit the beaches!

    60K N&F + 24K Cat5 C&P + 16K Cat6 C&P = 100K glorious Starpoints!

  • airy

    Want to get to the SPECTACULARINESS that is Talinn and visit the Old Town since I’m a big medieval buff and love cobblestones and stonework. So I’m gonna trade in 50k spg into 60k sky miles which I’ll fly KLM Dutch from ORD to TLL with a stopover in Amsterdam for 4 days. Since I’m young and love the romantic notion of bum experiences, I’ll probably be using couchsurfers/hostels/bed and breakfasts type of stays.

    The 48k chunk will go into the 5th night free special at the Westin St. John Resort and Villas when I fly my immigrant and not-so-well-traveled parents and I to the Virgin Islands using my own personal store of AA miles (105k+ AA). I want them to stop working so hard and just relax in paradise where the setting is so lush.

    Since I’ll be enjoying myself sooo much with this plethora of spg wealth, I want to share 2k with the Red Cross.

  • Jenny

    We would enjoy a long trip to Germany and Austria. I went to kindergarden in Germany, and my husband learned German in high school. We enjoy the mountains in the south, and driving through the countryside. We love the excitement of the cities, but also enjoy moving from place to place, and this affords us almost a month to practice our German and get ready for the day when we feel we can rent an apartment or small house and spend as much as six months in a German town or city and really begin to experience German life.

    With 100,000 Starpoints, we can stay 26 nights in various new and historic properties – in small, intimate towns and big, vibrant cities. We have even thrown in some remarkable properties from the Luxury Collection. We can stay 2 nights at each of the following:

    The Dom Hotel in Cologne: 4000 Starpoints and $60
    The Goldener Hirsch, Salzburg: 4800 Starpoints and $90
    Hotel Fuerstenhof, Leipzig: 4000 Starpoints and $60
    Fuschlsee-Hotel Jagdhof, near Salzburg: 2800 Starpoints and $45
    Hotel Elephant, Weimar: 2800 Starpoints and $45
    Panoramahaus Dornbirn: 4000 Starpoints
    Hotel Bristol, Vienna: 4800 Starpoints and $90
    Munich Westin Grand: 4000 Starpoints and $60
    Sheraton Frankfurt Congress: 2800 Starpoints and $45
    Le Meridien Parkhotel, Frankfurt: 4000 Starpoints and $60
    Sheraton Dusseldorf Airport Hotel: 4000 Starpoints and $60
    Le Meridien Stuttgart: 4000 Starpoints and $60
    Le Royal Meridien, Hamburg: 4000 Starpoints and $60

  • David Hagins

    Our video for our entry is located here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPMJfkplAAE

    The way we would redeem our points is detailed below.

    I would first donate 12,000 SPG points to the American Red Cross to assist with Tornado Relief in our hometown, leaving us 88,000 SPG points remaining.

    I would then transfer 60,000 SPG points to AA, in order to receive 75,000 miles. With those 75,000 miles, I would buy 3 tickets to Aruba (my other child is under 2, so she wouldn’t need a ticket) during off peak times.

    With the remaining 28,000 SPG points I would use Cash and Points option of 4,000 SPG + $83/night, averaging about $.039 per point, better than the $.024 if redeemed at 10,000 SPG points per night. The best thing about this, is online it doesn’t mention Cash & Points as an option at the Westin in Aruba, but if you call they can book it for you. We would stay for 5 nights, using an additional 20,000 points, with 8,000 points remaining.

    I would then redeem 8,000 SPG points for $84 towards a massage via Instant Awards at the hotel for my wife because she’s a rockstar staying at home with both our kids. The ratio for Instant Awards is 950 SPG points is $10.

  • Louis

    Well, here goes: My wife and I had honeymooned in Greece and it would be wonderful to travel there again. If I understand things correctly, I’d transfer 80K SPG points into LANPass, that would get me 200K LANPass points, which is enough for 2 tickets from NYC to ATH. I’d convert 14K SPG points to $200 Sixt certificates which would allow us about 5 days of car rental. I’d use the “50% off hotel rack rates” to stay at hotels cheaper (cost 1K SPG points for up to a 5 night stay on any category hotel). To recap:
    80K SPG for flights
    14K SPG for car rental
    1K SPG for 50% off hotel

    5K SPG I’d donate.

  • Curt Borchardt

    For my 100,000 Starpoints, I’d make maximum use of them by using the bulk of them for Points and Cash all over Europe.

    Since I’m a retired military pilot, I can fly on military Space Available at no cost, to either Rota, Spain, or Ramstein Germany. When I get there, I can exchange 28,000 Starpoints for a Sixt rental car. This will get me $400 worth of car rental, which would be enough to take me to some of the great hotels of the world.

    Here are the hotels I found which offer Points and Cash:
    Frankfurt, Germany, Le Meridien 4,000
    Cologne, Germany, Dom Hotel 4,000
    Dusseldorf, Germany, Airport Hotel 4,000
    Hamburg, Germany, Le Royal Meridien 4,000
    Brussels, Belgium, Sheraton Brussels 4,000
    Leipzig, Germany, Hotel Fuerstenhof 4,000
    Munich, Germany, Sheraton Mirabella 4,000
    Vienna, Austria, Hotel Bristol 4,800
    Bratislava, Slovakia, Sheraton 2,800
    Split, Croatia, Le Meridien Lav 4,000
    Rome, Italy, Sheraton Roma 2,800
    Venice, Italy, Westin Europa & Regina 4,800
    Monaco, Le Meridien Beach Plaza 8,000 (just to say you did)
    Madrid, Spain, Westin Palace 4,800
    Porto, Portugal, Sheraton Porto 4,000
    Albufeira, Portugal, Sheraton Algarve 4,000
    Evora, Portugal, Convento de Espinheiro 4,000

    Total: 72,000 points for lodging, plus 28,000 points for the car.

    That would be a road trip to remember! An amazing 17 days on the road in some wonderful cities.

  • Areta B

    My Youtube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYoa2QAMZtk

    HOW I WOULD TRAVEL TO CHINA WITH 100,000 STARWOOD PREFERRED GROUP POINTS

    Step1: With Nights and Flights, use 60,000 SPG points for 50,000 airline miles and 5 nights at Sheraton Shanghai (Category 3 hotel).
    Step 2: Transfer 20,000 SPG points to airline miles to get 25,000 airline miles because of the 5,000 transfer bonus.
    Step 3: Use 75,000 airline miles for 1 round trip airfare from YVR TO PVG.
    Step 4: Using cash and points, redeem 12,800 SPG points for 8 nights at Four Points by Sheraton Beijing and pay $240. The lowest standard hotel rate is $164 USD per night. Because I used 1,600 points and $30 to save $164 USD per night (already include service charge), I would be getting (16,400 cents- 3,000 cents/1,600 pts) = 8.4 cents in value.
    Step 5: Using cash and points, redeem 7,200 SPG points for 6 nights at Four Points by Sheraton Lianyungang and pay $150. The lowest standard rate is $250 USD per night. Because I used 1,200 points and $25 to save $250 per night (already include service charge), I would be getting (25,000 cents- 2,500 cents/1200 pts) = 18.8 cents in value!!!!

    SUMMARY:
    Cost:
    - 100,000 SPG points
    - $390 USD (from Cash and Points)

    Reward:
    - 1 round trip airfare YVR – PVG (estimated worth $1,150 USD)
    - 19 hotel nights:
    o 5 nights in Shanghai (estimated worth $798.11 USD)
    o 8 nights in Beijing (estimated worth $1312.00 USD)
    o 6 nights in Lianyungang (estimated worth $1,500 USD)
    - Estimated worth: $4760.11 USD

    **As a bonus, it would be nice to sign up for the Starwood American Express promotion which rewards 30,000 points when you spend $4,500 within 3 months. I could you use this for extra hotel nights!

  • Jon W

    My wife and I have been wanting to visit Israel and Jordan. We would transfer 80,000 SPG points into Lan’s program at 2:1 which with the bonus would give us 200,000 LAN miles. ORD to AMM on RJ is right under 10,000 kms in distance so the RT cost is 100,000 per person in economy. We would then redeem 5600 SPG points for 2 nights at the Le Meriden Amman (2800 C&P per night plus $45) (Sadly the W Amman isn’t scheduled to open until 2014). We could daytrip down to Petra on one of the days. We would then transfer 12,000 SPG points to LAN for the AMM-TLV-AMM flights which converts into enough miles for the short flight of under 500 kms in economy for two at 6000 LAN miles needed each way per person. This would leave 2400 SPG points, which is enough to redeem 2 nights at the Le Meridien Dead Sea for 1200 SPG points plus $25 per night.

  • Bob

    You know, I gotta think that TPG has some good ideas, so I would use my 100,000 points in the exact same manner that he would. Come to think of it, TPG would probably be a great traveling companion…

    Or I could just go to Easter Island alone.

    Or buy some hats

  • Lindsay H

    The point of our trip would be to sample as many nice hotels as possible. We would use our airline miles (probably AA with a RTW itinerary in first or business class) since these are easier to obtain via credit card signups than hotel points and the redemption value is usually better for hotels then on airlines. All but one of the hotels would be Cash and Points, Category 6 which cost 8000 points +$150 a night. Jetlag is easier on us traveling west so let’s start in NYC with a night at W Times Square where we’d let the points guy take us to his second favorite restaurant and then treat him to a broadway show purchasing tickets via the SPG site and new audience rewards partnership to earn SPG points. From there, the nonstop JAL flight into Tokyo for a night at The Westin followed by a train ride down to the year old St. Regis Osaka. Then a flight down to the W Retreat and Spa Bali for some relaxation on the beach (one of the newer Cat 6 hotels). From there, we’d make our way to the Le Meridien Ile des Pins in New Caledonia for a night because I don’t know of anyone whose been here. Then onto one of the most anticipated island visits for the past several years – Maldives – for a stay at the Sheraton Full Moon Resort and Spa (yeah, it’s not the W Maledives but it’s not costing 70,000 points for a night either). Afterwards, we’d catch a flight into Dubai for a night at the Grosvenor House followed by afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab. From there, we’d make our way to Athens and then hire a boat to take us to Santa Marina Resort & Villas on Mykonos for a night and then over to the Vedema Resort on Santorini. We’d follow this up with a quick stop at Hotel Eden in Rome before continuing onto the W Barcelona for one of the few big European cities we’ve yet to see. Afterwards, we’d take a train to Seville and stay at the Hotel Alfonso XIII because I’ve never stayed in a hotel named after a King and prepared for hosting international dignitaries. In a way, I guess we’d sort of TPG dignitaries. From there we’d take the train up to Madrid and fly into Miami for a night at the W South Beach before heading home via the W in New Orleans (4000 points + $60) sampling some of the best Starwood hotels in the world, providing gobs of pictures for the TPG website, and offering uber sleek reviews to post :)

  • SK

    This is great event. I acually fall into this and plan my future trip.
    I’m F-1 VISA holder and studying in this country (USA). I need to extend my visa early next year so I should trip to my home town (Korea). With that, I want to travel some place I’ve wanted to be because I’m poor(!) student so there is no room for travel.

    Here is my plan, I’ll transfer 63000 points to OZ because OZ allows staralliance reward as a zone redemption including 5 stopovers and 1 open jaw.

    SFO (studying near here) – ICN – HKG – KIX – NRT – LAX – SFO

    This is 14576 miles so it falls in Z-5 (10001 – 15000 miles) which require 78000 miles for economy. With transferring 63000 miles to OZ I can have 78000 miles for air ticket.

    I can take OZ for SFO-ICN-HKG
    NH for HKG – KIX – NRT – LAX
    UA/CO for LAX – SFO

    ICN is 3 hours driving from my hometown so I do not need to pay for staying there.

    HKG – Le Méridien Cyberport -> (4000 starpoints + 60 USD) x 2 nights
    KIX – The Westin Miyako, Kyoto -> (4000 starpoints + 60 USD) x 2 nights
    NRT – Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Tokyo -> 4000 starpoints + 60 USD and 10000 starpoints : total 2 nights
    LAX – Sheraton Pasadena Hotel -> 7000 starpoints (to see frien who studying at Caltech)

    total 37000 points and 300 USD

    so I’ll spend 100000 points and 300 USD for this trip. (well plus faxes and fuel surcharges for air ticket)

    Oh man..

  • Rocky

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8psMa2Sf0jw

    100,000 Starwood points
    -60,000 (5 night stay in Krabi)
    40,000
    Transfer remaining 40,000 to Alaska Airlines, and receive 10,000 in bonus miles for transfer.
    50,000 miles now in Alaska account
    +50,000 (bonus from flight and stay bonus)
    100,000 miles
    Buy business class ticket with my now 100,000 AS miles on their partner Cathay Pacific.
    Fly LAX –> HKG – FREE STOP OVER-> HKT (visit friends) –> transfer to Krabi by boat-> Transfer back to HKT –> HKG –> LAX
    If I can get it off work, I’ll take an additional stop over in HKG on my way home to spend more time with my friend!

    Left over starwood points: zero
    Total costs: 100,00 starwood points + transfer from phuket to Krabi and back + taxes + play money = $500 or less.
    Experience: Priceless.
    Perks: Relaxing, no work, visit friends, strengthen relationships, and party in Thailand and more importantly see a place in the world I’ve never seen!

  • Spankytoes2

    I would use 100,000 Starwood points in a much different way. My wife came to this country from Russia in 1998 on a scholarship. Well, we met, fell in love and 13 years later we are the proud parents of two great boys. However, our tale is not without its downfall. It has been over a decade since she last saw her family. I would use the points to convert to AA miles and surprise her, and my boys, with a chance to reconnect to their roots.

    I would convert all 100,000 miles to American and combine them with my existing mileage for 4 roundtrip tickets from DFW-SVX using both AA and S7. While this may not be the most exciting redemption out there, it certainly would be a huge gift to someone that gave up so much to be my partner for life. As a father and a husband, there are few times in life where you can sit back and do something completely unselfish for your family. The smiles (and tears!) alone would be worth it all.

    I don’t need an around the world trip or a fancy resort. Just an opportunity to show my family just how much I cherish and appreciate them.

    God bless.

  • Hector

    why us? we’re a married couple with a baby and have traveled all over Europe and the US with our baby. (traveling families with young kids are more rare than they should be.)

    why give us 100,000 if we’re already super spoiled? because we know how to have fun while taking our baby on vacation with us, and we know how to blog, which would give you awesome material for your blog: some young people swinging the system to go on a huge trip to south America for practically nothing because they used the tips on your blog and got the extra 100,000 points to make the amazing trip truly amazing. sounds like a news worthy story, yes?

    so here’s the plan:
    we got some cards you recommended, so we’re flying business class to south america with the lay overs each way to stay in two other countries.
    with the 100,000 extra points from you, we can stay in some swanky hotels and buy our half latino baby some awesome outfits and get some of those gift credit cards to do a lot of fun, adventurous activities, adding up to exactly 100,000 points plus some great PR and material for your blog

    if you’re interested, email us for our blog address and/or skype with us. we’re a lot of fun. you will love us and our marketing ideas.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrukJvzD_ZI Max

    Is that funny?

  • Johndeere19

    Wait for another US Airways 25%+25%+25% bonus to transfer 60k SPG to US netting me ~130k miles and flying from JFK stopping over in HKG and ICN flying on OZ, LH, LX, TG mixtures…preferably something like JFK-ICN(OZ F)-HKG(OZ J)-BKK(TG F)-ZRH(LX F)-JFK(LX F) for 120k miles using a star alliance partner award.

    In ICN, I’d stay at the W Seoul for 4800 SPG + $90/night for 4 nights. In HKG, I’d stay at Le Méridien Cyberport for 4000 SPG + $60/night for 5 nights.

    60k SPG > US Airways = 60k
    4.8k SPG > W Seoul x 4 nights = 19.2k
    4k SPG > Le Méridien Cyberport x 5 nights = 20k
    Transfer 800 points to my brother’s account (since he lives at the same address as me, I can do that)

    Total, 100k + $660 (and ~$150-200 in taxes and fees for the flights) and 11,250 US miles left over.

  • Ross

    You didn’t factor in the extra money you need to fly among those cities as they are not close to each other.

  • Alex

    I would transfer 40K to the AA to get the ticket to Hawaii and spend the rest on Hotel nights.

  • JP

    First off, thank you very much for this opportunity to win such a large amount of Starpoints. I am new to points, miles, card offers, and award travel….but am trying to learn fast. Your website seems like it will be very helpful during this process (just found it). You have also convinced me to apply for the AMEX Starwood card by the 22nd. I can’t wait to get started on my long journey of someday gathering enough points to head to an exotic location like Bora Bora or Fiji…it’s been a dream ever since I was little. It’s one of those places you figure you’ll never ever have the opportunity to experience, but have to try for. Warning — Now, I just found out about your site and this contest so please don’t laugh too hard when you see my submission…lol…after discovering your site and seeing that the deadline was in a several hours, I had no choice but to stay up and finish it in time. It would be a dream come true to win!

    If I happen to win these points, I promise to turn this into a video or forfeit the winnings to another submitter. I have never made a video, but would like to learn and complete it for your blog as an added thank you. Again, please don’t laugh too hard. Ok, here we go. Below is a posted link to a roughly drawn storyboard of the planned future video. After that is dialogue about what’s going on in the frames. Enjoy! :)

    http://iakobosdesign.com/jp/jpjptravel-web.jpg

    Frame 1: Starts out with a newbie being buried in sea of points, miles, card offers, and all sorts of overwhelming things after jumping straight into this vast ocean of awards travel. He can barely stay afloat as he cries out, “Help me! Help me!”

    Frame 2: Suddenly, falling from the sky…an unbelievable gift…”What??! No way! This can’t possible be real. Is that…is that really 100,000 Starpoints!!! Wow! Unbelievable! Uh oh! Whooooooa!” Total disbelief, shock, then an overwhelming feeling from all the possibilities set in.

    Frame 3: SPLASH! Is it too much for the newbie? Will it drown him in possibilities? Will he catch on fast and learn the best way to use the points? So many choices?

    Frame 4: All quiet. Just a few bubbles pop up to the surface. Pop. Pop. Pop.

    Frame 5: Then all of the sudden, Boing! Boing! What’s that? Oh no, it’s just the points…where is he?

    Frame 6: Peek-a-boo! He reaches the surfaces and yells out, “Yaaaaaay!” :) He emerges and climbs to the top of the Starpoints dream-maker lifesaving buoy!

    Frame 7: He gets control, harnesses (applies for) an AMEX Starwood Credit Card application to increase his points and begins to steer his way to a once in a lifetime vacation! What a dream!

    Frame 8: The choices are abundant. He could go to so many places. Cash them in for an exotic, top of the line experience or spread them out for stays at several lower category Starwood hotels while doing an around the world flight. Our adventurer goes for the impressive once in a lifetime voyage to an exotic location.

    Frame 9: Overwhelmed and still in shock he wakes up on the beach at one of the best resorts in the world. It wasn’t a dream. It really can happen. There is a chance. Don’t give up hope everyone! :) Thank you so much for a life changing opportunity to get away and break free from a rut. Thank you thepointsguy.com, American Express, Starwood, and Brian for this opportunity to win such an experience.

    Personally, I would be in total shock if I actually won this. Wow, it’s hard to believe this is even for real. Really? 100,000 points…not 1,000 or 10,000…but a massive 100,000 points? Wow! I totally had to stay up and finish it. Sleep’s overrated anyways…lol, yah right…I’m like a travel obsessed dreaming fantasizing zombie right now…instead of “brains” it’s, “points…poooints”….lol. :) Good luck everyone! Thank you again, Brian. Have a wonderful weekend and good-night all! JP :)

    Dozing off as the white sands and crashing waves of far off places like Bora Bora and Fiji dance in my head…no sugar plums tonight…it’s all seashells and starfish. Zzzzzz. :)

  • David Hagins

    Our video also showed 30 seconds in iMovie, but 31 seconds in YouTube. Sorry!

  • Nadine

    My husband and I eloped 11 years ago in Hawaii, so I would use the points to go back. I would break up the trip from Boston by spending one night at the Westin LA airport and then would continue onto Maui where we would stay at the Sheraton Maui for a few days before heading to Kauai where we would stay at the Princeville St Regis. Thanks for helping make someone’s dream come true!

  • scottyd

    I would transfer 60,000 SPG points to AA for 75,000 total AA miles (including the bonus) and use Miami as my “gateway city” to allow the ability to build in much needed free trips. I would use the remaining 40,000 towards various hotels as detailed below. The estimated hotel cost would be $4,132, however, I would be required to pay only $690 by using cash + points. In addition, I would likely save several thousand dollars on airfare.

    Peru
    My first trip would be a one-way award to Lima, Peru in early November, which would be used as a starting point to visit either Machu Picchu in Cuzco or the Amazon river in Iquitos. By leaving in November, I could take advantage of the off-peak dates price of 15,000 miles. I would also use 4,800 SPG points (1,600 + $30 night) towards 3 nights at the Sheraton Lima Hotel ($172/night).
    Denver
    Next, I would book a one way award from Lima to Denver (ski-trip) with Miami as my gateway city/stopover until February. Again, by leaving in early November I would take advantage of the off-peak dates price of 15,000 miles and by using Miami as my stopover, I have the ability to essentially build in a free trip to Denver for my ski-trip. I would also use 19,200 SPG points (4,800 + $90 night) towards 4 nights at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain ($435/night).
    Scotland
    I would book a one way award from Denver to Edinburgh, Scotland for the annual golf trip with Miami as my gateway city/stopover until May. By leaving in early May I would take advantage of the off-peak dates price of 20,000 miles to Europe and by using Miami as my stopover, I have given myself the ability to get home to Miami after the ski-trip and a ticket to meet the boys in Scotland all for 20,000 miles. I would also use 8,000 SPG points (4,000 + $60/night) towards 2 nights at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh ($478/night with current exchange rates).
    San Diego
    For my last redemption I would book a one way award from Edinburgh to San Diego for a good friend’s wedding with Miami as my gateway city/stopover until the wedding date. Again by leaving in the off-peak dates the cost would be 20,000 miles, giving me a ticket home to Miami as well as a one-way ticket to San Diego for my buddy’s wedding. I would use my last 8,000 SPG points (4,000 + $60/night) towards 2 nights at the Westin San Diego ($460/night). I would use my last 5,000 AAdvantage miles (if my math is correct) towards my ticket back to Miami

  • JP

    Additional Info Post – Part II:
    Whoops! In my rush to get my post and storyboard in and get to bed, I completely forgot to tell the most coincidental thing about finding this whole contest tonight (this morning now) and just my week in general. My best friend was recently chosen to be on a TV show and his life is in the process of totally changing. Just as it has been exciting and scary for him, so too has it been for the friends. We haven’t been able to see him in a long time so when he was recently back in town we threw a big party for him. Probably, one of the last times we’ll see him for quite awhile….sadly, maybe ever. I’m happy for him but at the same time will miss him. I wish him the best.
    Well, at the party, of course all these people from our past came out of the woodwork to see him, I happened to run into my old high school sweetheart at the party. After high school we both went in different directions. It was hard to keep in touch. Guys, this girl was my dream girl. I tried hard over the years to win her back. Distance, bad timing, and such prevented anything real happening. She lived overseas for a bit and loves to travel. Well, she’s back now and recently divorced as well. We got to talking…it was awkward at first, but sparks were still there. Who knows…if I won this I could ask her out on a few dates and if timing was right totally blow her away with a dream vacation invite. How about Fiji or Bora Bora, baby? Now, that would be impressive!
    Ok, well, I really better get to bed now…what a week…what a night…these hopes/dreams are getting out of hand and have me all charged up. Lol…oh well, who knows, right. Wow, either way, I would try to do something spectacular with the points. It hit me that I hadn’t even explained in my first post who I would attempt to take. If she turned me down…well, there’s always my good ‘ol buddy…my brother!!! :) He’s always been there for me and it’s always nice to surprise him with something special. Either way, I wouldn’t let the points go to waste Brian.
    Thank you again for the opportunity! – JP :)

  • Meganz54

    I need my theatre fix! It has been too long…

    Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Chelsea
    Travel 8/31-9/5/11
    4 nights redeemed +1 free night = 40,000

    Audience Rewards for Theatre Tix 8/31-9/4 (one night off during this theatre extravaganza)
    Catch Me If You Can = 3,700 x 2= 7,400
    Avenue Q = 9,900 x 2 = 19,800
    Rent = 7,600 x 2= 15,200
    Baby It’s You = 8,800 x 2 = 17,600

    Total = 100,000 Starwood Points on the money
    Theatre I’ve never seen in a city I love like artichokes & raspberries = priceless!

  • Anonymous

    Westin Resort/Spa – Whistler: 12k points/night. 6 nights. 6×12=72k points used.
    St. Regis – Deer Valley – 25k points/night. 1 night. 25k points used.
    Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport – 3k points night. 1 night. 3k points used.
    100k points used.

    I would like to use these points to experience a true slope side ski vacation. A chance to stay at the most respected hotels at my 2 favorite ski destinations. After all that skiing I thought a trip to Orlando was due so that I could enjoy Cocoa Beach and a theme park for a day.

    Pray for snow!

  • Conrad Servantes

    It takes two – and 100,000 SPG Points – to Tango

    My wife loves to dance. Since we are approaching our 10th wedding anniversary, I would love to take her to Buenos Aires, Argentina, the home of the tango, where we could take lessons together. After that, we could spend a few days visiting the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of Colonia in Uruguay.
    In order to get there, I would first redeem 60,000 SPG points for two 70,000 LANPASS kms awards (including two 5,000 SPG points transfer bonuses and the 1:2 SPG to LANPASS exchange ratio). I would then book two economy class tickets on LAN Airlines arriving into Buenos Aires, Argentina, and departing from Montevideo, Uruguay. Once in Buenos Aires, I would redeem a 5th Night Free award at a Category 3 hotel for 28,000 SPG points. I would use that award to stay at the Sheraton Libertador Hotel, an SPG Category 3 hotel. The hotel is a short leisurely walk from the San Telmo tango school. Each day after attending the tango lessons, we can enjoy other highlights of Buenos Aires. After the fifth night in Buenos Aires, I would take the fast Buquebus catamaran ferry to Colonia, Uruguay. I would then redeem 12,000 SPG points for a three night Cash & Points award at a Category 4 hotel. I would use that award to stay at the Sheraton Colonia Golf & Spa Resort Hotel. On the first day, we would explore the old city by renting a scooter. There is a street called Calle de los Suspiros which has lovely trademark yellow lamps. The second day, we would relax and enjoy the facilities of the Sheraton Colonia Golf & Spa Resort such as the indoor pool and play a round of golf at the Real Golf course. On our last day, we would explore the beachfront along the Rio de La Plata. We would then take a bus to Montevideo to fly back to the USA.

    To summarize, we used our 100,000 SPG points as follows: 60,000 + 28,000 + 12,000 = 100,000.

  • Will

    Hey readers, it’s Will from Big Brother. I will share my 100K Starpoints, just like I did when I won Season 2 and bought gold chains and jet skis for my friends. This time Boogie and I will hold a Chilltown reunion at the Four Points Charlotte. The first 80 people who “like” this comment will get a free night to party with us.

    80 nights x 1,200 C&P= 96,000 points
    2 nights x 2,000 Free night (for Boogie and me)= 4,000 points

    100,000 points and a night Charlotte will never forget!

  • Jon B

    Wow that’s great Scotty, looks like you copied my exact trip I posted a few days ago.

  • No points for me!

    Easy… 6 night stay at Danieli in Venice and 100K points gone… :)

  • Kristen

    My husband is a huge paintball fan, but gave it up 6 years ago when we had our first child. Paintball is really expensive and my wonderful, amazing husband knew that he needed to save for our child’s college education. I want to send him on a trip to visit all his friends at the 3 season ending paintball tournaments. His brother travels for work and will give Delta miles for airfare. Now all I need are hotels. Thanks TPG!

    9/30- 10/3- Paris Sheraton- 36K no c&p- :o(
    10/20- 10/23- Westin Tampa Harbour Island 30K no c&p again :o((
    11/11- 11/13- Westin Casuaria Las Vegas- 9,600 and $180 c&p Yes!

    With the leftover points we can get the family together for Thanksgiving in Washington, DC, where my brother-in-law and his wife live.

    11/23- 11/27- Aloft Dulles- 6,400 points & $120 (C&P) for us
    11/23- 11/27 – Aloft Dulles- 12,000 points for (free nights) Mom and Dad
    11/23- 11/25- Aloft Dulles- 6,000 points (free nights) for In-laws in town for two days

    Two amazing, well earned vacations for my fantastic husband!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ana-Baker/502237045 Ana Baker

    I would love to take a European vacation!
    W London – Leicester Square (20,000 x 1 night=20,000)
    Le Méridien Etoile (12,000 x 3 nights= 36,000)
    Four Points by Sheraton Milan Center(10,000 x 2 nights= 20,000)
    Le Méridien Barcelona (12,000 x 2 nights= 24,000 )

  • Anonymous

    ********************************************************************************************
    A well thought-out scheme which my girlfriend will kill me for….

    5k points: purchase concert ticket for my girlfriend to Avril Lavigne while we are in Rome in September (need to do this to butter her up before I tell her I am going to see my best friend in Rio for 1 week!!)

    40k points: business class ticket to Rio de Janeiro on LAN airlines. This is by far the best way to use SPG points for miles since transfer ratio is 1:2 and LAN has NO fuel charges which is super rare!

    5k points: buy $50 gift card @ Nordstrom to purchase some travel items for my trip

    1k points: make donation to Unicef since we all have such blessed lives with all these points

    45k points: to stay at the Sheraton Rio Resort for 7 nights:
    - 4 free nights @ 40k points
    - 5th night free via the “5th night free” option
    - 6th night i would use 4k points and $60 via the “cash & points” option
    - 7th night i would use 1k points to get 50% off rack rate
    (by the way, didn’t use “nights & flights” since this Award is only offered with airlines with a 1 Starpoint to 1 Airline mile transfer ratio and much better value to get the 1:2 ratio with LAN)

    4k points: for various “instant rewards” at the hotel such as food, massage, etc. (called the concierge @ hotel to find out)

    5k
    40k
    5k
    1k
    45k
    4k
    ————-
    100k SPG points via 9 separate redemption options for an amazing week in Rio via !

    All of the above has been confirmed by Starwood customer service rep via “online chat” option @ http://www.spg.com for my trip in mid October!

    ********************************************************************************************

  • Dianna

    My youngest son is getting married on Nov 12 and I would use the points to send him on a honeymoon. My older son travels for work, a lot, and has agreed to donate 240K Delta miles for air travel. With this contest, I can provide the hotels. We will send them to Paris and then to Seychelles.

    Westin Paris on cash and points 11/13- 11/15 – 16,000 Starpoints and $300
    Le Meridien Barbarons on cash and points 11/15- 11/21 – 24,000 Starpoints and $360
    Le Meridien Barbarons on free night- 11/21- 11/22 – 10,000 Starpoints

    Because I wasn’t able to help back when my older son was married AND because he is the best big brother in the world- he just gave his younger brother 240,000 Delta miles!! I will send him and his wife to Hawaii for a second honeymoon.

    Westin Ka’anapali on cash and points 11/13- 11/17 – 32,000 Starpoints and $600
    Sheraton Princess Kaiulani on cash and points 11/17- 11/19 – 8,000 Starpoints and $120
    Shearton Princess Kaiulani on free night 11/19- 11/20 – 10,000 Starpoints

    Being able to give honeymoon vacations to both my sons would be priceless. Did I mention that I get to watch my grandchild while his parents are in Hawaii!

  • Bluekz7479

    “From old Cal to New Cal”:

    This is a trip from Los Angeles, USA (Old Cal) to Nouméa, New Caledonia (New Cal)

    1. Transfer 60,000 SPG points to American Airlines netting 75,000 AAdvantage Miles
    2. Find availability for LAX-NAN on Air Pacific Ltd. using the Qantas frequent flyer tool
    3. Book by phone via AAdvantage Reservations
    4. Transfer 25,000 SPG points to Flying Blue netting 30,000 miles
    5. Find availability and book NAN-NOU on Aircalin via their site (http://us.aircalin.com/flyingblue.php?p=billet)
    6. Book 3 nights at Le Méridien Nouméa using SPG Cash & Points for 12,000 SPG Points and $180 USD (http://www.starwoodhotels.com)
    7. Donate the remaining 3,000 left-over SPG Points to UNICEF via (http://www.starwoodhotels.com)

    Two airline transfers, a Cash & Points redemption, and a charitable donation. If I was actually taking this trip I would use a few of my personal SPG miles to stay a little longer but even in Economy class I see a trip like this as a sky-cruise with stops in Nadi, Fiji and an extended stay in luxury accommodations in Nouméa.

  • heidi

    I have always wanted to travel to Asia but haven’t been able to and this would be a great experience, I promise to do a full report on the trip for TPG readers if I’m the lucky winner!

    I would transfer 55K starwood points to continental for 65K miles + 104.20 taxes and fees (5k bonus per 20K points transferred) and book a coach ticket with continental airlines for 65K miles roundtrip. The ticket I would book would be the following BOS-MUC-BKK-KUL + KUL-BKK-FRA-BOS (checked through continental award availability this ticket is worth 10, 519.80 per continental award search during June/July which is 16.18 cpm)-I would do a layover in munich, germany on the way there and on the way back from bos to kuala lumpur Malaysia I would do a layover in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Per continental Two open jaws permitted per roundtrip for rewards redeemed June 15, 2011 and beyond.

    With the remaining 45K starwood points I would use in hotels:

    Two nights at Sheraton Munich Arabellapark 4000 points + 40$ (Total 8K + 80$)
    Five nights Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur (5th night free) 2800 + 45$ (Total 11,200 points + 180$)
    Two Nights St Regis Bankgok 12K points per night (Total 24K points)
    Total 43,200 points Cost 260$
    Total 55,000 starwood points plus cost $104.20 = coach airline ticket
    Remaining 1800 starwood points would be donated to charity.
    Trip out of pocket cost $364.20!

  • Areta B

    In order to get around the different cities, I would use the train because it is cheap!!!! It is very cost-effective for a traveler. You also get to see the beautiful country!

    The following costs are based on fares from http://www.chinatrainguide.com

    I assume that 1 RMB = 0.156433 USD using the currency converter on the http://www.spg.com

    Train 1: Shanghai to Lianyungang:
    K8356/K8357 Shanghai Depart 20:52 Arrive Lianyungang East 08:28 Duration 11h36m Distance 859 km Cost = $115 RMB or $17.99 USD

    Train 2: Lianyungang to Beijing West. (I checked that Beijing West train station is about 17 min by car/taxi from the Four Points By Sheraton Beijing.)
    1504/1501 Lianyungang East Depart 18:35 Arrive Beijing West 08:36 Duration 14h1m Distance 1033 km Cost = $117 RMB or $18.30 USD

    Train 3: Beijing South to Shanghai Hongqiao (Speed train!).
    G101Beijing South Depart 07:00 Arrive Shanghai Hongqiao 12:23 Duration 5h23m Distance 1318 km Cost = $518 RMB or $81.03 USD

    Note: Beijing South is about 14 min away from Beijing West by car/taxi based on Google Maps.

    Estimated total train cost = $17.99 USD + $18.30 USD + $81.03 USD = $117.32 USD
    Distance traveled by train = 8,59 km + 1,033 km + 1,318 km = 3,210 km

    So, for my summary above, we could tack on $117.32 USD to the costs.

    SUMMARY:
    Cost:
    - 100,000 SPG points
    - $390 USD (from Cash and Points)
    - $117.32 USD (train costs)

  • Xizhen

    OK, the trip can stop at HK, and it is still a good deal.

    Or I can continue on Cathy to fly to Bali, or Penang (beautiful), or Jakarta, or Bangkok, or kuala lumpur.. Any of the cities are worth to visit. BTW you can fly Cathy from Hong Kong to Penang and then to kuala lumpur. From $/mile point view, these additionally alternatives will worth even more

  • Danielle

    I like Disney theme parks so I would transfer 60K starpoints to Aeroplan to yield 75K miles for a economy class award to Asia 1 and visit the Disney parks in Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. I would use the additional 40K starpoints for a 5 night stay at the Swan resort in Walt Disney World in Florida.

  • Anonymous

    If I won 100K Starwood pts I would go to Mendoza, Argentina and explore the area’s vineyards.

    I would redeem 60K points for the “nights and flights” deal for 5 nights at the Sheraton Mendoza (level 3) and 50K miles. A flight on LAN from Boston to Mendoza round trip is 70K km. I would use the 50K from the nights and flights plus 10K from my remaining Starwood pts to pay for the flight. Since the “nights and flights deal” only allows for a 1:1 redemption, unfortunately those 50K miles would not be eligible for LAN’s 1:2 transfer ratio. However, the 10K Starwood pts would double to 20K miles on LAN’s 1:2 redemption.

    This would leave me with a remaining balance of 30K Starwood pts. I would use 3.5K for a $50 Avis rental car to drive myself to the vineyards (I would have to chip in some of my own money b/c you can only use one $50 coupon per reservation). Out of pocket, the rental car would only cost me $213 after the coupon for 6 days of car rental.

    My balance of Starwood pts would now be 26.5K, I would use 14K for a $150 Amazon giftcard to get a Kindle so I can read travel guides during the long plane ride. I would now have 12.5K left, I’d get another $100 Amazon giftcard for 9.5K to get a $50 Rosetta Stone “Instant Immersion” Spanish lessons and $50 worth of travel books for my new Kindle (roughly 4 or 5 books on the Mendoza wine region).

    This leaves me with 3K Starwood points. I would donate 1K to Unicef and 2K to Red Cross.

    In summary:
    100K Starwood points
    – 60K Nights & Flights
    – 10K LAN miles (20K after conversion)
    – 3.5K Avis coupon ($50 off rental)
    – 14K Amazon gift card ($150)
    – 9.5K Amazon gift card ($100)
    – 1K donation to Unicef
    – 2K donation to American Red Cross

    Thanks,
    John
    [email protected]

  • http://www.caseyfriday.com Casey Friday

    I would cash in 90k points for three nights at the W Retreat and Spa Maldives, for three lovely nights with my wife (in the off season). I would use my current CO/UA points to fly over in F, and use the remaining 10k Starpoints for two things: 9500 would go towards a $100 Amazon gift card to purchase loads of sunscreen, and the remaining 500 would be donated to charity, as a symbol of gratitude to the universe.

  • Eliyanna

    I live in NYC and use 40K points for a staycation / temp relocation in the neighborhood at the Four Points Chelsea while we replace our hard wood floors with new ones. Then I would transfer 60K starpoints to AA for two economy class tickets to Hawaii.

  • Michael

    If we were to win, my wife and I would take a romantic tour of Italy this fall (as we are expecting our first child in March). It has been a dream of ours to tour all the sights and sounds the area has to offer. We’d start in Rome then travel to Florence, Venice and Sardinia.

    We’d redeem 40K Starpoints for 50K AA miles. We’d add those to the 150K Citi miles for a total of 200K needed for First class round trip tickets from Huntsville, AL to Rome.

    The remaining 60K Starpoints we’d use for the following hotel stays:

    8400 + $135 = 3 nights at the Sheraton Roma
    8400 + $135 = 3 nights at the Sheraton Firenze
    14,400 + $270 = 3 nights at the Westin Europa
    30,000 = 1 night at the Cervo Hotel in Sardina for a little R&R

    And we’d donate 1200 points to the Red Cross as they help local families in Alabama that are still rebuilding from the April tornadoes.

    For roughly, $540 we will able to take a 10 night trip of a lifetime! A full TPG report will follow!

  • UWECSARAH

    The hubs & I are planning a 2-week trip to Tahiti for our 10-year anniversary (2014). For the past 7+ years, I’ve been saving my first Northwest, now Delta, miles for this trip. The goal = fly something other than coach for free. Well, I’m happy to report that after some help from this blog, I believe I’ve got more than enough miles to make this happen. Yay!

    Now on to hotels. Holy crapballs Tahiti is pricey! No, this is not news to me – but I’ve got less than 3 years to rack up hotel points to keep my Bora Bora dreams alive! I’m currently focusing on HHonors points for 1 week of our trip, but week #2 is still a mystery. I think the Le Méridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, and the St. Regis Resort Bora Bora all look pretty darn swell though – so I’d take the 100,000 Starwoods points and use them for 1 night at whichever of the 3 is available at that range (these particular Category 7 properties range from 60,000 to 140,000 per night, depending on a variety of factors).

    If I’m able to swing a room for 60,000 points for 1 night, I’ll have 40,000 left to spend. In that case, I’d grab some friends and use 10,000 points per night to get some rooms at our local W Hotel (W Foshay in Minnapolis – category 4) to celebrate this wonderful world we live in.

    Cheers!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the opportunity to win these points. Your blog has been an eye-opener in terms of what’s possible in award travel. In my opinion, the whole point of award travel is to go somewhere (and do something) you never would otherwise.

    As such, here is my proposed plan.

    My husband and I didn’t take a honeymoon when we eloped last year – but we did get scuba lessons. We’ve always hoped to go to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and here’s our plan on how starpoints will make that happen.

    ORD-CNS-SYD: Open jaw ticket (difficult, but not impossible to do — using SkyMiles and V Australia) in business class is not included in this plan — it will be free, thanks to AMEX Platinum offer/AMEX Gold Premier Rewards offer/50K for authorized users, etc.

    5 nights at the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas using Nights and Flights = 70,000 starpoints

    Of course, we’ll need some gear for our Great Barrier Reef adventure. We’ll redeem 5,000 starpoints for an Amazon.com gift card and purchase a mask, as well as a underwater writing slate (because you never know when you need to take notes).

    http://tinyurl.com/3rpvla8
    http://tinyurl.com/3eorrff

    2 nights at the Westin Sydney using Cash and Points= 9,600 starpoints+ $180

    Using the 50,000 miles from Nights and Flights, we will fly from Sydney to Nadi, Fiji (RT). Why use the miles this way?Air Pacific is not a Delta partner, so this keeps us from paying for airfare on any part of this trip!

    1 nights at Sheraton Fiji Resort using Cash and Points = 2,800 starpoints + $45
    2 nights at Westin Denaru Fiji using Cash and Points = 5,600 starpoints+ $90

    Use Starwood’s Instant Awards at the Westin Denaru Fiji to get a massage on the beach = 7,000 starpoints

    Total starpoints= 100,000
    Total cost= $315
    Total ways used to redeem starpoints=4

    Good luck going through these!

  • Chris B

    First option would be to fly myself and my daughter (who loves to travel) and my girlfriend RT from Pittsburgh to Lima and build in a stopover in Miami (she also LOVES the beach). Here’s how I’d do it:
    90,000 SPG points transferred to British Airways gets me unlimited stopovers. Book award travel for 30k each through American Airlines with stopover on return in Miami. Cash and points options for room in both locations would eat up the majority of the rest (1,600 points + cash for 6 nights in Sheratons at both locations). Remaining 2,000 points used with my existing bank of 800 points for $25 Starbucks giftcard to keep me going!

    The second option involves flying most of my family on AA or Delta to visit my newly born niece in Missouri. 25k award travel for 5 would require 100,000 SPG points (5 groups of 20k point transfers nets me an extra 25k mile bonus). 5 awards totaling 125,000 miles for domestic awards!

  • Maxcalls2002

    Hello all. I have no special videos, websites, etc. but one great special moment in my life that me and my fiance have been dreaming of. I am originally from India and we are planning on getting married this winter but all of my family and friends are in India.

    How would I use 100,000 SPG points?

    To make our ultimate dreams come true….

    I would transfer 80,000 points to British Airways to get 100,000 British Airway miles and redeem them on Cathay Pacific flight to New Delhi via Hong Kong for the both of us.

    Then after marrying the love of my life….:))…….I would use 20,000 SPG points for two nights on our honeymoon at the Westin Guragon in New Delhi.

    Good luck to all!

    [email protected]

  • Anonymous

    ********************************************************************************************

    —- 9 redemption options used —–

    A well thought-out scheme which my girlfriend will kill me for….

    5k points: purchase concert ticket for my girlfriend to Avril Lavigne while we are in Rome in September (need to do this to butter her up before I tell her I am going to see my best friend in Rio for 1 week!!)

    40k points: business class ticket to Rio de Janeiro on LAN airlines. This is by far the best way to use SPG points for miles since transfer ratio is 1:2 and LAN has NO fuel charges which is super rare!

    5k points: buy $50 gift card @ Nordstrom to purchase some travel items for my trip

    1k points: make donation to Unicef since we all have such blessed lives with all these points

    45k points: to stay at the Sheraton Rio Resort for 7 nights:
    - 4 free nights @ 40k points
    - 5th night free via the “5th night free” option
    - 6th night i would use 4k points and $60 via the “cash & points” option
    - 7th night i would use 1k points to get 50% off rack rate
    (by the way, didn’t use “nights & flights” since this Award is only offered with airlines with a 1 Starpoint to 1 Airline mile transfer ratio and much better value to get the 1:2 ratio with LAN)

    4k points: for various “instant rewards” at the hotel such as food, massage, etc. (called the concierge @ hotel to find out)

    5k
    40k
    5k
    1k
    45k
    4k
    ————-
    100k SPG points via 9 separate redemption options for an amazing week in Rio!

    All of the above has been confirmed by Starwood customer service rep via “online chat” option @ http://www.spg.com for my trip in mid October!

    ********************************************************************************************

  • Jackie

    Hi,
    I’ d use the points and flights option to stay at cat 4 US Grant in San Diego and then 2 nights in Las Vegas at WESTIN Casuarina Cat 4 with Rt flights for self and husband on American Airlines in coach for flight points id get.

  • Anonymous

    I am going to be realistic here.

    The majority of TPG’s loyal readers and the people entering this contest already have a large cache of miles and points, and they are not going to blow all 100k Starpoints on a single trip. They are going to use a combination of their various programs to make their vacations happen. Most will not use Starpoints to convert into airline miles as miles are much easier to obtain through other methods than hotel points, especially the illustrious Starpoint.

    My husband and I have worked hard over the last several years accumulating our miles and points through a variety of methods, with the most lucrative being credit card sign-up bonuses. Recently the credit card industry has been flooding the market with never before seen deals of up to 100k miles or points for a single credit card. Has there been such an offer for Starpoints bonuses? No — those are always limited and the maximum I have seen is 30k. So why waste them on exchanging for miles?

    I only get 3 weeks of PTO per year, so this limits how often we can travel. We live on the west coast. I like most people, have a long wish list of places I want to visit.

    How would I spend an extra 100k Starpoints?

    Well it will take me several years to do so mainly because of time constraints, but here is how I would use them to supplement my travel plans:

    FRENCH POLYNESIA – 19,200 Starpoints + $180 C&P:
    ~ Use 125k AAdvantage miles each for R/T Business Class seats on Air Tahiti Nui to PPT.
    ~ Use 14,400 Starpoints + 270 (4,800 Starpoints + $90 SPG (Cat5) Cash & Points for 3 nights at Le Méridien Tahiti. Regular $275 + Tax. 3.8 CPM.
    ~ Use Capital One Venture Miles for flight to Bora Bora.
    ~ Use 183,750 HHonors for 7 nights at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa. 35k/night Cat5 – 25% VIP discount. HHonors Gold for free breakfast and Internet. Use Capital One Venture Miles to pay for upgrade to Overwater Bungalow.
    Ferry to Moorea.
    ~ Use 183,750 HHonors for 7 nights at Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa. 35k/night Cat5 – 25% VIP discount. HHonors Gold for free breakfast and Internet. Use Capital One Venture Miles to pay for upgrade to Overwater Bungalow.
    ~ Ferry back to Tahiti.
    ~ Use 4,800 Starpoints + $90 SPG Cash & Points (Cat5) for 1 night at Le Méridien Tahiti. Regular $275 + Tax. 3.8 CPM.

    CARIBBEAN CRUISE – 16,000 Starpoints + $350 C&P
    ~ Use 60k AAdvantage miles each for R/T Business Class seats to SJU.
    ~ Use 16,000 Starpoints + $300 (8,000 Starpoints + $150 (Cat6) Cash & Points for 2 nights) at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico. Regular $479 + Tax. 4.1 CPM.
    ~ 2 week Princess Cruise with 11 Ports of Call. Approx. Cost $2,400.00 Paid with Capital One Venture Miles

    NIAGARA FALLS – 5,600 Starpoints + $90 C&P
    ~ Use 1 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 1.0 R/T Reward Tickets each to BUF
    ~ Use 5,600 Starpoints + $90 (2,800 Starpoints + $45 (Cat3) Cash & Points for 2 Nights) at Sheraton At the Falls Hotel Regular $144 + Tax. 3.5 CPM.

    SOUTH AMERICA – 35,200 Starpoints + $600 C+P
    ~ Use 80k British Airways miles each for R/T Business Class seats on LAN with multiple stopovers in South America.
    ~ Use 5,600 Starpoints + $90 (2,800 Starpoints + $45 (Cat3) Cash & Points for 2 Nights) at Sheraton Libertador Hotel. Regular $168 + Tax. 4.4 CPM.
    ~ Use 14,400 Starpoints + $270 (4,800 Starpoints + $90 (Cat5) Cash & Points for 3 Nights) at Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa. Regular $285 + Tax. 4.1 CPM.
    ~ Visit Iguazu Falls!
    ~ Use 3,200 Starpoints + $60 (1,600 Starpoints + $30 (Cat2) Cash & Points for 2 Nights) at Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center. Regular $169 + Tax. 8.7 CPM.
    ~ Use 12,000 Starpoints + $180 (4,000 Starpoints + $60 (Cat4) Cash & Points for 3 Nights) at Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado. Regular $235 + Tax. 4.4 CPM.
    ~ Visit Machu Picchu!

    ITALY
    ~ Use 125k United/Continental miles each for R/T Saver First Class seats on United or Star Alliance metal to Europe.
    ~ Use 24,000 Starpoints + $450 (8,000 Starpoints + $150 (Cat6) Cash & Points for 3 Nights) at Hotel Danieli, Venice. Regular $691 + Tax. 6.8 CPM.

    GRAND TOTAL = 100,000

    I know I broke the rules by not picking two different methods. But with Cash & Points, why use any other?

  • Jackie

    PS since that would only use 70000 for points and flights and 24ooo for Westin Casuarina for points only, I’d donate the remaining 6ooo points to the Red Cross!

  • mizliz

    You had me at “Will” and you lost me at “Boogie”….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Federico-Vaca/785939524 Federico Vaca

    Home Airport: JFK

    Transfer 40k SPG to BA=50K, enough for 2 oneway awards US-East Asia – US

    Oneway JFK-YVR(stop)-HKG(stop)-BKK(stop)-SIN on CX for 25k BA + $180 (taxes)

    Oneway CGK-HND/NRT(stop)-JFK on JAL for 25k BA + $300 (taxes)

    JFK-YVR 4 nights at Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport Cat2 4n=6.4K+$120

    YVR-HKG 3 nights at Le Méridien Cyberport Cat4 3n=12K+$180

    HKG-BKK 3 nights at Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok Cat3 3n=8.4K+$135

    BKK-SIN 3 nights at Sheraton Towers Singapore Cat4 3n=12K+$180

    **SIN-CGK 3 nights at Le Méridien Jakarta, Cat2 3n=4.8K+$90

    JAR-HND 3 nights at Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Cat4 4n=16K+$240

    HND-JFK

    Total: 19 nights for 59.6K SPG + $945 and 50K BA + $480 (taxes) + $100 (cheap flight SIN-CGK)

    **SIN-CGK(Jakarta) buy a cheap oneway ticket for $100

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=569577028 Yillian Exposito

    I’m sorry but I submitted with my husband account (already logged on my Pc)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=569577028 Yillian Exposito

    Home Airport: JFK

    Transfer 40k SPG to BA=50K, enough for 2 oneway awards US-East Asia – US

    Oneway JFK-YVR(stop)-HKG(stop)-BKK(stop)-SIN on CX for 25k BA + $180 (taxes)

    Oneway CGK-HND/NRT(stop)-JFK on JAL for 25k BA + $300 (taxes)

    JFK-YVR 4 nights at Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport Cat2 4n=6.4K+$120

    YVR-HKG 3 nights at Le Méridien Cyberport Cat4 3n=12K+$180

    HKG-BKK 3 nights at Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok Cat3 3n=8.4K+$135

    BKK-SIN 3 nights at Sheraton Towers Singapore Cat4 3n=12K+$180

    **SIN-CGK 3 nights at Le Méridien Jakarta, Cat2 3n=4.8K+$90

    JAR-HND 3 nights at Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Cat4 4n=16K+$240

    HND-JFK

    Total: 19 nights for 59.6K SPG + $945 and 50K BA + $480 (taxes) + $100 (cheap flight SIN-CGK)

    **SIN-CGK(Jakarta) buy a cheap oneway ticket for $100

  • Harold

    I would use the points to bring the Starwood experience home with, so that every night is a Starwood award night.
    First, covert 98,000 miles into 1,050 in Westin at Home gift cards to purchase the following:
    2 – Pillow Case Pairs = $60
    1 – Poly Blend Flat Sheet = $55
    1 – Poly Blend Decorative Flat Sheet = $65
    1 – Poly Blend Fitted Sheet = $65
    1 – Polyester Duvet Insert = $135
    1 – Polyester Duvet Cover = $250
    1 – Down Blanket = $200
    For $825 total for a Heavenly bed makeover. Then because my dog is spoiled and Starwood is a contributor to the spoiling of said 3.5lb dog:
    1 – Heavenly Dog Bed = $225
    For a total of $1,050 spent at Westin at Home. Not that I intentionally did not purchase the decorative pillows or bed skirt because, despite what my wife says, that are totally not needed.
    Then I would use the remaining 2,000 points for an American Red Cross donation in the amount of $25.

  • Harold

    Sorry about the typos:
    *experience home with me,

    *Note that I intentionally … they are totally not needed.

  • Harold

    Sorry about the typos:
    *experience home with me,

    *Note that I intentionally … they are totally not needed.

  • Anonymous

    That is correct- no fifth night free on C+P unfortunately

  • Heather ✈

    Brian, our video also is just 30 seconds but in Youtube it shows 32, so not sure why. We posted our contest comment/video last night (Friday) but just wanted to let you know about that. Thanks and happy reviewing of everybody’s posts today! ツ

  • A thought

    just a thought, since there are still 100K promo contest going on for 1 more week, may you possibly consider holding off posting your use. I assume it will be a creative way to maximize and I don’t want someone to use the concept elsewhere.

  • Pingback: Vote for the 100,000 Starpoint Prize Winner | The Points Guy

  • Valerie M.

    simple and sweet. I just got instant 100k AMEX points (thanks to your blog) so my family is well on its way BACK to Hawaii and sooner than planned AND these Starwood points would get us right back to the Westin Maui resort and Spa. We loved every minute that we stayed there.

  • u600213

    I would transfer the 100,000 Starpoints to American miles at 1:1 ratio. I would choose the American miles to get closer to a million lifetime AA miles and buy 4 round trip tickets for my wife to go visit her mother so I don’t waste my United miles on that.

  • SH13

    I have 159k on AA Miles my account & 154k AA Miles My Wifes Acc.
    we are a family of 4 (1 baby under2) so we only need 3 tickets to fly.
    I’m Planning a trip to Israel using AA Points flying on ELAL Business Class, Every way cost 67,500 pp.
    So I have round 150k needing another 50,000 miles in each acc, then i can book from each acc 3 tickets business,
    thats 80k SPG POints needed.
    I have now in my SPG 53k + 20k from the 100k promo = 73k thats enough for 6 nights stay at the beutiful Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel every night 12k
    This would make a beutiful cheap vacation as i would only be taking out of pocket under $1000.00 and we haven’t had this ever YET!!!
    Thanks thePointsguy for all great tips that i have been following already awhile, keep up the great work….

  • Kalboz

    We would like to visit the family in Thailand as our 3-years boy Danny loves to see his cousins and friends. Here he is playing at Rama II in Bangkok: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4fy2o-jKbo

    12K SPG points per night at the new St. Regis Bangkok (or 5-nights stay for 48K starpoints). For the balance, I would book the Westin Siray Bay, Phuket, for 5 nights and enjoy paradise islands.

  • Spam Hogan

    Simple, I would donate all 100,000 points to Unicef. They can get creative with the money and do something far more meaningful than anything I would ever want to do for myself.

  • Mrsloan01

    I would travel and stay @ Spg hotels then write a report on my stay 100 000 points the Spg program will benefit from someone like me that have travel and stayed at every major hotel around the world

  • Miss_tandy2000

    is this a old post?

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