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As I posted yesterday, American Express just raised the sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest Personal and Business credit cards to 30,000 points. To celebrate, they’ve given me two sets of 30,000 points to give away to readers so instead of a random drawing, I thought I’d make you all work for it a little bit!
-I’ll give 30,000 points away to a reader who finds the best Cash & Points (my favorite type) redemption value using a maximum 30,000 points. You need to tell me the property, the dates, and the rates you find on spg.com (they can’t be through a corporate rate or aggregator, but need to be rates published by Starwood) and Cash & Points needs to be available. The reader who is able to demonstrate they can pull the most value from each point wins. To calculate the value of the redemption I’ll take the total estimated room rate including taxes from SPG.com and then subtract the cash component of the Cash & Points and then divide that amount by the number of points used. Remember, you can only use a maximum of 30,000 points, but you don’t need to use exactly that amount. It also doesn’t have to be one hotel- you can mix it up as long as the amount of points used does not exceed 30,000.
Cash and Points Redemption Chart
-I’ll give the second 30,000 points away to the reader who finds the best value out of those 30,000 points for free-night redemptions. No Cash & Points, this has to be a straight-up free night redemption. For example, you could do either three nights at an expensive category 4 hotel (10,000 a night) or a single night at a Category 7 (30,000 a night). I want to see the best bang for the point! Once again, I’ll peg the value of your redemption as the best rate showing on SPG.com for the dates you specify- this includes non-refundable/advance purchase rates. You can include more than one hotel- just don’t exceed 30,000 points.
Free night awards
In order to enter, you must leave a comment on this post by 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, August 10, and I’ll announce the winners next Tuesday, August 14. You should include the hotel name, how many points/cash required for a normal redemption and then the lowest advertised room rate for the stay to illustrate what your actual “cent per point” would be. I will be checking the entries on Saturday August 11, 2012, so the room rate will be verified on that date. Entries are on a first come basis- you may want to wait until the very end to submit your entry, if someone else posts the same hotel/date before you, they get the entry and you’ll need to submit another option. This is to protect anyone who publicly posts their entry so others can’t copy and submit the same thing.
You can only win once, so there will be two individual winners, one for each category. One final disclosure: the 30,000 points have an ARV of $600, so winners will be required to complete W9 forms and pay taxes on them. Winners must already be a member of Starwood Preferred Guest, so if you’re not yet, sign up here. The prize is fulfilled directly by American Express and the W9 is their requirement and you will provide it directly to them.
The goal is to have fun with this and I reserve the right to disqualify an entry if it is inappropriate or does not abide by the rules. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below!