Maximizing Starwood Preferred Guest Points: Nights and Flights Option

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressStarwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

This week I am running a contest for one lucky TPG reader to win 100,000 Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints. 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 (more details on the contest here).

Starpoints are valuable because there are a lot of valuable ways to redeem them. One of the lesser known ways is the option, “Nights and Flights” where you get both free nights and airlines miles.

This option is only available is you redeem for category 3 and 4 hotels, so it’s not available on the cheap or top properties.

Nights and flights redemption chart

Option 1: 60,000 points for 5 nights at a category 3 hotel and 50,000 airline miles. Category 3 hotels are normally 7,000 points a night, so 5 nights costs 28,000 SPG points (the 5th night is always free on free night redemptions). 50,000 airline miles normally costs 40,000 SPG points, so this package saves you 8,000 Starpoints.

Option 2: 70,000 points for 5 nights at a category 4 hotel and 50,000 airline miles. Category 4 hotels are normally 10,000 points a night, so 5 nights costs 40,000 SPG points (the 5th night is always free on free night redemptions). 50,000 airline miles normally costs 40,000 SPG points, so this package saves you 10,000 Starpoints.

So basically, if you are looking to redeem your Starpoints for free nights at mid-tier hotels and also want to boost your airline miles, this option can make a lot of sense. And remember, if you accrue American Airlines miles, SPG points transferred to AA count towards lifetime elite status.

Also, the last day to sign-up for the 30,000 point sign-up bonus is Monday August 21, 2011. This is a great deal because the standard sign-up bonus ranges between 10,000-25,000 with much higher initial spend requirements.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
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Annual Fee
$550
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Excellent/Good
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