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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 Express

Around this time each year, Starwood launches a program called “Paradise is Closer,” giving SPG members an opportunity to redeem points for a handful of the chain’s priciest properties at a discounted rate.

Some of these hotels are truly out of reach of most travelers — the St. Regis Maldives, for example, will run you upwards of $1,500 per night even in the off season, with peak rates climbing to $2,900, before factoring in taxes and fees.

With Starwood’s latest promo, however, you can book an Overwater Villa With Pool for 58,500 points per night, or 234,000 points total for a five-night stay (thanks for SPG’s Fifth Night Free offer). If you stay five nights, you’ll redeem just 46,800 Starpoints per night, which is still a large sum, but, given the peak-season rates, could end up netting you nearly 7.6 cents per point in value (based on the post-tax rate shown below). That’s nearly 3x our valuation of Starpoints — a phenomenal deal.

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Note that you can boost your account balance by transferring points from Marriott at a 3:1 ratio, or sign up for a co-branded credit card, such as the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, which is currently offering 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months (or even more via targeted offers).

Participating Hotels and Resorts

You must book (and complete) your stay at the properties below by March 5, 2018 in order to be eligible for the reduced rates below:

  • The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket — normally 40,000 Starpoints per night; now 26,000
  • Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris — normally 60,000 Starpoints per night; now 39,000
  • The St. Regis Punta Mita — normally 60,000 Starpoints per night; now 39,000
  • Le Méridien Bora Bora — normally 60,000 Starpoints per night; now 39,000
  • The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort — normally 60,000 Starpoints per night; now 39,000
  • Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui — normally 60,000 Starpoints per night; now 39,000
  • W Retreat Koh Samui — normally 60,000 Starpoints per night; now 39,000
  • Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai — normally 60,000 Starpoints per night; now 39,000
  • W Retreat & Spa – Maldives — normally 90,000 Starpoints per night; now 58,500
  • The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort — normally 90,000 Starpoints per night; now 58,500
  • The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort — normally 90,000 Starpoints per night; now 58,500

In some cases, properties may offer non-suite awards at a lower rate — at the St. Regis Punta Mita, for example, you can book an award night starting at 30,000 points, or 24,000 points per night for a five-night stay. So through this promo you’d be able to book a suite for a few more points per night.

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The following terms and conditions apply to stays booked through this program:

  • Offer only applies to the participating property’s eligible suite category that can be booked using a Free Night Award redemption and is subject to the participating property’s existing SPG redemption policies.
  • This offer cannot be reserved online and must be booked by calling the SPG Customer Contact center. Discounted Starpoints will be deducted from Member’s account at time of booking.
  • 5th Night Free offer may be used in combination with this offer.
  • Rooms reserved using Cash & Points, 50% off Awards, and Nights & Flights are not eligible.
  • Award stays under this promotion will count towards the SPG Member reaching the Eligible Night and Eligible Stay milestones needed to earn elite membership status.
  • Offer cannot be combined with other redemption promotions unless specifically permitted according to these terms and conditions.
  • There is no limit on the number of times or nights a member may reserve using this special offer during the Promotion Period within the guidelines of SPG Free Night Award redemption.
  • All promotions are subject to the Starwood Preferred Guest program terms and conditions, which are subject to change without notice and can be found at spg.com.
  • Offer is applicable to single members only and not to groups.
  • Not responsible for omissions or typographical errors.
  • Void where prohibited by law.

Bottom Line

Considering how high some of the nightly room rates for these properties can climb, you can score a fantastic deal by taking advantage of this promotion, depending on which hotel you choose and when you stay. Be sure to compare rates for your dates before booking, since in some cases you could still come out ahead by paying cash.

Additionally, note that some properties may come along with extra fees that can’t reasonably be offset with points, such as the $645 per person you’ll pay for seaplane flights at the St. Regis Maldives. But if you have the points (and, in some cases, cash) to spare, some of these redemptions are well worth the effort and expense:

Featured image of the St. Regis Maldives.

H/T: LoyaltyLobby

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), 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.

Apply Now
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
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.