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As part of its merger with Starwood Hotels, Marriott is significantly stepping up its experiences game, adding countless redemption opportunities around the world. This latest redemption appears to be a holdover from the SPG Moments days, however, and Starwood Preferred Guest’s long-standing partnership with Emirates.
Through 10:30am ET on June 11, 2018, SPG is offering members an opportunity to bid Starpoints for an upcoming Emirates inaugural flight, from Dubai (DXB) to Santiago (SCL) on July 5. The package includes a return ticket on July 11, with both flights in business class. In addition to Dubai-Fort Lauderdale (FLL), this will be the second route operated with Emirates’ retrofitted 777-200LR, with brand-new biz-class seats in a more spacious (though not industry-leading) 2-2-2 configuration. This refreshed plane offers lie-flat seats, while the older 777-200LR configuration has angle-flat seats in a 2-3-2 arrangement.
The auction runs through 10:30am ET on June 11, 2018, with the maximum bid currently at 153,500 Starpoints — worth $4,145 based on TPG’s most recent valuations. While I expect bidding to jump up quite a bit from that point, even if the auction doubles in price, you’d still be getting a solid deal, considering everything that’s included:
- Two Emirates round-trip business-class tickets on the inaugural flight from Dubai to Santiago
- Chauffeur-drive service to and from the airport in Dubai; access to business-class lounge at Dubai airport, priority check-in, boarding and baggage delivery
- A 5-night stay in a one-bedroom Marvelous Suite for two at the W Santiago Hotel (Check-in July 5, 2018 – Check-out July 10, 2018)
- Complimentary daily buffet breakfast for two
- Two complimentary drinks at Red2One rooftop bar
- Complimentary dinner for two at KARAI by Mitsuharu
- Airport transfer to and from W Santiago Hotel
Unfortunately award seats aren’t available on the inaugural flight, though you can use miles to book one-way business class on July 8, for 105,000 Skywards miles plus a whopping $490 in cash. That makes this package even more appealing, since you’d need to redeem a considerable number of miles to book directly through Emirates. Paid biz flights will run you about $5,500 round-trip.
Of course, this isn’t a terribly convenient itinerary for SPG members based in the US, but if you’re currently in the Middle East or don’t mind traveling far out of your way to chase an inaugural flight, this Moments auction could net you a pretty solid return.
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.
- 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