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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.
This cash back card has a focus on dining and entertainment where you can earn unlimited 4% cash back in those spending categories. You can also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that