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AMEX Starwood - best way to use Starpoints?

For those with the Starwood card what is the best way you've found to maximize reward redemption? I've played around a bit on SPG.com and so far have found Cash+Points to have the best value. Are there other redemptions that regularly get over 3 cents/point?

 

And something interesting I found out: cardmembers are Preferred Guest PLUS status (for the life of cardmembership) which entitles them to late checkout and a free room upgrade, based on availability. I guess its half-way Preferred Guest Gold status which is pretty awesome. Has anyone actually received these benefits?

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Re: AMEX Starwood - best way to use Starpoints?

Points & money is usually the best. Or transfers to airlines of 20K for the 5K bonus.

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Re: AMEX Starwood - best way to use Starpoints?


dyv8914 wrote:

For those with the Starwood card what is the best way you've found to maximize reward redemption? I've played around a bit on SPG.com and so far have found Cash+Points to have the best value. Are there other redemptions that regularly get over 3 cents/point?

 

And something interesting I found out: cardmembers are Preferred Guest PLUS status (for the life of cardmembership) which entitles them to late checkout and a free room upgrade, based on availability. I guess its half-way Preferred Guest Gold status which is pretty awesome. Has anyone actually received these benefits?



The first time I checked in to a Sheraton after having received the card, I was upgraded to the Club level or whatever they call it.  I hit Gold status shortly after that, so I don't have much else to compare it to.  Preferred Guest Plus was pretty much like Gold, but I imagine you were further down the line for upgrades.  With the recent enhancements to the program, e.g., free internet with Gold status, which take place on March 1, it seems there will be more of a separation between Plus and Gold.  At least I have not heard that Plus members are going to get any of the additional benefits.

 

I also agree that cash and points is the best redemption option. 


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Re: AMEX Starwood - best way to use Starpoints?

Im currently SPG Gold due to owning Amex platinum. Have not yet stayed there as most places require you to be 21 to check in.  There launching new perks March 1st for all members though. Maybe something to check out. You can also buy SPG points and they offer multipliers time to time. Those points are said to be the most valuable points for any US card. Im looking into getting the SPG card in 6 months to a year.

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Re: AMEX Starwood - best way to use Starpoints?

Thanks for the replies. I travel sometimes with my pet so the late checkout is very valuable to me as I hate leaving her in the car if I have something to do the morning/afternoon of checkout. Previously, I've even booked 2 nights just to avoid this problem. I don't think I will reach Gold status this year as my need to travel fluctuates year to year but its nice knowing I can get at least the Plus benefits. And my 10K bonus points for first purchase posted after a few days, didn't even need to wait for the statement to cut!

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Re: AMEX Starwood - best way to use Starpoints?


TannerK wrote:

Im currently SPG Gold due to owning Amex platinum. Have not yet stayed there as most places require you to be 21 to check in.  There launching new perks March 1st for all members though. Maybe something to check out. You can also buy SPG points and they offer multipliers time to time. Those points are said to be the most valuable points for any US card. Im looking into getting the SPG card in 6 months to a year.


I wonder if you buy points with the card, do you get the 4 bonus points/dollar for Starwood purchases? At the right price that can be quite a deal. Right night they are 3.5 cents a piece though so not so good.

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