11 Ways to Redeem Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints for Max Value (2017)

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Starwood Preferred Guest is often thought of as a hotel rewards program. But it’s so much more!

SPG points or “Starpoints” can also be redeemed for flights and train travel! The best redemptions come from point transfers to partner airlines and Amtrak in addition to deals at SPG hotels and resorts around the world.

Follow these 11 methods and your Starpoints will not be going to waste.


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Transferring Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints to Airline Partners

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You can use your Starpoints to stay in beautiful Starwood properties, or choose to transfer them to airline or other partners!

Transferring Starpoints to partnering airlines, SPG hotels, and Amtrak will give you the best value for each point.

There are over 1,200 hotels and resorts to choose from. When deciding the best way to use points on hotel stays, you can use SPG’s “Nights and Flights” deal to save even more, a great deal that is described below.

Similarly, train travel on Amtrak can be redeemed at a great rate. The best deals depend on the travel distance and seats you choose. See below for more details.

Starwood SPG Transfer Partners

SPG Transfer Partner (Airline) Transfer Ratio Transfer Time
Aegean Airlines 1:1 10 days
AeroMexico 1:1 2 days
Air Canada 1:1 5 days
Air Berlin 1:1 7 days
Air China Companion 1:1 5 days
Air New Zealand 65:1 2 days
Alaska Airlines 1:1 2 days
Alitalia 1:1 unknown
ANA 1:1 7 days
American Airlines 1:1 2 days
Asia Miles 1:1 10 days
Asiana Airlines 1:1 10 days
Avianca Airlines 1:1 unknown
British Airways 1:1 5 days
China Eastern Airlines 1:1 unknown
China Southern Airlines 1:1 3 days
Delta Airlines SkyMiles 1:1 2 days
Emirates Skywards 1:1 4 days
Etihad Airways 1:1 5 days
Flying Blue Air France / KLM 1:1 1 day
Gol Smiles 2:1 unknown
Hawaiian Airlines 1:1 2 days
Japan Airlines (JAL) 1:1 7 days
Jet Airways 1:1 unknown
Korean Air 1:1 7 days
LATAM Airlines 1:1.5 2 days
Lufthansa 1:1 4 days
Qatar Airways 1:1 3 weeks
Saudi Arabian Airlines 1:1 unknown
Singapore Airlines 1:1 7 days
Thai Airways 1:1 10 days
United 2:1 2 days
Virgin Atlantic 1:1 1 day
Virgin Australia 1:1 2 days

 

SPG Starwood Transfer Partners

All of the above airlines actually have a slightly better transfer ratio than is listed above. There is a 5,000 point bonus for every transfer of 20,000 or more Starwood points to airlines. This means a 1:1 transfer ratio is really more like 1:1.25.

Transfers to hotels and to Amtrak do not carry this same benefit. Hotel and Amtrak redemptions still have their own excellent value, though.

The only limitation to the 5,000 points bonus is that transfers cannot exceed 79,999 in one day.

You will receive 3x the 5,000 bonus points on the first 60,000 Starpoints transferred, but lose out on an additional 5,000 bonus points for the additional 19,999 points you transfer. You must wait until the next day to transfer the rest after 60,000 to earn the maximum bonus.

For example, if you need to transfer 100,000 Starpoints to British Airways, transfer 60,000 today which becomes 75,000 British Avios. Then transfer 40,000 Starpoints to British Airways tomorrow which becomes 50,000 British Avios.

You’ll have a total of 125,000 British Avios for 10,000 Starpoints by splitting between the two days.

Hot Tip:  Use your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to earn additional Starpoints before redeeming your awards if necessary!

Transferring Points to Marriott Rewards

Due to the recent purchase of Starwood hotels by Marriott International, the two loyalty programs of the hotels are being combined. As of now, you can transfer points between the programs instantaneously, but it must be in increments of 1,000.

The transfer ratio is 1 SPG Starpoint for 3 Marriott Rewards points.

Best Way to Use Your Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints for Air Travel

The below airline, hotel, and train partners will give you the best value on your SPG points when redeeming for fights, overnight stays, and ground transportation by train!

You’ll read about tons of domestic and international flight and room. Train travel is focused on domestic travel within the USA. Flight redemptions are usually focused on the USA/North America as the departure location.

As award redemptions change, the options below will be updated. Please do share any updates or additions you come across in the comments section and they will be added!

Here are the 11 best ways to redeem your SPG starpoints for maximum value:

1. American Airlines AAdvantage Round-the-World

Highlight: Travel round-the-world, New York-Finland-India-Hong Kong-New York for 87,500 Starpoints

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Use SPG to travel to the Taj Mahal in India via American Airlines.

Earning SPG points to redeem with American Airlines is one of the best ways to use points on American Airlines flights.

Why? Because the 5,000 point bonus of transfers of 20,000 Starpoints actually beats out the earning potential associated with the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard and other Citi / AAdvantage offers.

So, if flying on American Airlines is your goal, definitely go for SPG and then redeem wisely by taking full advantage of this transfer bonus.

American Airlines also has great airline partners.

Some of these are renowned for their excellent first class experience, such as with Cathay Pacific. Thus, Cathay Pacific and other AA partner airlines are indirect partners of SPG by way of transferring Starpoints to American Airlines (or Alaska Air).

You’ll look for Cathay Pacific award flights on the British Airways’ website or Japan Airlines’ website because they are all One World alliance partners.

The following are some of the best redemptions you’ll get from transferring Starpoints to American Airlines from SPG:

  • USA to Europe (off-peak dates starting March 2016:  January 10 – March 14, November 1 – December 14) round-trip in economy class for 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after transferring 35,000 Starpoints
  • USA to South East Asia one-way in first class for 67,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after transferring 57,500 Starpoints
  • USA to Japan (off-peak dates starting March 2016: January 1 – April 30, July 1 – November 30) one-way in economy class for 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after transferring 20,000 Starpoints.
  • USA to South America Zone 2 (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, off-peak dates starting March 2016: Mar 1 – May 31, and Aug 16 – Nov 30) one-way in economy class for 20,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles (+ 5,000 mile bonus) after transferring 20,000 Starpoints.
  • USA to Caribbean one-way in economy class for 12,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after transferring 12,500 Starpoints.
  • USA to Mexico one-way in economy class for 12,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after transferring 12,500 Starpoints.
  • USA to Central America one-way in economy class for 15,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after transferring 15,000 Starpoints.
  • USA to South America one-way in economy class for 15,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after transferring 15,000 Starpoints.
  • USA mainland to Hawaii one-way in economy class for 17,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after transferring 17,5000 Starpoints.
  • Round-the-world from the USA (New York to Finland, to India, to Hong Kong to New York) in economy class for 107,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after transferring 87,500 Starpoints. The same path in business class is 165,000 AAdvantage miles or 135,000 Starpoints and in first class is 215,000 AA miles or 175,000 Starpoints.

Check out the American Award Chart >>

2. British Airways Avios Short Haul Economy Flights

Highlight: Fly short-haul USA flights for 4,500 Starpoints

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You can redeem British Airways short haul flight prices of 4,500 Avios by transferring your Starpoints to BA Executive Club.

British Airways has always offered some great deals on flights especially for short-haul flights.

For short-haul flight deals, try searching for flights up to 650 miles such as New York to Montreal. Other popular routes are the West Coast to Hawaii or Japan. Flights with low miles like these will set you back only 4,500 Avios each way!

Notorious for having extremely high fees attached to their flights, British Airways fees are much lower when you redeem Avios points on American Airlines and Alaska Airways tickets.

Simply transfer your SPG Starpoints to Avios points and then search for American Airlines or Alaska Airways tickets.

You can also transfer points to British Airways Avios and then to Iberia Avios. This means you can easily redeem these points on Iberia using Iberia’s search engine.

Here are the best redemptions for Avios at the 1:1 transfer ratio:

  • USA (east coast) to Europe one-way in economy class for 20,000 Starpoints transferred to 20,000 British Airways Avios (+5,000 points bonus). Fly on Air Berlin to avoid fuel surcharges.
  • USA (west coast) to Hawaii one-way in economy class for 12,500 Starpoints transferred to 12,500 British Airways Avios on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines.
  • Domestic USA/North America short-haul one-way in economy class for 4,500 Starpoints transferred to 4,500 British Airways Avios. These are for flights like NYC to Toronto, DC to Chicago, or Charlotte to Fort Lauderdale.
  • Boston to Dublin one-way in economy class for 12,500 Starpoints transferred to 12,500 British Airways Avios on AerLingus.
  • Miami to the Caribbean (Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cancun, Bahamas and more) one way in economy class for 4,500 Starpoints transferred to 4,500 British Airways Avios.
  • Miami to Lima, Peru one-way in economy class for 10,000 Starpoints transferred to 10,000 British British Airways Avios
  • New York to Berlin round-trip in Air Berlin business class for 80,000 Starpoints transferred to 80,000 British Airways Avios then to Air Berlin.

Another sweet perk is British Airways doesn’t add last-minute booking fees which is helpful when you need to book a trip at the drop of a hat.

Take a look at British Airways Avios reward flights calculator >>

Hot Tip:  You can earn additional Avios by transferring from Chase Ultimate Rewards using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or from Amex Membership Rewards using the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.

3. JAL Mileage Bank to 7 Cities in Asia

Highlight: Fly from Los Angeles to 7 cities in Asia and Southeast Asia for 50,000 Starpoints

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Hong Kong is just one of the seven cities in Asia you can travel to using Starpoints.

There aren’t very many options available out there to earn JAL miles. So the fact that they are a partner of SPG makes this a really important airline to mention.

JAL flights also happen to produce a great redemption value. I really like JAL because it’s possible to see more places with less points. They allow 8 segments, 7 stopovers, and one open-jaw on most flight paths.

The only limitations are no stopovers in the same city more than once and a maximum of 3 stopovers in Europe.

The JAL miles needed to redeem award flights are calculated by the total distance flown. JAL provides a handy online tool for calculating the total trip distance.

An example round trip is: Los Angeles – Beijing – Shanghai – Hong Kong – Bangkok – Singapore – Denpasar, Bali – Tokyo – Los Angeles

This trip is 19,594 miles in flying distance which puts it in the 14,001 – 20,000 distance range on the Japan Airlines award chart.

JALchart
The JAL awards chart is based on distance to your destination.

Thus, an economy class ticket for this trip would require 60,000 JAL miles after transferring 50,000 Starpoints. For first class, this trip would require 155,000 JAL miles after transferring 125,000 Starpoints.

Now that’s a lot for a little!

4. Alaska Mileage Plan to Fiji in Business Class

Highlight: Go round-trip to Fiji in Business Class for 90,000 Starpoints on Fiji Airways

fiji-airways-business-class-cabin
Fly in Business Class on Fiji Airways for 90,000 Starpoints which becomes 110,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles! – Image courtesy of fijiairways.com.

Alaska Airlines is not a part of an alliance like Oneworld. As a result, they have been able to pick and choose which airlines they want to partner with resulting in lots of great options.

You can transfer your Alaska miles to several partner airlines after first transferring them over from SPG. This includes partners like Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Fiji Airways.

  • USA to Japan or South Korea round-trip in economy on Cathay Pacific for 60,000 Alaska miles after transferring 50,000 Starpoints, in business class for 100,000 Alaska Air miles after transferring 80,000 Starpoints, and in first class for 140,000 Alaska Airline miles after transferring 115,000 Starpoints.
  • Los Angeles to Nadi, Fiji round-trip in Business Class on Fiji Airways is 110,000 Alaska Air miles after transferring 90,000 Starpoints. Be sure to break it up into two days: transfer 40,000 one day and 50,000 the next!
  • New York to Dubai to Cape Town round-trip in coach on Emirates for 95,000 Alaska Air miles after transferring 80,000 Starpoints and in business class for 155,000 Alaska Air miles after transferring 125,000 Starpoints.

Try other combinations by selecting “Multi-City” and “Use Miles” when you book flights on partner airlines through Alaska Air’s search engine.

Check out the Alaska Air Award Charts >>

matamanoa-island-fiji-1250043-1599x1198
Matamanoa Island in Fiji can be reached using SPG points for Alaska Airlines miles and booking on partner airlines.

5. Lufthansa Miles & More First Class Within the USA

Highlight: First Class round-trip flights within the continental USA and to Alaska for 29,000 Starpoints.

travel-first-class-on-lufthansa-domestically-in-the-us
Hop on board a domestic flight in Lufthansa First Class for only 29,000 Starpoints!

Lufthansa has some great reward tickets options, some of which include 2 stopovers and have no fuel surcharges. You just have to know where to look for them. Otherwise, you could get hit with some serious fees.

For example, don’t fly trans-Atlantic on Lufthansa or you could be hit with hundreds of dollars for fuel. Considering flying intra-Europe for the best deals on Lufthansa in that region.

Otherwise, don’t bother with Europe. Stick to the following options for transferring your Starpoints to redeem award flights with Lufthansa:

  • Continental USA (including Alaska) round-trip in First Class for 34,000 Lufthansa miles after transferring 29,000 Starpoints.
  • Continental USA to Hawaii round-trip in economy class for 40,000 Lufthansa miles after transferring 35,000 Starpoints.
  • Continental USA to Caribbean or Central America (including 3 stops, e.g. NYC to Puerto Rico to Panama City as your destination then stopover in St. Maarten on the way back) for 34,000 Lufthansa miles after transferring 29,000 Starpoints.
  • USA to South America (including 3 stopovers) round-trip in economy for 60,000 Lufthansa miles after transferring 50,000 Starpoints.
  • USA to Australia, New Zealand or Oceania round-trip in economy for 80,000 Lufthansa miles after transferring 65,000 Starpoints

The key to the above is that Lufthansa has absolutely no fuel charges on USA, TAM, Avianca, and Air New Zealand flights.

6. ANA Mileage Club Business Class to Japan

Highlight: Fly round-trip in Business Class to Japan for only 60,000 Starpoints

ANA business class
You can fly to Japan in Business Class on ANA for only 60,000 Starpoints! – Image courtesy of ana.co.jp.

ANA used to have a distance-based award chart but now has a zone-based chart for flights operated by ANA and flights on ANA’s partner airlines. Partner airlines redemptions have especially been devalued as a result of this change

Nevertheless, ANA allows for some flexibility with an open jaw and a stopover allowed as part of their new scheme.

This allows for some great options for multiple destinations on one award ticket. Call to book the more complicated routes, as ANA’s website is not easy to use for finding availability.

Transfer your Starpoints to ANA at the usual 1:1 rate plus the bonus and you’ll be landing the best redemptions ever on flights to Japan, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

When transferring Starpoints to ANA, the best redemptions are:

  • North America to Japan round trip in Business Class for 85,000 (regular season) or 75,000 (low season) ANA miles after transferring 70,000 or 60,000 Starpoints respectively. Low season is January, February, and April. Catch the Sakura cherry blossoms in April!
  • North America to Asia I (China, Guam, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines) round-trip in Business Class for 80,000 (low season) ANA miles after transferring 65,000 Starpoints or economy class for 45,000 ANA miles after transferring 40,000 Starpoints.
  • North America to Asia II (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) round-trip in Business Class for 100,000 ANA miles (low season) after transferring 80,000 Starpoints or economy class for 55,000 ANA miles after transferring 45,000 Starpoints.

Flying direct to Japan carries with it high fuel surcharges. But there are lower fuel surcharges if your flights pass through Japan on the way to destinations in Asia.

When flying ANA partner airlines, the best redemptions are:

  • North America to Europe round-trip in Business Class for 88,000 ANA miles after transfering 73,000 Starpoints. There are no fuel surcharges if you fly United or Air Canada.
  • North America to Africa/Middle East (e.g., Los Angeles to Johannesburg) round trip in economy class for 65,000 ANA miles after transferring 55,000 Starpoints and Business Class for 104,000 ANA miles after transferring 84,000 Starpoints.

7. Singapore KrisFlyer Miles First Class to Singapore

Highlight: Lounge in Singapore Suites from New York to Singapore for 78,500 points

Looking for the most romantic flight experience out there? Don't miss Singapore Suites on the A380 with your special someone.
The Singapore Suites are an ultra luxurious experience. Grab your award ticket for only 78,500 Starpoints! – Image courtesy of singaporeair.com.

I love it when Singapore Airlines is a partner of an airline miles program. It allows for the chance to travel Singapore Suites—a first-class experience with luxury double beds. It’s the kind of flight pampering most people only dream about!

Starpoints makes taking one of these flights actually attainable.

The double bed experience is only available on flights to Frankfurt or Tokyo. Otherwise, Singapore KrisFlyer miles will get you domestic flight travel and travel to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for great rates in all of the class types depending on the destination.

Use Singapore’s mileage calculator and you get a 15% discount on award redemptions when you book online.

Singapore Airlines’ award redemptions with Starpoints are the following:

  • Domestic USA travel one-way in business class for 20,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles after transferring 20,000 Starpoints and first class for 30,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles after transferring 25,000 Starpoints.
  • USA to Hawaii one-way in economy class for 17,500 Singapore KrisFlyer miles, business class, for 30,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles, and first class for 40,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles after transferring 17,500, 25,000, or 35,000 Starpoints, respectively.
  • USA to Europe one-way in economy class for20,000 – 27,500 Singapore KrisFlyer miles after transferring 20,000 – 22,500 Starpoints.
  • USA to the Middle East one-way in economy class for 37, 500 Singapore KrisFlyer miles, business class for 57,400 Singapore KrisFlyer miles, or first class for 75,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles after transferring 32,500, 47,400, or 60,000 Starpoints, respectively.
  • USA to Central/South Africa one-way in business class for 72,500 Singapore KrisFlyer miles after transferring 60,000 Starpoints.
  • New York to Frankfurt one-way Suites Class for 57,375 Singapore KrisFlyer miles (with 15% mileage discount) after transferring 47,375 Starpoints.
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo one-way Suites Class for 74,375 Singapore KrisFlyer miles (with 15% mileage discount) after transferring 60,000 Starpoints.
  • New York to Singapore one-way Suites Class for 93,500 Singapore KrisFlyer miles (with 15% mileage discount) after transferring 78,500 Starpoints.

Additional Ways to Redeem Your Singapore KrisFlyer Miles >>

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You can hang out in Marina Bay in Singapore by using Starpoints for miles with Singapore Airlines.

See Singapore Airlines award chart >>
See Singapore Airlines partners award chart >>

8. Air France / KLM Flying Blue Economy Class to Europe

Highlight: Travel USA to Europe, Israel, or North Africa one way for 12,500 Starpoints.

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The Bahai Gardens in Haifa Israel. Use your SPG points with Air France to find awards travel to Israel.

Air France FlyingBlue has “Promo Awards” year-round sometimes with 50% off award flights (e.g., North America to Europe). Some great redemptions come out of these promotions especially when there’s already a bonus added to transfers from SPG.

You can go to Aruba for as low as 20,000 Starpoints because they turn into the 25,000 Flying Blue miles you need to get there in economy.

Lots of options like this will require the same number of Starpoints to get you to locations in the Caribbean, e.g., Jamaica, St. Maarten.

There’s a ton of other options when transferring Starpoints to Flying Blue. Here are the best, current redemptions through Promo Awards:

  • USA to Europe (or Israel/North Africa) one-way in economy class for 12,500 Flying Blue miles after transferring 12,500 Starpoints when Promo Awards are available.
  • USA to Europe (or Israel/North Africa) one-way in economy class for 25,000 Flying Blue miles after transferring 20,000 Starpoints when flights are at their regular prices.
  • USA to Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Mexico one-way in economy class for 12,500 Flying Blue miles after transferring 12,500 Starpoints.
  • USA to Hawaii one-way in economy class for 15,000 Flying Blue miles after transferring 15,000 Starpoints.
  • USA to the Caribbean round-trip in economy class for 30,000 Flying Blue miles after transferring 25,000 Starpoints.
  • USA to Tahiti one-way 30,000 Flying Blue miles after transferring 25,000 Starpoints.
  • USA (Houston) to northern South America (stop in Central America) round-trip in economy class for 38,000 Flying Blue miles after transferring 33,000 Starpoints.

The promotions are necessary for booking the best redemption because the prices skyrocket without them. Flights to Europe, Israel, or North Africa are 50,000 Flying Blue miles round-trip in economy without the promo discount.

Check out Air France’s FlyingBlue miles calculator >>

Other Ways to Use SPG Starpoints

9. SPG Hotels in Indonesia

Highlight: Stay a weekend night at the Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa in Indonesia for 2,000 points.

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This beautiful resort in Indonesia is part of the Starwood hotel group and you can book it with your Starpoints.

Starwood Preferred Guest is, through and through, a hotel rewards program. While redeeming for flights certainly has some of the best redemptions out there, Starpoints have the best redemption value when used to stay at their hotels.

You have to decide what matters to you more—hotel stays or flights. For me, flights are the most important and pricey part of my travels. I prefer not to pay out of pocket for flights if I don’t have to.

I can usually find cheap accommodation if I need to. But if you love staying at hotels and hate having to pay the price, especially if you want the top-tier experience, Starpoints are definitely well-spent on hotel stays

SPG splits up their hotels into 7 different categories with the Starpoints needed varying by day of the week. This can create a bit of a headache when determining how many points each will require. Here’s the breakdown:

Starpoints needed by hotel/resort category
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Weekdays 3,000 4,000 7,000 10,000 12-16,000 20-25,000 30-35,000
Weekends 2,000 3,000 7,000 10,000 12-16,000 20-25,000 30-35,000

You can use your Starpoints to purchase a stay for any date a room is available since there are no blackout dates with SPG. Most hotels don’t charge taxes on top of your Starpoints although some resorts will make you pay a fee.

There are some great options for the lower tier hotels. For example, stay at the category Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa for only 2,000 points on the weekend—a $71 per night value. That’s about 3.5 cents per Starpoint—a great redemption rate!

For the cost of about 11 nights at a category 1 hotel, you can stay 1 night at a category 7 hotel like the Prince de Galles in Paris. Since staying in a hotel like that is well over $1000 per night, it’s usually as good of a redemption rate as a Category 1 stay.

The best deal is to stay for 5 nights since you will get the 5th night FREE on any award stays at any category hotel.

Here are some more options picked out because of their location, quality, and great redemption rate:

  • Category 4: Stay 1 weekend night in an Ocean Breeze Room at Sheraton Fiji Resort for 10,000 Starpoints
  • Category 7: Stay 1 weekend night in a Superior Room at the Regis in New York for 30,000 Starpoints

Check the SPG website to browse all of the hotels by category: category 1, category 2, category 3, category 4, category 5, category 6, category 7.

10. Nights and Flights Deals – Full Package Vacations

Highlight: Fly to Orlando and stay 5 nights at the Walt Disney Swan for 70,000 Starpoints.

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SPG points can help you experience Disney in Orlando, FL.

When you participate in SPG’s Nights and Flights deal, you get a discount on a 5 night Category 3 or 4 hotel award stay combined with the transfer bonus to an airline partner (at the 1:1 transfer rate only).

The deal is not available for Category 1-2 or 5-7 stays.

At the end of the day, the deal is:

  • A 5 night stay in a Standard Room at a Category 3 hotel and 50,000 airline miles for the cost of 60,000 Starpoints (saving 8,000 Starpoints)
  • A 5 night stay in a Standard Room at a Category 4 hotel and 50,000 airline miles for the cost of 70,000 Starpoints (saving 10,000 Starpoints)

With this deal, you could fly down to Orlando and stay at the Category 4 Walt Disney World Swan or Dolphin for 5 nights. Sweet!

Book a Nights and Flights award deal over the phone only (1-888-625-4988).

11. Amtrak Train Travel

Highlight: Get a 3-person room with meals and beds on the train from Boston to Chicago for 30,498 Starpoints.

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SPG points can be used to book travel on Amtrak if you’d like an alternative way to travel around America.

A unique partner of Starwood Preferred Guest is award travel on Amtrak. Amtrak Guest Rewards are fairly difficult to obtain since Chase recently removed them as a partner. So it’s great that it is a partner of SPG.

Amtrak Guest Rewards new program that began on January 24, 2016 makes points worth:

  • About 2.9 cents per Starpoint for coach train travel
  • About 2.56 cents per Starpoint for business high-speed Acela Express

This is a great way to redeem your Starpoints especially if you’re not interested in using the points for hotels or flights.

Amtrak splits the USA map into regions.

amtrak
A great way to use Starpoints is on Amtrak’s roomettes and rooms. This is the typical award points breakdown using the example of a trip from Boston to Chicago:

  • 11,242 Starpoints in a roomette for 2 people with meals and beds (normally around $332)
  • 30,498 Starpoints for a bedroom for 3 people with meals and beds (normally around $844)

This means your trip is between 5,621 and 10,166 Starpoints per person when you share a room with 1 or 2 other people. The roomette and the bedroom are about the same redemption value. So choose either one and get the same deal.

In Conclusion

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Starpoints are an amazing currency to help you reach your next vacation goal.

The best ways to use your Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints is by transferring to airline, hotel, and train travel partners.

You’ll get the maximum value for your Starpoints by redeeming wisely and using our strategies. With Starpoints, you can travel around the world on American Airlines, stay 5 nights at Disney’s Swan hotel, or take a train across the USA all for excellent redemption values.

Use your personal Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or your Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express to earn extra SPG points on the go while getting some additional benefits to make your trips even better.

Happy redeeming!

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply Now Full review

Frequently Asked Questions

When do Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points expire?
Starpoints will not expire unless your account has been inactive for 12 months.

Which hotels does Starwood Preferred Guest own?
Starwood owns over 1,500 different hotels worldwide. These include Sheraton, Westin, Aloft, St. Regis, and W hotels, among others. View them all here.

What are Starwood Suite Night Awards?
Sweet night awards are a room upgrade to a suite or premium room. Suite night awards can be earned through promotions or are given to Platinum Preferred Guest members who stay 50 nights at SPG hotels in 1 year.

For meeting that hotel stay minimum, Platinum Preferred Guest members will receive 10 Suite Night Awards.

How many SPG points do you need for a free night?
For a category 1 hotel on a weekend, you need as few as 2,000 Starpoints to redeem a free night. You'll need 3,000 Starpoints for the same hotel on a weeknight.

For a category 7 hotel, you need as many as 35,000 Starpoints to redeem a free night.

The amount for each category are listed in the above article under # 9 (SPG Hotels Worldwide).

Are Starwood points transferrable?
Yes. They transfer to several partner airlines, hotels, charity partners, and more. Some of these are listed in the above article.

What credit card can I use to earn SPG Starpoints?
You can use both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Membership Rewards points can also be transferred, so if you use an American Express credit card like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American ExpressThe Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, or the The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN you'll have plenty of points to transfer!

How many SPG points do you need for a free flight?
You will need about 10,000 Starpoints for a flight with a ticket value of up to $150. Tickets around $1000 require about 80,000 Starpoints.