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I figured I’d share 10 great things you can do with Starpoints, ranging from just a few thousand points to 75,000 Starpoints. Also, I’m not focusing on just one type of redemption, but all the different ways you can redeem Starpoints.
In increasing order of the number of points required, here they are:
3,000 Starpoints — a night at the Le Meridien Chiang Rai
While revenue rates are typically reasonable as well, one property I’ve always wanted to visit is the Le Meridien Chiang Rai. Heck, I’m borderline tempted to move there based on how nice it looks. And at just 3,000 Starpoints per night it’s a bargain as well.
10,000 Starpoints (plus $180 per night) — Westin Europa & Regina Venice
Venice is one of the tougher cities out there for redeeming hotel points, given the limited chain option. One good value is the Westin Venice, which is a category six Starwood property. It even has fairly good cash & points availability, making it just 10,000 Starpoints plus $180 per night. Given the revenue rates of upwards of $600USD per night, I’d say that’s a darn good value.
40,000 Starpoints — Aer Lingus roundtrip business class between Boston and Dublin
The great thing about Starwood is how many airline transfer partners they have. You can transfer Starpoints to any of over two dozen mileage currencies at a 1:1 ratio, and for every 20,000 points you transfer you get a 5,000 point bonus.
One of those transfer partners is British Airways, and one of the very best uses of their points is for travel on Aer Lingus between Boston and Dublin. They have a distance based award chart, and Boston to Dublin is just under 3,000 miles in each direction, making it 12,500 miles one-way in coach or 25,000 miles one-way in business class.
That means for a total of 40,000 Starpoints (or 50,000 British Airways Avios) you can fly roundtrip business class between Boston and Dublin. You can find more details on how to make such a redemption here.
40,000 Starpoints — five nights at the Walt Disney World Swan
If you have kids and are looking to make them happy, it’s tough to beat the experience or cost of redeeming Starpoints at the Walt Disney World Swan. The Swan is a category four property, making it 10,000 points per night. That being said, when redeeming points for a Starwood stay, the fifth night is free, making it an average of 8,000 points per night, which is an absolute bargain. During high season rates can be upwards of $350 per night.
48,000 Starpoints — five nights at the Westin Whistler Resort & Spa during ski season
If you’re into skiing, the Westin Whistler is a great resort, and only a category five property, making it 12,000 points per night. Since the fifth night is free, on a five night redemption you’re paying only 9,600 Starpoints per night. During high season the property goes for over $600 per night, so that’s another amazing use of points.
60,000 Starpoints — Cathay Pacific one-way first class between the US and South Africa via Hong Kong
Alaska charges just 70,000 miles for a one-way award ticket on Cathay Pacific between the US and South Africa, and they even let you stopover in Hong Kong if you’d like. That’s one of the very best award redemptions out there, given that this gets you two 12+ hour Cathay Pacific flights in first class.
60,000 Starpoints — Qantas one-way first class between the US and Australia
One of my other favorite Starwood airline transfer partners is American, given their lucrative award chart for travel to Australia. They charge just 72,500 miles for first class between the US and Australia, and if you’re lucky enough to snag Qantas A380 first class, that’s a heck of a bargain. Just be sure to book either close to departure or when the schedule opens if you’re hoping to make this redemption.
70,000 Starpoints — Nights & Flights redemption at a category four Starwood property
One of the best kept secrets of the Starwood program is the “Nights & Flights” program, whereby you can redeem Starpoints for a package consisting of a five night stay at a category three or four Starwood property plus 50,000 airline miles. The rates are as follows:
Ordinarily 50,000 airline miles would cost you 40,000 Starpoints (since you get a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred), so that basically means you’re paying just 30,000 Starpoints for five nights at a category four property, or 6,000 points per night. That’s an amazing deal, and could be redeemed at the Walt Disney World Swan, for example.
70,000 Starpoints — Emirates roundtrip business class between New York and Dubai
Another one of Starwood’s airline transfer partners is Japan Airlines, and they have a fairly lucrative distance based award chart for travel on Emirates.
For a roundtrip of less than 14,000 miles they charge just 85,000 miles in business class, and as luck would have it, a roundtrip between New York and Dubai is just under 14,000 miles. Score!
75,000 Starpoints — A round the world Star Alliance business class ticket
US Airways is another Starwood airline transfer partner, and they charge just 90,000 miles for travel between the US and North Asia in business class. Best of all they let you route via Europe, and you can even have a stopover there if you’d like. In this post I explain the best way to go about booking a 90,000 mile business class award between the US and North Asia, as I find it a great way to visit multiple cities and also try multiple airlines.
Anyway, those are some of the coolest ways to redeem Starpoints, in my opinion. If anyone has any other “gems,” please share them below!