SPG

Less Than 2 Weeks Left To Earn 70K+ Starpoints

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For a bit over a month now, we’ve seen great increased sign-up bonuses on Starwood’s co-branded American Express cards. Both the personal and business versions of the card are offering sign-up bonuses of up to 35,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend, as follows:

— For the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 10,000 Starpoints after spending another $2,000 within six months; $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
— For the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 within three months, plus an additional 10,000 Starpoints after spending another $3,000 within six months; $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

While 35,000 points might not sound like a lot, keep in mind that Starpoints are among the most valuable points currency out there, so 35,000 Starpoints are worth more than that many points in just about any other points currency.

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3 Opportunities To Buy Points With Big Bonuses

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While I’ve written about these deals individually, I think it’s worth posting a reminder that three loyalty programs are offering a pretty compelling bonus on purchased points at the moment. In no particular order:

At the moment Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles. The bonus is tiered, and the bonus you receive is based on how many miles you buy, as follows:

— Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles = 20% bonus
— Buy 20,000 – 39,000 miles = 30% bonus
— Buy 40,000 – 60,000 miles = 40% bonus

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Review: Prince De Galles Hotel Paris

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I’m keeping this trip report series relatively brief. After being in the Maldives we flew Etihad to Abu Dhabi and then Doha, and then Qatar Airways first class to Paris. We had three nights in Paris, and stayed at Prince De Galles, which is a Starwood Luxury Collection property. This is generally regarded as the best Starwood property in Paris, and it’s also a Category 7 hotel, meaning that a free night redemption costs 30,000-35,000 Starpoints per night.

Paid rates at the hotel were ~600EUR per night, though through Starwood Luxury Privileges there was a third night free promotion. So with a rate like that, paying 400EUR per night seemed like a better value than redeeming points.

The hotel is located immediately next to the iconic Four Seasons George V. I’m far from a Paris expert, though I know some people love staying in that area, while others don’t. Personally I found the immediate area to be pretty boring, though from the hotel you have easy access to the metro, etc.

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Review: St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

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In the last installment I talked about the overwater suite I had at the St. Regis Maldives, while in this installment I’ll be talking about the rest of the resort. I’m going to keep it relatively brief, given how much there is to potentially cover.

Does this place look like it’s straight off a postcard, or what?

All the overwater villas were on one jetty, and at the end of that was the hotel’s main restaurant and pool.

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Review: St. Regis Maldives Overwater Villa

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At many resorts in the Maldives, only a small percentage of rooms are overwater villas, and often require a big upcharge. In the case of the St. Regis Maldives, the resort has a total of 77 rooms, and about two thirds of them are overwater.

All overwater villas are located on the same jetty.

We were assigned room 518, which was a sunset overwater villa, located towards the end of the jetty.

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An Easy Way To Thank Starwood Employees Who Go Above And Beyond

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There are many ways to recognize hotel employees who go above and beyond — you can email their manager, mention them by name in an online review or post-stay survey, or just thank them in person (which is often the most rewarding).

However, there’s another way for SPG elite members to thank Starwood employees, and I’d guess it’s a way most of us aren’t familiar with. Starwood elite members can log-in on this website, and should see the option to print elite thank you certificates that can be given to Starwood employees.

After following the link you’ll be prompted to log-in to your SPG account, which will reveal these certificates. As a Platinum member I was given eight certificates, each valid through December 31, 2017.

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Review: St. Regis Lounge Male Airport

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As I mentioned in the first post of this series, I’m keeping this trip report pretty brief, and just focusing on the new aspects of the trip. So after checking out of the InterContinental Hong Kong we flew to London in Cathay Pacific first class, then to Abu Dhabi in Etihad first class, and then connected to Male in Etihad business class (which I didn’t write about this time, but it’s a route I’ve reviewed before).

That’s because we were staying at the new St. Regis Maldives Vommuli, which opened last year. This hotel is expensive, and justifiably so — it’s stunning. When the hotel first opened they allowed redemptions for 26,000 Starpoints for overwater villas for a very brief period, which is a great deal. I made a few reservations using this deal, but canceled all but one.

They updated the pricing pretty quickly, and I believe the property now costs 90,000 Starpoints per night. However, historically Starwood has run promotions for 35% off resort redemptions once per year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see that at this property in the future.

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Last Chance: Book Marriott & Starwood Award Nights Before Prices Change

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In early February, Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest announced their 2017 hotel category changes.

It’s normal for the major hotel chains to adjust which hotels belong in which categories each year. Typically only a small percentage of properties overall are changing categories. Furthermore, they’re not adjusting the number of points required for a redemption in a specific category of hotel, but rather they’re adjusting which hotels belong in which categories.

Well, the category changes are kicking in for bookings as of tomorrow (March 7, 2017). So if you want to lock in any stays at the old costs, you’ll want to do so today. As a reminder, here are the lists of hotels changing categories:

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How To Maximize Airline Miles With The SPG Amex Sign-Up Bonus

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At the moment we’re seeing the biggest ever sign-up bonuses on the SPG Amex. These cards are offering sign-up bonuses of up to 35,000 Starpoints each upon completing minimum spend.

Personally I value the flexibility of Starpoints, and it’s one of the few currencies I tend to hoard, since I think it’s pretty safe from devaluation. Starpoints can be redeemed efficiently for hotel stays, and can also be converted into airline miles efficiently.

Even the transfer ratio from Starwood Preferred Guest to Marriott Rewards is lucrative, as you can convert points at a 1:3 ratio. With that kind of a transfer ratio, arguably Marriott’s Hotel + Air packages are more lucrative than converting Starpoints directly into airline miles.

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Everything You Need To Know About Sheraton Lounge Access With The SPG Business Amex

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At the moment we’re seeing very nice increased sign-up bonuses on both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. They’re offering sign-up bonuses of up to 35,000 Starpoints, which are the highest sign-up bonuses we’ve ever seen on these cards.

In my opinion both of these cards are worth acquiring for the sign-up bonuses and the return they offer on everyday spend. They also offer other ongoing perks, like free Boingo wifi, complimentary premium internet at Starwood properties, and two elite stay credits and five elite night credits towards status annually, which helps me requalify for Platinum status.

But there’s one benefit that really sets apart the business version of the card for anyone looking at applying. I know a lot of people are already familiar with this benefit, but even so, it’s a benefit I constantly get questions about.

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Sale: Buy Starpoints For Up To 30% Off

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Through April 30, 2017, Starwood is offering up to a 30% bonus on the purchase of Starpoints.

The bonus is tiered based on how many points you buy in a single transaction, as follows:

— Buy 5,000 – 9,500 Starpoints and save 10%
— Buy 10,000 – 14,500 Starpoints and save 15%
— Buy 15,000 – 19,500 Starpoints and save 20%
— Buy 20,000 – 30,000 Starpoints and save 30%

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Marriott’s New SVP Of Loyalty Is From Starwood (And Shares His Roadmap)

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As much as I’m not thrilled about Marriott’s takeover of Starwood (or perhaps more accurately, I don’t like competition being eliminated), there’s no denying that the leadership at the company has been doing a fantastic job with the integration.

Since the day the merger has closed, Marriott has allowed members to match status between programs, and transfer points at a fair ratio. Marriott has also announced some improvements to their program that nicely match what Starwood offers.

Marriott is planning on eventually integrating all three loyalty programs (Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest) into a unified loyalty program, though that’s happening in 2018 at the earliest.

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Why Marriott Loyalists Should Apply For The SPG Amex

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Through April 5, 2017, there’s an increased sign-up bonus on both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Both cards are offering a sign-up bonus of up to 35,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend, with the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

Over the years we’ve seen quite a few increased sign-up bonuses on the SPG Amex, though the bonus doesn’t get bigger than what’s being offered through this promotion. Furthermore, this year is a bit different than in the past, given that Marriott and Starwood have merged. Combined, the programs are estimated to have roughly 90 million members.

So there are a few reasons I think this offer may interest more people than ever before — especially Marriott Rewards loyalists:

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7 Reasons To Get An SPG Amex Business Card

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Through April 5, 2017, there’s an increased sign-up bonus on both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Both cards are offering a sign-up bonus of up to 35,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend, with the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

I know a lot of people have just the personal version and not the business version of this card, so in this post I wanted to look at some reasons to also consider the SPG Business Amex.

In no particular order:

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