Win 25,000 SPG points from the Starwood American Express!

Win 25,000 SPG points from the Starwood American Express!
Review: Sheraton Tribeca New York
Attending the SPG AmEx Screening of “Mansome” at the Tribeca Film Festival

As I wrote about in April, I was thrilled to be approached by the Starwood American Express to join their SPG Amex Stars program, whereby I’ll get to experience a lot of the great benefits of the Starwood American Express credit card throughout the year. Best of all, for each experience I have you guys will get to have an equally awesome experience as well. Over this year I’ll be giving away 210,000 SPG points plus a $250 gift card courtesy of the Starwood American Express.

This partnership has already taken me to the Tribeca Film Festival, and will also take me to New York Fashion Week, the US Open, the new St. Regis Bal Habour, and more!

In this series of posts I’ll be sharing with you the amazing experience I had in New York at both the Sheraton Tribeca as well as American Express’ Starwood card member screening of “Mansome,” which was hilarious. Best of all, there were plenty of people from both Starwood and American Express, so it was great to be able to provide them feedback and also hear their thoughts during the cocktail reception. It’s clear they’re looking at maintaining the card’s industry-leading position.

Cocktail reception before screening

But before I get too deep into the trip report, it’s time to give away some points. Like I said, with each of my experiences there will be a corresponding giveaway, and for the Tribeca Film Festival the giveaway is 25,000 SPG points, enough for two nights at the Sheraton Tribeca. Of course you’re more than welcome to use the points in New York, though the beauty of SPG points is how much flexibility they have.

Here are just a few examples of what you could do with 25,000 SPG points:

  • Spend two nights at the Sheraton Tribeca.
  • Spend eight nights at Le Meridien Bangkok using Starwood’s awesome Cash & Points option. Instead of redeeming 7,000 SPG points per night you can redeem 2,800 points plus $45 per night, which is a spectacular value.
  • Convert them to 30,000 airline miles with American, Delta, US Airways, or any of a number of other airlines. For every 20,000 points you transfer to an airline program, you get a 5,000 point bonus, which for me is one of the key selling points of the card.
  • Spend ten nights at Le Meridien Chiang Rai. The hotel can be as cheap as 3,000 SPG points per night, and when redeeming SPG points for free nights the fifth night is free. So at 3,000 points per night with the fifth night free, 10 nights at Le Meridien Chiang Rai takes only 24,000 SPG points.

Sheraton Tribeca lobby

While I’ll be running the giveaways through a variety of methods, the first giveaway will be through Twitter.

How to enter:

1. Follow @OneMileataTime on Twitter.

2. Tweet which Starwood hotel you’d like to stay at in New York (here’s a list), and be sure you include both @OneMileataTime and the hashtag #SPGAMEX in the Tweet

3. You can Tweet me once per calendar day (let’s define that as 12:00AM ET till 11:59PM ET), and the contest will run through 11:59PM ET on Sunday, May 27.

For example, an eligible Tweet would be:

@OneMileataTime I’d stay at the Sheraton Tribeca #SPGAMEX

Basic terms:

While I won’t post the full four pages of terms and conditions, the basics are that you have to be at least 18 years old and have an SPG account to be eligible to win. If anyone needs any clarification, feel free to ask below in the comments section or email me.

Picking a winner:

A winner will be picked at random within a week of the end of the giveaway. Each eligible Tweet counts as one entry, so the more days you enter, the better your chance of winning. If my math is right you can enter up to 14 times.

Good luck, happy Tweeting, and let me know if you have any questions! Tomorrow we’ll pick up at the Sheraton Tribeca. šŸ™‚


  1. When is Amex going to get rid of the ridiculous F/X fee on the Starwood branded card? I actually use their competitor (Chase) at overseas Starwood properties for exactly this reason, thus depriving Amex of the merchant fees that they would otherwise receive.

  2. @ Carl — Funny you should mention it, since I specifically brought this up at the event (I explained I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred for international hotel stays). They certainly seemed surprised/interested to hear how much of a difference it makes, so hopefully they’ll eventually eliminate them. šŸ™‚

  3. Same here. Using Chase Sapphire Preferred for the no forex fee. UR points transfers to United are instantaneous, to me or family members. SPG points take up to 2 weeks to transfer to AA, even longer if I have to transfer between SPG accounts first (that takes up to 5 days, blech).

  4. What I value most about your blog, Lucky, is your well-informed independence and not being beholden to any credit card issuer or airline. All over the blogger universe I see objects of coverage offering special experiences and giveaways to bloggers who become enchanted with the access and privilege. Their blogs devolve into aggregations of “news” [see pr], contests, and upbeat info about “our favorite [airline/hotel/credit card].” To me, the SPG points and gift cards are of much less value than your independence and credibility. When you are a “partner” of the people you write about, I don’t know how to weigh the independence of your advice anymore.

    I offer this respectfully and not as a challenge or criticism. I would love to hear your thoughts about it in the near future.

  5. Lucky- Fashion Week? I am so jealous! I hope you get to see some great shows. I will be at US Open this year though, so no jealousy there. šŸ˜‰

  6. We can only sign up for the contest via Twitter? I only have a facebook page. šŸ™

  7. @ Rob — No, I think they were more surprised that the bonus points earned at SPG hotels internationally didn’t sufficiently “make up” for the FX fee.

    @ Coutureguy — Thanks! Can’t say I’ll fit in well, but I guess we’ll see… šŸ˜€

    @ Krystle — This giveaway is only via Twitter, but stay tuned because future ones will be through other forms of social media.

  8. @ Adam

    I totally agree. While I like most of what is written about on this blog.. it’s a little sad for me see this as well. Now anytime he writes about a platinum upgrade I will wonder… was he given this due to his partnership?

    Not saying it is anywhere as bad, but it’s kind of like big tobacco paying their for their own studies to show smoking is not bad for you. At least with the Chase Sapphire card there was no relationship between the hotels and airlines being reviewed.

    I guess since he has a regular job other than this blog he is probably in a position where it is not as big of a deal? I guess this discussion could be carried over to that FT thread.. haha Overall I enjoy the blog more without giveaways (still enjoy it even though this is a negative post). It would be one thing to give away free pajamas you got on a flight, another to have a sponsored giveaway IMO.

  9. I truly wish everyone would open their eyes to the “No Foriegn Transaction Fee” lie that Chase & others perpetuate. While they don’t list the fee seperately, like AMEX does, they do build it into the exchange rate.

    Having always been suspicious of the “No Foriegn Transaction Fee” I decided to put my suspicion to the test in November when I was in Singapore. I made 2 purchases at the same store within 5 minutes of each other, one with a Chase Sapphire & the other with the AMEX SPG, and guess what…..there was only a .005 difference with all fees factored in.

    Get the card for other reasons, just don’t be deceived by the “No F/X Fee” lie.

  10. i’m signing up for twitter just to enter this contest.

    hopefully the lack of any ‘klout’ will not preclude one from being selected!

  11. @Lucky- I’m sure you’ll fit in just fine. If you want any tips though, let me know. šŸ™‚

  12. @ Adam — First of all, I really appreciate the feedback. I definitely see where you’re coming from, and trust me, this wasn’t an easy decision for me. The first thing to keep in mind is that I’m not working with either SPG or American Express, but rather only with the SPG American Express. I realize it may seem like a BS distinction, but I think it does make a difference. Heck, I stayed at an SPG hotel last week and didn’t get an upgrade of any sort, so if I were receiving special treatment I sure don’t know it!

    For me it simply came down to being able to give away so many great prizes to readers. If the partnership would have simply been me having these great experiences and not being able to pass them on, I probably wouldn’t have done it. But the fact that a reader will have a similar experience makes it worthwhile, in my opinion.

    So here’s all I ask — wait for my reviews of my experiences and also wait for my reports of “personal” SPG stays. If you notice a difference in how I’m treated or how I review the hotels, please let me know. I think you’ll be surprised.

    @ Danny — The selection process will be random, so it doesn’t make a difference whether you have no followers or a million followers.

  13. Agree with Nancy. Although I never “tested” it like Nancy did, I went through my statement and tried to match the exchange rate with publicly available information for that day…I did notice the foreign exchange rate on my statement for those cards with no f/x fee was higher than the publicly available rate. Anyone has different experience?

  14. Lucky, Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I don’t expect any decline in your candor. I think you’re too straight a shooter for that.

    I think, though, that these large travel and banking companies aren’t always as ham-fisted as they seem. They understand that you are a great conduit to a lot of customers that matter. And I don’t think I’m being unreasonably cynical to think that they hope that their relationship with you results in more favorable coverage and perhaps some punches pulled. That’s human nature and you can see it on a lot of blogs.

    It’s more challenging to spit in the eye of someone you know. So you’ll just have to be one tough SOB. šŸ™‚

  15. Ugh. So, lucky, is Chase and Amex getting into a bidding war for you and reviews?

    And don’t say that you’re not influenced by the money. Because study after study shows people are influenced by stuff like this, even when they think they’re not.

    Your blog is evolving into one big credit card commerical. Or rather several little ones.

  16. @Ann, I think it’s a little harsh to say that this blog is evolving into a credit card commercial. All of the trip reports, heads up regarding deals, airline product reviews, etc. vastly outweigh any credit card promos. Most of us don’t have time to comb through 20 different websites each day to keep up with all of this, so the blog sites do us all a favor by consolidating the info into one place. Personally, as a ‘thank you’ for saving me the time, I happily use the blogger links to get my credit cards. At least I can read about all the deals in one place and then just click away. šŸ™‚

  17. I just used a Chase Visa with no forex fee in Hong Kong (where the currency is pegged to the US Dollar between 7.75-7.85). The rate that day was 7.763 HKD for $1 US. Chase gave me 7.774 HKD, which is better than the public rate that day.

    My Chase cards have tended to give me pretty good exchange rates. Usually it’s a few cents more per $100, but that’s not too bad.

  18. @ DJ — I didn’t see a residency restriction, though let me double check. I’ll let you know shortly.

  19. Was at the kickoff event for Sheraton Social Hour tonight. SPG is really pushing their social events lately.

  20. @ DJ — Just wanted to let you know that the above statement was correct — there are no residency restrictions.

  21. I don’t understand the hashtag thingy.
    I think I posted a tweet.
    What are the hashtag’s for?

  22. @ Mark — Hashtags on Twitter basically let you search Tweets based on a common theme. Therefore in order to be eligible you have to include “#SPGAMEX” in the Tweet, because when I pick a winner I’ll do so based on querying Twitter for Tweets that include “@OneMileataTime” and “#SPGAMEX” — does that make any sense? Let me know if you need further clarification.

    @ Mizliz — Nope, you can Tweet the same hotel over and over if you’d like. šŸ™‚

  23. Thx Lucky.
    I think I got “it.”
    Hashtag are used for searching.

    Mind checking once to see if I’m “in”
    I’m 99.9% sure I got it right

  24. i’m another danny that basically signed up for twitter to get in on this chance… also caused me to check the spg rate of the parker meridien near central park and sadly saw they moved up a category from last year – was such a steal at 12K per night.

  25. By making a Twitter account a requirement for entering, you are leaving a lot of us out! šŸ™ Facebook would be one thing, but how many people even use Twitter? I hope you will consider changing this for future give-aways!

  26. @ Carol — From the beginning the plan was to have giveaways through multiple media “forms,” so stay tuned for the next one, which will be a blog giveaway. Thanks for the feedback!

  27. I follow you on twitter @anashct3
    Thanks for this lovely giveaway!

    Email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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