Thursday, July 5th, 2007, 12:43 am
Note: Even if you didn’t follow these steps and you signed for the starwood credit card before getting a starwood number, you will still have a starwood number, and possibly multiple numbers if you have more than 1 credit card.
Just call up AMEX to find out what it is, and then register it on www.spg.com
If you have multiple numbers then call Starwood to merge the accounts.
Many people have emailed me and commented that although I am always posting great uses for Starpoints, I do not make the process entirely clear.
Another point of confusion among some people seems to be where the points are stored.
For starters, here’s a point of comparison:
Having points with Starwood is just like having miles on American Airlines(AA)!
-With both AA and Starwood you have a mileage account, in which you collect “miles” (AAdvantage miles with AA or Starpoints with Starwood).
-They both have affiliated credit cards, AA has one issued by Citi and Starwood has one issued by Amex.
-Every month Citi automatically transfers your miles over to your AA account, and every month Amex automatically transfers your points into your Starwood account.
-Both the AA and Starwood credit cards have signup bonuses and both cards can be churned (meaning that the signup bonus can be earned multiple times.)
-Both the AA and Starwood credit cards come in consumer and business versions.
The business versions generally have more benefits. (AA’s business card earns double miles for AA tickets, and the Starwood business card saves you up to 5% on stuff like Delta or Jetblue tickets and Fedex with Amex Open Savings)
Having said that, here is a step by step process of turning starpoints into free tickets.
Step 1: Go to www.spg.com (SPG stands for Starwood Preferred Guest.)
Step 2: In the middle column it says, “JOIN STARWOOD PREFERRED GUEST”
Enter in your Email address and click join!
Step 3: Fill out your personal information, make a spg.com user ID and password, and get a SPG Starpoints number.
Step 4: SAVE YOUR STARPOINTS NUMBER AND YOUR USER ID/PASSWORD IN A SAFE PLACE!
Step 5:Open up a consumer and business starwood amex card to receive 20,000 starpoints for signing up.(Links for the best offers can be found at the top of this site. The consumer version currently has a sweet bonus offer worth up to 25,000 starpoints!)
Be sure to enter in your Starwood number that you just received into the application forms!
Step 6: You will see the points from the starwood credit cards show up into your starwood account within a week of when the statement closes.
Step 7: Decide what you want to do with your starpoints! Read about the options in the knowledgebase!
Let’s say that you want to transfer the 40,000 starpoints you have (because you have churned each of the starwood cards) into 100,000 kilometers on LAN in order to get a ticket from Chicago-Tel Aviv (cost=95,000 kilometers).
Step 8: Go to the knowledgebase and find the link to get 5,000 free kilometers for signing up for a LAN account.
Step 9: Sign up for the LAN account and keep you user ID, password, and LAN number in a safe place.
Step 10: Click on the following link to take you to the transfer points page: Starpoint Transfer Linky
Step 11: Go to Airline transfer, and click on “transfer now.”
Step 12: Login to your starpoints account when prompted.
Step 13: Choose to transfer to LAN Lanpass, at a ratio of 1 starpoints=2 lanpass kilometers. You also get a bonus 10,000 kilometers for every 20,000 starpoints that you transfer, so (contrary to what the starwood site itself may indicate) 40,000 starpoints will net you 100,000 kilometers.
Step 14: When the kilometers show up in your Lanpass account call up LAN to book your mileage ticket to Israel. They should ticket you on British Airways via London.
Some tidbits that you may not know:
-You can transfer starpoints between any starpoint account in your household simply by giving starwood a call!
-You automatically become elite (preferred plus level) when you have the starwood AMEX card! With preferred plus elite status you get a free room upgrade upon check-in and a guaranteed 4pm late checkout at any Starwood brand hotel!
-You can sign up anyone in your family for a Starwood AMEX card and give AMEX your starwood number. All of the points earned will conveniently automatically go into your account!