An Attempt At Clarifying People’s Confusion Regarding Starpoints…

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!

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9 Responses to “An Attempt At Clarifying People’s Confusion Regarding Starpoints…”

  1. Anonymous Says:
    1

    I just booked a room with my starpoints. . They did not say that since i’m using points I dont get late check out. What they did say is 4pm checkout is not guaranteed. It depends on how booked the hotel is on the day you check out.
    Also, preferred plus does not give you an automatic upgrade; Platinum does.

    ReplyReply
  2. Anonymous Says:
    2

    -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!

    — This is not true… I tried a couple of times and they wouldnt give me elite… and i have noth cards!

    ReplyReply
  3. ilovectown Says:
    3

    Hey Dan and all faithful Ctown fanatics…..

    Being a loyal Starwood member for quite some time now, I’ve noticed that it gets harder and harder to get a decent upgrade even with GOLD membership status. Does anyone have secrets to becoming a plat member w/o having to actually accrue 25 stays (quite an impossible task). I appreciate any responses….

    ReplyReply
  4. LubavitchLover Says:
    4

    To ilovectown,
    Hmmmm, your plight is a tough one indeed. Been trying for a while myself to become a coveted PLATINUM member.
    Supposedly there is a targeted promotion that allows each stay to count as 2, which will allow to you to become a plat member after just (a mere) 13 stays!! Now, how you get a targeted promo is another story.
    I once called up Customer Service and tried to find an agent that was naive enough to add it my account–but my plan backfired….the agent instead put some kind of notation on my account which basically said that I was harrassing them (this came back later to haunt me when I tried to add another promo)….NOT GIVING UP YET!!!

    ReplyReply
  5. Dan Says:
    5

    It says on the back of the preferred plus starwood membership card that you get an upgrade to a preferred room at check-in and a guaranteed 4pm late checkout.

    ReplyReply
  6. Anonymous Says:
    6

    Dan,

    You finally got me to sign up for the starwood card. However, how do I get 15,000 points within 6 months? is there anyway to get more points than I actually spend since I spend less than 15,000 in six months…
    please post a reply.

    ReplyReply
  7. Anonymous Says:
    7

    Dan,

    Can I earn points on a balance transfer from my citi AAdvantage MC? this would have a lot of points for the last month I will be using the citi card.

    Also, do you know how often I can reapply for the Starwood amex?

    ReplyReply
  8. kcb Says:
    8

    To “LubavitchLover” and “ilovectown”
    I don’t know if this would work in the usa but in israel, the way I got upgraded to suits was: at check in I pulled out an amex platnium card (simply an amex card that says “platnuim” on it) and asked the agent if there was any available suits, “since i am a platnuim memmber, i ussaly get upgraded” i don’t think they really have a way of checking, the only time this didn’t work was by a packed hotel where they takeh didn’t have any suits left, but they gave me the nicests room availabe (bussines floor etc.). It all has to do with they way you sell it, be confident, play the guy/girl… make like you really should be getting upgraded…

    ReplyReply
  9. Anonymous Says:
    9

    how do get the 25k at signup

    ReplyReply

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