American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX currently have limited time offers to earn 35,000 signup points each with no fee for the first year. You can also use your Starpoints to stay free at the the highly rated Sheraton Tel Aviv and later this year at the W Tel Aviv – Jaffa which is scheduled to open on October 1st. With a Starwood business card you’ll even get free lounge access and meals at the Sheraton Tel Aviv!
Related post: The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart (2015)
The Starwood card is an excellent card for general spending. You can use just a couple thousand points for free hotel nights or transfer points into the mileage programs of 36 different airlines with a 25% transfer bonus. If you are transferring points you may also want to consider Starwood’s Nights & Flights option where you can save 8,000 points on a mileage transfer plus a 5 night stay in a category 3 or 4 hotel.
To make a mileage transfer just login to your Starwood account at SPG.com. If you have never made an account at SPG.com you may need to set one up. Locate your SPG number on the Starwood AMEX statement where it lists how many points you earned in the past month and for the year. Then you can setup an SPG.com account. Click here to transfer Starpoints into airline miles. Note that transfers can take a few days to complete.
A new feature that is awesome but makes the options are lot more complicated is the ability to transfer Starpoints into Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio.
-With 90K Starpoints you can get 270K Marriott points.
-With 270K Marriott points you can get 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel plus 132K United miles! Or you can get 7 nights plus 120K miles with Air Canada, Alaska, American, British Airways, or Delta.
That’s a better deal than transferring 100K Starpoints into 125K airline miles. However for the purpose of this post I’ll ignore the Marriott transfer options as they only work in specific transfer amounts and it will make this post even more complicated. However, I have added United as an option below using via Marriott as Starpoints don’t transfer at a 20K:25K ratio with United, but the transfer ratio to United is worthwhile via Marriott at 18,667 Starpoints to 25,000 United miles. You can do far better than that with a miles+nights redemption and you should read this post to learn more.
The rates in this post are for flights from NYC to Tel Aviv unless otherwise noted.
Read more about using Starpoints to fly to Israel after the jump: (more…)