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SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards

Monday, April 3rd, 2017, 2:00 pm

Update: Offer expired!


Originally posted on 2/19:

Related posts:
-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!
-Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart
Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Consumer 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Business 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

By signing up for both cards and meeting the spend thresholds you can earn at least 83K Starpoints that can be used for hotel stays, experiences, or transferred into over 100,000 airline miles.

 

View all of the redemption possibilities after the jump:

 

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SPG-Uber Partnership Earnings Devalued; Which Card To Use For Uber.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, 10:57 am

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-If you’re new to Uber you can signup via this referral link.
-$25 Off An UberBlack Ride In NYC!


In 2015 Uber started awarding Starpoints for Uber rides.

After staying in a Starwood hotel you could enroll here and earn 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Uber all year long and up to 4 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you stay at a Starwood hotel.

The best part is that the program even pays out on free rides. A $65 ride from the airport still earned Starpoints despite the ride being free.

Effective 2/1/17 that will go down to 1 Starpoint per $2 spent on Uber all year long and 2 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you stay at a Starwood hotel. For February only though they will offer 5 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you stay at a Starwood hotel.

Of course these points are on top of points earned from credit card spending.

Which card should you use?

-The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card offers 1.5% cash back everywhere and offers $15 in Uber credit for every 9 rides that you take through 3/31/17

-Cards offering 2 points per dollar spent on Uber include Chase Sapphire PreferredPremier Rewards Gold Card from American ExpressPlatinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, and the The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

-The Amex EveryDay Credit Card earns 2.2 points per dollar spent on Uber if you make 20 transactions/month.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN normally offers 2.3 points per dollar spent on Uber, but if you signup with the current limited time signup offer you will earn 3.3 points per dollar spent.

-The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card earns 2.5 points per dollar spent on Uber if you make 30 transactions/month.

-The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points per dollar spent and Uber qualifies for automatic travel refunds.

-The Chase Freedom card offers 5 points per dollar this quarter.

HT: eliteflyer, via DDF

United 25% Transfer Bonus: Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 31,250 United Miles, 75K SPG Into 152K Miles, Or 90K SPG Into 152K Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016, 10:54 am

Update: Today is the last day for the 25% United transfer bonus!

You can buy Starpoints on sale here.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.


Originally posted on 10/14:

You can register here for 25% bonus when you transfer hotel points to United miles.

United just massively devalued their miles by eliminating stopovers and eliminating the ability to select your own award routing. Either you like what United.com shows you or you’ll need to pay more. But that’s not to say there isn’t still value left in the program.

-The promotion runs through 11/30. It is run by United, so you won’t see any mention of it on the hotel’s points site or during the transfer process.

-United will add 25% bonus miles for all transfers from hotel programs made between 10/12-11/30. (Transfers from Club Carlson will be multiplied by 40%, and transfers from Choice Privileges will be multiplied by 50%, all other chains will be multiplied by 25%.)

-You can earn up to 20K bonus miles with this promotion per United account.

-United will add the bonus miles by 1/31/17.

You won’t want to transfer Starpoints directly to United. While 20K Starwood points can transfer into 25K airline miles with dozens of airlines it only transfers into 12.5K United miles.

However you can transfer 56K Marriott Rewards points into 25K United miles. United will add 25% more miles, leaving you with 31,250 miles.

You can transfer 19K Starwood points into 57K Marriott Rewards points, which will give you 25K United miles and you’ll have 1,000 Marriott Rewards leftover. You can convert those leftover points back into 333 Starpoints. Effectively you can transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 31,250 United miles, an effective 56.3% bonus compared Starwood’s normal 25% bonus!

The maximum you can earn is 20K bonus United miles. You can transfer 56K Starpoints into 168K Marriott points which will earn 75K United miles before the bonus and 93,750 miles after the 25% bonus.

-Don’t forget that if you have Starwood Platinum Status you can match it to Marriott Platinum which will also get you United Silver status!

-An even better deal is with Marriott’s miles+nights packages. 90K Starpoints transfers into 270K Marriott Rewards points. That can be used for 152K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel with the 20K bonus miles from this United promotion. Even if you don’t use the 7 night hotel certificate being able to transfer 90K Starpoints into 152K United miles is an effective 68.9% transfer bonus!

-Alternatively about 83,333 Starpoints becomes 250K Marriott points which is enough for 130,000 United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel with the 20K bonus miles from this United promotion. Even if you don’t use the 7 night hotel certificate being able to transfer 83,333 Starpoints into 130K United miles is an effective 56% transfer bonus!

-The 7 night hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them. You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.

-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that. If you find an agent to do that you can effectively use 75K Starpoints for 152K United miles, an effective 102.7% transfer bonus.

mr1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 152K United miles.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 152K United miles.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.

Will you be transferring Starpoints to United with this promotion?

HT: yelped, via DDF

Save 35% On Select Starwood Resort Award Redemptions! Plus SPG Lowers Bora Bora Point Requirements By 33%!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016, 1:09 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Earn Starpoints on the Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX.
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Starwood is running a promotion that is discounting select ultra-premium resorts by 35%.

This recurring promotion is back and is now valid for stays through 2/28/17.

These resorts fall above the top end of normal SPG hotels and are normally prohibitively expensive. They’re still very pricey, but it’s somewhat more reasonable with this recurring promo.

Additionally the regular points rate for the base room at the Le Meridien Bora Bora has been lowered from 60K to 40K points per night and the regular points rate at the S. Regis Bora Bora has been lowered from 90K to 60K points per night. I haven’t made it to Bora Bora yet, but everyone who has comes back raving about its beauty.

Eligible SPG resorts:
Le Meridien Bora Bora. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
The S. Regis Bora Bora Resort Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
W Retreat and Spa Maldives. Normally 90K/night. Now 58,500/night or 46,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
W Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
Al Maha, Dubai, UAE. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
Mystique, Santorini, Greece. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.

You’ll need to call SPG to book these at the promo rate.

-The Vana Belle is a 30 minute walk from Chabad of Koh Samui. A kosher restaurant is located in the Chabad House.

-The base Garden Pool Villa at the S. Regis Bora Bora is a massive 2,700 sq ft with an ocean view and includes a private pool and outdoor shower. It used to be 90K points before it dropped to 60K points. With this promotion it will be 39K points or just 31,200 points with a 5 night stay.

-You can read more about the overwater bungalow at the absolutely incredible W Retreat Maldives in my trip report here.

Bear in mind that the discounted rates are for the base room only, you’ll have to call/email the hotel directly if you want to arrange a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow in places like Bora Bora or the Maldives.

When I last checked the prices for a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow with a private plunge pool the W Maldives wanted $180/night.

The Le Meridien Bora Bora wanted $220/night when I last checked the price of a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow. However they also said via email that as a Platinum member if there were any overwater bungalows for sale on the day of checkin they would refund the entire confirmed upgrade fee!

HT: Lucky

The S. Regis Maldives May Be The Best SPG Redemption Of All Time!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016, 12:19 pm

Update, 8/9: The price for the overwater villa is now 90K points per night and the price for the beach villa is now 120K points per night.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-You can earn Starpoints on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.
-Earn 2,500 Bonus Starpoints For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Starwood Consumer Card
Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2016 Edition
Starwood’s 35th Transfer Partner Increases The Value Of Your Starpoints; Fly Roundtrip JFK-Los Angeles For Less Than 10K Or JFK-Europe For Less Than 20K SPG!


The S. Regis Maldives is a Starwood category 7 that opens on November 1st. Their photo gallery can be found here:

IMG_3613b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overwater villas cost more than $2,000 each at the property and all rooms have plunge pools. They’re not walled in like the completely private pool we had at the Le Meridien Khao Lak in 2010 as people can swim or snorkel by your villa in the Maldives, but I did enjoy the plunge pool at the W Maldives. I just wish it was kid-free and had glass bottom floors like the W 🙂

Note that it typically takes more than 24 hours to fly from the USA until you reach a resort in Maldives as you need to connect somewhere to reach Male (MLE) and then you’ll need to wait for a seaplane to bring you from the Male airport to your resort. That seaplane will also set you back some $700 with tax per person on top of your tickets to Male. You’re also limited to just 50 pounds per person including carry-on and checkin items and will pay a whopping $5/pound for excess baggage. It’s an exhausting and expensive trip, but the water is truly stunning there and the isolation and relaxation is impossible to describe.

Airlines serving Male include Aeroflot (3 days/week from SVO), Austrian (2 days/week seasonally from VIE), British Airways (3 days/week seasonably from LGW), Cathay Pacific (4 days/week from HKG), Emirates (daily from DXB), Etihad (daily from AUH), Qatar (daily from DOH), Singapore (daily from SIN), and Turkish (daily from Istanbul).

DDF member beastieb points out that using points at the S. Regis Maldives are quite a bargain.

I chatted with SPG, confirmed their point rate structure, and booked a stay:
Garden villa: 31.5K/night or 25.2K/night on a 5 night stay.
Overwater villa: 32.5K/night or 26K/night on a 5 night stay.
Beach villa: 60K/night or 48K/night on a 5 night stay.
Sunset overwater villa: 75K/night or 60K/night on a 5 night stay.
Overwater St Regis Suite: 90K/night or 72K/night on a 5 night stay.
2BR Family villa: 120K/night or 96K/night on a 5 night stay.

That can easily be a value of over 9 cents per Starpoint depending on your dates!

This hotel must be booked over the phone or via SPG chat.

Rooms at other Starwood category 7 properties are typically many times those rates as SPG allows hotels that only have suites to charge far more points than the standard award chart. According to SPG those hotels include the “St. Regis Resort Bora Bora, and Le Méridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora, French Polynesia; W Maldives, Maldives; Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, Key West, Florida; Mystique, Santorini, Greece; Pine Cliff Residences, Albuferia, Portugal; and Cala Di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Porto Cervo, Italy.”

I’d imagine that the S. Regis Maldives will eventually be added to that list, but perhaps we’ll get lucky and it will stay a bargain.

Of course this could all be a mistake and they might cancel reservations, so don’t book non-refundable airfare quite yet…

Starwood’s 35th Transfer Partner Increases The Value Of Your Starpoints; Fly Roundtrip JFK-Los Angeles For Less Than 10K Or JFK-Europe For Less Than 20K SPG!

Sunday, April 17th, 2016, 1:46 pm

Bear with me as I’m still catching on the news from last week while I was flying with my son on an incredible trip on the upper deck of a 747.
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Last week Starwood added its 35th airline transfer partner, Virgin America. Ironically both Starwood and Virgin America will cease to exist in a couple years from now having been snapped up by Marriott and Alaska, but there is value still to be had in the meantime.
It’s also great to see SPG still adding partners to its portfolio. Last December it added Aegean, which is excellent for awards to Israel.

Now it’s adding Virgin America as a partner at the standard 20K Starpoints=25K Virgin America points ratio. Click here to transfer Starpoints into airline miles.

You can earn Starpoints on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Virgin America has hybrid award redemption system. You can redeem for flights on Virgin America based on the cost of the flight.

Here’s a look at what your points will be worth for various one-way Virgin flights (Prices were researched on 4/16 and will fluctuate). Note that Starpoint rates listed below are assuming that you maximize the 25% point bonus for transferring Starpoints in blocks of 20,000 points (which you may or may not be able to do depending on the number of passengers, so you may have leftover miles):
1. Los Angeles-Las Vegas on 5/11 is $43.10 or 1,417 Virgin points (about 1,134 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.65 cents per Virgin point (43.10-5.60/1,417) and 3.31 cents per Starpoint.
2. LGA to Dallas on 5/11 is $78.10 or 3,126 Virgin points (about 2,500 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.32 cents per Virgin point and 2.9 cents per Starpoint.
3. JFK to Maui on 5/11 is $244.50 or 10,762 Virgin points (about 8,610 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.22 cents per Virgin point and 2.78 cents per Starpoint.
4. JFK to Los Angeles on 5/11 is $138.10 or 6,056 Virgin points (about 4,844 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.19 cents per Virgin point and 2.74 cents per Starpoint.
5. Los Angeles-Orlando on 5/11 is $93.10 or 3,859 Virgin points (about 3,087 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.27 cents per Virgin point and 2.84 cents per Starpoint.

The exact point requirements will vary based on the price of the Virgin flights, but those are some pretty sweet values!

You can also redeem points on partner airlines.
Those include Hawaiian, Singapore, and Virgin Australia with low or no fuel surcharges and Emirates or Virgin Atlantic with high fuel surcharges.

For example:
-A roundtrip from JFK nonstop to Frankfurt on Singapore is just 20K Virgin miles (about 16K SPG) in coach.
-A roundtrip from JFK nonstop to Honolulu on Hawaiian is 35K Virgin miles (about 28K SPG) in coach or 80K Virgin miles (about 64K SPG) in business.
-A roundtrip from JFK nonstop to London on Virgin Atlantic is 15K Virgin miles+$475 (about 12K SPG) in coach, 25K Virgin miles+$790 (20K SPG) in premium economy, or 35K Virgin miles+$1,150 (about 28K SPG) in upper class, Virgin’s version of business class with an on-board bar with access to their highly-rated clubhouse lounges.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles nonstop to London on Virgin Atlantic is 25K Virgin miles+$475 (20K SPG) in coach, 30K Virgin miles+$790 (about 24K SPG) in premium economy, or 50K Virgin miles+$1,150 (40K SPG) in upper class.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles or San Francisco nonstop to any of the Hawaiian islands on Hawaiian is 20K Virgin miles (about 16K SPG) in coach or 50K Virgin miles (40K SPG) in business.
-A roundtrip from San Francisco to Hong Kong or Seoul on Singapore is just 40K Virgin miles (about 32K SPG) in coach.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles to Tokyo on Singapore is just 40K Virgin miles (about 32K SPG) in coach.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles to Sydney on Virgin Australia is just 40K Virgin miles (about 32K SPG) in coach, 60K Virgin miles (about 48K SPG) in premium economy, or 80K Virgin miles (about 64K SPG) in business class.

Starwood To Offer Free In-Room Internet To All SPG Members; A Roundup Of Current Starwood Elite Status Benefits And How To Earn Status

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014, 10:52 am

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Effective 02/02/15 all SPG members will receive free WiFi in their Starwood hotel rooms.

Non-elite members will get standard level internet access for free, while SPG Gold and Platinum members will get premium level internet access for free.  Delta and Emirates elites will also get premium level internet access for free via Crossover rewards.

Only stays booked via SPG.com will qualify for free internet access.

Currently Fairmont and IHG give all members free in-room internet access and Marriott will as well as of 01/15/15.

So what are the benefits of each Starwood elite status level?

1. Starwood Preferred (base) members get free standard internet. Anyone can signup free on SPG.com

2. Starwood Preferred Plus status is an unpublished elite status level that is given for free to anyone with a Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. It’s also offered to AAA and AARP members.

Preferred Plus members get 4pm confirmed late checkout and room upgrades when available.

3. Starwood Gold status is given for free if you have Platinum Card® from American Express or if you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on the Starwood AMEX or if you spend 25 paid or award nights or have 10 stays in Starwood hotels in a calendar year. You can get lifetime gold status by accumulating 5 years of Starwood elite status and 250 nights in Starwood hotels.  Some people have been able to get free Gold status for a year by calling up and telling a rep that they want to start staying in more Starwood hotels, but YMMV on that one.

Gold members get free premium level internet access, a 250 Starpoint amenity on paid and award stays, 4pm confirmed late checkout, and room upgrades when available. They also get 3 Starpoints per dollar spent on paid stays and 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Delta flights.

4. Starwood Platinum requires 50 paid or award nights or 25 stays in Starwood hotels in a calendar year. Having the Starwood credit card gives you 5 nights and 2 stays towards meeting that and having 2 Starwood credit cards gives you 10 nights and 4 stays towards meeting that. You can get lifetime Platinum status by accumulating 10 years of Starwood Platinum elite status and 500 nights in Starwood hotels.

Platinum members get free premium level internet access, a 500 Starpoint amenity on paid and award stays, 4pm confirmed late checkout, and suite upgrades when available. They also get 3 Starpoints per dollar spent on paid stays, 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Delta flights, and Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades, and first checked bag free when flying Delta.

Platinums who stay 50 nights also get 10 confirmed suite upgrade awards. Platinums who stay 75 nights get 4 Starpoints per dollar spent on paid stays and the ability to stay for a full 24 hours in a hotel room regardless of when they checkin.

HT: chucksterace, via DDF

Update Your SPG.com Stay Preferences And Get 500 Free Starpoints

Sunday, November 30th, 2014, 2:02 pm

Update: Today is the final day to register for this promotion!  Once registered you’ll have until 12/15 to update your stay preferences.

I updated my preferences on 11/10 and the points posted for my birthday on 11/26.

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Originally posted on 11/10:

Register for Starwood’s latest promotion (double or triple points on paid stays) here and you’ll also be registered for 500 free Starpoints just for updating your stay preferences.

After registering, just click here to update any of your stay preferences.

Starwood points officially expire after 12 months of inactivity, though it’s actually only enforced after 18 months. So 500 points will extend the validity of your account for 18 months.  Though Starwood is one of the best about reactivating expired points when you ask nicely (British Airways is surprisingly nice as well).

HT: Marco Polo, via DDF

Trip Notes Hodgepodge: United Upgrade Quirks, Infant Travel Drama, Farewell CLE D, Wrigley SPG Suite, And Chicago BBQ Competition

Sunday, June 8th, 2014, 6:38 pm

-Find dozens of trip notes like this one by clicking on the “Trip Notes” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.

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I flew to Kansas City once and to Chicago twice in the past 3 weeks, here are some of my trip notes:

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More after the jump:

Click here to keep reading this post!

SPG Spin To Win Game

Friday, September 13th, 2013, 10:25 am

SPG Spin To Win Game

This has been around for a couple weeks but I never got around to posting it.

You can play daily through 10/10.

I’ve played many times and have yet to win a thing but DDF members have reported winning 500 Starpoints, 1,000 Starpoints, 5,000 Starpoints, and even a free night at any (excluding category 7) Starwood hotel. One DDF member notes that he has successfully employed the multiple browser method to get even more daily spins but that’s more effort than it’s worth considering my luck so far.

By playing you’ll also be entered to win 250K Starpoints (which can transferred into 312.5K airline miles) though that will come with a tax bill of course as it’s worth more than $600.

Post a comment if you get anything!

HT: Feivish, via DDF

Starwood Advertises Just How Bad A Deal SPG Flights Is

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012, 9:42 pm

Back in 2008 Starwood made a big deal about the introduction of SPG Flights.  I panned it as a poor value.

Apparently not everyone got the memo though.  SPG is bragging how someone spent a whopping 870,000 Starwood points to fly from Los Angeles to Rome in business class.

With that many Starpoints he could have transferred them into nearly 1.1 million airline miles on dozens of different airlines.  A business class ticket to Europe using Flying Blue starts at 50,000 miles, using USAirways miles starts at 60,000 miles, or using AAdvantage miles is 100,000 miles.  A first class ticket to Europe using AAdvantage miles is 125,000 miles.  Or a round-the-world first class award on American or any OneWorld partners that allows for 16 flights runs between 180K-330K miles. Heck you can fly to Dubai in an A380 suite on Emirates with your own shower onboard for 217,500 miles, so he could have booked 5 such tickets with 870K Starpoints.

Or you can get even better deals at Starwood hotels.  It’s very easy to get a value of 2.5 cents per Starpoint with hotel redemptions, in fact you can even get a value of 10 times that.

Instead someone burned it all on 2 business class tickets.  What a shame.

HT: Chaikel, via DDF

SPG Hot Shows: Use Your Starpoints For Premium Seats To Hot Concerts!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009, 12:00 am

Update: Round 2 starts at 11am eastern today (07/08)! You must be a Starwood AMEX cardholder or a Starwood Platinum member to book tickets!

Originally posted on 06/29:

Related: Starwood AMEX Linky

www.spg.com/hotshows

Offer Details Linky

Redeem 5,000 or 10,000 Starpoints for a pair of premium concert seats.

The sale starts at noon 11am eastern.

Why do I get the feeling that ebay is going to see a whole bunch of new concert listings later today?

SPG You Choose Promo!

Thursday, September 18th, 2008, 1:14 am

Starwood Consumer AMEX

Starwood Business AMEX

www.spg.com/youchoose

-Starwood’s Q4 promo is now up and there are a lot of options to choose from,but you can only pick one!
-Registration is required by 11/15. Valid for stays in any Starwood hotel between 10/01/08-12/31/08
-Important: All rewards are retroactive except the double stays toward elite status. So you can wait until 11/15 to decide which reward suits you best before registering and being locked to your decision as long as you dont want to go for the elite status reward.

Available rewards:
-Double stay credits towards Starwood Elite status. (No limit)
-Double Starpoints on all stays. (No limit)
-Every 2 stays=2,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 10,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 2 stays=$25 Amazon GC. (Limit $125 in free Amazon GC’s)
-Every 4 nights=2,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 10,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 4 nights=$25 Amazon GC. (Limit $125 in free Amazon GC’s)
-Every 4 stays=free weekend night. (Limit 2 free weekend nights at up to a Category 5 hotel)
-Every 6 stays=9,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 36,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 8 nights=free weekend night. (Limit 2 free weekend nights at up to a Category 5 hotel)
-Every 10 stays=25,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 100,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 12 nights=9,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 36,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 20 nights=25,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 100,000 bonus Starpoints)

Curious to see what other people are picking? Just click on the question mark by each reward to find out what percentage of people picked that promo!

Get 250 Starpoints For Telling Starwood What You Think Of SPG Flights!

Thursday, September 4th, 2008, 12:37 am

Survey Linky

SPG Flights: Yawwwwn…

Thursday, September 4th, 2008, 12:23 am

www.spgflights.com

So the big news this week is that Starwood has added a 7th primary method of using Starpoints: SPG flights.

The problem is that Starpoints are already so valuable due to the other 6 methods that SPG flights is simply unattractive.

The premise of SPG flights is that you can search for any flight directly from spgflights.com and book it with Starpoints. Starwood then pays the airline for the flight and therefore you will earn miles for the flight.

Sample award prices:

Ticket Price Starpoints
up to $150 10,000
$150-$215 15,000
$215-$280 20,000
$280-$345 25,000
$345-$410 30,000
$410-$475 35,000
$475-$540 40,000
$540-$605 45,000
$605-$670 50,000
$670-$735 55,000
$735-$800 60,000
$800-$865 65,000
$865-$930 70,000
$930-$995 75,000
$995-$1060 80,000
Higher prices (examples)
$2,880-$3,140 235,000
$4,960-$5,220 395,000
$9,900-$10,160 775,000



Fatal flaw? SPG flights values starpoints between 1.2-1.5 cents.
Using the other primary Starpoint redemption methods (Unrestricted Hotel Stays, Restricted Cash And Points Hotel Stays, Hotel Room Upgrades, Nights and Flights, 5th Night Free, and of course transferring Starpoints into miles on dozens of airlines with a with an unbeatable 25%-250% bonus) you should be able to do far better than that.

Launching Friday: A Revamped SPG.com!

Thursday, July 19th, 2007, 1:37 am

Starwood is revamping their website, and if all goes well it will go live on Friday!

I have confirmed that the new website will integrate the new Cash & Points option!

Redeem Your Starpoints To Play Softball In Wrigley Field!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017, 5:09 pm

Related post: Bid On Once-In-A-Lifetime MLB Experiences From Just 1,000 Starpoints; My History Using Miles For Baseball Memories


Option 1: Redeem 15K Starpoints for 2 tickets to play softball on 7/30 in Wrigley. You’ll also get a Wrigley Field tour and food/drinks. You are able to request to be on a specific person’s team.

Option 2: Bid to field your own team of 12 players to play softball on 7/30 in Wrigley. You’ll also get 12 customized Cubs jerseys, a Wrigley Field tour, and food/drinks. Last year this sold for 183K points for the team.

You can join other DDFers in bidding for the team package in this thread.

Unfortunately the event will take place during the 9 days.

Last year a group of 12 DDFers got together to redeem the full team package.

SPG even catered kosher meals for us. We had an awesome time playing and the customized jerseys were very cool as well:

 

 

#TeamDansDeals (I guess I missed the shorts memo?)

 

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The surprise for the day was that we weren’t playing regular softball. We would play Chicago style softball with a 16 inch ball.

Alas you don’t play on the actual diamond, the games take place in the outfield. But it was still an awesome and surreal experience to be able to play in the friendly confines:

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While we crushed in our first game, we got beat by the team that would wind up winning the championship in our 2nd game. They wound up winning double the amount of Starpoints that they paid to participate in the event.

#RBISingle #SPGMoments @ #WrigleyField #TeamDansDeals takes #Game1 14 to 5!

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Me, JJ, and AJK in the dugout:

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I didn’t even think about it, but apparently wearing an Indians hat during an event at Wrigley with a Cubs jersey was controversial. When anyone asked me about the juxtoposition I just said, “What do you mean? I’m just previewing the 2016 World Series matchup!”

Everyone laughed when I said that, but little did they know that 2 months later the 2 teams that hadn’t won a championship in a combined 176 years would indeed take place. Alas, my throwing out the first pitch before game 7 didn’t help the home team take home the trophy.

Short on points?

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here. For this month only they’re 35% offPlus you can buy more than 30K with multiple members by transferring points for free between members living at the same address.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX offer a 25K signup bonus. The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (transferable to 29,167 Starpoints) for spending $3,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View hotel cards” and scroll down to card offers.

Win an auction? Post a comment and be sure to post a trip report on DDF!

What Is The Best Credit Card For Everyday Spending?

Friday, June 16th, 2017, 11:39 am

People are always asking me what is the best credit card. That’s an impossible question to answer as there are credit cards that are good for spending, there are credit cards good for benefits provided, and there are credit cards with big signup bonuses.

Even among credit cards that are good for spending there are cards that offer big bonuses for specific categories and there are cards good for everyday spending.

So, which is the best card for everyday spending?

 

The Citi Double Cash card sets the minimum standard with 2% cash back per dollar spent and no annual fee, though it has no signup bonus. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

 

-The Capital One Spark Cash for Business Visa also offers 2% cash back, but it also comes with a $500 signup bonus for spending $4,500 and has no foreign transaction fees. It has a $59 annual fee that is waived for the first year.

 

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® gives 2 points per dollar plus a 5% rebate every time you redeem your points for travel. You can select to redeem points for travel expenses that you have already charged to your card. That’s an effective 2.11% back per dollar spent. It comes with 50K points for spending $3,000 and you’ll get another 2.5K points as a rebate when you redeem those points. There are no foreign transaction fees. It has an $89 annual fee that is waived for the first year.

 

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX have the ability to transfer points into dozens of different airlines at a 20K:25K ratio, effectively 1.25 miles per dollar spent everywhere. Plus you can transfer 1 Starpoint into 3 Marriott points, which makes for lots of awesome mileage transfer possibilities. Plus these versatile points are an awesome deal at many hotels. With any mileage currency it’s possible to use them in a place where the points will be worth 0.5 cents each or 25 cents each, but overall it shouldn’t be hard to get a minimum value of 2.25% back per dollar spent. These cards come with a 25K signup bonus and have no foreign transaction fees. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

 

-The Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa earns 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. The card is marketed as 1.5% cash back, but it actually awards 1.5 points per dollar, which is much more valuable than 1.5% cash back when used properly. If you have a Sapphire Preferred/Reserve or Ink Bold/Plus/Preferred you can transfer those points into airline miles or hotel points. If you have a Sapphire Reserve you can also redeem those points for 1.5 cents each towards travel, which means that you should only transfer points into miles if you can do better than 1.5 cents each if you or someone in your household has a Sapphire Reserve. Between transfer partners like United, Singapore, Southwest, Hyatt, and more, it shouldn’t be hard to get a value of at least 1.7 cents per point. As this card earns 1.5 points per dollar, that would impute a minimum value of 2.55% back per dollar spent. There is a 17.5K point signup bonus if you apply with a free additional user and a 3% foreign transaction fee. There is no annual fee.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

 

-The Discover it Miles card gives 1.5 “miles” per dollar everywhere, but offers 3 “miles” per dollar for the first year that you have the card by doubling all of the miles you earned at the end of the first year. That means 3% cash back per dollar spent, but only for the first year that you have the card. There are no foreign transaction fees, though Discover has limited acceptance abroad. There is no signup bonus and no annual fee.

 

-The Blue Business Plus Credit Card From American Express earns 2 AMEX Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on up to $50K of spending per calendar year and can transfer points into airline miles and hotel points. If you have a Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can also get a 35% rebate (or 50% if you’re grandfathered) when redeeming points for paid tickets. Between transfer partners like ANA, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Delta, El Al, and Singapore, it shouldn’t be hard to get a value of at least 1.55 cents per point. As this card earns 2 points per dollar, that would impute a minimum value of 3.1% back per dollar spent. Normally this card won’t have a bonus, but for a limited time only you can get a 20K signup bonus. There is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee and no annual fee.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

 

Other cards don’t offer a compelling value per dollar, but it can make sense to put everyday spending on the card for the benefits it offers.

-The JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard offers Mosaic status for spending $50K annually. Mosaic status includes free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free Even More Speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, discounted or free Even More Space seats, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line. Mosaic members can even buy a cheaper flight and then switch onto a more expensive flight within 24 hours of their flight without paying anyting.

-The Delta Gold AMEX and the Delta Platinum AMEX waive the requirement to spend a minimum amount on Delta flights to earn elite status if you spend $25K in a calendar year on the cards. Plus the Platinum card gives the ability to earn elite qualifying miles based on spend.

-Spending $25K/year on the United Explorer card earns 10K bonus miles and waives the requirement to spend a minimum amount on United flights to earn Silver, Gold, or Platinum elite status

-Lots of other cards have threshold bonuses. The Chase Ritz Carlton card gives Marriott and SPG Gold status for spend $10K/year and Platinum status for spending $75K/year. The Chase Marriott gives an elite credit for every $3,000 spent. The AMEX Hilton Surpass and Citi Hilton Reserve award diamond status for spending $40K/year. The Citi Hilton Reserve also gives a free hotel night for spending $10K/year. The Chase Southwest cards give companion pass status if you earn 110K points in a year. The Chase BA cards gives a free companion certificate on award tickets for spending $30K/year. The Citi AA Executive card awards 10K elite qualifying miles for spending $40K/year. My grandfathered Ink Bold Exclusives card gives 167,500 miles if you spend $100K/year, etc, etc.

 

Arguably the Blue Business Plus card is the best option for everyday spending thanks to 2 points per dollar, but another card may be the best option for you, depending on which miles you value the most or if you just want cash back. For example if you get a value of 2.1 cents per mile from Hyatt or United then you would be better off with Freedom Unlimited thanks to earning 1.5 points per dollar. Or if you get a better value out of Alaska or JAL miles or Starwood hotels than average, you may find the best option is using a Starwood card. If you live abroad and just want cash back you may that the Capital One Spark card is the best option.

 

Which card do you use for everyday spending?

25% Bonus For Transferring Hotel Points To American; Get Up To A 100% Bonus When You Transfer Starpoints/Marriott Points!

Thursday, June 15th, 2017, 11:50 am

Update: This bonus ends today.

Originally posted on 4/28:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser. Earn Starpoints with the Starwood Consumer AMEXthe Starwood Business AMEX, or the Chase Marriott Visa.

-Earn 60K AA miles with the Citi AA Consumer and Business Mastercard.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


American is offering a 25% bonus for converting hotel points into miles through 6/15.

“To qualify for this AAdvantage 25% bonus mile offer, member must initiate the AAdvantage mileage conversions with participating eligible AAdvantage program hotel participants between 12:00 am Central time on April 28, 2017 and 11:59 pm Central time on June 15, 2017, and must be in good standing in the AAdvantage program. Members can convert multiple times with multiple Hotel Partners. Conversions for hotel and air packages from Hotel Partners are included for this offer.”

Back in 2010 when these SPG-AA bonuses started you were able to rack up hundreds of thousands of Starpoints thanks to the US Mint, miles transferred to AA counted for million miler status, and AA had an awesome round-the-world award chart. I took advantage of all of those, but they no longer exist.

During 2015’s bonus I cautioned that American’s award chart was “so much better than their competition’s award charts that you can’t help but wonder when the devaluation will come…”

The devaluation came and it made their award chart downright terrible. Then the other shoe fell when American made their saver awards far more difficult to find than on any other airline. I wrote last July that their lack of award space could even be construed as a scAAm and even some of the biggest AA AApologist bloggers are now starting to call them out on it as well.

Doug Parker has gone from America West to ruin USAirways and now American. Even Jeff Smisek would blush at his actions.

So why would you transfer valuable Starpoints to American?

Despite the dearth and American award space and the fuel surcharges to redeem miles for travel on British Airways there are still some good uses. You’ll have to hunt for them as many partner awards are only bookable over the phone, such as Air Tahiti Nui, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, JAL, Qatar, and more.

For example I used 105K American miles to fly last month in an apartment on Etihad Shower Class from the Maldives to Cleveland via Abu Dhabi and JFK.

Though because of the #ElectronicsBan, I was stuck having to take pictures with my GoPro:

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0826.

 

 

And my phone:

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Sample transfer options:

-With this promotion 20K Starpoints will convert into 31,250 American miles with the 25% bonus. That 1.5625 AA miles per Starpoint transferred.

-You are able to do a Starwood Nights and Flights redemption for 60K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 3 property (normally 40K+28K Starpoints), or 70K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 4 property (normally 40K+40K Starpoints).

-90K Starpoints will convert into 270K Marriott points which will convert into 150,000 American miles with the 25% bonus plus 7 nights at a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. That 1.67 AA miles per Starpoint transferred plus you’ll get a free 7 night hotel stay. You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.

Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that. If you get it refunded you’ll have used an effective 75K Starpoints for 150K AA miles or a whopping 2 AA miles per Starpoint.

-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get a higher hotel category certificate.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.

Here is the miles+nights award chart from Marriott to American before the 25% bonus miles that American will award:

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Just be sure to compare American’s requirements with other airlines before transferring.

In this post I compared how many miles are required to fly on every OneWorld route from JFK.

Just for example, I flew last August from JFK to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific First Class for 35K Alaska miles. That same flight would have cost 55K AA miles. Non-elites would also have paid American a $75 last-minute fee which Alaska doesn’t charge, so be sure to do your research before you transfer.

-The names on the Starwood account and the AA account must match or the transfer will be rejected. You are able to transfer Starpoints for free between people living at the same address, though if you are changing the address on one of the accounts you’ll have to wait 30 days before transferring Starpoints to someone else’s Starwood account.

-The 25% bonus miles fulfilled by American will be posted within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Starwood Preferred Guest. The initial transfer usually takes a couple of days. You can hold an AA award for 5 days which is enough time for the transfer to process.

HT: Moishebatchy, via DDF

Bid On Once-In-A-Lifetime MLB Experiences From Just 1,000 Starpoints; My History Using Miles For Baseball Memories

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017, 5:52 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

You can earn Starpoints on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

I’ve used over 10MM miles earned from credit cards to fly myself and my family around the world in first class cabins and stay in five star hotels that would have otherwise cost millions of dollars. There’s no better hobby in the world. But just as memorable as a refreshing shower or a couples suite on a plane are the sports experiences that I’ve redeemed miles for.

Because who would want to spend a month in a stuffy Manhattan hotel anyway 😉

SPG Moments allows you to use points for all kinds of neat experiences, and there are some awesome ones up for bid and instant redemption right now.

In 2013 I used 25K United miles for 4 box seats to an Indians game. With one little bonus: In middle of the game I got to run onto the field and steal 2nd base! People around the stadium were shocked to see someone walking around with 2nd base. I got the base signed by several players, including the winning pitcher that night, and it hangs in my office today. It still has the Jacobs Field dirt on it. Truly a thrilling experience for a die-hard Tribe fan.

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That inspired a reader to give their kid the ultimate Bar Mitzvah present for an LA sports fanatic, throwing at the first pitch at a Dodgers game:

 

In 2014 a DDF member won an SPG auction for the SPG Luxury Suite in Wrigley Field when the Cubs hosted the Yankees. He invited several members to a DO, so I flew to Chicago for the day on a 4.5K Avios award.

SPG even provided kosher food for us in their awesome suite!

 

Last August a team of DDF members got together and bid to play in a softball tournament in Wrigley Field. We had an incredible time playing ball and once again SPG hooked our team up with kosher food.

#RBISingle #SPGMoments @ #WrigleyField #TeamDansDeals takes #Game1 14 to 5!

A post shared by @dansdeals on

 

 

In October 2016, SPG auctioned off the rights to throw out the first pitch before game 3 in Wrigley Field. I wrote about it then and asked SPG to auction it off again for a game that wasn’t being played on Shabbos.

SPG pulled through and I spent 1.06 million of my Starpoints for the experience of my lifetime. I still have to pinch myself to believe it.

I won’t rehash it again. You can read all about it here:
-8 Years Ago Was The Biggest Night Of My Life, Tonight Will Try To Come Close As I Toss A Ceremonial First Pitch At Game 7 Of The World Series
-On The “Value Proposition” Of Spending A Million Starpoints For The Experience Of A Lifetime
-Video And The Experience Of Throwing Out The First Pitch In Game 7 Of The World Series
-10 Final Thoughts On Throwing Out The First Pitch

 

Via DansDeals Facebook #FirstPitch #Game7 #WorldSeries #Jumbotron

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Still can't get over being called up to the mound before game 7…what an experience!

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Want to make your own memories that will last a lifetime?

Here is the list of current sports auctions.

Sample auctions include:

-Watch batting practice from the field and get 2 premium seats for the Cubs at Mets game in Citi Field on 6/12. Both attendees must be 18 years of age or older.
Current high bid is 19K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/7 at 11AM EDT.

-Private Members-Only Batting Practice at Citi Field with Keith Hernandez and get 2 Field Box seats for the Nationals at Mets game on 6/15. Includes access for two to take batting practice and shag fly balls at Citi Field from 12-1PM on 6/15, stop by from Mets Legend Keith Hernandez during event, complimentary food and beverage for 2 from 1-1:30PM, 2 tickets in Section 125, Rows 28-30 to the Nationals vs. Mets game at 7:10 PM on 6/15. All participants must be over the age of 12 years old. Each participant will have 10 swings at the plate. There will be a total of 30 members on the field. Participants will need to bring their own gloves. Bats, helmets, and baseballs will be provided.
Current high bid is 6K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/8 at 4PM EDT.

-All Star Game packages: You may win one SPG Moments MLB All-Star Game package. Should you bid on and be the current high bidder on one package, you will not be able to bid on any further packages until you are outbid.

-Participate in the MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game
-2 tickets to All-Star Sunday featuring the All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball on 7/9
-Access for 1 to participate in 1 at-bat and one-half inning playing in the field in the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Marlins Park in Miami on 7/9
-2 tickets to All-Star Workout Day featuring the Home Run Derby on 7/10
-2 tickets to the MLB All-Star Game on 7/11
-2 MLB All-Star FanFest tickets on one day of MLB All-Star Week, July 7-11
-Participant must be over 18 years old
Current high bid is 40K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/12 at 10AM EDT.

-Shag Fly Balls at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby
-2 tickets to All-Star Workout Day featuring the Home Run Derby on 7/10
-Access for 1 child 8 to 15-years old to shag fly balls in the outfield during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby
-2 tickets to All-Star Sunday featuring the All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball on 7/9
-2 tickets to the MLB All-Star Game on 7/11
-2 MLB All-Star FanFest tickets on one day of MLB All-Star Week, July 7-11
Current high bid is 51K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/12 at 11AM EDT.

-Watch the T-Mobile Home Run Derby from the Dugout
-Access for 2 to the dugout to watch the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Marlins Park in Miami on 7/10
-2 tickets to All-Star Sunday featuring the All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball on 7/9
-2 tickets to All-Star Workout Day featuring the Home Run Derby on 7/10
-2 tickets to the MLB All-Star Game on 7/11
-2 MLB All-Star FanFest tickets on one day of MLB All-Star Week, July 7-11
-Participants must be over 18 years old
Current high bid is 36K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/12 at 1PM EDT.

-Participate in Batting Practice before the MLB All-Star Game
-Access for 2 to participate in batting practice the morning before the MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park in Miami on 7/11
-2 tickets to All-Star Sunday featuring the All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball on 7/9
-2 tickets to All-Star Workout Day featuring the Home Run Derby on 7/10
-2 tickets to the MLB All-Star Game on 7/11
-2 MLB All-Star FanFest tickets on one day of MLB All-Star Week, July 7-11
-Participants must be over 18 years old
Current high bid is 36K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/12 at 2PM EDT.

-Watch Batting Practice From the Field Prior to the MLB All-Star Game
-Access for 2 to watch batting practice from the field for 15 minutes prior to the MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park in Miami on 7/11
-2 tickets to All-Star Sunday featuring the All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball on 7/9
-2 tickets to All-Star Workout Day featuring the Home Run Derby on 7/10
-2 tickets to the MLB All-Star Game on 7/11
-2 MLB All-Star FanFest tickets on one day of MLB All-Star Week, July 7-11
-Participants must be over 18 years old
Current high bid is 25K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/12 at 3PM EDT.

-Kids Take the Field Alongside the Texas Rangers Before They Take on the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, TX on 6/18
-1 opportunity for a 6 to 14-year-old to run onto the field with the Texas Rangers™ before the first pitch
-2 tickets for the Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers game on 6/18
Current high bid is 1K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/13 at 11AM EDT.

-Throw Out a Ceremonial Pitch Before the Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles Game in Baltimore on 6/22
-Access for 1 adult to throw a ceremonial pitch at Oriole Park at Camden Yards before the Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles game on 6/22
-2 Suite tickets for the game, with complimentary food and beverages and a Baltimore Orioles alumni stop by.
-Participants must be over 18 years old
Current high bid is 29K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/16 at 11AM EDT.

-Announce “Play Ball” before the Chicago Cubs take on the S. Louis Cardinals in Chicago on 7/21
-Access for a 6 to 12-year-old child to announce the official “play ball” at Wrigley Field on 7/21 before the 1:20PM game
-2 Field Box Infield seats to watch the Cardinals vs. Cubs game on 7/21 at 1:20 p.m.
Current high bid is 2K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/22 at 10AM EDT.

-Go Behind the Scenes at Citi Field Before the Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets Game in NYC on 7/2
-VIP tour of Citi Field for 2 before the Phillies vs. Mets™ game on 7/2
-2 premium seats for the game
-Participants must be over 18 years old
Current high bid is 5K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/27 at 11AM EDT.

-Watch batting practice from the field at the Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox game in Arlington, TX on 7/5
-Access for 2 to watch batting practice from the field at Globe Life Park in Arlington before the game on 7/5
-2 tickets to watch the Red Sox vs. Rangers game
-Participants must be over 18 years old
Current high bid is 10K Starpoints. Auction ends 6/29 at 11AM EDT.

-Enjoy Your Own Private Luxury Suite at Wrigley Field for the New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs Game in Chicago on 9/12
-12 SPG Luxury Suite tickets to the New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs game on 9/12
-Complimentary food and beverages while in the suite
-Children under the age of 6 are not permitted in the SPG Luxury Suite
Current high bid is 57K Starpoints. Auction ends 8/15 at 10AM EDT.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

Short on points?

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here. For this month only they’re 35% offPlus you can buy more than 30K with multiple members by transferring points for free between members living at the same address.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers a 25K point signup bonus.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers a 25K point signup bonus.

-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (transferable to 29,167 Starpoints) for spending $3,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

 

Win an auction? Post a comment and be sure to post a trip report on DDF!

35% Off Starwood Starpoints; Stay In A Niagara Falls Hotel With Shabbos Meals For $65/Night, Buy AA/Alaska/United Miles On The Cheap, Fly Shower Class For Under $1,800 Round-Trip

Friday, June 2nd, 2017, 3:19 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser. Earn Starpoints with the Starwood Consumer AMEXthe Starwood Business AMEX, or the Chase Marriott Visa.

Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards


Starwood is offering 30% off purchases and gifts of 5K-30K Starpoints through 6/30.

For example 20K Starpoints are on sale for $455 instead of $700 or 30K Starpoints are on sale for $682.50 instead of $1,050. That’s a cost of 2.275 cents per Starpoints instead of the regular 3.5 cents per Starpoint.

Of course you also earn miles for the purchase, which makes the real cost even less.

If you have a Starwood AMEX and buy 30K Starpoints for $682.50 you will earn 1,366 Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll pay $682.50 for 31,366 Starpoints, or 2.175 cents per Starpoint.

There’s no reason to buy them speculatively at those rates. But it can definitely make sense if you have a specific redemption in mind.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with additional Starwood accounts.

You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

Here are some ideas for those points:

United miles+Marriott nights:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 132K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

You can buy 86.5K Starpoints for $1,967.88, plus you’ll earn 3,936 Starpoints by buying those points on an SPG card, giving you a total of 90,436 Starpoints.

If you value the 7 night hotel stay at just $500 ($71/night) then you’re effectively paying $1,467 for 132,000 United miles. That’s a bargain at just 1.11 cents per mile.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

It’s worth noting that some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.


American miles+Marriott nights:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would normally convert into 120K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

With the current promotion you would get 150K American miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 86.5K Starpoints for $1,967.88, plus you’ll earn 3,936 Starpoints by buying those points on an SPG card, giving you a total of 90,436 Starpoints.

If you value the 7 night hotel stay at just $500 ($71/night) then you’re effectively paying $1,467 for 150,000 American miles. That’s a bargain at just 0.978 cents per mile.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

It’s worth noting that some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.


Cathay Pacific Business/First Class to Vancouver or Asia and 7 nights in a hotel:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Alaska miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 86.5K Starpoints for $1,967.88, plus you’ll earn 3,936 Starpoints by buying those points on an SPG card, giving you a total of 90,436 Starpoints.

Alaska charges just 50K miles to Asia in award winning Cathay Pacific business class and 70K miles in Cathay Pacific first class, where you’ll have the best seat and bed in the sky.

With 120K Alaska miles you can fly one-way in business and one-way in first class.

For example you can fly from the US to Taipei and get 7 nights at a category 5 property there. Or stay fly and at a category 5 JW Marriott resort in Vietnam. You can even stopover in Hong Kong once or twice for as long as you want with Alaska miles. That’s perfect if you want to have custom clothing made there as you can go back to have them fitted perfectly.

Don’t want to leave the continent?

A Cathay Pacific first class flight from JFK to Vancouver is 35K miles and a Cathay Pacific business class flight is 25K miles. 120K miles would be enough for 2 people to fly there in first class and return in business class.

#TonightsRide #GoFirstOrGoHome

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Discounted stays in SPG hotels:

Buying points for 2.175 cents each can make sense in pricey SPG hotels.

For example:

-The Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview is 3K Starpoints on weekends (That’s just $65.25 when buying Starpoints) and 4K Starpoints on weekdays ($87 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $300/night!

Plus you won’t owe any tax on Starpoint stays.

There’s even weekly Shabbos services and meals in the hotel in the summer and holidays!

 

-The S. Regis Bal Harbour can cost over $1,000/night after tax, but when using 30K Starpoints you won’t pay any tax, so your out of pocket rate will be $652:

srbh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-The W Fort Lauderdale is 12K Starpoints ($261 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $400/night.

-The S. Regis Rome is 20K Starpoints ($435 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $750/night.

Many other hotels are bargains with points, especially during peak travel times.


Emirates Shower Class:
Emirates A380 first class is affectionately known as “Shower Class.”

#Bedtime from #Emirates #ShowerClass #Suite

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Sure, you get your own walled-in suite and access to the onboard bar.

But it’s the onboard shower that sets it apart.

#Emirates #A380 #ShowerSpa #HeavenOfTheSkies

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You can fly it from JFK to Milan and by far the best way to book it is with JAL miles.

Emirates charges massive fuel surcharges when you use their miles, but Alaska and JAL can book you on Emirates without those fees.

However, Alaska charges 360K miles to fly round-trip from JFK to Milan while JAL charges just 100K miles round-trip!

You can transfer 80K Starpoints into 100K JAL miles thanks to the 25% transfer bonus. It other words by buying Starpoints at 2.175 cents each you can fly round-trip in Emirates shower class to Europe for just $1,740!

Want a longer flight in Shower Class?
JAL charges 135K miles from JFK to Dubai round-trip to 155K miles from JFK to the Maldives via Dubai round-trip.


Of course there are endless other ways to use your Starpoints where it can make sense to buy some points to reach an award redemption. How do you use your Starpoints?

HT: davidmal, via DDF

Goodbye To The Citi Hilton Cards, But We All Want To Know What Will Happen With Starwood/Marriott

Friday, June 2nd, 2017, 1:47 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

I’m still going over the news that happened while I was offline this week.

AMEX scored a victory over Citi by landing exclusivity for Hilton credit cards starting in 2018. Hopefully we’ll see some increased Citi Hilton offers before the end of the year, but the future of existing cards is still up in the air. They may remain Hilton cards, they may convert into another Citi card, or it may become an AMEX Hilton card.

AMEX couldn’t afford to lose another co-brand card after losing Costco to Citi and JetBlue to Barclays, so it’s no surprise that they outbid Citi to win the Hilton account.

Citi however is left without any hotel co-brand card and they don’t even have exclusivity with American. They’ve devalued their premium cards and seem to be heading in the opposite direction while AMEX and Chase fight for mileage card dominance.

The real question on everyone’s mind is the future of the Starwood AMEXHilton is a small player in the co-brand card market, but the SPG card has long offered an excellent value on everyday spending thanks to the plethora of redemptions and transfer options that Starwood has.

Chase has a strong relationship with Marriott with several card offerings, it will be tough for AMEX to win that account unless Marriott decides to keep the Starwood and Marriott programs separate. But that will be a long shot. Of course AMEX could always outbid Chase if they feel the need to maintain their co-brand cards as losing Starwood will be a bigger loss for AMEX than losing Marriott would be for Chase.

We should know the future of the AMEX-Chase battle for Marriott/Starwood by the end of this year.

Of course with lucrative bank cards like Blue Business Plus and Sapphire Reserve, perhaps co-branded cards are not as important as they used to be?

Tomorrow Is The Last Day To Get A Business Platinum Card With A Year Of 50% Point Rebates!

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017, 1:26 pm

Update: New cardholders will now get a 35% points rebate on airfare.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

AMEX announced last month that the Business Platinum Card’s unlimited 50% point rebate will end on 5/31/17.

However cardholders who opened or upgraded to a Business Platinum card between 10/01/16-5/31/17 will get 1 year of 50% point rebates from the date they opened or upgraded their card.

You can still apply for a card now and get a full year of 50% point rebates. I wrote about how lucrative Hybrid points can be in this post.

After the unlimited 50% rebate ends on your account, it will drop to a 35% point rebate with a 500,000 rebated points cap per calendar year.

With a 50% rebate your points are effectively worth at least 2 cents per point, or more if AMEX is offering Insider Fares. In fact AMEX has been awarding an extra 4 points per dollar even on point redemptions when you use an AMEX Consumer Platinum Card, making the rebate even more valuable.

Things get even more lucrative if you also have a Blue Business Plus Credit Card From American Express. That card earns 2 points per dollar everywhere. You can transfer them into airline miles or hotel points. Or if you have the 50% points rebate you’ll effectively earn 4% back or more everywhere (2 points per dollar plus a rebate of half your points when you redeem them). That’s truly a killer combo.

So, should you signup for a Business Platinum card today?

amexbusplat960x680
 

Signup bonus:

-50K bonus points for spending $10K within 3 months and another 25K bonus points for spending an additional $10K in 3 months.

Airline fee credits:

AMEX gives you until 12/31 each year to get spend and get refunded for airline fee refunds. Here are the ways you can spend your airline fee credit.

You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However if you haven’t yet used your credit that year you should be able to change it by calling or chatting with AMEX.

Note that the airline you choose will also be the airline that you get back 50% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 50% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline.

“Hybrid Points”

The card is truly game changing thanks to the ability to choose whether to transfer points into airline miles when tickets are expensive.

You can transfer points to airlines like ANA, Air Canada, or Singapore for Star Alliance travel. Points transfer to Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France/KLM, or Delta for Skyteam travel. Transfer to BA, Cathay Pacific, or Iberia for OneWorld travel. Other transfer options include El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Virgin America, or Virgin Atlantic. This can make sense for one-way, last-minute, or premium class travel. The value with airline miles can be under a cent each if used poorly, but properly used the points can be worth 5 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents, or even more per point, the sky is the limit.

Otherwise you can choose to use them for paid tickets when tickets are less expensive at an whopping 2 cents (or higher) value per point. When you use them for paid tickets you don’t pay any taxes and you still earn miles for the flight!

AMEX also offers insider fares on select routes that can make your points be worth as much as 2.5 cents toward paid airfare!

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here. If you want to redeem for travel on Southwest then you’ll need to call AMEX to book.

This hybrid redemption ability makes your points very valuable.

When you combine the card with other AMEX cards you can make your spending even more lucrative.

Supercharge your spending:

-If you have the no annual fee Blue Business Plus you’ll earn 2 points per dollar everywhere and 3 points per dollar on Uber. With a Business Platinum card earning a 50% points rebate that’s a minimum of 6% back on Uber and 4% back everywhere else.

Annual fee:

The Business Platinum card costs $450/year. But AMEX has now made that fee a very good value thanks to the ability to make all of your AMEX points worth at least 2 cents each.

The airline fee refunds also help take the sting out of the fee.

Plus there are a plethora of other benefits:

Charge card benefits:

Rather than being limited to a fixed credit line, these cards offer flexibility to spend far more, with the caveat that it needs to be paid back in full on the due date.

Gold elite status with 3 hotel chains:

Both Platinum cards offer Starwood Gold, Hilton Gold, and Marriott Gold elite status.

You can enroll online here for Hilton Gold status. You can also enroll additional cardholders for Gold status, but that needs to be done over the phone.

You need to call 800-525-3355 and select option 3 for Starwood Gold status.

Once you have Starwood Gold status you can match that online instantly to Marriott Gold status.

Hilton Gold status gets you upgrades, bonus points, 5th night free on awards, late checkout, breakfast, and bottled water. Free breakfast doesn’t usually do much for me as a kosher traveler, but we had the pleasure of staying at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last year where we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well.

Starwood Gold status gets you late checkout, more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels, and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points. Starwood elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

-Centurion lounge access:

American Express has operated Centurion lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico for some time.  Now they are expanding in the US market with lounges operating in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, LaGuardia, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and more to come such as Chicago and Los Angeles.

Originally the US lounges were designed for free access only for Centurion cardholders, you know them as those black cards that cost a ridiculous $2,500 per year with a $7,500 initiation fee that used to give elite status on airlines like Continental and USAirways but now is down to just Delta.

But once the Platinum card started losing airline lounges due to exclusivity with other banks AMEX opened it up to Platinum cardholders for free as well.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring in 2 guests for free.

The lounges offer varying amenities like premium drinks, showers, and massages. And as they are staffed by AMEX you can even get help with account issues and access the lounge even if you forget your Platinum card.

-Priority Pass membership.

You can enroll here for a Priority Pass membership.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring in 2 guests for free.

Lounges include the Art & Lounge in Newark which is the lounge that El Al provides for their business and first class passengers. It offers kosher food, wine, and Israeli art. In Tel Aviv you can access the Dan lounge.

See the Priority Pass site for their complete list of lounges.

Priority Pass gives access to the full network of “The Club” with 9 domestic lounges and growing.

Airspace lounges:

Currently there are Airspace lounges in Cleveland, JFK (JetBlue T5 terminal), and San Diego.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring in 2 guests for free.

These are modern lounges with free premium coffee, bottles water, and self service soft drinks.  Additionally you and every guest also gets a gift card valid towards purchasing premium alcohol, local craft beers, cocktails, and meals.

Escape lounges:

Currently there are Escape lounges in Hartford, Minneapolis, and Oakland.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring in 2 guests for free.

Delta SkyClub:

You can access Delta lounges for free with a Platinum card when flying on Delta.  You don’t get any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can access Delta lounges for free as well.

The Delta SkyClub in JFK even sells kosher meals if you need one!

Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund

It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA Pre-Check membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and freedom baggie with liquids in your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in a nude-o-scope.  If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

You can read more more about the differences in this post.

Free additional Green cardholders qualify for a Pre-Check or Global Entry fee refund as well!

My whole family has Global Entry and it sure makes traveling a whole lot easier!

Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Platinum card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.

Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:

With the Business Platinum card only, you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet.

You can enroll here for your free passes.

Lost Item Protection:

If you buy something on your Platinum card up to $10,000 and lose it within 90 days of purchase it will be fully covered. Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that requires a police report to be filed and often has a cap of just $1,000.

Car Rental Perks:

A 4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz and fee-waived Gold Plus membership and National Executive guarantee upgrades and faster free award rentals.

The card also comes with free checked baggage insurance and it has no foreign exchange fees.  And of course it comes with all of the amazing purchase protections that other American Express cards have as well.

Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

Read the full comparison here.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field

Will you be signing up for a Business Platinum card today?

Stay In An Overwater Bungalow In Bora Bora Or The Maldives From Just 31K Starpoints/Night!               Plus: Which Miles To Use To Get There

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017, 3:45 pm

Starwood’s all suites hotels can cost a small fortune whether you use cash or points. They aren’t subject to the normal point rates, so rooms can cost double, triple, or quadruple the regular rates, and dates can be blacked out. Plus you need to call or chat with SPG to book rooms at these hotels.

Last year I posted a deal that made overwater villas at the brand new S. Regis Maldives available for just 32.5K points per night or 26K points per night on a 5 night stay. That deal only lasted about a week before rates went up to 90K points per night or 72K points per night on a 5 night stay. But not before I booked 16 stays of 5 nights at that rate in order to make sure that at least 1 of the dates worked…

#HelloBeautiful #GoodMorning from #Paradise #StRegisMaldives #Mavic #Drone

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Luckily SPG makes staying at these resorts easier by running 35% off promotions like this that bring down the points cost.

This recurring promotion is back and is now valid for stays through 3/5/18. There is no booking deadline, so you should be able to book through 3/5/18, unless a hotel decides to opt out of the promotion early.

I haven’t been able to find a landing page with the current eligible resorts for this year. However I chatted with SPG about the hotels on last year’s 35% off promo landing page and only found the discount to automatically work for 2 hotels from that list, the W Maldives and the Le Meridien Bora Bora.

I also found the discount to work at the S. Regis Maldives, which was not on last year’s list as it hadn’t opened yet. It’s possible that the discount for last year’s hotels have not been loaded yet or that other hotels are also part of this 35% off promotion.

The discounted rate is applied automatically when you ask for a Starpoints quote. You’ll need to call or chat with SPG to book these rooms.

The Le Meridien Bora Bora offers an overwater bungalow, beach bungalow, or classic bungalow as their base rooms. They’re normally 60K Starpoints/night. With this promotion you can stay for 39K Starpoints/night or 31,200 Starpoints/night if you stay for 5 nights. Rates here range from $800-$1,250/night after tax for an overwater bungalow, so that’s a value of up to 4 cents per Starpoint.

The S. Regis Maldives offers an overwater villa with a private plunge pool as their base room. It’s normally 90K Starpoints/night. With this promotion you can stay for 58,500 Starpoints/night or 46,800 Starpoints/night if you stay for 5 nights. Rates here range from $1,500-$3,250/night after tax for an overwater bungalow, so that’s a value of up to 7 cents per Starpoint.

 

The W Retreat and Spa Maldives offers a Beach Oasis with a private plunge pool as their base room. It’s normally 90K Starpoints/night. With this promotion you can stay for 58,500 Starpoints/night or 46,800 Starpoints/night if you stay for 5 nights. Rates here range from $1,000-$2,000/night after tax for an overwater bungalow, so that’s a value of up to 4.3 cents per Starpoint. You can read more about the overwater bungalow at the absolutely incredible W Retreat Maldives in my trip report here.

W Maldives:

 

Bear in mind that the discounted rates are for the base room only, you’ll have to call/email the hotel directly if you want to arrange for upgrades. When I last checked the prices for a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow with a private plunge pool the W Maldives wanted $180/night, but that number will range based on the season.

I confirmed that the Le Meridien Bora Bora and the S. Regis Maldives do book into overwater bungalows at these sale rates by booking discounted stays at both hotels via SPG chat 🙂

Bora Bora or the Maldives?

-Papeete, Tahiti is an 8 hour flight nonstop from Los Angeles. From Papeete it’s a 45 minute hop to Bora Bora, but that short flight will set you back some $400 and you can’t use airline miles for it.

Papeete, Tahiti is served by:
-Air France (a SkyTeam/Delta partner) via Los Angeles
-Air New Zealand (a Star Alliance/United partner) via Auckland
-Air Tahiti Nui (an American/OneWorld partner, but not bookable on AA.com) via Auckland, Los Angeles, or Tokyo
-Hawaiian (a JetBlue/Korean/Virgin Atlantic partner) on Saturdays only, via Honolulu
-LATAM (a OneWorld/American partner, but not bookable on AA.com) on Monday/Tuesday only via Easter Island

For example a flight from the US to Papeete would cost 80K AA miles in coach or 160K AA miles in business class to fly on Air Tahiti Nui. You can transfer Starpoints to American at a 20,000:31,250 ratio with the current transfer bonus. You must call AA to book this award.

One big advantage of Bora Bora are the views of Mount Otemanu on Bora Bora Island, which adds to the serene setting. Unfortunately I have not yet made it to Bora Bora, so I can’t give my personal opinion on which way to go, though there has been some debate on DDF.

-Male, Maldives ranges from a travel time of 19-29 hours from NYC. From Male you’ll have to pay some $500-$700 for a seaplane to get from Male to most resort islands.

Male, Maldives is served by:
-Aeroflot (a SkyTeam/Delta partner) via Moscow
-Air France (a SkyTeam/Delta partner) via Paris
-Air India (a Star Alliance/United partner) via Bangalore
-Alitalia (a SkyTeam/Delta partner) via Rome
-Austrian (a Star Alliance/United partner) via Vienna
-British Airways (a OneWorld/American partner) via London/Gatwick
-Cathay Pacific (a OneWorld/American partner, but not bookable on AA.com) via Hong Kong
-China Eastern (a SkyTeam/Delta partner) via Shanghai
-China Southern (a SkyTeam/Delta partner) via Guangzhou
-Edelweiss/Swiss (a Star Alliance/United partner, but not bookable on United.com) via Zurich
-Emirates (an Alaska, JAL, and Korean partner) via Colombo or Dubai
-Etihad (an American partner, but not bookable on AA.com) via Abu Dhabi
-Korean (a SkyTeam/Delta partner) via Colombo and Seoul
-Lufthansa (a Star Alliance/United partner) via Frankfurt
-Singapore (a Star Alliance/United partner, but not bookable on United.com) via Singapore
-Turkish (a Star Alliance/United partner) via Istanbul
-Qatar (a OneWorld/American partner, but not bookable on AA.com) via Doha

For example:

-A flight from the US to Male on Emirates would cost 60K JAL miles in coach, 100K in business, or 155K in first “shower” class round-trip. You can transfer Starpoints to JAL at a 20K:25K ratio. You must call JAL to book this award.

-A flight from the US to Male on Etihad or Qatar would cost 80K AA miles in coach, 140K in business, or 210K in Etihad first “shower” class round-trip. You can transfer Starpoints to American at a 20,000:31,250 ratio with the current transfer bonus. You must call AA to book these awards.

-A flight from the US to Male on Cathay Pacific would cost 100K Alaska miles in coach, 125K in business, or 140K in first class round-trip. You can transfer Starpoints to Alaska at a 20K:25K ratio. You must call Alaska to book this award.

-A flight from the US to Male on any Star Alliance airline would cost 85K United miles in coach, 160K in business, or 280K in first class round-trip. You can transfer Starpoints to United via Marriott at a 18,667:25,000 ratio.

 

As you can see, there are many more flight options (and better business/first class cabins) to get to the Maldives, but the flight is farther and there are no nonstops from the US.

Tahiti is part of French Polynesia and has no food import restrictions. The Maldives is a Muslim country and strictly bans the import of alcohol. The locals mostly live in Male, while the resorts are typically located on their own private island. The resorts do offer alcoholic beverages, but expect to pay dearly for them.

Once you get to your resort in Bora Bora or the Maldives it will feel like you’re in true paradise. You really can’t go wrong with either destination.

But even if you fly and stay there with points, be aware that activities and drinks/food purchased there will set you back a pretty penny. In Bora Bora you can take a shuttle to other hotels and shop around for lower activity rates, while in the Maldives you’ll be at the mercy of the rates charged by your hotel.

It’s also worth noting that the best weather in Bora Bora is during the US summer and the best weather in the Maldives is during the US winter.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

Short on points?

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here. Plus you can buy more than that with multiple members by transferring points for free between members living at the same address.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers a 25K point signup bonus.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers a 25K point signup bonus.

-If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can call to have your Starwood account upgraded to Gold status.

-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (transferable to 29,167 Starpoints) for spending $3,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

HT: beastieb, via DDF

Confused About The American Express Consumer Vs. Business Platinum Card? Here Is A Comparison Chart With The Latest Benefits

Sunday, May 7th, 2017, 5:45 pm

Update: The chart has been updated with the Business Platinum rebate devaluation. If you open or upgrade a card to Business Platinum by 5/31/17 you will get 1 full year of uncapped 50% point rebates.

Originally posted on 3/7:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Platinum Card® from American Express

new-platinum-card-flat
 

The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

amexbusplat960x680
 

AMEX continues to add to the benefits offered on their premium Platinum cards with many new benefits going into effect on 3/30. The Priority Pass membership has been improved on both cards to offer 2 free guests which is nice, though it still doesn’t compare to the unlimited amount of guests offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Overall though the Platinum cards have a much more robust domestic lounge network due to access to Airspace, Centurion, and Delta lounges in addition to Priority Pass lounges.

If you are already a consumer Platinum cardholder and your annual fee is due before 9/1 then your fee for 2017 will be $450. If your fee is due on 9/1 or later you will be charged $550 for your next renewal.

The chart below summarizes all of the differences between the consumer and business versions of the Platinum card as of 3/30. It features the superior benefits in red font when there is a difference between the consumer and business card.

Note that the lounge benefits for additional cardholders as described below is only for additional Platinum cardholders, not for additional Gold or Green cardholders.

However several readers have reported that additional Gold and Green cardholders do qualify for Global Entry/PreCheck memberships!

Additionally if you pay for a ticket with a Consumer Platinum card and you also have a Business Platinum card, and you choose to have it rebated with points, you will still earn a bonus 4 points per dollar. More info on how that works in this post.

  Consumer Platinum Business Platinum
Annual Fee$550$450
Signup Bonus60,000 points for spending $5,000 in 3 months50,000 points for spending $10,000 in 3 months and another 25,000 points for spending another $10,000 in 3 months
Additional Cardholder Fee-Up to 3 additional Platinum cardholders for a $175 fee ($58.33/card with 3 cards).

-No fee for additional Gold cardholders
-$300 for each additional Platinum cardholder.

-No fee for additional Green cardholders
Annual Airline Fee Credit$200$200
Points earned on airfare5 per dollar from airlines (including online travel agencies) and on AMEXTravel.com5 per dollar, but only if booked on AMEXTravel.com
Points earned on hotels5 per dollar, but only if booked on AMEXTravel.com5 per dollar, but only if booked on AMEXTravel.com
Points earned on large purchases of $5,000+1 per dollar1.5 per dollar (Up to 1 million bonus points per year)
Uber Benefits-VIP Status

-$15 in monthly credit plus $35 credit every December

-2 points per dollar
-2 points per dollar
Rebate on points redeemed for paid airfare until 5/31/17 (Or for 1 year from the date a card was opened or upgraded between 10/1/16-5/31/17)None-50% rebate on a US airline of your choice in coach with no cap.

-50% rebate on all airlines in business or first with no cap.
Rebate on points redeemed for paid airfare after 5/31/17 (Unless card was opened or upgraded between 10/1/16-5/31/17)None-35% rebate on a US airline of your choice in coach.

-35% rebate on all airlines in business or first.

-Maximum rebate of 500K points per calendar year.
Gogo In-Flight Wi-FiNone10 Gogo flight passes per year
Card designMetalPlastic
Elite statusHilton, Marriott, and SPG Gold for primary and secondary cardholdersHilton, Marriott, and SPG Gold for primary and secondary cardholders
Centurion lounge accessPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guestsPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guests
Priority Pass membershipPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guestsPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guests
Airspace lounge accessPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guestsPrimary or secondary cardholder plus 2 guests
Delta SkyClub accessPrimary or secondary cardholders onlyPrimary or secondary cardholders only
Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund
Once every 4 years for Primary and for each secondary cardholderOnce every 4 years for Primary and for each secondary cardholder
Boingo WiFiUnlimited worldwide for Primary and secondary cardholdersUnlimited worldwide for Primary and secondary cardholders
Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits
Early check-in, room upgrade, daily breakfast, Wi-Fi, late checkout, and an additional special amenity.Early check-in, room upgrade, daily breakfast, Wi-Fi, late checkout, and an additional special amenity.
Lost/Stolen/Damaged Item Protection
Covers items up to $10,000 for losses within 90 days of purchase, up to $50,000/year.Covers items up to $10,000 for losses within 90 days of purchase, up to $50,000/year.
Return Protection
Covers items up to $300 within 90 days of purchase if the store won't take a return or charges a restocking fee, up to $1,000/year.Covers items up to $300 within 90 days of purchase if the store won't take a return or charges a restocking fee, up to $1,000/year.
Premium Roadside AssistanceFree towing up to 10 miles, jump starts, flat tire changes, lockout service, and delivery of fuel, up to 4 times per year.Free towing up to 10 miles, jump starts, flat tire changes, lockout service, and delivery of fuel, up to 4 times per year.
Extended WarrantyDoubles the manufacturer's warranty up to 1 additional year. Covers up to $10,000/item and up to $50,000/year.Doubles the manufacturer's warranty up to 1 additional year. Covers up to $10,000/item and up to $50,000/year.
Car Rental Perks-4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz.

-National Executive
-4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz.

-National Executive
Open SavingsNone5% cash back at Fedex, HP, Hertz, and 800-Flowers
Counts against Chase 5/24 guidelinesYesNo
Foreign transaction feeNoneNone

Which Platinum card do you have and which benefits do you find most valuable?

30% Off Starwood Starpoints Purchases; Should You Buy Points For Southwest Companion Pass, Cathay First, Emirates Shower Class, Or Niagara Falls Hotel Stays?

Sunday, April 30th, 2017, 12:53 pm

Update: Today is the last day of this sale.

This post was originally made on 3/3/17.

Hotel point transfers to Southwest no longer count towards earning a companion pass.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser. Earn Starpoints with the Starwood Consumer AMEXthe Starwood Business AMEX, or the Chase Marriott Visa.

Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards


Starwood is offering 30% off purchases and gifts of 20K-30K Starpoints through 4/30.

For example 20K Starpoints are on sale for $490 instead of $700 or 30K Starpoints are on sale for $735 instead of $1,050. That’s a cost of 2.45 cents per Starpoints instead of the regular 3.5 cents per Starpoint.

Of course you also earn miles for the purchase, which makes the real cost even less.

If you have a Starwood AMEX and buy 30K Starpoints for $735 you will earn 1,470 Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll pay $735 for 31,470 Starpoints, or 2.33 cents per Starpoint.

There’s no reason to buy them speculatively at those rates. But it can definitely make sense if you have a specific redemption in mind.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with additional Starwood accounts. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

Here are some ideas for those points.

Southwest Companion Pass:

If you earn 110K Southwest points by 12/31/17 you’ll earn Southwest Companion Pass status that will be valid until 12/31/18.

With a Southwest Companion Pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass.

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

Note that points must be transferred by 3/31 in order for them to qualify for Southwest Companion Pass.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with additional Starwood accounts. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

Even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 86,000 Starpoints using 3 accounts for $2,107. With the Starwood AMEX you’ll also earn 4,214 Starpoints for the purchase, leaving you with 90,214 Starpoints.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

With that you’ll get 7 nights at a Marriott hotel, 120K Southwest points, and Southwest Companion Pass status that will make your Southwest points good for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights when you bring along a free companion.

Read more about this option and where you can use the hotel nights in this post.


United miles+Marriott nights:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 132K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 90K Starpoints for about $2,107.

If you value the 7 night hotel stay at just $500 ($71/night) then you’re effectively paying $1,607 for 132,000 United miles. That’s a bargain at just 1.21 cents per mile.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

It’s worth noting that some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.


American miles+Marriott nights:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would normally convert into 120K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

With the current promotion you would get 150K American miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 90K Starpoints for about $2,107.

If you value the 7 night hotel stay at just $500 ($71/night) then you’re effectively paying $1,607 for 150,000 United miles. That’s a bargain at just 1.07 cents per mile.

Of course that cost is less if you already have Starpoints or Marriott points.

It’s worth noting that some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.


Cathay Pacific Business/First Class to Vancouver or Asia and 7 nights in a hotel:

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Alaska miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

As mentioned before, even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 90K Starpoints for about $2,107.

Alaska charges just 50K miles to Asia in award winning Cathay Pacific business class and 70K miles in Cathay Pacific first class, where you’ll have the best seat and bed in the sky.

With 120K Alaska miles you can fly one-way in business and one-way in first class.

For example you can fly from the US to Taipei and get 7 nights at a category 5 property there. Or stay fly and at a category 5 JW Marriott resort in Vietnam. You can even stopover in Hong Kong once or twice for as long as you want with Alaska miles. That’s perfect if you want to have custom clothing made there as you can go back to have them fitted perfectly.

Don’t want to leave the continent?

A Cathay Pacific first class flight from JFK to Vancouver is 35K miles and a Cathay Pacific business class flight is 25K miles. 120K miles would be enough for 2 people to fly there in first class and return in business class.

#TonightsRide #GoFirstOrGoHome

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Discounted stays in SPG hotels:

Buying points for 2.33 cents each can make sense in pricey SPG hotels.

For example:

-The Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview is 3K Starpoints on weekends (That’s just $69 when buying Starpoints) and 4K Starpoints on weekdays ($93 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $250/night!

Plus you won’t owe any tax on Starpoint stays.

There’s even weekly Shabbos services and meals in the hotel in the summer and holidays!

 

-The S. Regis Bal Harbour can cost over $1,000/night after tax, but when using 30K Starpoints you won’t pay any tax, so your out of pocket rate will be $699:

srbh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-The W Fort Lauderdale is 12K Starpoints ($279 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $400/night.

-The S. Regis Rome is 20K Starpoints ($466 when buying Starpoints) vs paid rates that can be more than $750/night.

Many other hotels are bargains with points, especially during peak travel times.


Emirates Shower Class:
Emirates A380 first class is affectionately known as “Shower Class.”

#Bedtime from #Emirates #ShowerClass #Suite

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Sure, you get your own walled-in suite and access to the onboard bar.

But it’s the onboard shower that sets it apart.

#Emirates #A380 #ShowerSpa #HeavenOfTheSkies

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You can fly it from JFK to Milan and by far the best way to book it is with JAL miles.

Emirates charges massive fuel surcharges when you use their miles, but Alaska and JAL can book you on Emirates without those fees.

However, Alaska charges 360K miles to fly round-trip from JFK to Milan while JAL charges just 100K miles round-trip!

You can transfer 80K Starpoints into 100K JAL miles thanks to the 25% transfer bonus. It other words by buying Starpoints at 2.33 cents each you can fly round-trip in Emirates shower class to Europe for just $1,864!

Want a longer flight in Shower Class?
JAL charges 135K miles from JFK to Dubai round-trip to 155K miles from JFK to the Maldives via Dubai round-trip.


Of course there are endless other ways to use your Starpoints where it can make sense to buy some points to reach an award redemption. How do you use your Starpoints?

Here’s What I Paid To Earn 2 Years Of Hyatt Globalist Status. Plus: How Much My Local Hotel Was Reimbursed For My Stays

Friday, April 21st, 2017, 11:51 am

Last year a Hyatt Place opened in Legacy Village, a “lifestyle” outdoor mall that is within walking distance of my house. They did a bit of a rush job to get it open on time for the RNC in Cleveland last July.

My first thought was, boy that would have been nice back in the days of Faster Free Nights!

From 2002 through 2010 that Hyatt promotion offered a free night in any Hyatt after every 2 stays. In 2009 I was earning 13,500 United miles+6,000 Hyatt points+1 free night at any Hyatt in the world for every 2 stays that I made. And I did a lot of “Mattress running” to rack up stays that would earn dozens of free nights and hundreds of thousands of miles. While Mileage running refers to the art of flying on cheap tickets to generate more miles than the cost of the ticket, Mattress running refers to making hotel stays that generate more benefits than the cost of the stay. Over the years I redeemed dozens of Faster Free Nights in the wonderful Park Hyatts in Sydney and Melbourne and Hyatts in Maui and Kauai.

Then last October Hyatt announced that they were going to make it significantly harder to achieve top-tier elite status. Instead of 25 stays it would take 60 nights. They also changed the elegant Platinum and Diamond names to some nonsense about Explorists, Discoverists, and Globalists. Apparently they are trying to give American a run for their money for their new Platinum Pro level in the contest for dumb new elite status names.

I noted in that post that there was one final “loophole” for a Mattress run. If you made 25 stays in January and February 2017 you would get the new top-tier Globalist status through February 2019.

I’ve been able to keep top-tier status with Hyatt for the past 10 years thanks to status matches, but they didn’t offer one last year. There is a status challenge that may be available now, but it will require 20 nights, won’t award the status during the challenge, and it won’t include confirmed suite upgrades as matches did in the past.

Top-tier status with Hyatt is quite valuable. It comes with suite upgrades that can be confirmed at the time of booking and are wonderful when traveling with kids. I’ve received great kosher breakfasts from hotels like the Grand Hyatt Kauai and Park Hyatts in NYC, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Sydney, Paris, and many more. I’ve even received kosher champagne a few times when staying for a special occasion.

I got 5 stay credits from my Hyatt credit card, which meant that if I made 20 stays I’d get 2 years of Globalist status.

We went to Los Angeles for our kids’ winter break. We stayed with 10K points+$125 at the Andaz West Hollywood on Wednesday night with a Diamond confirmed suite upgrade that books into a massive renovated suite there.

 

Andaz West Hollywood Suite Living Room:

dsc02258a

 

On Thursday we went to Disneyland and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach with a Diamond confirmed suite upgrade on a $175 rate that awarded back a whopping 5,000 points. From Friday through Sunday we stayed with friends and then we went back to the Andaz on cash and points with a suite upgrade for the last 2 nights. I had to make those stays in LA anyway, so I excluded that from the cost of the actual mattress running.

I also booked a night for a DDF member in Cleveland which dropped the total number of “Mattress run” stays I’d need to 16.

Hyatt doesn’t give stay credit for point stays, but they do give credit for cash and points stays.

The Hyatt Place in Legacy Village wasn’t showing cash and points rooms on most nights, but I often find with Hyatt hotels that if you search for corporate code 51440 the website will show more points and cash room availability.

To my surprise it showed up as just 2,500 points plus $20:

hyatt2

 

The total with tax was $23.30:

hyatt4

 

I had Hyatt gift cards that I had bought for 33% off with AMEX Offers.

That meant 16 stays would cost $372 cash less 33%=$249. Plus 2.5K points x 16 stays=40K Hyatt points.

However I was still Diamond from my last status match until February, so I’d also be getting the diamond amenity of 500 points at Hyatt Place hotels or 1,000 points at full service Hyatts.

The agents at the Hyatt Place Legacy Village are extremely undertrained. The diamond amenity always required calling Hyatt to request, but I didn’t mind that as Hyatt offers 50% extra points when it has to be manually requested:

f40759956614f14c47c5b1732d3fe5e5

 

That meant about 16,000 points were rebated back, driving down my Mattress running points cost from 40K points to about 24K points.

The hotel itself is a mess and I don’t recommend it. They built a parking garage for it right next to the hotel, but they never bothered to connect it, so you have to walk back outside to get inside the hotel. The pool was closed on several occasions without any notice given on the website. They rarely properly coded the keys with 4pm Diamond checkout despite asking for it every time. Management never returned my calls to discuss issues.

Worse, they gave someone else the keys to our room on one occasion, lesson learned, always use the deadlock. They gave me 15,000 points for that incident but then another time they gave me the keys to a room occupied by someone else who also didn’t use the deadlock. That earned me another 5,000 points, but sure didn’t make me ever want to stay in the hotel.

On the plus side, that took my Mattress run point cost basis down from 24K points to just 4,000 points.

The hotel also always printed out what they actually collected from Hyatt for the 2,500 points I used for each stay. They bill Hyatt GP $20, so Hyatt is paying just 0.8 cents per point to the hotel:

hyatt3

 

 

 

And sure enough after the 25th stay was made, I got Globalist status through February 2019:

hyatt5

 

 

Curious about how hotels are reimbursed for stays?

You can read this post that I wrote a few years ago about the economics behind airline award tickets and hotel award stays.

In it I had data points from my hotel stays showing SPG paid the Le Meridien Khao Lak 1.35 cents per Starpoint redeemed with cash and points. I also showed my folio from the Park Hyatt Toronto. Hyatt Gold Passport paid them just 0.7 cents per point on a cash and point stay. However they also paid $224, or 1.5 cents per point, for a point stay when the hotel was sold out.

 

In total I paid about $249 and 4,000 points to earn Globalist for the next 2 years. Hyatt eliminated the amenity offered with each stay, a curious move considering how much harder they have made it to requalify for top-tier status in the new program. However with new benefits like space available suite upgrades at checkin and confirmed suite upgrades that now work on point stays I think it will be worth it, but time will tell.

Did you mattress run for Globalist status or was I the only one crazy enough to go for it?

Is It Worth Paying 1.87% To Pay Your Taxes Via Credit Card?

Sunday, April 16th, 2017, 12:00 am

Update: Tax day is on 4/18 this year. Will you use a credit card to pay your taxes?

Originally posted on 1/22/17:

On the IRS website you can find a processor that charges 1.87% to process your tax payment via credit card.

It can definitely make sense to pay your taxes via credit card if you are signing up for a card and are trying to reach a spend threshold that you won’t be able to reach without some help.

But what about if you don’t have any spend thresholds to meet?

-If you pay at least $5,000 in taxes on your AMEX Business Platinum card you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent. Those points are “hybrid” points. You can transfer them into real airline miles from any alliance. Or you can redeem them for paid travel. Thanks to the 50% points rebate those points will be worth at least 2% each, meaning you’ll be earning at least 3% back for the spending.

The $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points worth at least $152.82.

That tax payment fee may be tax-deductible, you should speak to your tax preparer about that. If you can deduct the fee that changes the math based on your marginal tax rate.

You can also request a refund for any overpayment when you file your taxes and the IRS will cut cut you a check or a direct deposit into your checking account.

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card offers 1.5 points per dollar everywhere if you have 30 total transactions that billing period. The card also offers up to 4.5 points per dollar in categories like groceries, gas, and Uber. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles. If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card is the only no-annual fee card that can transfer points into airline miles.  It offers 1.2 miles per dollar spent. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 6,112 points transferable to airline miles.  If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

-The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. If you have a Sapphire Preferred/Reserve or Ink Bold/Plus/Preferred you can transfer those points into airline miles or hotel points. If you have a Sapphire Reserve you can also redeem those points for 1.5 cents each towards travel. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles if you or an additional user have one of the aforementioned card or useable for $114.62 towards travel with a Sapphire Reserve.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX have the ability to transfer points into dozens of different airlines at a 20K:25K ratio, effectively 1.25 miles per dollar spent everywhere. If you owe $20,000 in taxes and pay for it on your Starwood card you’ll pay $374 and you’ll get 20,374 Starpoints which can be transferred into 25,374 miles. If you spend $30K/year you qualify for SPG and Marriott Gold status.

-The Discover it Miles card gives 3 “miles” per dollar everywhere for the first year that you have the card.  They’re worth 1 cent each, so you’ll come out 1.13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus gives 2 points per dollar plus a 5% rebate on redemptions, so you’ll come out .18% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Citi Double Cash card gives 2% cash back, so you’ll come out .13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

Other cards offer benefits for hitting annual spend thresholds.

-The JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard offers mosaic status for spending $50K annually. Mosaic status includes free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free even more speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line.

-The Delta Platinum and Reserve consumer cards and Delta Platinum and Reserve business cards offer elite qualifying miles for meeting annual spend thresholds. If you spend $25K/year you’ll also waive the requirement to spend a minimum amount on Delta flights to earn elite status.

-Spending $25K/year on the United Explorer card earns 10K bonus miles and waives the requirement to spend a minimum amount on United flights to earn Silver, Gold, or Platinum elite status. The United Club card offers 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere. Both United cards give access to expanded saver award availability, priority boarding, and keep your miles from expiring for as long as you’re a cardholder.

-Lots of other cards have threshold bonuses. The Chase Hyatt card gives elite night credits if you spend $20K or $40K, though that ends in February. The Chase Ritz Carlton card gives Marriott and SPG Gold status for spend $10K/year and Platinum status for spending $75K/year. The Chase Marriott gives an elite credit for every $3,000 spent. The AMEX Hilton and Citi Hilton cards award Gold status for spending $20K/yead and the AMEX Hilton Surpass and Citi Hilton Reserve award diamond status for spending $40K/year. The Citi Hilton Reserve also gives a free hotel night for spending $10K/year. The Chase Southwest cards give companion pass status if you earn 110K points in a year. The Chase Fairmont gives a free night for $12K/year. The Citi AA Executive card awards 10K elite qualifying miles for spending $40K/year. My grandfathered Ink Bold Exclusives card gives 167,500 miles if you spend $100K/year, etc, etc.

Is it worth it? It all depends on what you do with your miles.

The value of airline miles is huge if you fly last-minute, one-way, or in business or first class internationally.

When I fly from Akron or Cleveland to NYC on a last-minute ticket it cost just 15K Avios instead of $1,200 round-trip.

76K points transferred to Singapore is enough for a ticket in a private couples suite on an A380 one-way from JFK to Frankfurt with no fuel surcharges.

With hybrid points you can always get a great value by using the points directly for paid tickets or you can transfer them into airline miles so that you are always be a step ahead of the airline’s game. Transfer points when outsized award values are available or redeem directly for paid flights when they are not.

Of course there are much cheaper ways of manufacturing spend to buy miles for less, but considering that this takes zero effort, it’s not a bad deal.

You can make 2 payments per credit card processor for each quarterly estimate or for your year end bill. You can make another 2 payments each time by using a spouses name to pay.

You can also pay with a debit card for a $2.25 or $2.59 flat fee in case you have a mileage earning debit card or gift cards to cash out.

Do you pay your taxes with a credit or debit card? Or is it too pricey of a method to buy miles? Sound off in the comments!

Is This The Final Opportunity Ever For An Increased Starwood AMEX Signup Bonus?

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, 9:08 pm

Update: Offer expired!


Related posts:
-Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!
-SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards
-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart
Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the  Starwood Business AMEX are offering 35K Starpoints each if you signup up by 2:59pm tomorrow and meet the spend threshold. That’s 40% more points than normal and is the highest SPG signup bonus ever offered.

#OverwaterVilla #Maldives #Paradise #Drone #Mavic Bonus points if you spy me 😉

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In 2018 the Starwood program will be combined with Marriott. Most, though not all, loyalty programs typically go with one bank to issue a co-brand credit card. Chase currently offers the Marriott card, so the odds are that either AMEX or Chase will win the deal for a combined Marriott-Starwood program.

Marriott values 1 Starwood point at 3 Marriott points and allows you to convert points back and forth, making 35K Starpoints convertible into 105,000 Marriott points. That’s a very generous valuation and creates lots of highly lucrative opportunities. But more importantly it shows that Marriott really does value Starwood loyalists and will do right by them in this merger.

The increased Starwood bonus typically only comes around once per year, so it’s definitely possibly that this may be the final increased offer ever for the Starwood AMEX.

One thing we’ve learned from the loss of Airtran, America West, Continental, Northwest, and USAirways is that the number of co-brand credit card options out there continue to decrease, so it’s important to take advantage of the signup offers while you can.

There are lots of possibilities for the future of the Starwood card. AMEX and Chase may continue to each offer their own co-brand Marriott card. One bank may wind up being able to service previous grandfathered accounts but not being able to take new signups. One bank may wind up taking over all of the cards and loans.

Currently the Starwood AMEX offers more points per dollar in every category than the Chase Marriott card due to the 1:3 conversion ratio from SPG to Marriott. It remains to be seen how that will be reconciled in a combined program.

It’s hard to say at this point what exactly will happen, but one thing is for sure. If you are on the fence, now is definitely the time to signup for both a consumer and a business Starwood card due to what is possibly the final limited time offer expiring tomorrow afternoon.

Maldives Trip Notes Part 1: Flying Emirates Shower Class To Dubai

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, 1:30 pm

-Find dozens of trip notes like this one by clicking on the “Trip Notes” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.


-Maldives Trip Notes Part 1: Flying Emirates Shower Class To Dubai
-Maldives Trip Notes Part 2: Dubai and Abu Dhabi
-Maldives Trip Notes Part 3: The S. Regis Maldives
-Maldives Trip Notes Part 4: Flying Etihad Shower Class Back Home


In July 2012 Singapore Airlines had a glitch that released business and first class availability on all of their flights to partners like United. I had long wanted to fly on the all-business class flight from Newark to Singapore which was the longest flight in the world, a whopping 19 hours. With the glitch, I was able to use just 60K miles to fly from Cleveland to the Maldives via Newark and Singapore. I booked the W and stayed there for 2 nights. The overwater villa with a private pool was indescribably magical. Gazing at the stunning sunsets and and the star filled nights creates an amazing sense of serenity.

It wasn’t a matter of if, but when I’d be back.

That opportunity came when DDF member beastieb discovered that you could book a $2,500/night overwater villa at the soon to open S. Regis Maldives for just 32.5K Starpoints per night or 26K Starpoints per night for a 5 night stay. After giving DDF members a day to make their bookings I posted it here and called it one of the best SPG redemptions possible. (You can still earn the highest Starpoint bonus ever on the 2 SPG AMEX cards until tomorrow afternoon)

Within a week many other blogs picked up the story and rates went up to 90K Starpoints per night or 72K Starpoints per night with a 5 night stay.

But not before I made 16 bookings of 5 night stays for myself. I tied up over 2 million of my Starpoints, but I was determined to find some dates that worked with the right flights.

Even after burning 2.5 million miles last year I was still sitting on 8 figures of miles thanks to years of work building up my mileage balances. So once I’m flying somewhere internationally it’s going to be in a premium cabin.

I’ve flown international first class on most American, European, and Asian airlines with my miles. I’d say that my favorite service on a flight has been from ANA and Singapore, their flight attendants are in another league and tend to your every need. My favorite first class bed and seat is on Cathay Pacific, though they are the only airline known to refuse to warm up your own kosher meal and their service isn’t quite as good as other Asian carriers. Lufthansa and Swiss have great first class lounges and ground services. Qantas‘ first class lounges are amazing as well. My favorite cabin was on TAM, where I was able to book the entire first class cabin/living room for my family with miles. And flying Singapore’s couples suites is pretty amazing as well.

But until now I’ve never been able to take a shower on a plane. The only 2 airlines to offer that are Dubai based Emirates and Abu Dhabi based Etihad. Rival UAE cities and rival airlines, that’s what strong competition along with government backing will create. Their A380 first class cabins are affectionately known as shower class.

From North America you can fly nonstop on an Emirates A380 from JFK, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, or Washington DC to Dubai. You can also fly from JFK to Milan on an Emirates A380.

The best way to redeem for an Emirates award is with JAL miles. A round-trip shower class award from JFK to Milan is 100K miles. A round-trip from JFK to Dubai is 135K miles. And a round-trip from JFK to the Maldives via Dubai is 155K miles. There are no fuel surcharges. You need to call JAL to book this award, but you can search award space on ExpertFlyer.com or AlaskaAir.com.

Thanks to Starwood’s 25% transfer bonus you can book a round-trip in Emirates shower class from the US for just 80,000 Starpoints round-trip. You’ll have more points than that after opening and meeting the spend threshold on 2 SPG cards. A paid Emirates shower class ticket to Milan runs $10,000 and to Dubai or the Maldives is $26,000, so those are some incredible values per Starpoint.

If you find yourself down under you can book a round-trip shower class award from Sydney to Auckland on Emirates for just 65K JAL miles.

You can also use miles from other airlines like Alaska or Korean to fly on Emirates, but those options are pricier than JAL.

#Bedtime from #Emirates #ShowerClass #Suite

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View the rest of the trip report after the jump:

 

(more…)

Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Business Spend Bonus

Monday, April 3rd, 2017, 1:44 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Several DDF members have posted that they were targeted for a spend bonus on their Starwood business card.

You can login to your AMEX account via this link to check if you are targeted.

If you are targeted and spend $10,000 on your SPG card you’ll get 20,000 total Starpoints. You need to enroll by 5/31 and complete the spending by 6/30.

My cards aren’t targeted this time, are yours?

HT: luckyluck, via DDF

Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!

Monday, April 3rd, 2017, 11:00 am

Update: Offer expired!


With the Marriott and Starwood programs set to combine next year this may be your last chance to apply for a Starwood AMEX with an increased signup bonus!

Originally posted on 2/16:

Related posts:
-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!
-SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards
-Is This The Final Opportunity Ever For An Increased Starwood AMEX Signup Bonus?
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!
Check To See If You Are Targeted For A Starwood AMEX Consumer Spend Bonus

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Consumer 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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Business 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

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This is a limited time offer scheduled to run until 4/5/17.  It offers 40% more points than the standard offer!

Typically there is only one limited time offer on the SPG card per calendar year, so there’s no better time to apply than now.

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year on both cards.

For the consumer card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $3,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $2,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 40K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the consumer card before you will not get the bonus for the consumer card again.

For the business card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $3,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 43K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the business card before you will not get the bonus for the business card again.

You can apply for and get the bonus for each of these cards if you haven’t had them before.

If you have only had a consumer card you can get the points for business card and if you have only had the business card you can get the points for the consumer card.


Spending on the Starwood card:

The Starwood card remains a very good card for general spending.

While there are other cards with better bonus categories, the Starwood card is strong for general spending as Starpoints continue to be the most valuable mileage currency thanks to excellent uses at hotels and the 25% bonus for transfers into dozens of airlines.

There are no foreign transaction fees on the Starwood cards.

Starwood also allows members at the same address to transfer points between their accounts for free. Best of all making a transfer like that extends the life of your points by another 18 months.

There are thousands of uses for Starpoints, some of which have been over 50 cents each for me at hotels, but I aim for a minimum value of about 2.2 cents per point and am happy when I’m able to exceed that level. It’s not hard to reach a value of that level at hotels and you can transfer 20K miles into 25K valuable miles from airlines like Aegean, Alaska, American, and dozens of other programs. If you are able to obtain a value of 1.75 cents from those airlines then that imputes a 2.2 cent value for Starpoints as well. The miles won’t sell on the grey market for that price, but miles are always more valuable when you use them yourself for travel.

The Starwood card earns 2 Starpoints per dollar at Starwood hotels, or a 4.4% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint. It also earns double points on SPG hotel bedding and when you buy Starpoints. It earns 1 Starpoint per dollar everywhere else, or a 2.2% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint.


More valuable than ever thanks to the Marriott merger:

Marriott completed their purchase of Starwood last year and they treated Starwood members better than anyone could have hoped for thanks to a transfer ratio of 1 Starpoints:3 Marriott points.

I’ll write more about the best Marriott uses in a separate post.


American Express benefits and the annual fee:

There’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Aside from the valuable points you’ll earn from signing up and spending you’ll also have access to awesome AMEX benefits:

The card also carries American Express’ awesome top-notch protections that are light-years better than any other banks. Most other banks always look for a way to get out, but that’s not the case with American Express.

-If you need to return an item up to $300 and a store won’t take it back due to a time limited or final sale policy, AMEX will gladly refund you thanks to return protection. The vast majority of the time you’ll even be able to keep the item, but if you do need to send it back the return shipping will be free. That’s a far more generous policy than any other bank offers. This benefit is valid for $1,000 of returns per card per calendar year.
–If a store charged a restocking fee to return an item then AMEX will cover it, up to $300/item, as part of their return protection coverage.
-You get an additional year of warranty coverage and if you have any issue in the extended warranty year they’ll pay to have it fixed or refund your entire purchase price without a hassle. This benefit is far more valuable than warranty benefits offered by other banks.
-If you need to dispute a charge there’s nobody who makes it easier or as pain-free as American Express does. It’s the easiest dispute resolution process in the industry by leaps and bounds and you can do it all online.
-If your item is stolen or broken within 90 days you’ll be covered.

See this post to see just how amazing AMEX benefits can be.


Spend Threshold

You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.87% fee. The Starpoints are worth more than 1.87 cents each, so that’s a no-brainer if you’re trying to meet a spend threshold to earn the signup bonus points.

If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.

My local gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay. I used to prepay 5 months of rent on a my credit card (it’s easier in Cleveland where that’s just $800/month) for a $19 flat fee. You’d be surprised to see what you can charge to your credit card!


Sheraton Club Lounge Access:

The Starwood business card gives free club lounge access when staying at Sheraton hotels.

There have been rave reviews of the Sheraton Club lounge in Tel Aviv for example.  If you have a Starwood business card you’ll get free access to it and its free food, beverages, and sweeping view of the Mediterranean Sea. A free night at the Sheraton Tel Aviv is 12K points, 6K points+$110, or 9.6K points per night on a 5 night stay.


Premium Internet Access:

With either Starwood card you now get free premium in-room internet at Starwood hotels. All SPG guests get free internet, but cardholders will now get the faster version for free.


Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Starwood card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.


Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

In addition to the Starwood business card offering Sheraton Lounge access, the business card also offers Starpoints plus Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field


Elite Status and Crossover benefits with Delta and Uber:

Just by having a Starwood card you earn Preferred Plus status.  This status earns you the right to checkout at 4pm at Starwood hotels and get upgraded to preferred rooms.

If you spend $30,000 in a year on either Starwood card you earn Gold status.  Gold status gets you more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points.  You can also get gold status for free with no spending requirement by opening The Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

When you have the Starwood card you also get 5 elite qualifying nights and 2 stays for each Starwood card that you have that count towards earning Gold or Platinum status!

Starwood Gold and Platinum elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

And all members can earn bonus Starpoints for Uber rides as well after making a single SPG stay.


Read this post for more about Marriott elite benefits, the best ways to use your Starpoints, and more about the best ways to use the Marriott program!

Where do you like using your Starpoints? Hit the comments!

MLB Slammin’ Sluggers Baseball Game For $19.97 From Amazon After $14 Price Drop

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017, 12:20 pm

Update 3: Sold out from Amazon once again, but available from WalMart for $19.97!

Update 2: Back in stock!

Originally posted on 3/13:

Update: Sold out!


MLB Slammin’ Sluggers Baseball Game For $19.97 From Amazon

This was selling for $33.91 yesterday and is now the lowest price ever from Amazon.

This game does not requires batteries and is not electronic.

 

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-Pitch, field, bat, and run the bases just like a real baseball game!
-2 person game, take turns being the pitcher & fielder and the batting team as you play through the full 9 innings!
-Control the pitcher to throw fastballs and wild curve balls using the innovative magnet technology and control system!
-Track balls, strikes and outs as you pitch!
-Personalize the field with your favorite MLB team! Includes all 30 MLB team billboards and over 200 individual player pieces!

HT: shiframeir, via DDF

Deals Ending Soon: 3/31/17 Edition

Friday, March 31st, 2017, 9:35 am

-Today is the final day to transfer Marriott/SPG points to Southwest to qualify for a companion pass. You can buy Starpoints on sale to help you get enough points to transfer

-Today is the final day to save on Apple Care plans.

-Today is the last day to enroll for a SPG AMEX spending bonus.

-Today is the final day to complete 5x spending on gas and local commuter transportation on Chase Freedom You can buy Visa or store gift cards to lock in savings.

-Today is the final day to complete 10x spending on hotels and car rentals on Freedom/Freedom Unlimited.

-Today is the last day to spend your monthly $15 Uber credit from AMEX Platinum.

-You can earn the highest SPG bonus ever (for potentially the last time ever) through 4/5.

-If you enrolled for 20-25K points for spending $1,000 with Air France, that offer expires 4/14.

-You can get 30% off Starpoint purchases through 4/30, see this post for some lucrative reasons to do so.

-You can earn 10% back on restaurants on top of the normal offers with the AMEX Blue Cash cards if you apply by 5/3.

-You can earn 100K Hilton points plus a free anniversary night with AMEX Hilton cards limited time offers ending 5/31.

-You can earn 107.5K Marriott points plus a free anniversary night with a Chase Marriott card limited time offer.

Post what other deals are expiring soon!

2 Days Left Until Southwest’s Companion Pass Becomes Much Harder To Obtain, Here’s How You Can Take Advantage Before It’s Too Late!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017, 12:25 pm

Update: There are just 2 days left to transfer hotel points to Southwest in order for them to help you earn a Companion Pass valid through 12/31/18!

Originally posted on 2/22:

On 1/1/17 Southwest stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning, removing hotel point transfers as a method to earn Southwest Companion Pass.

After an apparently controversial campaign to write to Southwest, file DoT complaints, and raise awareness of the change on social media, Southwest agreed to give a 3 month grace period to transfer hotel points and have them qualify to earn Companion Pass status. Southwest has posted about their change of heart here.

You can read Southwest’s response to people who filed DoT complaints here.

If you earn 110K Southwest points by 12/31/17 you’ll earn Southwest Companion Pass status that will be valid until 12/31/18. 

With a Southwest Companion Pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass.

Southwest still offers 2 free checked bags. Plus you can cancel revenue tickets with no charge and use the funds for a future flight. Point reservations can be cancelled for free with the points redeposited back to your account!

Until 3/31/17 Southwest will count hotel point transfers towards companion pass status. After that date they will no longer count.


It’s worth noting that points earned from Southwest credit cards will continue to count towards companion pass status, even after 3/31.

You can currently earn 50K points from both the Southwest Consumer Plus and Southwest Consumer Premier cards. You can also earn 60K points from the Southwest Business Premier card. However all are those cards fall under Chase’s 5/24 guidelines which makes them hard to get if you have been approved for 5 consumer cards within the past 24 months.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

After clicking on the Southwest Consumer Plus 50K card offer you can scroll down to find the offers for Southwest Consumer and Business Premier cards as well.


Hotel transfers made by 3/31 will combine with points earned from Southwest credit cards and paid flights to earn companion pass status by earning 110K points by 12/31/17.

In other words if you earn 60K points from hotel transfers by 3/31 and earn 50K points from opening a credit card in April you will still earn Companion Pass status.

Notes about transfers:
-Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards don’t count towards Companion Pass.
-You can’t transfer Starwood points directly to Southwest, but you can transfer Starwood points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio and then transfer Marriott points to Southwest.
-You can transfer 50K Chase points to 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt points into 30K Southwest points and those points will count for Companion Pass status.
-You can transfer Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
-You can transfer points to another Marriott member to complete an award.
-You can transfer points to another Starwood member living at your address.

If you use the regular Marriott Rewards transfer chart you would need 310K Marriott Rewards points to transfer 110K Southwest points.

However you can get a much better deal with Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would give you 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

A transfer of 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott Rewards points will make that happen.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.

-It will take 2-3 days for the points to reach Southwest and your Southwest account will be updated to Companion Pass status within a few days of the transfer.
-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get a higher hotel category certificate.
-The 120K Southwest points transfer is the best value, but you can save points with a lower package if you don’t need 110K points for the Companion Pass.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.
-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.

You can view hotels by category and tier via the “find” button on this page.

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-120K Southwest points will net between $1,800-$2,400 of free flights. Thanks to the companion pass you can bring someone along for free, which will mean you can use those points for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights. Plus of course you’ll get a 7 night category 1-5 hotel stay. Not a bad deal for 90K Starpoints!

-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

There is also a 5 night hotel+points option that can save you some Marriott points, but officially that’s only available for Marriott timeshare owners. 5 nights and 120K Southwest points would cost 235K Marriott points. That’s 35K fewer Marriott points than are required for the 7 night package. On rare occasions some reps will book the 5 night packages for non-timeshare owners.


Still short on points?

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here with a current 30% discount. Points cost 3.5 cents each. You may be able to buy points for less than that on the grey market.

For example 20K Starpoints are on sale for $490 instead of $700 or 30K Starpoints are on sale for $735 instead of $1,050. That’s a cost of 2.45 cents per Starpoints instead of the regular 3.5 cents per Starpoint.

Of course you also earn miles for the purchase, which makes the real cost even less.

If you have a Starwood AMEX and buy 30K Starpoints for $735 you will earn 1,470 Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll pay $735 for 31,470 Starpoints, or 2.33 cents per Starpoint.

If you already have most of the Starpoints and will utilize the companion pass then buying some points is a no-brainer.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with a Starwood account of someone else from your household. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

Even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 86,000 Starpoints using 3 accounts for $2,107. With the Starwood AMEX you’ll also earn 4,214 Starpoints for the purchase, leaving you with 90,214 Starpoints.

Of course you won’t need to spend that much if you already have some Starpoints or Marriott points.

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award and that will make your 120K Southwest points good for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights when you bring along a free companion.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can call to have your Starwood account upgraded to Gold status which will then be matched to Marriott Gold as well!

-The Chase Marriott card offers 107,500 Rewards points (also transferable to 35,833 Starpoints) for spending $5,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


Will you try to obtain Companion Pass status before the hotel point transfer opportunity ends?

Chase Marriott Visa Highest Bonus Ever: Earn 107,500 Rewards Points!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017, 10:13 am

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Other Credit Cards” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice. 

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

For a limited time, Chase is offering 100,000 bonus rewards points for signing up for a Chase Marriott card and spending $5,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll get 7,500 bonus rewards points for adding a free additional user card, making for a 107,500 point signup bonus.

You’ll also get a free Marriott category 1-5 every year upon your account anniversary.

There is an $85 annual fee.

Chase’s 5/24 guidelines apply to this card. You can get this bonus if you haven’t received a bonus on this card in the past 24 months.

3 Marriott points transfer into 1 Starpoint, so if you want you can convert the 112,500 points you’ll have for signing up for the card and spending $5,000 into 37,500 Starwood Starpoints.

This card offers 5 points per dollar at Marriott and SPG hotels, 2 points per dollar on airfare, car rentals, and restaurant, and 1 point per dollar elsewhere.

Note that aside from the signup bonus, you’ll be better off spending on the Starwood AMEX card as 1 Starpoint can be converted into 3 Marriott points. The Starwood AMEX offers 2 Starpoints per dollar at Marriott and SPG hotels, which can be converted into 6 Marriott points. Other purchases can be converted into 3 Marriott points per dollar.

#HelloBeautiful #GoodMorning from #Paradise #StRegisMaldives #Mavic #Drone

A post shared by @dansdeals on

To read about using these points and converting between Marriott points and Starpoints and more, please see these posts:

-Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!

-SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards

-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered

The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition

Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!

Yoshop March Sale: Up To 50% Off

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 10:00 pm

Please note: This is a paid advertisement which is stickied as the top post, please scroll down for new posts.

Yoshop has new products on sale. Shipping is free.
-Fidget Toy Triangle Hand Spinner Finger Gyro: $1.99 code: DSYSCBGS
-JACKLY 45 in 1 Screwdriver Professional Repair Tool Kit: $5.99 code: DSYS6089
-CURREN Men Quartz Water Resistance Watch: $6 code: DSYS8023
-Teclast Sleeping Monitor Smart Wristband: $7 code: DSYSH10
-Convoy Waterproof LED Flashlight Torch Light: $10.99 code: DSYSCYS3
-Teclast Sleeping Heart Rate Monitor Smart Wristband: $13 code: DSYSTH30
-Lenovo Heart Rate Monitor Smart Wristband: $19 code: DSYSLNSW
-Sricam 720P Wireless Security IP Camera: $22.99 code: DSYSSP012
-SCISHION TV Box Android 5.1 Smart Media Player: $27.99 code: DSYSSSV88
-Motospeed Gaming Mechanical Keyboard: $41.99 code: DSYSCK104

Non-Iron Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts From Just $25.85/Shirt Shipped! Plus Earn Bonus Avios!

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 7:00 pm

Update: DEAD!


Step 1: Click on this link to view the Charles Tyrwhitt UK store, you can close the tab as soon as it loads.

Step 2: Click on this link and then proceed to the 3 shirts for £55 sale that will be on the page.

Shipping to the US is a flat £13.95, so if you order 3 shirts it will be £68.95 ($86.26) or 6 shirts will be £123.95 ($155.07) shipped. 6 shirts will be just $25.85/shirt including shipping!

You may need to redo the steps above in an incognito browser if you don’t get that prices as listed in the post.

amazon

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Be sure to use a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees such as the Starwood AMEX.

Plus if you enter your BA Executive Club number in the “About You” section while checking out you’ll also earn 8 Avios per pound spent until 3/31! The Avios will post to your account within 1 month.

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HT: Eliyohu, via DDF

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2017 Edition

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 12:42 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX offer 25K 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.

Marriott has their own airline transfer option and an excellent miles+nights redemption option.

You can read more about the 5 ways of transferring Starpoints into airline miles here.

-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…)

Top 5 Methods Of Transferring Starpoints Into Miles; Get A Mileage Transfer Bonus As High As 76%-230% From Your Starpoints!

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017, 4:34 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

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-The Marriott card offers 107,500 signup points, Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


Now that you can transfer Starpoints into Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio there are more ways than ever to turn your Starpoints into miles.

In no particular order, here are 5 great ways to turn your Starpoints into miles:

-The first way is the traditional transfer of Starpoints into miles at a 1:1 ratio or a 20K:25K ratio to dozens of airlines, an effective 25% transfer bonus.

In parenthesis you can see if American Express Membership Rewards (MR), Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR), or Citibank Thank You (TY) points transfers to the airline as well. If no other program can transfer points to that airline it will say not applicable (NA)

OneWorld Alliance:
Air Berlin: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
American: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
British Airways Avios: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, UR)
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY)
JAL: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
LATAM: 20,000 Starpoints=37,500 kms (NA)
Qatar: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (TY)

Skyteam Alliance:
AeroMexico: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Alitalia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
China Eastern: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
China Southern: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Delta: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Korean: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (UR)
Saudia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)

Star Alliance:
ANA: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Aegean: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Air Canada/Aeroplan: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Air China: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Air New Zealand: 20,000 Starpoints=385 points (NA)
Asiana: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Avianca/TACA LifeMiles: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Lufthansa Miles & More: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Singapore: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Thai: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (TY)
United: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles (UR)

Unaligned:
Alaska: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Emirates: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Etihad: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY)
Gol/Varig Smiles: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles (NA)
Hainan: 20,000 Starpoints==25,000 miles (NA)
Hawaiian: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR)
Jet Airways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)
Virgin Atlantic: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (MR, TY, UR)
Virgin Australia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles (NA)

-The second way is with Starwood Nights & Flights. You can get 50K miles with dozens of airlines and stay 5 nights in a SPG category 3 hotel for 60K Starpoints. Or you can get 50K miles with dozens of airlines and stay 5 nights in a SPG category 4 hotel for 70K Starpoints. If you were staying for 5 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using 32K Starpoints for 50K miles, an effective 56.25% transfer bonus.

-The third way is by transferring points to Marriott and transferring points from there to an airline.

The 2 most compelling offers there are:
-18,667 Starpoints would transfer into 56K Marriott points which becomes 25,000 United miles, an effective 33.9% transfer bonus.
-23,333 Starpoints would transfer into 70K Marriott points which becomes 25,000 Southwest miles, which qualify for Companion Pass status if initiated by 3/31. That’s an effective 7.1% transfer bonus.

-The fourth way is by transferring points to Marriott and using their nights and miles option.

You can read more about the option in this post.

-90K Starpoints would transfer into 270K Marriott points which becomes 132,000 United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.
-90K Starpoints would transfer into 270K Marriott points which becomes 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel and 120,000 miles for Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska, American, British, Copa, Delta, Frontier, GOL, Hawaiian, Iberia, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic.

It’s hard to impute a value of the transfer bonus as this includes miles and nights, but let’s attack it from 4 different angles that will show the highest possible valuation, a reasonable stay valuation, a dirt cheap stay valuation, and the lowest possible valuation.

1. 7 nights at a category 5 hotel would normally cost 150,000 Marriott points or 50K Starpoints. If you were staying for 7 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using 40K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 230% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 40K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 200% transfer bonus.
2.
If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a reasonable value of 5K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 35K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 55K Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 140% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 55K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 118% transfer bonus.
3.
If you wouldn’t normally stay 7 nights at a hotel, but assign a dirt cheap value of 3K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 21K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 69K Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 91% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 69K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 74% transfer bonus.
4.
Some reps will allow you to return the 7 night hotel certificate for a refund of 45K Marriott points which you can transfer back to 15K Starpoints. You may need to book a hotel and cancel it in order to receive a 45K point refund. That’s not a good value for the 7 night hotel certificate, but if you won’t use the hotel stay then it’s better than nothing. If you return the certificate it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 76% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 60% transfer bonus.

Yes, that means even if you don’t use the certificate, you can still get 1.76 United miles per Starpoint. If you would make that hotel stay anyway you can get 3.3 United miles per Starpoint. If you value the free nights at 5K or 3K Starpoints each then you can get a value of 1.9-2.4 United miles per Starpoint. No matter how you slice it, that’s a great value for your Starpoints!

-The fifth way is by transferring points to Marriott and using their nights and miles option and finding a rep willing to sell you a 5 night package that’s officially intended for timeshare owners. Most reps won’t do it, but some will.

-78,333 Starpoints would transfer into 235K Marriott points which becomes 132,000 United miles and 5 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.
-78,333 Starpoints would transfer into 235K Marriott points which becomes 5 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel and 120,000 miles for Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska, American, British, Copa, Delta, Frontier, GOL, Hawaiian, Iberia, Southwest, or Virgin Atlantic.

Once again, it’s hard to impute the value of the transfer bonus, but this will show the highest possible valuation, a reasonable stay valuation, a dirt cheap stay valuation, and the lowest possible valuation.

1. 5 nights at a category 5 hotel would normally cost 100,000 Marriott points or 33,333 Starpoints. If you were staying for 5 nights in those hotels anyway it’s like using 45K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 193% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 45K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 167% transfer bonus.
2.
If you wouldn’t normally stay 5 nights at a hotel, but assign a reasonable value of 5K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 25K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 53,333 Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 148% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 53,333 Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 125% transfer bonus.
3. If you wouldn’t normally stay 5 nights at a hotel, but assign a dirt cheap value of 3K Starpoints per night, that would make the certificate worth 15K Starpoints. That means we can assign a value of 63,333 Starpoints use for 132K United miles, an effective 108% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 63,333 Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 89% transfer bonus.
4. Some reps will allow you to return the 5 night hotel certificate for a refund of 10K Marriott points which you can transfer back to 3,333 Starpoints. You may need to book a hotel and cancel it in order to receive a 10K point refund. That’s not a good value for the 5 night hotel certificate, but if you won’t use the hotel stay then it’s better than nothing. If you return the certificate it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 132K United miles, an effective 76% transfer bonus. Or it’s like using 75K Starpoints for 120K miles from the other airlines, an effective 60% transfer bonus.

Using those 4 different scenarios shows us that:
-If you value the hotel nights at the actual cost of redeeming points for the room that you’re better with the 7 night option than the 5 night option.
-If you value the hotel nights as something, but lower than the actual cost of redeeming points for the room that you’re better with the 5 night option than the 7 night option.
-If you plan on returning the hotel night certificate that the value for your Starpoints to airline mile transfer will be the same whether you use the 5 night or the 7 night option.

There are a few things worth noting about the 4th and 5th miles+nights redemption methods:

-You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.
-The miles will post within a few days of the transfer, regardless of when or if you use the 7 night certificate.
-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on. For example if you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 120K-132K miles. If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K-132K miles.

Do you transfer Starpoints into miles or so you use them other redemptions? Which transfer method do you use? Hit the comments!

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