I’ve used 8 figures of 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. In 2016-2018 alone I burned nearly 7 million miles. But just as memorable as a refreshing shower and suite on a plane, are the sports experiences that I’ve redeemed miles for.
Marriott took over Starwood last August, but they continued the Moments program that allowed you to redeem points for experiences. For example last October they still had bidding on unique World Series experiences.
Last year there were some really cool All Star game experiences that you were able to buy with points and I was eagerly looking forward to using points for All Star game experiences in Cleveland last month, but they never showed up.
The All Star Game weekend in Cleveland was truly amazing, but paying with cold hard cash, I settled for nosebleeds. I’m a lot stingier on experiences when I’m not paying with points 😀
Rafi was even serenaded on the train ride home from the All Star Game when the clock struck midnight and he turned 8 years old:
I reached out to Marriott and they have confirmed that they are no longer working with the MLB. They still work with the Cubs for experiences at Wrigley Field, but World Series, All Star Game, and other MLB experiences with Marriott points are gone for good.
Other experiences were also downgraded this year. For example the seat locations in Madison Square Garden this year are much worse than they were with SPG.
Marriott says that going forward they will be focusing on the NFL and Manchester United for the Moments program.
It was a fun run though, and I have to say thanks to SPG for the memories!
Because who would want to spend a month in a stuffy Manhattan hotel anyway 😉
Daniel Eleff cashed in 1.06 million Starwood Starpoints for right to throw 1st pitch at Game 7. Points = 30+ nights at St. Regis New York.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 2, 2016
SPG Moments allowed 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.
That inspired a reader to give their kid an awesome 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!
In August 2016 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.
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
My grandfather bid and won 2 World Series tickets for game 2 last year for 124K Starpoints. They didn’t say where the seats would be, but they were pretty good seats. For some reason they decided to white out the $255 face value on the tickets, though tickets at that price in that location weren’t available to the general public.
SPG came up with awesome seats in the 2nd row Diamond box behind the dugout for my first pitch experience. These seats were a row behind the Cubs owners seats and similar seats were selling for over $35,000 each on Stubhub before the game!
Officially I was only supposed to bring 1 guest with me onto the field, but SPG actually allowed me to bring 3 guests, so I brought my brother JJ, my grandfather, and my wife with me onto the field. All of us got to stay for the rest of the game without needing separate tickets. MLB did not allow me to bring Charlie Sheen, aka Indians closer Wild Thing in Major League, onto the field as a guest.
Hall of Famer Jim Thome also threw out a ceremonial first pitch that night, but as mine was first, I guess that means he tossed the ceremonial second pitch 😀
Hopefully another hotel chain or airline start offering these MLB experiences for miles!
Did you ever bid on MLB experiences with SPG or Marriott?