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Redeeming Starpoints can be a little more complicated than redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points. But if you do it correctly, you can get incredible value and/or incredible hotel stays for your bucket list destinations. This is why the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card is one of my top recommendations for beginning points & miles enthusiasts.
Starpoints Redemption Options
The SPG Portal offers three main ways to redeem Starpoints: free hotel stays, transfer to airline partners, and SPG moments.
Starpoints do not have a fixed value so make sure you are getting the most value for your points before you redeem. For any particular trip, compare the value of Starpoints when redeemed for a hotel and when redeemed for airfare. Simply divide the cost by the number of Starpoints needed for the redemption and go with whichever value is higher.
Redeeming Starpoints for SPG Hotel Stays
SPG assigns all of their hotels to a category from 1 to 7. Redemptions for free nights range from 2,000 Starpoints at Category 1 hotels to 35,000 Starpoints at Category 7 hotels. I personally love redeeming Starpoints for Cash & Points rates. With these rates, you pay for a portion of your stay with cash and use Starpoints for the rest. These redemptions range from 1,500 Starpoints plus $30 at Category 1 hotels to 15,000 Starpoints plus $275 at Category 7 hotels. We used cash and points in Maui to stay at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas for 10,000 points plus $180. The standard rate was about $360 per night so we cut the cost of our room in half and obtained a value of about 1.8 cents per Starpoint.
Thanks to the pending merger between SPG and Marriott you can also transfer points between the two rewards programs. You must have accounts with both rewards programs and link them. The transfer ratio is 3 Starpoints for 1 Marriott Rewards points. Personally, I haven’t found any good redemptions that would make this transfer worthwhile for me.
Redeeming Starpoints by Transfer to Airline Partners
SPG partners with a large number of airlines to provide you with some great airline transfer partners. The complete list can be found here. All the major airlines are included like American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines as well as my favorites Alaska Airlines and British Airways. The best part is that when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints, you get an additional 5,000 bonus Starpoints! If you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, you will see a deposit of 25,000 miles in your Alaska account, but only 20,000 taken out of your SPG account.
Most airline transfer partners have a point transfer ratio of 1:1, but a few transfer at different rates like United which is 2 Starpoints for 1 United MileagePlus mile. Make sure you check the transfer terms and conditions carefully before you proceed. Using Reese’s sign-up bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, we transferred 40,000 Starpoints to Alaska Airlines. With the bonus, we redeemed the 50,000 Alaska miles for two first class one way tickets from LAX to Orlando on Virgin America. We obtained a value of about 3.25 cents per Starpoint so sometimes transferring these points to an airline really pays off!
Redeeming Starpoints for SPG Moments
You can also redeem Starpoints for SPG Moments which are special activities like sporting events, concerts, or VIP tours and experiences. I haven’t taken advantage of SPG Moments yet, but I hope to in the future. These events really have the value you assign to them so take advantage if you see something you like.
Final Thoughts on Redeeming Starpoints
We’ve used these points for both SPG hotels and travel with airline transfer partners, but my favorite way to use Starpoints is Cash & Points nights. You can stay at amazing properties for a fraction of the cost with these rates.
The points & miles game is complicated. Sometimes you spend as much money on a vacation as you would have without points & miles, but you spend your money on experiences not hotels and flights. That will make your vacation more enjoyable and memorable. That’s always a win in my book.
If you’re ready to sign up for your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, you can find my credit card referral links here. When you use my link, you get the sign-up bonus listed and I get the commission listed. This helps me provide content for this site. You don’t have to use my links, but I certainly appreciate it when you do.