Update: this offer is currently 25000 points, which is why its not on my Best Deals page. Also, I have increased the value of SPG point to 1.5 cents due to some adjustments in the hotels categories.
Currently there is an increased offer for Amex Starwood Preferred guest credit card, available through September 3rd. It gives 30000 Starwood points after 5000 dollars in purchases in the first 6 months. I confess, I have never actually had this card in my life. I just didn’t find the bonus particularly compelling. It seems that every time the sign-up offer was increased, there was a different card I was pursuing. We were like 2 ships, that pass in the night.
Another problem was the spending requirement: 5000 dollars is quite a commitment and potentially could force me to forgo other cards. And when it comes to new cards, I have a serious case of commitment phobia. So I just never took the plunge. But I think I will this time or technically my husband will, he just doesn’t know it. 🙂 To be clear, this is not the top deal currently for family IMO, but in the top 3. I will do an updated post on that in the next few days.
Last week I said, that I value AAdvantage mile at around 1.04 cents a piece. I also mentioned, that when I use the word “value”, that is what I would pay for it. Others define “value” differently in this hobby and I am not here to start an argument. I respect other people’s viewpoint. Your valuation very much depends on your travel goals, so there is no right or wrong here. This is simply my personal opinion, which is what blogging is all about. Basically if you offered me 1 dollar, I would be willing to pay 1 dollar to get it. That is what my value is. I take the same approach, when it comes to miles and points.
So by this metric an SPG point is worth 1.3 cents because when you transfer 20000 points to AAdvantage, you get 5000 miles bonus. 1.04 cents multiplied by 1.25 = 1.3 cents, my value for SPG point, based on my family’s needs. The reason for that is the fact, that we mostly redeem for economy flights.
But does hotel redemption provide a better value? Since we usually travel with my in-laws or my parents and need 2 rooms , only the cheapest redemption make sense. That’s because it would be better to get a rental on VRBO if we had to use too many points. Last year I saw a couple of hotels on SPG redemption chart that ran 3000 points on weekend per night.
One was Sheraton Lake Buena Vista, a good option for Disney vacation. I also planned a Niagara Falls trip, so I looked and there was a Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls hotel for 3000 points per night. Not bad at all. Even with a couple of rooms, it’s a good deal. There were 2 more hotels that were very appealing at 3000 points per night on a weekend.
However when I looked at those same hotels this year, every one of them went up to 7000 points per night, all 4 hotels that interested me. At that price it makes no sense to redeem , because it’s better to get a vacation rental. In fact, I can’t see any hotels on SPG award chart currently, that would work for our particular situation. To me SPG devaluation this year was way worse than Hilton, but others would disagree. Mostly it’s because I was never interested in aspirational Hilton properties to begin with. Once again, this is only my own opinion and take on things.
I value SPG point at 1.3 cents each and will only use it to transfer to AAdvantage. So 30000 points bonus is worth 390 dollars to me. The card also has an annual fee of 65 dollars after 1st year and provides no perks, like free hotel night. So I will cancel it before the renewal.
There are other ways to use SPG points, like redeem them for Amazon gift cards, if miles are not your thing. I know some relatives who will only sign up for cards if there is cash or gift cards incentive involved.
Picture credit goes to Hisss, from Etsy
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.