PHOTO: Walt Disney World's Dolphin Resort is just one place among many to redeem SPG points. (photo via Flickr/Loren Javier)
The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express is one of the most lucrative hotel cards out there.
This is partly because their points stretch so far—a Category 1 hotel starts at 2,000 starpoints per night)—but also because you can transfer starpoints to an array of popular airlines.
While the normal offer on this card is 25,000 points, a special promotion is letting people earn a larger signup bonus through April 4, 2017.
At the moment, you’ll earn 25,000 starpoints after you use your card for $3,000 in purchases within 90 days, then another 10,000 bonus starpoints after you spend another $2,000 on your card within six months.
But, what can you actually do with those points? Here are a few lucrative options:
Fly round-trip to Europe on American Airlines.
The Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express offers a special bonus when you transfer starpoints to certain airlines. Transfer 20,000 points, they say, and you’ll get a bonus 5,000 points.
Once you meet the minimum spending requirement to earn 35,000 starpoints, you’ll actually net a minimum of 40,000 points since you earn at least 1 point per $1 spent on your card. If you transfer 40,000 starpoints to American Airlines, you’ll have 45,000 American AAdvantage miles—the exact number you need for an off-peak, round-trip flight to Europe.
Book five nights at a Category 4 property.
Category 4 SPG properties cost just 10,000 points per night. However, the program offers a 5th night free if you book four nights consecutively with points.
With 40,000 SPG points, you could stay five nights at a property like the Walt Disney World Dolphin in Orlando.
Spend half a month at a Category 1 property.
Since Category 1 SPG properties are only 2,000 points per night for weekends and 3,000 points per night on weeknights, you could stitch together quite a hotel stay with 35,000 or 40,000 starpoints.
For 20,000 starpoints, you could spend ten weekend nights at your favorite Category 1 property!
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Turn them into 100K+ Marriott points.
Since the SPG and Marriott loyalty programs have successfully merged, you could turn your 35,000 starpoints into 105,000 Marriott points.
Then, you could use your points to book two nights at a top tier Ritz Carlton property or stretch them out for a longer stay at a lower-end hotel. For example, you could stay three nights at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino for 35,000 Marriott points per night.
Transfer to British Airways for short-haul flights.
The Starwood Preferred Guest program lets you transfer points to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. Since short-haul flights cost just 7,500 avios per leg, you could turn 35,000 starpoints into four one-way, short-haul flights across the U.S.
With dozens of airline transfer partners, a merger with Marriott and hundreds of hotels of their own, the Starwood Preferred Guest program offers a ton of ways to use your points. But don’t forget: You can only sign up for the 35K promotion through April 4, 2017.