Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to pay for a single hotel stay in order to begin racking up hotel loyalty points. Case in point: With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, you simply need to meet a minimum spending requirement in order to earn a boatload of points. Here are the details:
- Earn 25,000 Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
- Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Planning a road trip? Rent your car, fill up your tank, book your hotel, and pay for it with your American Express® Card.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
This card offers plenty of benefits including free Boingo wifi at airports, free premium internet at SPG properties, and no foreign transaction fees. Even better, they make it easy for each cardholder to earn 25,000 Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. But what can you do with those points?
You can do a lot with them, especially if both you and your spouse sign up, which would net you a total of 50,000 Starpoints®. Here are a few amazing hotels you could book with them:
Park Lane Sheraton Hotel, London
As a Category 5 hotel, the Park Lane Sheraton costs only 12,000 points per night during the offseason and 16,000 points any other time. My husband and I stayed four nights at this hotel in November for a total of 48,000 points, although we could have stayed an additional night for free due to Starwood’s fifth-night-free promotion.
The hotel is strategically placed for a whirlwind of sightseeing in downtown London and beyond. Within walking distance of the Green Park Underground Station, you can get nearly anywhere in the city within minutes. The hotel has plenty of character, but is updated enough to include all the creature comforts you’d expect from a five-star hotel.
While many other London properties cost a lot more in both dollars and points, the Park Lane Sheraton remains a great budget option that is close to both public transportation and attractions, including Buckingham Palace, which is right across the street.
Walt Disney World Swan
The Walt Disney World Swan is special for a few reasons, most notably that it sits at the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. So if you’re looking for a way to save on a Disney vacation, this could be your chance.
For only 10,000 points per night, your family could enjoy this resort and the convenience of staying on-site during your Disney vacation. And remember, by pooling points with your spouse and taking advantage of Starwood’s fifth-night-free offer, you could book five nights for only 40,000 points.
During your downtime, you can spend hours at the outdoor pools and beach, or even send your kids to the Camp Dolphin Kids Program if you want some peace and quiet. The resort also offers on-site tennis courts, gym access, spa services, and shopping – something for everyone.
The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach
As a Category 5 property, the Westin Grand Cayman comes in at 12,000 points per night off-peak and 16,000 points during peak times. This resort would be an excellent option for a quick family trip or a romantic getaway. And imagine how much more romantic it could be knowing you got the whole thing for free.
This hotel is on my personal list of places to see for a few reasons. It is located on what is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world: Seven Mile Beach, known for its vast stretch of soft, white sand and turquoise waters. The resort comes with an oceanfront freshwater pool to die for, free Wi-Fi, and a seriously motivating fitness room. Plus, I love the beach.
Sheraton Kauai Resort
None of us needs an excuse to travel to Hawaii, do we? As a Category 5 hotel, the Sheraton Kauai Resort also costs only 12,000 points per night off-peak and 16,000 points per night during the peak season.
The resort features an outdoor Jacuzzi, pool, and garden pool, fitness center, water sports, snorkeling, and scuba lessons, along with access to one of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches. Hawaii is notorious for being an expensive place to visit, but it sure takes the sting out if you can stay for free.
W New York – Times Square
As a Category 6 hotel, the W New York comes in at a pricier 20,000 points per night during off-peak times and 25,000 points per night during peak season. Still, an off-peak three-night stay could be easily achieved by two spouses who sign up for the card and pool their points. And if you want to stay in or around Times Square, this is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to do it.
The perks that come with this address are obvious. For starters, staying in Times Square means you’ll be just steps from some of the world’s best shopping and sites like Carnegie Hall, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and Radio City Music Hall. You’ll find no shortage of things to do in New York City, and you’ll be able to do a lot more than usual if you use SPG points to stay for free.
There are hundreds of amazing hotels you can book with SPG points aside from these gems. If you want to see how far your points can take you, browse through your options here. Category 1 hotels start at only 2,000 points per night, so it’s easy to stretch your points if you’re able to pick a hotel at one of the lower redemption levels. But first you have to sign up for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, and get started meeting the minimum spending requirement to secure the sign-up bonus.
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