In general, you should use airline miles for flights only and hotel points for hotel stays only. There are a few exceptions.
For instance, Starpoints in your Starwood Preferred Guest account are great for hotels, but they also transfer at a favorable rate to 30 major airlines. Read my Starpoints Primer here.
Starpoints also occasionally offer incredible value through Moments by SPG. SPG Moments offer one-of-a-kind musical, sporting, or cultural experiences to Starwood Preferred Guest members.
Some of the packages are available for immediate redemption, and some are in an auction format. I was browsing the options the other day, and I ran across an “Exclusive Capital Cities Concert at Sheraton Buenos Aires.”
For only 5,000 Starpoints, you can instantly get two tickets to see these guys perform in my favorite city, and two tickets to a pre-concert cocktail reception.
At my valuation of 2.5 cents per point, that’s $125 worth of points for an awesome evening for two.
Even better, there are five auction packages that include the concert tickets, the reception tickets, and a meet-and-greet with the band.
Only two of them even have a bid.
That’s probably because this is a band with only one hit playing a concert thousands of miles away from most SPG members eight months from now. But for me it means I can probably spend 5k points or just a little more for an option to have an incredible night in December if I’m in Buenos Aires.
There are a number of other live auctions to meet other musicians or sports stars all over the world.
Again, this isn’t necessarily the best use of Starpoints. Nor will it appeal to everyone. But it is a nice option to have, and one to be aware of in addition to the bread-and-butter Starpoint redemptions:
Both the personal and business versions of the Starwood credit card offer 25,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on the card in the first six months. Getting both and meeting both spending requirements would give you 60k Starpoints (which can transfer to 75k American, Delta, or US Airways miles.)
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