Ok, Ok, I admit it. I’m a little tight with the dollar. Particularly when I know something can be had at a better price if I wait them out. The cash and points redemption from Starwood is a perfect example.
When I started planning this around the world trip, I located all the Starwood Hotels in the places I planned to stay. In Bangkok there is a hotel called the Plaza Athenee which suits our needs just fine. It is a category 3 Starwood property and my choices for payment were:
- 5,600 Thai Bahts or $161 US or
- 7,000 Starwood points or
- 2,800 Starwood points and $45 US (cash and points)
When I was assured of the dates for Bangkok, I went back to book it, there was no cash and points option? The dilemmas we face in life.
After 60 days of waiting Starwood out, the cash and miles option showed up again last night and I booked our room.
The math is as follows:
If I paid 7,000 Starwood points for the room, I would be receiving 2.3 cents of value for each Starwood point.
But, by using the cash and points option my 2,800 Starwood points redeemed were worth:
$161 minus $45 co pay left $116 divided by 2,800 or a value of 4.1 cents per Starpoint
That is not quite twice the redemption value of a straight points redemption, but well worth the wait to me.
Of our 61 nights on this Around the World adventure, 28 are booked with Starwood hotels and every redemption is with the cash and points option.
I guess I am as tight with Starpoints, as I am with cash.
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases