Our winning tip from last week came by email from Dan. (Keep submitting your travel tips for a chance to win a $100 gift card.)”When you call United, just bark these words into the phone at the prompts and it will take you right to a representative:
Domestic (or International if you’re flying international)”
Starwood Preferred Guest Program
As I shared at the beginning of the month, my bank of hotel points is pretty lame. Okay, really
lame. My husband got the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) card about six months ago for a 30,000 point sign-up bonus. We are awaiting our last 20,000 points to deposit now as we just completed the minimum spend. That will put us somewhere around 45,000 SPG points total.At the same time I applied for a Chase card with a Continental Airlines bonus and the SPG card. I was denied them both and had to write letters of reconsideration. Chase approved me and I let the SPG card go.Well, this last week I decided to re-apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
with the 30,000 point bonus and I was instantly approved
! I got my card a few days ago and I am using it for all of my everyday purchases. The minimum spend is only $4500 in three months and I’m sure I can do that one. Why did I get approved this time? I have no idea. But I’ll be enjoying every bonus point from here on out.
Transferring SPG Points into Frequent Flier Miles:
You may transfer up to 79,999 SPG points into a participating airlines frequent flier program within a 24-hour period. For every 20,000 SPG points transferred you will receive a 5000 point bonus! Each airline is different. For example: Air New Zealand’s maximum per transaction is 39,975 Starpoints (34,975 of your SPG points plus the 5000 point bonus). You must inquire about the specifics regarding your airline of choice.
A note to all:
“Only one airline transfer transaction per member per program per 24-hour period is allowed; multiple transfer transactions within the same 24-hour period will reject. Both the Starwood Preferred Guest and airline frequent flier program accounts must have identical member names in order to complete this request; different names will cause the transfer to reject.” (taken directly from www.SPG.com)
Exchange ratios vary by airline (Starpoints to airline miles). The major players common to our readers are as follows:Alaskan Airlines 1:1
American Airlines 1:1
British Airways Executive Club 1:1
Continental Airlines OnePass 2:1
United Airlines 2:1
Hawaiian Airlines 1:1
Delta Airline Skymiles 1:1
U.S. Airways Dividend Miles 1:1
LAN Lanpass 1:2
(here we see some great opportunities to maximize points)Maximizing Points
I lived in Brazil for one year and I am always trying to go back to visit so the LAN Lanpass redemption looked appealing as it is a one Starpoint for two Lanpass point ratio transfer. I was looking at their programs redemption chart to see if I could find something worthwhile. It shows that you can redeem a flight from the U.S (probably NYC or MIA) to Brazil (probably SAO or RIO) in economy class for 48,000 points ( Here is a link to the chart ). So theoretically, I could take 20,000 SPG points and redeem them with a 5000 point bonus for a total of 50,000 Lanpass miles. I could get to Brazil on 20,000 SPG points. That is a deal. Right now, to purchase a ticket on LAN from Miami to Sao Paulo, it would cost $791 plus tax and comes with a bunch of travel restrictions. Just to get a comparison with other airlines redemption charts, it would cost me anywhere from 40,000-120,000 American Airline Points to fly from the U.S. to Brazil round trip ( Here is a link for the award chart). This looks really appealing to me. We may be doing Carnival in Brazil next February — on the frugal, of course.
SPG points to LAN Airline Miles — just another way to maximize points if it works in your favor.
– Shannon, The Rookie