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So you’ve picked your Starwood category 4 hotel for an award stay, and you’ve been smart enough to stay 5 nights, as you know about SPG’s ‘5th night free’ offer. You think to yourself, 40K SPG points well spent.
But did you know that for an extra 30K SPG points, you could also get 50K Avios, or 50K AA or 50K Hawaiian to name just 3 of 29 frequent flyer programmes? If not, then it’s time you learnt about the “Nights & Flights” redemption option.
A Quick Recap on SPG points
Starwood’s loyalty points, officially “Starpoints” but “SPG points” to most of us, are amongst some of the most valuable frequent traveller reward points around. As well as being able to use them at some fantastic properties (I had a memorable stay in the St Regis Miami a few years ago), you can transfer them into just about all of the major airline miles. The Starwood brands include Westin, Sheraton, W and Le Meridien, amongst others.
As well as collecting them when you stay in hotels in the Starwood family (or even just dine at their restaurants), in the UK you can collect them with the Amex SPG card. You can also transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to SPG points, but only at a poor 2-for-1 ratio.
Given that SPG points are quite hard to come by, it’s always good when you find a way of getting even better value for them.
Nights & Flights Redemption
The Nights & Flights redemption option allows you to cash in 70K SPG points for 5 nights stay in a cat 4 hotel, AND also get 50K airmiles transferred to the frequent flyer programme of your choice.
Let’s examine the offer in detail.
Executed as two separate redemptions, it would cost 40K SPG points to get 5 nights in a cat 4 hotel, and a further 40K SPG points to get 50K Avios / AA miles (for example). A total of 80K points.
The Nights & Flights redemption, which must be done via the SPG call centre on 020 3564 6335 (it can’t be accessed online), allows you to pay just 70K SPG points to get 5 nights in a cat 4 hotel plus 50K miles of your choice, a saving of 10K SPG points. (The SPG website confusingly talks about a saving of 20K points, but they’re ignoring the 25% bonus you get when you transfer 20K SPG points to airmiles).
Now of course the promo only works if you are intending on a stay of at least 5 nights (extra nights can be tacked on at the regular rate), but if you are, then it’s well worth considering spending an additional 30K SPG for 50K airmiles of your choice.
The important T&Cs are that you can only transfer to one of the 29 airline program that normally transfers at the 1:1 ratio, and also that you must pick a category 4 hotel. There is a similar redemption for category 3 hotels, which requires 60K SPG points, and results in an 8K SPG points saving.
You’ll find the details of the programme on Starwood’s website at the bottom of this page.