I mentioned yesterday that I was going to be giving away 60,000 Starwood Starpoints — 30,000 apiece to two lucky winners.
American Express offered the points to help you “stretch your summer” with a last-minute getaway.
Two summers ago American Express introduced a 30,000 point signup bonus on their Starwood cards for the first time. I got the card for the first time in 2001 — with no signup bonus at all.
Way back in May 2002 when I first started this blog I wrote, “the credit card I recommend most often for earning miles is the Starwood American Express, because points transfer 1:1 into most airline programs and you get a 5k mile bonus for transferring 20k points — equivalent to earning 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases.”
(Sala Pool Villa at the Westin Siray Bay, Phuket)
It’s gotten me stays at the W hotels in Hong Kong, Seoul, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. And free stays at the Le Meridien in Chiang Rai, the Sheraton on the river in Bangkok, the Parker Meridien in New York. Not to mention the St. Regis in DC, the Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida, the Westin Beijing, and the Le Meridien Barcelona. And many, many more stays over the years.
(Bar at the W Seoul)
30,000 points may not seem like a ton in a world of 50,000 and 100,000 point bonuses. But Starwood points are the single most valuable currency there is. They’re flexible with more and more airline mileage transfer options than anyone else and with ways to stretch points on hotel stays with cash and points awards — a category 4 property like the Sheraton Nassau, Westin Hilton Head, or Walt Disney World Dolphin runs 4000 points and $60 per night, those 30,000 points can go a long way.
Whether you win points, earn them as a signup bonus for using the card, or both you can use book last minute hotel rewards, planned in advance hotel rewards, or transfer your Starwood points to airline miles to redeem for premium cabin international awards.
I actually don’t like getting away much during the summer. I live in the DC area, the place clears out in August. That never made sense to me. I want to leave when it’s cold. Why would I want to go someplace warm when it’s warm at home? Maybe that’s just an excuse, since summer is also my busiest time at work. I can’t take more than a weekend away. But everyone else around me looks to make summer their time for relaxation and enjoyment, and never wants it to end…
So here’s the contest, 30,000 points to each of two readers who tell me how they plan to stretch their summer.
How To Enter
- Enter with an answer to the question, “What Starwood hotel or resort property would you like to visit — in the coming weeks — to ‘stretch your summer’ and make the most out of the last days before the Northern Hemisphere cools down, before the leaves turn, and before we’re expected to pretend we’re no longer on break?”
- This is the official entry post. Leave your entries as a comment to this post.
- You may enter only one time per 24 hours, you need to wait at least 24 hours from your previous entry to enter again. Make sure not to leave more than one comment in this thread every 24 hours under any circumstances or you will disqualify yourself.
- Contest ends, and your last chance to enter, August 14th at 5pm Eastern time.
- The winner will be chosen at random. In the usual fashion for giveaways, with the assistance of Random.org.
- All judgments, interpretations, and decisions by me are final. By entering you agree to that, agree not to give me a hard time, acknowledge that I am trying to give points to my readers and not taking any points from American Express or Starwood to do this. So please please please and you agree not to give me a hard time or sue me. There, that’s my legalese, thank you!
Two winning readers will each receive 30,000 Starpoints, which can be redeemed at their discretion under the Starwood Preferred Guest program rules. To win you have to either have or open a Starwood Preferred Guest account (since the points need somewhere to go.) American Express is going to ask for a W-9 form from the winner, which tells me that as a prize it’s probably considered tax-reportable. (They say the retail value of the prize is $750.)
So…. for a chance to win 30,000 Starpoints, what SPG property would you use to stretch your summer?
(View of pool from my room at Le Meridien Chiang Rai – a category 2 property, 3000 to 4000 points per night)
Got questions about this contest? Email them to me, as they may get lost in the entry comments.
(Note that the links to the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card and Starwood Preferred Guest Business American Express card offer a referral credit to me, they also represent the best currently-available offer. I appreciate your applying through those links very much.)