Why 35,000 Starwood Points May Be a Good Deal for 2 Tennis Tickets

Starwood is offering Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express cardholders the opportunity to redeem 35,000 Starpoints for a pair of US Open tickets, including access to a an event in the SPG Luxury Suite with food and drinks.

You Shouldn’t Usually Buy “Stuff” With Your Points

I almost always say that it’s a bad idea to redeem miles for merchandise. Use points from travel providers for travel, because then you’re getting not just the ‘rebate’ but also leveraging the travel provider’s ability to purchase inventory that would otherwise go unsold at a deep discount and pass that savings onto you. It’s why United MileagePlus miles can get business class award tickets to Asia for 120,000 miles whereas spending Bank of America Worldpoints it would generally be over half a million points.

When a program has to go out and buy you merchandise like a toaster, that’s hard cash they’re out of pocket and they don’t get that much better of a price than you would waiting for a sale at Target — so you overpay in miles.

You SHOULD Consider Buying “Experiences”

The most important exception to this rule — and access to a Luxury Suite at the US Open probably qualifies — is when you can use the connections and clout of the travel provider (or bank) to get into experiences you couldn’t manage on your own.

If it’s dinner with a famous chef, tennis lessons from Andre Agassi, or time in an airline’s flight simulator, there are things that aren’t just open to anyone — where it’s not really possible to pay cash rather than spend a bunch of miles.

Tennis Fan? Here’s the Scoop on the Starwood American Express US Open Event

Here are details of the event that they sent me, in case this one appeals:

You and a guest will enjoy an intimate Card Member only experience in the SPG Luxury Suite as some of the top players battle for the US Open title.

What: Pair of tickets to an exclusive Cardmember event in the SPG Luxury Suite at the 2013 US Open, with complimentary food and beverages.

When: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Choice of either Day session at 11 a.m. or Evening session at 7 p.m.

Where: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York

Cost: 35,000 Starpoints® for one pair of tickets

To RSVP: Email SPGCardTennisSuite@starwoodhotels.com with your first and last name, the session you would like to attend, your SPG number, and your address if you would like your tickets shipped to an address other than the one associated with your SPG account.

Limit 1 pair of tickets per Cardmember. Your RSVP must specify which session you would like to attend.

    You can join the 30,000+ people who see these deals and analysis every day — sign up to receive posts by email (just one e-mail per day) or subscribe to the RSS feed. It’s free. Don’t miss out!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. if you value the points at 2.5 cents the package will cost you $875.. which is really relatively quite cheap… if only we could be sure when Novak will be playing. Last time I was in a suite I had to watch 59 minutes of Clijsters-Zvonareva torture… 🙁

  2. “Torture” being in a suite at the US Open? Those words really don’t belong together. You are sounding like Lucky with these first world problems.

  3. hmmmm… please go to youtube and watch that disaster of match… and then tell me if you think it’s worth $437.50 to you. and that was FINAL… not even an early round.

  4. @Lantean, I’m a huge Clijsters fan so even though Clijsters won 6-2, 6-1, I would have still loved to see that match. I was there 1 day before you went and witnessed Clijsters winning against Venus Williams in a thrilling 3 set SF match 4-6,7-6,6-4. Same day as the Men’s doubles final where I got to witness the Bryan brothers win their 3rd us open title. 🙂
    In the tennis world, I do feel that it’s always the best deal to get a men’s final ticket rather than a women’s final ticket (given for men’s, at least you know there will be at minimum 3 sets played whereas for women the match can last only an hour with 2 straight sets.)
    @Gary, I agree with your post that buying experiences is certainly worth it, though I doubt I’d spend my SPG points at the US Open to gain access to a luxury suite. However, I’d definitely do it if tennis legends like Navratilova, Borg, Sampras, Graf, etc. will be in the SPG luxury suite as well.

  5. @Joey
    Clijsters was not the problem for me… Zvonareva was… she should reimburse all of us for those tickets! hahaha

  6. “If it’s dinner with a famous chef, tennis lessons from Andre Agassi, or time in an airline’s flight simulator, there are things that aren’t just open to anyone — where it’s better to pay cash than spend a bunch of miles.”

    Did you mean to say the inverse of that?

  7. Not a good deal. Opening rounds which means boring matches at Ashe and it is super easy in the early rounds to sneak into the expensive seats once you’re in the stadium (by buying cheap tix)

  8. I bought a pair of these for the Friday session. That SPG auction included a behind the scenes tour. I’ve always wanted to go, and have never been to the Open. I’m excited, but hope it doesn’t rain, which would make it a very expensive (in points) trip. I’m thinking the food included will provide value.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *