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.