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So I’ve been playing the new SPG Open the World game / sweepstakes pretty consistently over the past few weeks. I have a separate browser window open and each morning, I will play twice on my account, and twice on my wife’s account. The game is pretty boring, but thankfully doesn’t take more than a minute or two
I did actually WIN a week or so ago (1,000 Starpoints), and I’ve had some reports from other readers and people I follow of other wins (some $50 Amazon gift cards), but this morning, as I was playing (and losing again… and again… and again… and again…) I started wondering what I would do if I won the grand prize of 250,000 Starpoints
Option 1: A week of luxury
A Category 7 hotel, such as the Hotel Wilson in Geneva Switzerland or the St. Regis Aspen resort costs 30,000-35,000 Starpoints per night
So 250,000 Starpoints would get you a week at one of these upscale resorts. That is an option, but given my preference for more “budget” hotels, probably not one that I would take advantage of
(SEE ALSO: 3 reasons “budget” hotels DESTROY nice ones)
Still, a huge one-time bonus might be an opportunity for a vacation to remember!
Option 2: Spreading out the bonus over (many!) multiple nights
Starwood actually has one of the best award charts for lower end hotels. Category 1 and Category 2 Starwood hotels are only 3,000 and 4,000 points / night, and there’s a 1,000 point savings if you book a weekend night, meaning you can get a room for only 2,000 points / night.
That’s not to mention that their lower-end hotels are nice! We’ve stayed at the Sheraton Suites Columbus, which is a Category 2 hotel and had a 1BR suite for only 3,000 points.
And since I picked up the SPG Business Amex card as part of my most recent credit card churn, we now would get free Sheraton Club lounge access at any hotels that had Sheraton Clubs worldwide!
Though since my general thinking with miles and points is “earn em and burn em“, I’m not sure I have the patience to string out my grand prize bonus (which I’m TOTALLY going to win!) over 125 weekend Category 1 hotels, even if there were some near me (which there aren’t)
Option 3: Transfer to Airline miles
Saving the best for last, what I’d probably end up doing with most of them is transferring them to airline miles. The airline mile transfer is unique among hotel points to Starwood, and you can transfer your miles to several different airlines.
Additionally, for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer, you get a 5,000 point bonus. Although there is a limit of 79,999 Starpoints that you can transfer in a 24 hour period, I do not believe there is any limit besides that. So 250,000 Starpoints would transfer into 310,000 airline miles (that you could put all in one airline or spread out across different airlines.
310,000 airline miles could get you a LOT of travel – you can check the Mile Matrix to see what redemptions are out there
(SEE ALSO: Mile Matrix: Any country to any other country on any airline)
(SEE ALSO: Mile Matrix: FAQs on how to use the app to check the mile price between any countries on any airline)
Of course, then you just have to solve the NEXT question, namely, what would you do with 310,000 airline miles!!! I’d love to hear your ideas on that as well as what you’d do with the grand prize of 250,000 Starpoints in the comments!
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Transfer to airline miles, churn a little more, and do a RTW trip in business class with my SO 🙂
Dream Destinations: St Regis Bali and St Regis Aspen. But, I will be using the 250,000 to get nights & flights for vacations to the beach for the next 4 years 🙂
I have no idea…Im new to starpoints, but Id like to think I would make good use.
Im like you, except I only have 5 people in my family, but we frequently take my older daughters friends. Im not a big hotel guy, we mostly stay in vacation rentals to cook meals with the kids…
what do you think is the best use of these, airline miles or hotel stays??
I think miles is probably what I’d do
I won a $50 Amazon gift card, so I’m probably out of the running for the 250,000 Starpoints, but if I were to win them, I’d have a St. Regis binge (multiple cities), but put most of the points towards miles.
If you win 250K points, do you have to pay taxes?? They are worth about $5,000!