Starpoints becoming VERY valuable to Canadians
I was chatting with a co-worker this week about hotel stays and how they can significantly add a cost to your vacation when you weren’t even planning on staying in a hotel.
Case in point – flying into an airport late at night and not wanting to drive anywhere when you arrive. “Let’s just get a hotel and drive tomorrow” type of idea.
Now, you can get a shuttle to many airport hotels which does come in handy when you are exhausted and have kids with you, but these hotels typically aren’t your cheap ones.
So we did some looking for Miami hotels near the airport and found most decent ones were going for about $200 US a night that included shuttle.
If you have a travel budget which most people do, this doesn’t help matters.
Our lower CDN dollar also isn’t helping matters making this about a $270 hotel.
I have done a couple posts the last couple years on Starpoints and one in particular on how our lower dollar is making hotel “points” more valuable.
It really is simple math.
We have talked about the Amex Starwood Preferred Guest Card and how it is ranked the #1 hotel card in Canada so I will leave that point alone.
With our dollar being low, the value of the Starpoints go up.
So, I know I can get 20,000 Starpoints for a $120 annual fee on that card.
I also know I am now getting about 5 cents per point on different hotel bookings through them. (Atlantic City Convention Centre 7000 points/night or $300 US or Miami Airport Sheraton 7000 points/nights or $275 US to name a couple of many)
But there is another way which seems to be making more and more sense.
Converting Amex MR points to Starwood points.
So…1000 Amex MR points = 500 Starwood points (In Canada/ US is only 333 Starwood points).
Generally Amex points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel (hotel/car rental/etc) but can be worth around 2 cents each when converted to Airline programs.
So my co-worker that recently got the Amex Gold Rewards Card received a 25,000 Amex MR point sign up bonus – worth $250 when redeemed for travel – which many people do even though it is the worst redemption rate.
So the choice here would be…
1. $250 worth of travel or…
2. 12500 Starpoints
3. Perhaps $500 in airfare depending on how you use it
In many cases those 12,500 Starpoints could get you about 12,500 x 5 cents each = $625 in hotel stays.
Convert ALL your Amex points?
No…but certainly not a huge mistake if you did.
Where you can find value in using Starpoints for hotel stays is the key…and our lower dollar certainly makes this option more desirable.