Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), the loyalty program for the Starwood hotel chain, has two main ways to redeem earned Starpoints:
- You can use Starpoints for free nights at any of the 9 hotel brands themselves – St. Regis, Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Element and Aloft. I have taken advantage of this option several times, including staying at the W Austin, W Montreal, Sheraton Baltimore and Le Meridien Koh Samui.
- You can transfer Starpoints to any of their domestic airline partners like Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines You can also transfer Starpoints to international partners like Etihad Airways, British Airways and Aeromexico. The full list is here. I haven’t taken advantage of this option, yet.
SPG also has an interesting point redemption avenue called “SPG Moments,” where you can bid or pay a fixed-price with Starpoints on events worldwide. These can range from suites at Knicks basketball games, premium tickets to concerts, meeting celebrities, even watching the Monaco Grand Prix from an exclusive balcony (whattttttt!?!?!?). I’ve perused the various options before, but due to timing or cost I haven’t been able to find a great redemption opportunity.
That changed today, when I saw an option to redeem 500 points for a suite for a basketball game at…..DUN DUH DUHH…. Madison Square Garden, or “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” where I had the opportunity to watch a Sweet 16 game last month. The interior renovations really are superb. It’s still ghastly on the outside and the escalators are an unbelievable fire trap, but the concessions, sightlines and bathrooms are actually pleasant now.
Ok, so the redemption was for the WNBA’s New York Liberty, not the Knicks. But only 500 points?!?! Depending on your valuation of Starpoints, that’s,at most, $20. The suite comes with unlimited (!) drinks and food and 2 tickets to event-level seating, which according to this chart seem to be very lower-bowl and near the midway point of the court; pretty choice seats, then. Compare this a Knicks SPG Moment which get you the same benefits, but are between fifty and seventy times more expensive, at 25,000-35,000 Starpoints per game.
I’ve never been to a WNBA game either, so the novelty factor adds some value. So, $20 for dinner, drinks and fun with a friend? Sounds good to me. So, always keep your eye out for fun redemption opportunities and if you are the lucky one who gets to watch the Monaco Grand Prix*, send me some pictures!
*Seriously, how crazy is this race. Watch this video of Ayrton Senna piloting his car in 1990.