In my last post I discussed one of my favorite hotel programs- Marriott Rewards.
In this post I would like to point out the advantages of my next favorite hotel program: Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).
Starwood has fewer properties than Marriott (around 800 compared to Mariott’s 2,700), but on average I think they are nicer hotels.
There is one huge benefit to Starwood’s Preferred Guest Program. In terms of flexibility to exchange points for airmiles, you will not find a better program than SPG. You can transfer 20,000 points into 25,000 airmiles on most major airlines . This is incredibly useful if you need a few extra points to take a free trip somewhere.
Additionally, even though there have been rumours about one, Marriott does not have a partner credit card in Canada. For Canadians, MBNA has a Starwood Preferred Guest Mastercard. Here are the features of this card:
Earn 1 Starpoint for every $2 spent on all your eligible purchases.
Activation Bonus of 5,000 Starpoints® after your first purchase on the card.
Starwood Hotel Stay Bonus 5,000 Starpoints the first time you charge a stay at any Starwood hotel or resort to your Starwood Preferred Guest MasterCard.
Annual Bonuses 5,000 Starpoints for every $10,000 you spend (up to 15,000 Starpoints each year).
No annual fee.
For a credit card with No Annual Fee this adds up to a lot of bonuses on this card. If you spend a total of $30,000 per year on the card, you will end up with 35,000 points the first year, and 30,000 points in subsequent years. As you can usually fly anywhere in North America for 25,000 miles, you can exchange your points for 3 flights in North America every 2 years.
In fact- if you were to get this credit card and use it just once, it woudl be well worth it, because on your first use you get 5,000 points which is enough for a free night at a category 2 hotel.