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DansDeals Forum => Up In The Air => Topic started by: ChikkyMonkey on June 06, 2008, 01:04:29 PM

Title: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: ChikkyMonkey on June 06, 2008, 01:04:29 PM
1. I'm wondering what's a practical way of using starwood miles towards air redemption, I heard it takes a few weeks to transfer them to the airline, and by that time it's very likely to have limited seeting whereas a different airline might have seats....?!

2. Also I'm starting to think if I intend on using Starpoints mostly towards air redemption, perhaps having a cashback credit card would be more viable.... even if the money earned is less, you have much more flexibility, you can book the cheapest fare with any airline.. whereas with miles for international fares you always have to pay the taxes (which sometime amount to $300-400) plus the fuel charge.... whereas if I shop around I can sometimes find airlines which for the same itinerary charge $150 on taxes......

Bottom line can anyone chime in, does it really pay collecting miles vs cash back??

Side note: I have no intentions of flying business so that is not an issue...

3. How can I transfer on a 1/1 ratio starwood to Singapore miles??

Thanks
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: coralsnake on June 06, 2008, 01:15:54 PM
You also get an extra 5k miles with most airlines when you transfer 20k Starpoints.
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: Eli on June 06, 2008, 04:00:56 PM
You're thinking of it that with the cash back you can get let's say $250 cash back on $25,000 worth of purchases, which you can then go ahead and get a cheap flight. But what about the other way around? I just paid 50,000 miles to fly EWR-Paris(CDG), CDG-Venice(VCE), Rome(FCO)-LHR, LHR-EWR. With cash back that would've been $500, but the tickets, had I paid for them, would price out at $3,000 or more.

So it depends how you want to look at it. I would say the miles are more worth it.
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: Dan on June 06, 2008, 04:07:49 PM
The advantages of miles over cash back are many, here are some:
-Mileage tickets are far cheaper to cancel/change dates than revenue tickets.
-You have the option of paying cash, and only using your miles for last-minute tickets or when tickets are really expensive and you can get an incredible value for you miles. (anywhere from 3 to 20 cents per mile is optimal.)
-You can experience business/first class without shelling out $$$$$$

With Starwood mileage transfer:
-You have the ability to get a 25% bonus when transferring (or far more than that with LAN)
-You can transfer to airlines that otherwise don't have mileage accumulation options for Americans.
-You can transfer to any of the numerous airlines that don't charge a fuel surcharge.

Now whether Starwood points should be used for a mileage transfer or saved for better options like cash+points or nights+flights is the better question.
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: Eli on June 06, 2008, 04:17:17 PM
Now whether Starwood points should be used for a mileage transfer or saved for better options like cash+points or nights+flights is the better question.

I'm not a maven but I always felt that if you stay in hotels often enough, it would be more worthwhile to use your points for hotel stays. For example, 10,000 points for a night will allow you to stay in a hotel where you would've possibly paid $300/night, whereas 25,000 miles for a domestic flight will usually net you an average fare of $300-$400 and even that's high for domestic. So if you fly a lot and stay in hotels a lot, I think it would be worth it to use your points for hotels.

Now whether Starwood points should be used for hotels, or saved for international travel is the better question.

:)
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: Dan on June 06, 2008, 04:20:44 PM
For example, 10,000 points for a night will allow you to stay in a hotel where you would've possibly paid $300/night.

Eh,
I got a $1,000/night room (after SPG gold comp upgrade) for 2,800 starpoints+ $45 with cash+points.
 ;D
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: Eli on June 06, 2008, 04:23:10 PM
Eh,
I got a $1,000/night room (after SPG gold comp upgrade) for 2,800 starpoints+ $45 with cash+points.
 ;D

Nice! But how often does that happen? And one second...did you say you were only SPG Gold? I'm ridiculously not impressed that an Avis Chairman's Club member would not be SPG Platinum.
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: Dan on June 06, 2008, 04:28:29 PM
And one second...did you say you were only SPG Gold? I'm ridiculously not impressed that an Avis Chairman's Club member would not be SPG Platinum.
Afaik, attaining SPG Plat requires that you actually pay for hotel rooms.  :P
Plus SPG Plat requires yearly requalification, Avis CHM is lifetime!
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: levi on June 06, 2008, 04:54:40 PM
(anywhere from 3 to 20 cents per mile is optimal.)
Dan I would love to see an itinerary with a value of 20 cents per mile

Now whether Starwood points should be used for a mileage transfer or saved for better options like cash+points or nights+flights is the better question.
Nights+flights is the best bang for your buck using Starwood points

I'm ridiculously not impressed that an Avis Chairman's Club member would not be SPG Platinum.
Well said  ;D

Afaik, attaining SPG Plat requires that you actually pay for hotel rooms.  :P
Plus SPG Plat requires yearly requalification, Avis CHM is lifetime!
Double stays promo, payinig the day rate, and to top it off 1000 starpoins for every stay, cost almost nothing

1. I'm wondering what's a practical way of using starwood miles towards air redemption, I heard it takes a few weeks to transfer them to the airline, and by that time it's very likely to have limited seeting whereas a different airline might have seats....?!

2. Also I'm starting to think if I intend on using Starpoints mostly towards air redemption, perhaps having a cashback credit card would be more viable.... even if the money earned is less, you have much more flexibility, you can book the cheapest fare with any airline.. whereas with miles for international fares you always have to pay the taxes (which sometime amount to $300-400) plus the fuel charge.... whereas if I shop around I can sometimes find airlines which for the same itinerary charge $150 on taxes......

Bottom line can anyone chime in, does it really pay collecting miles vs cash back??

Side note: I have no intentions of flying business so that is not an issue...

3. How can I transfer on a 1/1 ratio starwood to Singapore miles??

Thanks
Earn Starwood points and sell me the points, more money than the cash back option
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: me on June 06, 2008, 05:57:26 PM
Eh,
I got a $1,000/night room (after SPG gold comp upgrade) for 2,800 starpoints+ $45 with cash+points.
 ;D

Can you tell us where this hotel is? I'm going today!
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: moish on June 07, 2008, 05:26:40 PM
You're thinking of it that with the cash back you can get let's say $250 cash back on $25,000 worth of purchases, which you can then go ahead and get a cheap flight. But what about the other way around? I just paid 50,000 miles to fly EWR-Paris(CDG), CDG-Venice(VCE), Rome(FCO)-LHR, LHR-EWR. With cash back that would've been $500, but the tickets, had I paid for them, would price out at $3,000 or more.

So it depends how you want to look at it. I would say the miles are more worth it.
how were you able to get it for so little points? can you help me out? im also trying to go to italy this summer
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: levi on June 07, 2008, 10:01:24 PM
how were you able to get it for so little points? can you help me out? im also trying to go to italy this summer

When are you loooking to go? which cities? and who do you have miles with?
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: Eli on June 08, 2008, 01:42:01 AM
I'll let Levi help you out with this. He's the maven when it comes to booking tickets with miles for cheap.
Title: Re: Starwood for air travel question - and does it pay?!?!?!?
Post by: moish on June 08, 2008, 02:22:10 AM

When are you loooking to go? which cities? and who do you miles with?
im actually in israel and would like to go after 9 av (aug 10) to (in  no particular order) rome venice florence pisa  and maybe the last shabbos (aug 30) in zurich
i have about 50k starwood (with the possibility to get or borrow more)
400 k Aadvantage miles
100 k membership rewards points