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Rundown of Starwood Preferred Guest for Canadians

Marriott buying out Starwood could really mean the end of Starpoints. But for now, things remain status quo and it may be 12-18 more months before we see any sort of movement in the reward programs. For now, there is still time to accumulate Starpoints.

Do I think it is worthwhile to continue to earn Starpoints? Absolutely. There are so many sweetspots with its rewards program. Once the announcement has been made, you will still have time to liquidate your points if they are not favourable. If they are favourable, then you will be happy to have a huge balance on your hands.

Stay at Starwood Hotels and Resorts

This is a very straightforward option to earn points.

  • Earn 2 Starpoints for every $1 USD spent as a regular member at SPG hotels and resorts.
  • Earn 3 Starpoints for every $1 USD spent as a Gold or Platinum member at SPG hotels and resorts.

Co-branded Credit Cards

There are 2 American Express credit cards that all you to earn Starpoints directly.

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

  • $120 annual fee
  • Earn 20,000 sign up bonus points after you spend $500 in the first 3 month
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • Receive a Free Weekend Night Award at hotels and resorts worldwide when you spend $40,000 a year
  • Receive Starwood Gold Preferred Guest status when you spend $30,000 a year

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card

  • $150 annual fee
  • Earn 20,000 sign up bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 month
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • Receive a Free Weekend Night Award at hotels and resorts worldwide when you spend $40,000 a year
  • Receive Starwood Gold Preferred Guest status when you spend $30,000 a year

American Express Membership Rewards Transfer Partner

Though not an ideal transfer partner (but still better than the US American Express Membership Rewards program, you can convert 1,000 Membership Rewards points for 500 Starpoints (minimum transfer of 1,000 Membership Rewards points).

Airline Partners

If you get stuck with the Starpoints during the transition because you do not have any hotel stays upcoming, you can  just transfer the Starpoints to airlines partners. They usually transfer at a 1:1 ratio, but you do get 5,000 bonus points for every 20,000 that you transfer. Double dip when there is a bonus promotion, where you can get even more airline miles for transferring your Starpoints, like we see with Aeroplan.

Note that Preferred members have a 2,500 Starpoints transfer minimum, while Gold members have a 1,500 Starpoints transfer minimum. Here is a list of airline transfer partners:

Aegean Airlines 1:1
Aeromexico Club Premier 1:1
Aeroplan/Air Canada 1:1
Air Berlin 1:1
Air China Companion 1:1
Air New Zealand & Air Points 65:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 1:1
Alitalia MileMiglia 1:1
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club 1:1
American Airlines AAdvantage 1:1
Asia Miles 1:1
Asiana Airlines 1:1
British Airways Executive Club 1:1
China Eastern Airlines 1:1
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club 1:1
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 1:1
Emirates Skywards 1:1
Etihad Airways 1:1
Flying Blue 1:1
Gol Smiles 2:1
Hainan Airlines 1:1
Hawaiian Airlines 1:1
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank 1:1
Jet Airways 1:1
Korean Air 1:1
LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms 1:1.5
Miles and More 1:1
Qatar Airways 1:1
Saudi Arabian Airlines 1:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1:1
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus 1:1
United Mileage Plus 2:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1:1
Virgin Australia 1:1

Hotels Redemptions

I still think that the best redemption of your Starpoints is for hotel stays. Below is the reward chart listing the different hotel categories:

  • Category 1 = 2,000 – 3,000
  • Category 2 = 3,000 – 4,000
  • Category 3 = 7,000
  • Category 4 = 10,000
  • Category 5 = 12,000 – 16,000
  • Category 6 = 20,000 – 25,000
  • Category 7 = 30,000 – 35,000

Conclusion

I would say, it is business as usual with Starwood until we get some concrete announcements about programs changes when merging with Marriott Rewards. When those announcements are made, you should have sufficient time to figure out whether it is better to burn your points, transfer them away or keep them. Either way, I would say it is still good to keep racking up the Starpoints!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

  • Ottawa | Vancouver
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