You need to get your hands on 70k Starwood Preferred Guest points.
Why? Because there is some incredible redemption value when you use the Starwood “Nights and Flights” redemption option that Sheldon detailed in his post last week. As you already know, Starwood points are a little bit like bank points in that they are transferable to many other programs – including airline programs like American, Delta, and British Airways (I don’t mention United because even though it’s an option, it doesn’t make sense because they transfer at a 2:1 ratio – we wouldn’t let you do that to yourself).
As you can see, redeeming Starwood points under this program gives you a beautiful combination of 50k airline miles and 5 nights in a category 3 or 4 hotel. That makes it justifiable for a cheap-ass like me to actually stay in one of the upper category hotels. If there’s a Category 3 or 4 Starwood hotel you’ve been lusting for, this is the way to make it happen.
Now, I’ll share with you my favorites.
This is a brand new hotel in an ancient land. It’s a part of the luxury collection… as if you didn’t know that just from looking at it. Make this an elegant home base for your discovery of Machu Picchu and the wonders of the Inca civilization. Because it’s a category 4, you’ll need 70k Starwood Points.
To get two people to Peru, you’ll need to transfer your points to American Airlines and somehow get 10k more AA points for a total of 60k.
This is a great resort property in Puerto Vallarta. We always advocate leaving the resort to see what else is out there, but you might have a hard time convincing yourself to do that.
It’s a category 3 hotel, so you can use 60k to redeem and move the other 10k points to add to the 50k airline miles to make for 2 free tickets to Mexico on American Airlines.
Here’s a property that just screams “History.” Rich with colonial heritage, this is not your typical hotel. Five nights here may have you dreaming of Poncho Villa and Spanish colonial times.
It’s also a category 3 hotel, so use 60k to redeem and move the other 10k points to add to your airline miles to get 2 free tickets on American.
Thinking less foreign? Try these out, too.