Why You Should Buy SPG Starpoints on Sale at a 25% Discount

SPG Buy Points Discount

Starwood generally has two sales a year on its valuable Starpoints currency, during which it offers a 25% discount on purchase of up to 20,000 points. If you maximize the offer you'll pay $525, or 2.625 cents per point -- a discount from the regular 3.5 cents per point. (Fortunately there are no pesky airline taxes, which kick in when you buy miles.) Smaller discounts apply if you purchase fewer … [Read more...]

The Best Hotel Loyalty Programs in 2015

Hotel Top Tier Status 2015

It's time for the third annual comparison of hotel loyalty programs! Not much has changed since last year, though I have made some tweaks to the information I included as well as the presentation. Comments are always welcome as these tend to be works in progress. (Last updated February 21, 2015.) A separate post comparing airline loyalty programs has also been published. Information is … [Read more...]

Review: Sheraton Stockholm

Sheraton Stockholm 1

Last month I took a weekend trip to Stockholm (see my review of American Airlines business class from Dallas to London). Why? Because flying to a Nordic country in the dead of winter for the weekend is completely normal behavior. The immigration officer was not amused. "Have you been to Sweden before? Are you here for business? Do you live in London?" No to all three. For the most part it was a … [Read more...]

Review: Westin St. Francis San Francisco

Westin St Francis 1

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Megan and I flew down to visit my family in San Francisco. We wouldn't see them for the actual holiday (which we would spend in London), and I really wanted to visit the new Exploratorium after its move to the Embarcadero. It was also a perfect opportunity to stay at the famous Westin St. Francis hotel. I visited many times as a child for afternoon tea and views of … [Read more...]

Up to 1,500 Points for Booking with SPG App

SPG Amex app bonus

Starwood Preferred Guest is getting in the habit of doling out small amounts of miles to encourage its members to try new ways of interacting with the brand. Last month I explained how you could quickly get 500 miles by updating your room preferences in your online profile. This month SPG is handing out up to 1,5oo Starpoints for using its mobile app to make a reservation. You could earn 500 … [Read more...]

Starwood Offers 500 Points to Complete My Stay Preferences

Starwood My Stay Preferences

Yesterday Starwood Preferred Guest sent out a reminder email about its fall promo, “More For You.” Ostensibly it offers double or triple points for stays of two or more nights, but in reality almost every hotel I have booked over the next two months has decided to opt out. I would say delete and move on, except that buried in the lead is an offer for 500 free points if you also update your SPG … [Read more...]

Review: Le Meridien Chiang Mai


After landing in Chiang Mai with my sister, we proceeded to immigration. I was slightly apprehensive: it had been only months since the military coup, and even if that wasn't an issue I've seen some pretty gnarly immigration queues in Bangkok. But it probably took less time than using Global Entry in the U.S. As I found during most of our visit to Thailand, the military presence was almost … [Read more...]