need help deciding on SPG nights and flights

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by cotter77, Aug 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. cotter77
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    cotter77 Silver Member

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    i am off to Bali after xmas.
    considering award stay at laguna nusa dua
    5th night free seems nice. but nights and flights seems like a better deal.
    But in order for it to be such a great deal i need to have a mileage plan really worth transferring the miles to. I have no other big planned trips yet in the next year (though potential for medical mission to rain forest of ecuador/peru -but I have my 105k BA miles to hopefully work for that if it happens)
    my mileage balances are:
    Aeroplan 500
    AA 91,105 (with hopes of getting one more 75k via citi amex personal)
    CO 164,000
    UA 4,000
    DL 31,000 with 30k more coming from new biz card and 25k more coming from completion of fidelity promo
    US 16,500
    MR 112,000
    chase UR 33,000
    HHonors 65000

    with the chase and amex MR transfers ending to CO/UA in september, it really throws me for a loop in terms of my long term plan initiated last yer when i started the game....my original plan was to accumlate miles for J/F class flights....not really interested in burning miles for hotels...so award stays originally not in my plan, but the nights and flights seemed like a good deal on middle ground right?
    for 70k SPG= 5 nights free and 50k miles to AA or DL (not that interested) or Aeroplan if i had more bank there...or maybe ANA if i wanted to start a bank there.
    all that vs those same 70k SPG transferred to a 1:1 airline partner would = 84k miles. ....right? so losing 34k isnt so bad and def better bang than 40k SPG on a 5th night free deal.

    i did notice that the cancel policy could cause you to loose some points though it seems. the miles stay with airline and SPG refunds i think 30k spg points.

    any advice?
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Have you looked at hotel room rates for your dates? I stayed at the Laguna Resort in January on a quite nice (not prepaid) package rate that included limo airport transfers in both directions, buffet breakfast every day, fruit, coffee/tea delivery upon demand (with croissants early in the morning), a fancy dinner, a cooking lesson including lunch, and a personally guided excursion to some markets in Bali. It was a good deal; I got all this for what the best rate on a regular room there would have been for me, As a Plat, I got a suite upgrade.

    This property tends to have about a two-week cancel policy for their guaranteed rooms IIRC.

    Also, be aware that some rooms here smell very musty. I had to change rooms and my clothes still smelled musty for weeks and several laundry/dry-cleaning cycles afterward.
     
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  3. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    I usually look at N&F awards this way...
    1. If I'm going to transfer Starpoint to miles anyway, then I can choose a N&F award to get a 5-night stay for 21K or 30K additional Starpoints (rather than the usual 28K or 40K points). Insurance: hotel portion can be cancelled within the cancellation deadline.
    2. If I'm going to book a Cat3 or Cat4 Fifth Night Free award anyway, then I can choose a N&F award to get 50K miles for 30K or 32K additional Starpoints (rather than the usual 40K points). No insurance on the mileage transfer, though. If I end up canceling the hotel portion, then the airline miles will cost me the usual 40K points.
    It's a really good deal for anyone that can use a Cat3 or Cat4 5-night stay award. You seem to understand that already.

    For your particular case, your big question seems to be about where you should accumulate miles rather than about Starwood and the N&F award. That's a difficult question to answer without knowing more about where you live, what airlines and/or alliances you prefer (if any), whether you have or might get elite status, how often you fly, whether you seek awards in Y or C/F, whether you mainly seek awards for domestic or international, etc.

    If I were you, I'd post a similar question (with answers to the above questions and any other detail that might be helpful) in the General Discussion | Miles/Points forum to ask for guidance about which mileage program(s) you should focus on.

    Personally, I'd look to see who is offering a transfer bonus. And if no one is offering one right now, I'd book a Fifth Night Free award now to secure my dates and then wait and hope for a mileage transfer bonus to show up later. Then rebook as a N&F award if the award rooms are still available for my dates.

    MSPeconomist's questions are worth considering, too, but they are questions about any room award -- not just the N&F or FNF awards. What is noteworthy there is that she got a rate that includes things that are not included with your award reservations. In those cases, some extra effort is needed beyond just comparing the lowest cash price on spg.com vs. the number of points. Be sure to watch the hotel's Special Offers page.
     
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  4. cotter77
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    cotter77 Silver Member

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    thanks for your thoughts.
    very helpful.
    I guess the major issue is which airline to use for transfer...i used a transfer once before to get these flights to bali to CO and the 2:1 ratio sucks...never want to do that again.
    I read all these great things about ANA redemptions but i dont know if i can build a sizable stash from zero, same with aeroplan....and DL skypesos are not very interesting to me....so most likely i will transfer to AA
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    More information: People at the SIN DO last year reported that it was very easy to get reasonable business class award tickets for SIN-DPS (OW or RT) on SQ, which was a nice flight with good schedule choices that departed with a bunch of empty seats in the front cabin (two class service on this route). I'm not sure, but I think UA miles were being used.

    I'm of the general philosophy that before transferring flexible and hence valuable points like SPG or AmEx MR, one should have a specific award ticket in mind that is available or indicating good availability for a range of potential dates.
     
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  6. beachfan

    beachfan Silver Member

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    You are shy in a couple of your main programs enough to go RT in biz class to Europe (or Asia, decide where you want to go). You can get enough Continental points by transfering your MR points before 9/30.

    Figure out what your target is for your trip, and that will tell you how much to transfer (or you can transfer all of it, as I'm not sure the remaining options are great if you aren't earning a lot more MR points to get 2 biz tickets via ANA). Remember the 4k points in United which will get pooled with the Contintental miles at year end.

    I personally find Starwood points more valuable than air miles because I have enough miles for several trips and the hotel cost in Europe can easily be over $500 a night at a nice hotel. So I'm not enticed by transferring SPG points to miles, in spite of the bonus.
     
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