Starwood & Points

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Vickielynn1960, Mar 22, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Vickielynn1960

    Vickielynn1960 Member

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    Hi Everyone :)

    My name is Vickie and I`m from Mt Washington, Ky (1 mile from Louisville)
    I am new to this site and really need some advice. My fiance was killed in 2010 in a motorcycle accident 2 weeks before our wedding. Now, I have our Starwood timeshare paid off.
    Of course, I still have the maintenance fee. We traveled all the time BUT he did all the points and arrangements.
    Im trying to learn how to do what he did...

    Please can anyone help give me the basics on spg points,best Credit cards, how to get more points? anything?

    Thank you
    Vickie
     
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  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Hi Vickie, welcome to Milepoint!
    Did you get many points from your timeshare?
    You can use them to stay in any Starwood Hotel or transfer to many airlines (pref. in increments of 20,000).
    When you reserve your hotels on (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/), each hotel will have an option to pay with points & sometimes a combinations of points+cash. So you'll know right away how many points you'll need for your plans. When you pay with points, there will not even be any extra taxes to pay.

    To earn more SPGpoints, you should consider the affinity card from American Express. Several other credit cards from AmEx earn you other points, which can be transferred to SPG (but at a reduced rate). Finally, you can earn SPG points from paid stays at Starwood hotels. The last option is often considered a relatively slow accumulation route.

    Hope this will get you started. Of course there are lots of important details, and we can always ask and share with others on this site.


    p.s. sorry about your personal loss.
     
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  3. LIH Prem
    Original Member

    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    For timeshare-ers, TUG (timeshare users group) is probably a much better resource to learn about all your options rather than milepoint or flyertalk.

    I had a Marriott timeshare for several years and one of their selling points to buy the unit from the developer rather than at a discount on the open market was that you could exchange your week for points on alternate use years. of course there were fees to do that and the points you got were fixed at the time of the purchase, so over time as they devalue the points program your exchange to points value is automatically devalued. I was lucky to sell it before the great recession.

    As far as SPG basics, they have great points program, and the Amex SPG credit card to earn more SPG points. There's a personal version and a business version, and you can get both. Wait until they have a high sign-up offer. I think the best one is usually 10k points plus a kicker for your first several SPG stays. Also make sure you have qualifying activity (which might be a stay, I don't remember or timeshare owners might be exempt from that, I'm not sure) so you don't lose any SPG points in your SPG account. There's also usually a referral offer so if somebody refers you to the credit card, you can ask for their link and they get some points for referring you as well.

    -David
     
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  4. Vickielynn1960

    Vickielynn1960 Member

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    Thank you MX so much for your reply! Regarding points from Starwood, we did well but also at that time we had Starwood American Express and we were also Diamonds at Caesars. I am seeking advise on what is the best way to get points and if I should sell the timeshare or? I enjoy traveling out of the country, if thats any help.
    Thank you so much for your time :)
    Vickie
     
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  5. Vickielynn1960

    Vickielynn1960 Member

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    David,
    I`m exactly where I want/need to be. When traveling out of the country, I would bank with RCI and of course, I would loose going that way correct? That is what I was told, I really do not know. I am thinking on selling the timeshare but ....I just do not know....Im just lost..

    When going through customs, I enjoy not having to wait in those long lines especially when I with my son/wife and the grandchildren.
    Any help or ideas will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you
    Vickie
    Louisville,Ky
     
  6. Vickielynn1960

    Vickielynn1960 Member

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    Im interested in points for International travel and resorts
     
  7. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    My two cents would be sell the timeshare. It's a hassle you probably don't need at this time in your life. You'll have one less thing to worry about and have the infinite flexibility to go wherever you want. A little internet research can go a long way toward giving you some great travel experiences at a reasonable price.
     
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  8. gwuinsf

    gwuinsf Active Member

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    Hi Vickie - I realize this thread is over a month, but I don't feel like anyone gave you a very good answer for making a decision. I'm a Starwood timeshare owner, and I also own the AMEX credit card. It doesn't sound like you know how to use your timeshare with Starwood, so I'll explain the basics, but I also recommend going to starwoodvacationnetwork.com to read up on how it all works. I don't know where your timeshare is, but that has a big impact on what you can do with it. I'm going to assume you have a whole unit 1/week per year someplace in the Starwood program.

    I'm sure it's obvious to you that you can go back to your home property and use your unit for a week. What I like about Starwood is there are also many other things you can do with your week. What you own has a point equivalent that Starwood calls StarOptions. Similar to frequent flyer and hotel points, you can trade your StarOptions in to stay at other Starwood timeshare properties. Places like St. John and Maui give and cost more Star Options while places like Orlando and Scottsdale give and cost less. Starwood also gives you the option to bank your StarOptions for one year if, for example, you want to save up to go to a higher priced place. If you don't want to stay in any of their timeshares, Starwood also allows you to confirm your StarOptions to SPG points which you can then use at any of their hotels. You can even book nights in some of their timeshares. Most websites value Starwood points at about $.025/point when you use them to trade for hotels, so this could or couldn't be a deal depending on what your maintenance fee is and how crafty you are in finding good hotel deals for SPG points. Last, you can always deposit your week in Interval International and then trade it for something globally. My experience with this so far hasn't been great. It requires a lot of flexibility.

    So should you sell it? Well,it really comes down to your maintenance fee. Is the amount you're paying per year worth it for you or if you had that cash could you travel or do something even better? However, my advice to you, with the limited information that you've provided, would be to sell it. Since you have no expertise in managing it and it sounds to me like you're having a little difficulty in even figuring it out on your own, they annual "what am I going to do with my timeshare this year?" might be more then you can figure out right now.

    This is a great site, but take a look at thepointsguy.com. He talks about all the different programs out there and which are the best credit cards to use to maximize your points. He even has an app where you program in all your cards that give points and rewards and it will tell you on a purchase by purchase basis which is the best card to use to maximize your points.

    Good luck to you. And my condolences as well.
     

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