Let me preface this analysis with two huge assumptions that I realize many people will disagree with: 1) The SPG is the best travel credit card for use for your daily spending. 2) I am not willing to spend more than $2,500 on average for a single airline ticket. I realize that many people disagree with one or both of these points. So if you do, this probably is not worth reading. But if you're like me and routinely use your SPG to the tune of around $25,000+ in spending a year, I thought it worth it to break down the best use of this earning. The best use of 25,000 Starwood Points (SP) Hotels: 4800 SPs generally saves me on average $180. So a $240 hotel room when 4800 SPs are used in cash and points will require a $60 payment thus making it $180 in savings. 4800 X 5 = 24,000 $180 X 5 = $900 So 24,000 SPs gets you $900 in saving when used for hotels (remember this is on average and not when these points are maximized on a great deal on a luxury suite etc.) Airline Miles (economy class): 25,000 SPs translates to roughly 31,000 airlines miles with a partner airline 25,000 airline miles is good for a domestic coach ticket. If redeemed during a summer peak time, you on average will get $500 transcon ticket as a decent value. tack on the extra value of the other 6,000 miles ($100 because 6,000 miles is roughly 1/5 of 25,000 and 1/5th of $500 is $100) and 25,000 SPs when used for airlines is worth $600 on average (again this is on average not when these points are used for a crazy redemption or with biz or upper class redemptions cause those are impossible to value as the price is inflated and everyone values them differently). A 2% cash back card: $25,000 when used on a 2% cash back card nets $500 (plus approx 6,000 miles when the 500 is spent on a mileage earning ticket) if we said 6,000 miles is worth $100 above then $25,000 spend on a 2% card is worth $600 on average. Synopsis: Given that many people generally get a ton of miles on credit card sign up bonuses and that 24,000 SPs averages $900 in value. Hotels would seem to be by far the best use of SPs for anyone that even occasionally finds themselves needing a hotel room when they travel. Further given that $500 cash from a 2% cash back card is worth the same as 25,000 SPs transfered to airline miles but also offers flexibility in spending, it strikes me as far better to use a 2% cash back card rather than an SPG card for airline miles. The only argument I can think of for the use of SPs for airline miles is to build toward a larger more lucrative award (e.g 1st class to europe or asia). But the amount of SPs needed to do that is 80,000 - 100,000 and 100,000 SP spending on a 2% card instead is worth approx $2400 (600 X 4) which goes back to assumption #2 and is more than many people would spend on a first class ticket anywhere. Did I sum this up right?