This is my first post here on MILEPOINT forum. I have had a Starwood preferred business card for a few months now. Between the sign up bonus and spending, I have enough points to book a week at the Punta Mita resort in Mexico. I just signed up for the Starwood personal card which would give me another 30,000 points. By my best guess, I could "stay" at the local Sheraton category 2 hotel 18 times using cash and points and would attain Platinum status before our stay in Mexico. I have three questions about that. 1) is it worth is to burn most of my new sign up bonus (18X1600 points) plus $540? 2) do I actually have to stay or check-in to do this? (half hour away) 3) should I just do a platinum challenge knowing I won't make it? We may only get to stay 5-10 more nights over the next year at an SPG property. Thanks for your help in advance.