After booking our honeymoon at a non-Starwoods property, I had to decide what to do with some of the points I have been hoarding for years.
Option 1: Transfer to American Airlines. At Christmas, we were planning to visit Dallas for the holidays. If I understand the program correctly, it will take 50,000 miles to save $800 on a flight for a savings of about $.02 per point.
Option 2: Get a gift card. Starwoods offers $50 gift cards to various merchants for 5,000 points. At $.01 per point, a very bad deal.
Option 3: Using 16,000 points, I was able to reserve a room at a Manhattan Sheraton during the holiday season. At $679 room rate for a Saturday, I am getting $.03 per point.
Option 1: 1. We really need to go home at least once per year and the cost cannot really be avoided. At Christmas time, two tickets are a tough nut to swallow. Hopefully, I will be able to get better fares on other carriers if I don't go this route. Although the savings per point is 50% of the savings of options 2, option 2 is a luxury and can be avoided.
Option 2: When we typically visit the city, we get up early and drive home at night. Because the cost of the hotel room can be avoided for free (don't stay overnight), is this really a savings? Yes. The trip will be part of our holiday/birthday celebrations and we really enjoy ourselves. Although there are cheaper hotels available, we like the amenities and the location.