There’s a school of thought that suggests that loyalty points are best used for high-end travel: first-class flights and stays at ritzy hotels.
That strategy is inherently dangerous, because for most travelers, it requires accumulating points over many years. And during that time, the value of those points will inevitably decline, as award prices rise. Devaluation is the name of the loyalty-program game.
Award discounts, like this one from Starwood, in effect restore some of points’ lost value, and make once-in-a-lifetime trips a bit more accessible to average travelers.
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Through March 5, 2018, Starwood Preferred Guest members can redeem 35 percent fewer points for award stays in suites at 11 participating hotels and resorts:
- The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
- Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris
- The St. Regis Punta Mita
- Le Meridien Bora Bora
- The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort
- Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui
- W Retreat Koh Samui
- Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
- W Retreat & Spa – Maldives
- The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
- The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
The discounted rates may be used in conjunction with Starwood’s 5th Night Free offer.
Bookings at the discounted rates must be made by phone, direct with the Starwood customer contact center.
Deal or No Deal
The participating properties are mostly very high-end resorts, with very high-end award prices to match. So even with the discount, the award rates are pricey.
For example, a night at the Bora Bora Le Meridien, in French Polynesia, normally costs a whopping 60,000 points. The discounted rate of 39,000 points is better, but still a stretch.
On the other hand, the prices will probably never be lower than they are now, with the discount. So if a suite stay in an exotic locale is on your bucket list, and you’ve been accumulating points in the Starwood program, this might be the time to cash in those points.
Don’t forget to pack the sun screen.
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.