Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
UPDATE: The Starwood American Express credit card offers in this post are no longer available, but check Hot Deals for the latest offers!
Starwood Nights & Flights is another fantastic way to use your Starwood points. If you’re looking for Big Travel with Small Money, you can save a LOT of cash on great vacations with Nights & Flights!
I’ll explain how Nights & Flights works. And give you ideas about where you can go!
Earn Starwood Points With the AMEX Starwood Card
Link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
Until September 14, 2015, there’s an increased sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood cards. You’ll get:
- 30,000 Starwood points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account (personal card), or
- 30,000 Starwood points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account (small business card)
- 2X Starwood points per $1 you spend at Starwood hotels (includes Aloft, Element, Four Points, Le Meridien, Sheraton, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, Westin and W brand hotels)
- 1X Starwood point per $1 you spend on everything else
- Unlimited use of Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots (excluding in-flight)
- For small business cardholders, access to Sheraton Club lounges (free breakfast and hors d’oeuvres) for cardholder and 1 guest staying in the same room (3rd party bookings are excluded).
- 2 stay credits or 5 night credits toward Starwood Elite Status
- $95 annual fee, waived for the 1st year
- No foreign transaction fees
- Terms & limitations apply
Note: American Express only allows folks to get the sign-up bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on their personal cards. But you CAN get the bonus again (after closing the card for at least 12 months) on business cards. And you usually can NOT open more than 1 credit card per day.
What’s Nights & Flights?
With Nights & Flights, you can get:
- 5 nights at a Starwood Category 3 hotel and 50,000 airline miles for 60,000 Starwood points
- 5 nights at a Starwood Category 4 hotel and 50,000 airline miles for 70,000 Starwood points
If you transfer Starwood points to get 50,000 airline miles, and then book 5 award nights, you’d have to use more Starwood points (40,000 Starwood points (with 10,000 bonus miles) + 28,000 Starwood points for Category 3 hotels, or 40,000 Starwood points for Category 4 hotels).
With Nights & Flights, you save:
- 8,000 Starwood points at Category 3 hotels
- 10,000 Starwood points at Category 4 hotels
Nights & Flights can only be redeemed by calling Starwood at 888-625-4988.
And you can only get miles from Starwood’s airline partners that have a 1:1 transfer ratio.
You must book at least 14 days in advance to use Nights & Flights with a US-based airline.
And you must book at least 30 days in advance for a non-US based airline.
Starwood will reserve the room at the hotel you select when you call to book. But it’s up to you when and how you redeem your miles for flights.
Where Can You Go With Nights & Flights?
I’ve written about how to visit Disney World with Nights & Flights.
Let’s take a look at how Nights & Flights can save you thousands of dollars in other locations!
1. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
When you choose American Airlines as your Nights & Flights airline transfer option, you’ll get 50,000 American Airlines miles.
Off-peak award flights to Mexico (September 7 to November 14 each year) are only 25,000 American Airlines miles round-trip in coach. So you’d have enough to fly 2 people from anywhere in the mainland US, Alaska, or Canada, to Mexico!
As an example, I found off-peak award seats from New Orleans to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for an early November getaway.
The same flights are ~$1,069 per person! So you’d save ~$2,138 by using miles instead!
I also found open dates at the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort in Los Cabos.
This is a Starwood Category 4 hotel, so the Nights & Flights package for 2 American Airlines flights + 5 nights costs 70,000 Starwood points.
A 5-night stay here would cost ~$1,290 after taxes and fees!
The 2 flights and 5 nights would cost ~$3,428 altogether!
But when you use Nights & Flights, you’ll only have to pay the cost of the award flight booking (~$92 per person). That’s an outstanding deal!
And, you get a vacation to Mexico out of it!
Here are the other 6 Starwood Category 4 hotels in Mexico:
- Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort, Los Cabos
- The Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos
- Le Méridien Mexico City
- Sheraton Mexico City Maria Isabel Hotel
- Sheraton Santa Fe, Mexico City
- The Westin Santa Fe, Mexico City
There are also 4 Starwood Category 3 hotels in Mexico:
- The Westin Guadalajara
- Sheraton Buganvilias Resort and Convention Center in Puerto Vallarta
- The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta
- The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun
So you have lots of options!
2. New York City
Did you check out my post on getting Big Travel with Small Money in New York this summer?
Add Nights & Flights to the list!
You can fly to New York City from anywhere in the continental US, Alaska, or Canada, for 25,000 Delta miles round-trip.
Delta has lots of available award seats from cities like Portland to New York in November. In fact, I found an award seat every day of the month!
Depending on which flights you select, you’ll pay ~$450 to ~$500 per person on this route.
I found award nights at the Four Points by Sheraton Long Island City/Queensboro Bridge, a Starwood Category 4 hotel. It’s located only 1 or 2 stops from Manhattan, depending on the train. You can be at the MoMa, Central Park, or Times Square after a 10-minute train ride!
A 5-night stay costs ~$1,233 after taxes and fees.
Between the 2 flights and 5 nights, you’d save ~$2,133 on your trip to New York City!
3. Seattle (or the West Coast) to Hawaii
One of the best uses of British Airways Avios points is 25,000 British Airways Avios points from the West Coast to Hawaii. An easy way to figure out where you can fly with British Airways Avios points is to check Wandering Aramean’s Avios Calculator.
Fly to Hawaii from many cities on the West Coast, including:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- San Jose
- And others, depending on the route!
I found lots of open award seats from Seattle to Kona, Hawaii (on the Big Island). Round-trip flights are $659 per person. So you’d save $1,318 with Nights & Flights.
I found open award nights in October at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, where a 5-night stay costs ~$1,772 + ~$219 in resort charges.
Between the flights and hotel stay, you’d save ~$3,090 on a trip to Hawaii!
The Big Island is known for dramatic landscapes, waterfalls, and of course Kona coffee!
You can save thousands in cash with Starwood Nights & Flights.
When you redeem 60,000 Starwood points, you’ll get 5 nights at a Starwood Category 3 hotel + 50,000 airline miles.
And when you redeem 70,000 Starwood points, you’ll get 5 nights at a Starwood Category 4 hotel + 50,000 airline miles.
You can easily save $2,000 to over $3,000 on your vacation, getaway, or special occasion trip with Nights & Flights!
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 20,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!