Best Use of 90,000 Starwood Points: Companion Pass, Airline Transfers, or Free Hotel Nights?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Grahme, commented:

I’m thinking of converting 90,000 Starwood points to Marriott points to book a Hotel + Air Package to get the Southwest Companion Pass and a 7-night Marriott hotel certificate.  Would you consider this a good use of Starwood points?

Converting Starwood points to Marriott points to get the Southwest Companion Pass by booking a Hotel + Air package can be an amazing deal worth $4,100+!  That’s one reason 2 Million Mile Secrets team members recently used Starwood points this way!

But Starwood points have other flexible redemption options that make them extremely valuable.  Like free hotel stays at Starwood, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton hotels.  Or the ability to transfer Starwood points to airlines, which could get you an amazing First Class ticket worth more than $9,000!

So the best use of Starwood points really depends on your travel goals.

Use 90000 Starwood Points

Using Starwood Points to Get the Companion Pass Means You and a Partner Can Visit Fantastic Southwest Destinations Like New York!

Remember, you only have until March 31, 2017 to redeem hotel points for the Companion Pass.

I’ll compare a few different ways you can use 90,000 Starwood points for Big Travel!

3 Ways to Use 90,000 Starwood Points

Link:   How to Earn & Use Starwood Points

There are lots of ways you can redeem Starwood points for Big Travel!  And Starwood points are hard to earn.  So choosing the best redemption option is important!

Million Mile Secrets reader Grahme asked if using 90,000 Starwood points for the Southwest Companion Pass and a 7-night Marriott hotel certificate is a good redemption.  I think it is because the Companion Pass is the best deal in travel!

But let’s compare a few ways you can redeem 90,000 Starwood points!  Keep in mind, the best option for you will depend on your travel plans.

1.   Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   You Can Earn the Southwest Companion Pass With Starwood Points!

Link:   1 Couple + 2 Cards = 2 Years of Free Flying + 7 Free Hotel Nights!

Until March 31, 2017, you can convert 90,000 Starwood points to 270,000 Marriott points and book a Hotel + Air package.  This will get you:

You can also use more points to stay at a higher category Marriott hotel.  I’ve written a step-by-step guide to earn the Companion Pass this way.

If you earn the Companion Pass in 2017, it will be valid through December 31, 2018, which means your partner will fly with you for almost free for nearly 2 full years.  So it’s best to earn it as soon as possible!

Use 90000 Starwood Points

After You Earn the Companion Pass, Grab Your Partner and Take Off to Great Domestic and International Southwest Destinations!

Using 90,000 Starwood points this way can get you thousands of dollars in savings.

Because 120,000 Southwest points are worth ~$1,716 assuming Southwest points are worth 1.43 cents each.  And adding a companion after you redeem these points gets you double the value.  So these points can be worth more than $3,400!

You can likely get 10+ round-trip Southwest flights using the points, which is a lot of travel!

Don’t forget the 7-night Marriott hotel certificate, which can be used for a stay that easily costs more than $100 per night.  That’s an additional $700+ in savings.

In total, using 90,000 Starwood points to book a Marriott Hotel + Air package to get the Companion Pass can get you more than $4,100 in savings!

This is a great deal for folks in a Southwest hub city and plan to frequently fly with their designated companions!

2.   Expensive First Class Flight

You can use 90,000 Starwood points for a fantastic flying experience on a Starwood airline transfer partner.

Because you get a 5,000-mile bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer to an airline.  This means you’ll get 20,000 bonus airline miles if you transferred all 90,000 Starwood points directly to an airline.

Keep in mind the maximum number of Starwood points you can transfer to an airline at one time is less than 80,000 points.  So you’d want to transfer 60,000 Starwood points in 1 transaction.  And 30,000 Starwood points in a second transaction.

With the bonuses, you’ll have 110,000 miles with the airline partner you choose.  And that’s enough for some of the nicest First Class flights.

For example, you can use 110,000 American Airlines miles to book a First Class Cathay Pacific flight from the US to Asia.

Use 90000 Starwood Points

Thanks to the Starwood Airline Transfer Bonus, You Can Use 90,000 Starwood Points to Fly Cathay Pacific First Class From the US to Asia!

This same flight could cost more than $9,000 if you paid cash!  But you’d use all of your Starwood points for this 1 travel experience.

3.   Hotel Stays at Starwood, Marriott, or Ritz-Carlton

Of course, you can also use 90,000 Starwood points for fantastic stays at Starwood hotels.

Or you can transfer the Starwood points instantly to Marriott or Ritz-Carlton at a 1:3 ratio.  This means you’ll have 270,000 Marriott or Ritz-Carlton points to use for free nights.

And you can take advantage of hotel promotions to make the most of your points, like a 5th night free benefit.

Use 90000 Starwood Points

Use Starwood Points to Stay at Fantastic Hotels Like The St. Regis Washington, DC

For example, using 90,000 Starwood points with the 5th night free perk can get you a 5-night stay at The St. Regis Washington, DC in March 2017.  The same stay would cost ~$3,100 if you paid cash.

Bottom Line

Starwood points are very valuable and flexible.  You can use them to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.  Or you can transfer points directly to airline partners.

With 90,000 Starwood points, you can easily get thousands of dollars worth of travel no matter which redemption option you choose.

So the best award depends on your travel goals!

The Companion Pass will likely offer the opportunity for you and your partner to travel more.  But your Starwood points could be worth more by you transferring them to an airline partner to book a one-time luxurious award flight or fancy hotel stay.

Thanks for the question, Grahme!

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19 responses to “Best Use of 90,000 Starwood Points: Companion Pass, Airline Transfers, or Free Hotel Nights?

  1. You focus on the CP so much that you don’t mention the other flight partners for Flight and Hotel packages. For example, 90,000 Starpoints can be redeemed for the 7 night voucher and either 132,000 United miles or 120,000 miles from multiple other airlines. Transferring the 90,000 straight up for 110,000 points is a waste, in that light.

  2. I just double checked – American Airlines is a Flight and Hotel Package partner. 270,000 Marriott points (90,000 Starpoints) can earn 120,000 American Airline points (more than the 110,000 from a direct Starpoints to American) PLUS the 7 night voucher. This is clearly a better deal, even if you throw away the voucher – and why would you do that?

  3. @Steven totally agree.
    That’s why Million Mile Secrets ended up 2nd place on that online vote few months ago (of Best Points and Miles Blog), though it was the only blogger advertising it and crying cause it didn’t get first, regardless that looong post about be glad it didn’t get first (post that nobody believed).

    He’s probably the cause on why the hotel transfer for Southwest’s CP just died.

    He keeps apologizing because his response rate got worst (which is ridiculously true) but he keeps using his page, which a personal person should use for his business only, for sharing posts that have nothing to do with travel.
    Not to mention those annoying bragging-posts like “Emily in Croatia – Part 8” that nobody really care about…

    Anyway, thanks for pointing out the REAL best use of 90,000 SPG points dear Steven.

    • Thank you for your feedback. We do our best to be a reliable source for folks in the miles & points hobby.

    • loll feel free to stop reading. His blog is helpful for tons of people. He’s not forcing you to read

    • Jin's Therapist

      @Jin: Pretty rude comments overall – I’m guessing you are the sort of person who resents the success of others and also suffers from anger management issues. MMS provides a great deal of valuable info for many of us and his efforts are very much appreciated. If you don’t like specific articles (e.g “Emily in Croatia”) then don’t read them – I don’t read everything he writes but don’t feel the need to throw bricks at him for those articles that don’t interest me (see “anger management issues” referenced above). Learn some manners, or better yet, get some counseling!
      @MMS: Don’t let the rude comments of a boorish individual get you down. We REALLY appreciate your efforts to inform and entertain us!

  4. I think the Marriott Hotel + Air with Southwest points is a great deal and a smart use of 90,000 SPG points. I purchased mine yesterday

  5. What your missing is that American does not have a Companion Pass along with the 110,000 miles like Southwest does. So that really doubles that to 240,000 miles in all actuality. Also please read Mommy Points post on how terribly difficult it is to find cheap award flights on American – almost impossible. With Southwest it is super easy. I wouldn’t waste my time trying to fly American plus cost you way more need to really look into this before you pull the trigger.

  6. Kate…do you mind me asking where you have found a Marriott in the category 1-5 level that you seriously considered taking your family…read your post Friday by the way..great article! that is my problem is finding a hotel in that category range…I want to do the Southwest/Marriott air & hotel package just having a hard time with the Marriott hotel part of it

  7. @Jin,
    If you don’t like this blog, why are you trolling then??
    Every bloggers pumps credit card clicks. TPG (sold his soul to Bankrate) and FTG (biggest CC pumper in Flyertalk) are the worst offenders. They are the ones killing deals and making millions, at the same time, from the naive readers like you..

  8. You are not restricted to finding a Marriott Category 1-5 necessarily (although it is great if you do). Just buy that Cat 1-5 package and find a Marriott you wish to visit for 7 nights. If it’s higher than a Category 5, you can call Marriott Rewards and have them upgrade the package to the correct Category. Definitely a nice benefit if you are just not sure which hotel you might want to spend a week at prior to April 1st. As an FYI, I believe you also have until December 2017 to book and December 2018 to actually stay?

  9. Last week I did the Marriott transfer and Southwest Companion pass deal. We were already planning on a Hawaii trip, so we are staying 7 nights in a Marriott instead of a Sheraton.

    I was so excited that I booked a trip to Cancun Next week. Due to the short notice, the round trip ticket was 44k of my 120k Southwest points. This was for me and my wife, two tickets. I still have 76k Southwest points. The 40k SPG points I effectively spent on the Southwest deal would have gotten one of us a round trip ticket to Cancun, but maybe not on this short of a notice. This is such an incredible deal it is hard to believe.

  10. @LayOffMMS I do find valuable the information found on these blogs that is why I open the links… However you criticize other bloggers who DO NOT use their business Facebook accounts to share videos of cats and then have the poorest Response Rate for their audience.
    Because like you said: for all of them is business; even MMP makes millions, and if you think otherwise, then you’re the naive…
    Btw: out of 13 CC I have, 11 were opened using this website’s links. That’s why I get to express my opinion. And (again) just to quote you: If you don’t like this comment, why are you trolling then??
    Unless you’re looking at the big picture, but be a brown nose doesn’t make you win those miles… You got to comment how you would use them, retweet your favorite post of the week, and like an Instagram picture! Lol

    @fz same to you

    @Lisa is true that with the companion pass you actually get twice the points, but it was already fractured into the $4100 value.
    Where the Flight and Package with other airline could still give you more value.

    Isn’t the subject of this post: “Best Use of 90,000 Starwood Points”? Lol