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Through April 5, 2017, the sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards has increased to a total of 35,000 Starwood points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements. And there are so many interesting hotels in Europe where you can stay with Starwood points!
Now is a great time to sign-up for these cards. Because the sign-up bonus has NEVER been higher! And because of the Marriott Starwood merger, we don’t know if or when these cards will be discontinued.
Here are 5 Starwood hotels in Europe that are an excellent use for your Starwood points!
Best-Ever Bonus for the AMEX Starwood Cards
The sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards is usually 25,000 Starwood points. But for a limited time, you can earn 35,000 Starwood points after meeting minimum spending requirements.
With the personal AMEX Starwood card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $2,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
And with the AMEX Starwood small business card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $3,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
10,000 extra Starwood points is a LOT. For example, with 10,000 Starwood points, you can get:
- 3 weekend nights at a category 2 hotel
- 2 weekday nights at a category 2 hotel
- 1 night at a category 4 hotel
With 35,000 Starwood points, you’ll be able to stay multiple nights at a lower category hotel, or 1 night at nearly any luxury Starwood hotel in the world!
If you’ve never received the sign-up bonus on these cards, now is a great time to apply because of the higher sign-up bonus. Because it is uncertain if AMEX will continue to issue this card after Starwood’s merger with Marriott.
Note: American Express only allows folks to get the sign-up bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards.
Starwood Points for Hotels in Europe
Here are 5 great hotels you can book with Starwood points, and save BIG!
1. Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini
Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini is a beautiful hotel, and MUCH more affordable than its big brother, Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel, on the same tiny island. The hotel is removed from the busy part of the island.
The island is full of wineries, too! Folks like the Vedema wine, made from the hotel’s personal vineyard.
The hotel is ~3.5 miles away from one of the best beaches in Santorini, Perissa Beach.
You’ll get free transportation between the hotel and its private black sand beach (folks on TripAdvisor warn the sand gets EXTRA hot!). You can eat at the Black Rose, Vedema’s beachside restaurant and bar.
You’ll also get free transportation to Thira, about 7 miles north of the hotel, where there are excellent restaurants and activities, like the very popular hiking trail between Fira and Oia.
This is a category 6 hotel. Rooms here usually sell for ~$490. But you can reserve a free room for 20,000 to 25,000 Starwood points per night. That’s a value of between 1.96 and 2.45 cents per point ($490 per night / 20,000 Starwood points).
2. W Verbier, Switzerland
The W Verbier is a luxury ski resort in the Swiss Alps, near the French and Italian borders. It’s perched in the middle of the mountain, just steps away from lifts that take you to the peak. Perfect for skiers (or folks who would prefer to hike exclusively down the mountain!).
Million Mile Secrets team member Joseph visited the W Verbier in November and loved it. He says the bathrooms in the hotel rooms are extremely public, so only stay here with someone you feel very comfortable with! He also recommends the fish tacos from the in-house restaurant, W Kitchen.
One of his biggest highlights in Verbier was Le Carrefour, a small restaurant along the mountain trail about 2 miles away from the W Verbier. They serve raw meat on a hot stone, and you cook your own meal right at your table (order the doe steak!). The restaurant provides you with straw hats on especially sunny days, so you can more comfortably enjoy the unbelievable views.
This is a category 7 hotel. Rooms here cost $1,000+ during ski season. But you can reserve a room for just 30,000 Starwood points. That’s a value of 3 cents per point ($1,000 per night / 30,000 Starwood points).
3. The Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice
The Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice was originally commissioned as a palace in the 1400’s, and has gone through many renovations. It’s in a nice location, within walking distance to many historical sites
See if you can get a room overlooking the Grand Canal.
Emily stayed at this hotel on her way to Croatia last year. She loved it, and said the decoration and artwork made the hotel feel like a museum. The lobby and bar area had Murano glass and lots of 17th century paintings.
Immediately outside the hotel is a traghetto (gondola ferry) stop that will take you across the canal.
This is a category 7 hotel. Rooms here can cost ~$980 per night. Or you can spend 30,000 Starwood points instead. So you’ll get a value of ~3.2 cents each ($980 per night / 30,000 Starwood points).
4. The Westin Palace, Madrid
The Westin Palace, Madrid is a luxury palace in the heart of Madrid. And multiple guests say the staff treats you like royalty! Plus, folks LOVE the breakfast here (though it might be on the expensive side).
The hotel is a 10 minute walk from Puerta Del Sol, one of the most popular areas in Madrid. Beautiful buildings, street performers, and lots of restaurants!
This is a category 5 hotel. You can usually book this hotel for ~$260 per night. And free nights cost 12,000 Starwood points. So you’ll get a value of 2.1 cents per point ($260 per night / 12,000 Starwood points).
5. The Westin Paris – Vendôme
The Westin Paris – Vendôme is in the heart of the tourist area of Paris. That can be either a good thing or a bad thing!
But if you aren’t in Paris for the touristy activities, you might not want to stay in Vendome.
Emily and I loved Vendome when we visited a few years ago. There are high-end shops like Place Vendôme and Charvet. And the famous Galeries Lafayette is less than 1 mile away from the Westin Paris Vendome! Paris is one of Emily’s favorite shopping destinations.
The hotel is also just a 2 minute walk from Le Castiglione, a restaurant our hotel concierge suggested to us. I liked it!
This is a category 6 hotel. Rooms here can cost $350+ per night. Or you can book an award night for 20,000 to 25,000 Starwood points. So you’ll usually get a value of between 1.4 and 1.75 cents per point ($350 per night / 20,000 Starwood points).
There are lots of Starwood hotels in Europe where you can get Big Travel with Small Money. It’s easy to save hundreds of dollars per night by booking with Starwood points, especially if you’re staying in popular cities like London or Paris.
The sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards is usually 25,000 Starwood points. But if you apply by April 5, 2017, you’ll earn a total of 35,000 points after meeting tiered minimum spending requriements.
This is as high as the sign-up bonus has ever been. So it’s a great time to apply, especially if you’re considering a trip to any of these gorgeous European cities!
Do you have a favorite Starwood hotel in Europe?