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.
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
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
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:
- 120,000 Southwest points
- A Southwest Companion Pass
- 7-night certificate to stay at a Category 1 to 5 Marriott hotel.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!