Sunday, August 3, 2014

5 free hotel nights in Tokyo

We are putting together the details of our upcoming trip to Japan (and Taiwan).  This is where our Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints come into play.  We make many purchases with our American Express SPG card wherever AMEX credit cards are accepted.

This helps us to slowly accumulate Starpoints, 1 Starpoint per $1 spent at a time.  The SPG card only earns more Starpoints when making eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts participating in the SPG program (up to 5 Starpoints per $1).  Even though earning Starpoints takes more time, each point is extremely valuable.  Starwood also allows family living in the same address to combine and share points. 

Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo
Located in the center of Tokyo in Shirokanedai, a district renowned for its greenery, the Sheraton Miyako has been called the “oasis in the center of a large metropolis.”  This hotel is an SPG Category 4.  There are some nice benefits like free high speed wifi, free shuttle service to surrounding areas, bathroom bidet, and the famous Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed. 

Paying for our hotel stay with cash
If we were to book our 5-night stay in Tokyo with cash, it would cost us at least JPY 21,489 per night after charges and taxes.  21,489 JPY converts to $209.49 USD per night.  If we were to pay for this hotel stay in cash, a 5-night stay would have cost of $1,047.45!  That’s a lot of money that we would rather use on food and entertainment. 

Paying for our hotel stay with Starpoints
Instead of paying for our hotel stay in cash, we will be using our Starpoints instead.  When redeeming Starpoints for a room at the Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo, the cost would be 10,000 Starpoints a night.

5th Award Night Free
An extra benefit of using your SPG Starpoints is that when you redeem 5 award nights, the 5th night is free.  This means that our free 5-night hotel stay in Tokyo will only cost us 40,000 Starpoints (10,000 x 4) instead of 50,000 Starpoints (10,000 x 5).  This gives us an average rate of 8,000 Starpoints per night, with an SPG point value of 2.6 cents per 1 Starpoint.  Did I mention how valuable Starpoints are?

If you are interested in an SPG card, the current sign up bonus is 25,000 Starpoints (10,000 bonus points after your first purchase, and 15,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in 6 months).  You can apply for your own card here.  Our trip is slowly coming together as we continue to redeem our points!

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