Win 30,000 Starwood Points with GGTG

Want to win 30,000 Starwood Points — enough for up to 7 free hotel nights? Read to the end of this post to find out how. (You don’t have to have, or sign up for, a credit card to win!)

American Express is running a fantastic offer giving new cardmembers the ability to earn up to 30,000 bonus Starpoints®, enough for up to seven free nights at select Starwood properties, during their first year of sign-up with the Starwood Preferred Gest Card. To help promote this offer they gave us 30,000 to tell you how we will “stretch our summer” with the points and are giving away 30,000 points to one lucky Go Green Travel Green reader. To be entered to win, use the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post and leave a comment on this post telling us at which Starwood property (or properties) you would spend your 30,000 points.

I love personal finance almost as much as I love to travel. And a lot of personal finance bloggers love the Starwood Card from American Express. Personally, I always preferred cash back credit cards because I didn’t see what the big deal was with hotel points. Until recently. It turns out that you get a lot more value for your Starwood points than you do by getting cash back. For example, 30,000 points on a normal credit card would get you $300 back in cash. But when you use your points to book hotel nights, the value is a lot higher. For example, at the resort on the Canary Islands below I would have to pay over $1200 to stay 7 nights. Or I could use 28,000 Starpoints. Clearly, the points are a better way to go.

So where would I stay with 30,000 points?

Here are my five top picks for places I would stay to spend 30,000 points to make my summer last a little bit longer this year. At each of these hotels (even the fanciest resorts), I could stay from a weekend to a full week with 30,000 Starpoints.

1. Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort Canary Isle

I’ve always wanted to visit the Canary Islands. During August the average high is about 80 degrees and they get almost no rain — so what better time of year to stay at a luxurious resort like this one?

2. Sheraton Iguazu

It was nearly 4 years ago that we spent 4 months traveling around Argentina. One of the highlights of the trip was certainly Iguazu Falls. The Sheraton Iguazu is actually in Iguazu National Park so you can be sure to snap a better picture of the Toucan than we were during our brief visit.

3. The W in Washington, DC

I miss Washington, DC. When we lived in DC I went to the W for conferences, but never actually stayed there. On a return trip it would be awesome to live it up a bit and enjoy this amazing property, which is right in the center of the city.

4. Element in New York City

Element is a new line of green hotels focused on whole living. I’ve been wanting to visit one, and August would be a great time to do it. After all, you don’t get a true New York experience without the full array of sights and smells of a summertime trip.

5. Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis

Sometimes a staycation is in order (especially when you have two dogs and a baby). There is no better place for us than Le Méridien Chambers in downtown Minneapolis. It’s an artsy hotel with one of the best restaurants in the city. Ricotta gnocchi, anyone?

Enter to Win

You, too, have a chance to win 30,000 points courtesy of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. Here’s how:

  • Use the Rafflecopter widget below and leave a comment in this post telling us: how would you use 30,000 Starwood points to stretch your summer? Which Starwood property would you stay at? (You can browse all of the properties here.)
  • You can also get extra entries for tweeting about how you would use the points, following GGTG on Twitter, liking GGTG on Facebook, subscribing to our RSS feed, and subscribing to our newsletter.

Enter to Win Using by Using this Widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Details: Please note that 1 random winner will be picked to receive 30,000 Starpoints (ARV $750). All winners must 1) complete a W9 form to be awarded the Starpoints and 2) participate in the SPG program, or, sign up for a free account here:

If you want to be guaranteed 30,000 points you can apply for the card from American Express. Know that when you sign up for the card you get 10,000 bonus Starpoints after first purchase, plus 20,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 in 6 months of card membership. Plus the $65 annual fee is waived during the first year. This offer expires September 4th, 2012. If you don’t already have this card, and stay at hotels at least once a year, I would highly recommend getting this card.


  1. By Emily Lai on

    In all my travels, I’ve tried to stretch the limits of my points. I would choose to lower category hotels. But if I win these points, I’ll just spend it for one night at a Category 6 Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort and really milk it for all it’s worth!

  2. By Adam Welsh on

    I would totally spend a week at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco. That city is expensive enough that I can’t afford to both sleep and eat there, so having points for a hotel would satisfy both my wallet and my stomach.

  3. By Heather Christopher on

    I would spend my Starwood points to relax at the St. Regis Florence in Florence Italy! A magical and inspiring city that is romantic and always beautiful! :)

  4. By Christian min Kang on

    I would prefer the Sheraton iguazu as I want to go back there since I visited it there when I was in grade school. Revisiting down memory lane would certainly be priceless!

  5. By Mike Szy on

    My wife and I are taking a leave of absence from our jobs to travel around the world. I would have to use these at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa :-)

  6. By Aaron M on

    I would use my 30,000 points to stay at the beautiful Castillo Hotel son Vida on the island of Mallorca, Spain. The hotel is an authentic 13th century castle. Room rates are normally between 355 -565 euros per night ($438 to $700/night), but given that it is a class 5 Starwood property, you can use cash and points redemption for 4800 points and $90/night. The 30,000 points would get me a relaxing 6 night stay at this property for a total of $540! (6 * $90), where I would normally be spending between ($2,400 to $4,200 for this stay!!!), a savings of $2,000 -$4,000 dollars. With this redemption each starwood point has an approximate value of 7 to 12 cents per dollar!!!! amazing!

    I can’t wait!!!

  7. By Scott Smith on

    I’d love to be able to use the contest points at the Westin in Napa, California, surprising my wife on our 1st anniversary. She has always wanted to go, and both of our parents have said they’d come out for the surprise as well. Since we’re in Florida, it’s a bit of a haul to get out that way.

  8. By Pria on

    I would stay 3 nights at THE WESTIN BEACH RESORT & SPA, FORT LAUDERDALE.
    It would be the perfect place to relax and rejuvinate after the hectic 4 days disneyland visit in Orlando.
    I get to relax in the spa as well as enjoy the beach proximity. absolutely perfect vacation.

  9. By Kevin P on


    The W Scottsdale in Arizona. I’ll be able to book a wonderful room for 2 nights over the weekend @ peak for $258 plus 12k points and have 18k left over for a wonderful redemption at . – Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort for 2 nights for my future trip booked!

  10. By Kelly S on

    I would use the points to head over to Hawaii to visit our daughter stationed on Oahu. We would probably head over to Maui or Kauai and stay at the Westin villas. As a young enlisted girl she doesn’t have the money to visit the other islands! So this would be a great chance to take her over for a visit!

  11. By Dan Archer on

    I would love to stay at the W Hong Kong. I took advantage of the SQ first class deal and would love to stay first class when we get there!!

  12. By Victoria Fisher on

    I’d head to Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival, take in the sights, and use points and cash to stay at the Westin Prince from Spetember 6-16.

  13. By Hans on

    I would spend two nights at the W Washington DC as well. I used to live in NoVA and loved visiting DC. Since then, I’ve moved away and gotten into photography. So I’d love to experience DC again as a photographer.

  14. By John on

    I would use the points to help pay for hotels on my honeymoon to Japan this September. It would be nice to stay in a top notch hotel like The Westin Tokyo and it would be really cool to stay across the river from an old castle like The Westin Nagoya Castle.

  15. By Andrew on

    Definitely the Sheraton Iguazu. I’m heading to Buenos Aires in a few weeks, and I’m deciding whether or not to head up there — these points might seal the deal!

  16. By Noah Curhan on

    I would use the points to stay at the W in Dallas. I am headed there for the Michigan-Alabama game at the end of the month and would love to put all my friends up there for the weekend. GO BLUE!

  17. By Todd on

    Your rafflecopter widget is broken, at least for me. I tried to do all fifteen entries but after the first one I got an error every time and got sent to an error reporting page and the tracker at the top of the widget still only says 1/15.

  18. By Giovanna on

    The “widget” says that it isn’t working… is all we need to do leave a comment with where we’d like to stay?

    It’s hard to pick, but I’d choose the Westin Maui in Ka’anapali. Being in Maui (although never getting to stay at the Westin) is the closest I’ve ever felt to being in heaven :)

  19. By harvson3 on

    I’d probably stretch our summer with one night at the St. Regis New York. We’re going to the City anyway, and the St. Regis is nice and close to Central Park for a morning run.

  20. By David Scott on

    I need me some yummy Thai food and beaches! I would stay at The Naka Island in Phuket. Nothing says stretching the summer like sky blue waters and doing nothing but sipping on a drink with rum in it!

  21. By on

    I would use the points on my upcoming trip to SE Asia and stay on one of the resorts in Thailand. I was going to use my Hilton points but if I get these points I’ll use them at a place like The Naka Island, Phuket

  22. By Joseph G on

    It may not be the most nights but it’s all about the experience. I would spend 2 nights with my wife (who has never been to NYC) at the Sheraton New York Hotel in Manhattan on New Years Eve. Total stay, Dec. 31-Jan2. This would be the greatest experience my bride could ever ask for :-)

  23. By Jaeyoon Lee on

    I would go to Westin Maui, and learn how to surf. Get away from it all, develop crazy upper body strength, and post to Fleetify (how’s that for some app love)!

  24. By Lauren Schwartz on

    I would book a long trip to Hawaii and stay at the Sheraton Waikiki – Oahu. The poolside lounge chairs look like exactly where i want to spend my vacation!

  25. By Thanh P. on

    If I get the points, I’d definitely want to go to Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas in Kauai! My dream vacation this summer is to go to all 4 islands for an ultimate Hawaiian experience and hope that the points will help making this dream come true! Thanks!

  26. By JL on

    I would treat my Dad, who is recovering from a heart surgery, to a Father-Son trip to stay at the W in Seattle (provided he recovers enough to fly, otherwise I’d have to go to a SPG property withing driving distance of NYC)

  27. By on

    I would use the points to stay at the Hotel Danieli in Venice, Italy. It has been my dream to stay there since I saw it in the movie, Only You. I did have cheese & wine there once years ago.

  28. By Brian on

    My wife and I are headed to Spain for a belated honeymoon. I would love to stay at the SPG Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville which is supposed to be amazing, but I don’t have enough points for that splurge. This would be the icing on the (wedding) cake for us.

  29. By Neet N on

    Personally, I’d love to stay at the The St. Regis Singapore when I go visit there at the end of August. Also, the St. Regis Atlanta is so tempting, would love to experience that.

  30. By Lauryn on

    Every time I save up enough Starwood points, I use them to get the discounted rate at the Sheraton in downtown Denver, next to my apartment, for my mom and grandmother to come visit me!

    I very well can’t put them up in my studio apartment, and they absolutely love staying at that beautiful property and spending time with me for a few days. It’s all my grandma can ever talk about!

    30,000 points will allow me to not only have my mom and grandma come visit, but my auntie and little brother and sister as well! I miss them so much!

  31. By Kirsten on

    Sheraton in Libreville, Gabon, since I have a short term teaching assignment and want to bring my kids…hotels are very pricey in Libreville!

  32. By JD on

    This would give me a couple of nights at the Park Lane Hotel in London, my favorite city. I’ll be in London for two nights later this year, so these points would be very useful and fun!

  33. By Gustav on

    I would use the points at the Westin in Lima, Peru on the Winter Solstice (i.e.m December 21) for a week since it would be summer in the southern hemisphere. Thus I would be literally extending my summer for an additional week!

  34. By M.W. on

    Westin Palace Hotel, in Madrid across the street from the magnificent Retiro Park and Prado Museum.
    6 nights for 4,800 pts + $90 / night …that’s my choice for using 28,800 Starwood points.
    SPG shows points & cash rates are available every day from August 9 to September 9!
    Plus, points & cash rates are available virtually every weekend in September & October, and virtually every day in November and December.

  35. By Kristina Pearson on

    I wanna stay @ the W in New York… And play in Central Park…. Walk the Highline…. Take a subway to Grand Central, and then sit at a sidewalk Cafe in the Village & watch the world go by.