This is not a typo! I am saving $26,000 on our stay in Aspen next winter. I have been searching and scrounging and transferring since the beginning of the year. I have depleted my Chase Ultimate Rewards balance, my Marriott Rewards balance and my SPG balance. I have converted all of the options from my Starwood Vacation ownership into points. I am not proud but even transferred a little bit from American Express Membership Rewards at the awful 3:1 transfer rate just to top off my account. However, it was all worth it. I ultimately amassed enough SPG points to book 2 rooms at the St. Regis Aspen Resort for 6 nights. If Rob and I were to pay for these rooms, each room would have cost $13,350. In total we saved over 26K!
Each room required 30,000 points per night and the 5th night is free. So each room required 150,000 SPG points for a total of 300K. Here is a little bit more detail as to how I accumulated all of these points.
- I converted my Colorado vacation ownership into SPG points
- Rob got a bonus of 35,000 SPG points from securing the Amex SPG Business Card which I then transferred to my account. Recall, SPG has a very flexible transfer policy in that you can transfer Starpoints to any person that shares your home address for a minimum of 30 days prior to requesting the transfer. You can transfer any amount of points to that other person and there are no transfer fees.
- Rob got a Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card with a 75,000 Marriott Rewards points bonus. Don’t forget, you can convert Marriott points to SPG points at a 3:1 ratio, so this yielded another 25,000 SPG points which I also transferred to my SPG account.
- I depleted the rest of both mine and Rob’s Marriott Rewards accounts by converting the points to SPG points.
- I transferred ALL of MY Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my Marriott Rewards account and then converted those to SPG points. (Marriott is a Chase transfer partner, SPG is not). Points transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
- I transferred all of Rob’s Chase points that he earns on his Chase Ink Business Preferred to his Marriott Rewards account and then converted those to SPG and then transferred them to me.
- I needed a little bit more for the reservation and was too nervous that the resort would book, so I caved and transferred a little bit of my American Express Membership Rewards points to my SPG account. Note, I only recommend this in the most dire of circumstances as the transfer rate is extremely unfavorable. 3 Amex points = 1 SPG point.
Lastly, I want to remind everyone, that it is easier to secure that free travel if you have a specific destination in mind like I did. You can gear your credit card bonuses and spending to earn miles/points for that destination. This is the easiest way to ensure that you will get the flight or hotel stay for FREE on rewards.
A few minor downsides to us booking this stay, but I’ll take them! First, like when we stayed at the St. Regis on Kauai, everything at the hotel is so expensive-the coffee in the am, the food, having a drink at the bar, etc. Also, as I said, I have depleted my Marriott Rewards balance and even more upsetting, my Chase Ultimate Rewards balance which is always my first go to account. I hope I don’t need these points anytime soon. I have a nice stash of Delta SkyMiles and still a bunch of Amex points which I hope to use for our flights, although probably not enough to get us to Aspen, maybe just Denver..stay tuned. Luckily, I follow many of my earning strategies and I am confident my accounts will be overflowing one day again soon!