Why I Love Miles and Points!

Generally speaking, using miles or points for things other than travel will likely garner a lower return than using them for flights or hotels or car rentals. While we have NEVER used our miles or points for things like gift cards or merchandise, I know many people who have and have been very happy with the result. If you’re not much of a traveler, those redemptions can be just as satisfying as a free flight might be for me.

But one points redemption not at all related to travel that can give you a higher return for your hard earned points or miles than using them for travel is using Starpoints for one of their SPG Moments. Starpoints are the currency of the Starwood Preferred Guest program (think Westin, Sheraton, W hotels, etc.). They are pretty hard to come by but have a plethora of uses and are thus, very valuable.

This evening, while waiting for dinner to come out of the oven and while the kids were enjoying a few minutes of their favorite tv show, I perused my favorite blogs for headlines of anything of interest in the personal finance or points/miles worlds. And I saw this: Buy Tickets to See Adele at the O2 with SPG Moments. OMG. Adele, in London, using SPG points? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t LOVE Adele and I’m certainly a huge fan. I don’t know if I love her music or her more. The whole package is just awesome.

My first thought was wow, those packages must be a ton of SPG points. So, out of curiosity, I pulled up the SPG Moments on SPG.com and saw that 2 tickets in a suite at the O2 Arena in London were only 25,000 SPG points. Now don’t get me wrong, 25,000 SPG points are a lot of points given how much you can do with them. But Adele’s concerts in the US and Europe sold out within minutes. Every single person I’ve talked to that tried to secure tickets were shut out. Even the concerts available with SPG Moments are sold out. The tickets in the suite are not for sale in the traditional sense.

Without hesitation, I promptly reached out to my sisters so see if they might like to join me in a jaunt across the pond to see the show. One sister was in, she had the required SPG points needed, and a few short minutes later, we were confirmed.

So, what do we get with the SPG Moments tickets? Two seats in the SPG suite at the O2 arena! Yes, that’s right, we get access to complimentary food and drink in the SPG suite and our own seats outside the suite for viewing the concert. I don’t like crowds so this sounds like the best way to view a concert EVER! We’ll even get a separate entrance so we don’t have to stand in the ridiculous lines. I may never go to another concert again after this experience!

We’ll be using a combination of miles and cash to get to and from London and will be using free night certificates to stay at the Intercontinental Park Lane for two nights and the Intercontinental next to the O2 arena on the night of the concert.

I never imagined that I’d be going to see Adele in concert since the tickets on the re-sale market are out of this world and it’s not worth it to me to go to a concert if you can’t actually see the performer. But going to a concert in London? In a suite? Not something I would have ever dreamed would be a possibility and I’m beyond excited.

The retail value of these tickets far exceed the value one might put on the Starpoints we used. But even that can’t compare to the value I’d put on this once in a lifetime experience and it would never be possible if we didn’t have the Starpoints available, the miles for the plane tickets, and the free hotel nights. Our out of pocket costs will be quite low and will basically consist of Tube fare and meals.

You may remember my post yesterday where I stated that I didn’t have an immediate use for the Starpoints I will get after I meet the sign up bonus for my recently approved SPG business Amex. Well, this experience just taught me that it’s never a bad idea to have a stash of Starpoints at all times. You never know what experiences may present themselves and having the ability to jump on them when they do is priceless.

For those with available Starpoints, there are a couple of packages still left although they are going quickly so I can’t guarantee they’ll still be there when you read this post! But rest assured there will be future SPG Moments that will be worth considering so if you’d like to build your Starpoints balance, you can’t go wrong with either of these cards!

Personal: Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express – 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months. Annual fee waived first year. You can only have this card once per lifetime

Business: Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card from American Express – 25,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 on the card within the first 3 months. Annual fee waived first year. You can get this card bonus once per 12 month period.

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