Last week, I was at the W Austin, a very expensive, very chic hotel. The W, including many other hotels, are doing something extremely inconsiderate, that not only ruins that stay, but an entire trip.
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Starwood Preferred Guest ("SPG") points are extremely valuable. They transfer 1:1 to a number of airline partners, which provides extreme flexibility, and if you transfer 20,000 points at a time, you get a 5,000 point bonus, which means an effective 1:1.25 transfer rate. Further, SPG points can be used at thousands of Starwood properties, which includes some great budget options at 2,000 points per night, and some extremely luxurious properties that would be otherwise unaffordable. Further, if you redeem four nights on points, the fifth night is free. All in all, SPG points are one of the most valuable points options out there.