The Starwood and Marriott merger has opened up some new hotels for reward nights. Marriott actually has a great rewards program, but their credit card really only benefits people who stay at Marriott hotels regularly. The Starwood credit card, on the other hand, is a great credit card for daily use.
With the merger, you can transfer points back and forth between the Marriott and Starwood programs, which are still operating separately and will for the foreseeable future. A Starwood point is worth three Marriott points. So, if you transfer 10,000 Starwood points into your Marriott account, you’ll end up with 30,000 Marriott points.
Bottom line, unless you stay at Marriotts regularly, we recommend the average person get the Starwood card and then transfer points to Marriott when you find a great redemption option. The SpringHill Suites Flamingo Crossings is one of those examples.
What You Get
- Five FREE Nights at SpringHill Suites Flamingo Crossings
- Savings: $840 (average $168 per night)
What It Takes
- 80,000 Marriott Rewards points
- The SpringHill Suites Flamingo Crossings costs 20,000 points per night, but you get a fifth night free when using points.
How To Do It
- Apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express
- After spending $3,000 in the first months, you’ll receive a 25,000 sign up bonus plus the points you’ve earned from the purchases you’ve made.
- Create a free Marriott Rewards account and link it to your Starwood account. You can do this on the Marriott homepage.
- Transfer 26,667 Starwood points into your Marriott account. This will turn into 80,001 Marriott points.
- When you book your five free nights, simply select “Use Rewards Points” when you search your dates at the SpringHill Suites Flamingo Crossings
SpringHill Suites Flamingo Crossings
On the western side of Disney World, closest to Animal Kingdom and Coronado Springs, the SpringHill Suites Flamingo Crossings is a brand new hotel opened in 2016.
It’s full name is actually “SpringHill Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings/Western Entrance,” but that’s ridiculous and we refuse to use a name that long. However, where they failed in naming this hotel, they’ve made up for it in so many other ways. The hotel features a beautiful pool that’s well landscaped.
The room you get on points is 410 square feet, which is more than 50% bigger than Value Resort room at Disney (only 260 square feet). You can get either a King and Sofa Bed or Two Queens and a Sofa Bed. Both will sleep a family comfortably.
Based on the sample bookings we ran, the hotel averages $168 a night with taxes and fees. This means you’re saving $840 over those five nights. Saving this much with little more than the sign up bonus, is a great way to take a huge chunk out of the cost of your Disney vacation.
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