Say you're the consummate road warrior á la Ryan Bingham from Up In The Air, and you've not only flown ten million miles and received American Airlines Executive Platinum status (fact), Concierge Key status (fact), and the fabled Graphite Card (fiction), but you've also managed to accumulate one million Starwood Preferred Guest points in the process. Now let's say you've decided to live life on the edge by blowing away your entire stash of Starpoints in one fell swoop. How do you go about deciding what to redeem your hard-earned points on?
Our fearless leader and CEO, Tyler Dikman, recently came upon this dilemma when his SPG account tipped the scales at 1,006,962 Starpoints. After a short-lived celebration, however, he quickly realized that becoming an SPG millionaire comes with some heavy burdens, such as undue mental strain over an embarrassment of riches and how to even begin liquidating such a massive stockpile of points.
Official Starwood Preferred Guest Millionaire
Since all of us here at LoungeBuddy love to dream big, we've decided to take on this unique challenge by coming up with ten of the most over-the-top and utterly ridiculous ways you can spend one million Starpoints. Before getting started, we want our readers to understand that we are fully aware of how absurd these redemptions are. We are in no way advocating for these options as reasonable or wise, just like we would never recommend blowing one million Starpoints on an SPG Moments meet and greet with Kim Kardashian. But hey... if that's your thing, LoungeBuddy is also a judgment-free zone.
We know there are plenty of SPG millionaires amongst our readers, so feel free let us know your own ideas on how to spend one million Starpoints. Now... without further ado (and in no particular order), let's begin:
1. Take 54 showers on board Emirates A380 First Class
Granted, these will be five minute showers maximum, and there is no guarantee you will actually get a turn on board the shortest A380 flight in the world (Dubai to Kuwait City - 1h 45m), but hey, how many travelers can say they've taken even one shower while flying at 35,000 feet? One million Starpoints can be converted into 1,250,000 Emirates Skywards miles, and at 45,000 miles per round-trip redemption, you'll be able to savor the Emirates A380 First Class Suite as well as their Signature Shower Spa a total of 54 times. Not to mention the luxurious amenities you'll get to experience in the Emirates First Class Lounge and the generous chauffeur service to/from anywhere within the United Arab Emirates.
Emirates A380 Signature Shower Spa
Emirates A380 First Class Suites
Enjoy a wine tasting in the Emirates First Class Lounge Le Clos Wine Cellar
Your children will love you more when they see the Mercedes chauffeur arriving at your door
2. Spend 13 nights at the W Maldives Retreat & Spa or 20 nights at the Le Méridien Bora Bora
Ever dream about vacationing in secluded paradise for a few nights? How about 20 nights? With one million Starpoints, you can do just that. Yes, the redemption value per point turns out to be incredibly poor, but when you're laying out on the pure white sand with cocktail in hand and an entire ocean of turquoise water ahead of you, who cares? Especially when you've got another 19 nights of heaven to look forward to. Note that standard free night redemptions won't get you into the famous overwater bungalows, and definitely don't count on Platinum upgrades either.
Le Méridien Bora Bora
W Maldives Retreat & Spa
3. Travel across the United States 16 times in a private bedroom on Amtrak
For just 60,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points, you can travel in your own bedroom across the country. Better yet, share the bedroom with a friend at no additional cost. Starpoints transfer to Amtrak Guest Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, so one million Starpoints will grant you 16 cross-country trips with some change left over. Bedrooms include private bathrooms, meals, fresh towels and linens, and turndown service.
Traverse the country on Amtrak (photo by Loco Steve on Flickr)
4. Have a private dinner hosted by Thomas Keller at The French Laundry for you and 19 of your closest friends
Each summer, SPG Moments hosts a private gourmet experience at Thomas Keller's world-renowned restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville, California. To get in on the action, members must bid for one of several dinner packages for two guests each. Previous years have seen winning bids reach an average of 100,000 Starpoints, with some going as high as 129,500 Starpoints. Eagle-eyed readers will notice in the terms and conditions that SPG members may only win up to two packages per event, so perhaps we took some liberties with the title. However, assuming you win two packages per year for the next five years, you'll have spent approximately one million Starpoints on private dinners at The French Laundry for you and your 19 guests.
Indulge at The French Laundry (photo by kowarski on Flickr)
5. Take 39 flights on board Singapore Airlines Suites Class
Once the epitome of commercial air travel, Singapore Airline A380 Suites Class still conjures up elusive dreams of double beds, soft Italian leather, and lavish gastronomical delights. So why stop at just one flight? Go ahead and convert one million Starpoints into 1,250,000 KrisFlyer miles, and experience the legendary Singapore Airlines service in Suites Class a total of 39 times when you book the Singapore to Hong Kong route (31,875 miles each way). With four hours on board and plenty of extra time at Changi Airport, enjoy as much Dom Perignon and Krug as your stomach can handle, along with a dozen or so foie gras burgers in The Private Room. Just be sure to redeem your KrisFlyer miles online to receive an additional 15% discount, or else you'll only be looking at 33 flights instead.
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class
Enjoy a foie gras burger (or five) in The Private Room
6. Fly around the world 10 times in first class
Update: As US Airways Dividend Miles has merged with American AAdvantage, this redemption option is no longer available.
Simply convert your one million Starpoints into 1,250,000 US Airways Dividend Miles, and you can take advantage of one of the few remaining sweet spots in their award chart. With 120,000 Dividend Miles, you can book a round-trip award ticket to North Asia in first class on your choice of oneworld carriers, And since US Airways doesn't restrict award travel to North Asia via Europe, you can even route your itinerary through London or Helsinki, along with a stopover, and then continue on to Tokyo, Beijing, or Hong Kong. Finally, catch a trans-Pacific flight for your return leg and complete the round-the-world journey...ten times if you like.
British Airways A380 First Class
Yes, this is a "round-trip" award to North Asia
7. Spend almost 6 months living out of Category 3 hotels
7,000 Starpoints per night plus SPG's 5th night free promotion will grant you just under six months of stays at Category 3 hotels (177 nights). And don't underestimate the properties in this mid-tier level, as there are some truly eye-popping accommodations around the world for even the most discerning of travelers. Below are just a few examples of the hotels and resorts we'd love to test out for six months:
Sheraton Soma Bay Resort
Red Sea, Egypt
Le Méridien Bangkok
Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort (Now Category 2!)
8. Spend almost 3 months living out of Category 3 hotels plus earn 800,000 airline miles of your choice
Need some help getting to all those Category 3 hotels worldwide? With SPG Nights & Flights, you can redeem 60,000 Starpoints for five free nights at a Category 3 hotel and receive 50,000 airline miles of your choice. This equates to an incredible 29% discount off the standard 5th night free rate. With one million Starpoints, you can redeem for 86 free nights at Category 3 hotels plus 800,000 airlines miles (or 72 nights at Category 4 hotels plus 700,000 airline miles). Not bad at all.
9. Spend 500 nights living out of Category 1 hotels and earn SPG Platinum status for life
With free weekend nights costing just 2,000 Starpoints at Category 1 hotels, get away for 25 weekends (50 nights) a year for the next ten years, and you'll have earned SPG Lifetime Platinum status. Or, if you prefer, throw in an extra 1,000 Starpoints for free weekday nights and spend just over a full year (368 nights) living out of Category 1 hotels. If the thought of escaping an apartment lease sounds appealing, then start emptying out your SPG account and brace yourself for an entire year of housekeeping, room service, and poolside lounging.
While you may balk at the thought of redeeming valuable Starpoints for bottom of the barrel hotels in SPG's roster of illustrious properties, let us offer a few examples of surprising gems among the lumps of coal that may pique your interest:
Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa
Le Méridien Yixing
Sheraton Sharm Hotel, Resort, Villas & Spa
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
10. Donate it to charity
If all this self-indulgence has you feeling a bit empty, consider donating your one million Starpoints to The American Red Cross or The United Nations Children's Fund. How much can one million Starpoints buy in donations? Exactly $12,500 through The American Red Cross, or your choice of the following options through The United Nations Children's Fund:
- 1 year of learning materials (rulers, erasers, pens, pencils, and books) for 2,000 children
- 1000 footballs that will help children learn through play
- 200 uniforms and essential gender-specific tutorials for female students in Ethiopia
- Training for 125,000 teachers in Burkina Faso, including HIV education curriculum
- 500 chalkboard sets for classrooms in South Africa
Can you come up with even crazier ideas on how to blow one million Starpoints? Let us know!