Starwood AmEx

Old Jul 7, 16, 9:00 am
  #1  
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Starwood AmEx

I just found out about MS yesterday (although I have coupons and glitched for a while so I know how to hustle around). Apparently I have been doing a light version of MS anyway. Here is my situation; I opened a Sheraton AmEx card and with bonus and precious travel I have 40,000 p points on it. The hotel that I would like to use in Orlando for a week will cost me 70,000 points. So I need to do 30,000 of MS for this travel. If I go to CVS and buy $30000 VGS, then go to Walmart turn this VGS into MO and then deposit this MO and pay my CC off I will earn those 30000 pints, correct? If I do that I am looking at spending $330 on activation and MO fees (about $10 to activate 2 $500 VGS and then about $1 on MO), right? That $330 seems like a steep price to pay for those extra 3 nights. What are your thoughts? Is there a cheaper way to go about this? Another option is for me to take my family for those 3 extra days to the beach and do a different hotel stay. But then I am starting from scratch. What loyalty do I want to sign up for Hilton? Marriott? What CC?
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Old Jul 7, 16, 9:12 am
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you have lots of reading to do....

There's a limit on usage at WM for VGCs purchased at CVS.
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Old Jul 7, 16, 9:14 am
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Visa GC from CVS are "vanilla" brand and will not work at walmart to buy money order, unless that money order is bought with each swipe of the vanilla visa of 49.99 or less
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Old Jul 7, 16, 9:15 am
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Not to be trying to be trite but you have A LOT to read up on

Just for starters (And only starting) The gift cards that CVS sells cannot be liquidated at Walmart beyond 49.99 at a time
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Old Jul 7, 16, 9:19 am
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Welcome to FlyerTalk !

Look at your credit card again. Don't you mean to say that you have a STARWOOD AmEx card? This earns Starwood Preferred Guest points (SPG). Sheraton is part of the Starwood hotel network.
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Old Jul 7, 16, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by Irka View Post
I just found out about MS yesterday (although I have coupons and glitched for a while so I know how to hustle around). Apparently I have been doing a light version of MS anyway. Here is my situation; I opened a Sheraton AmEx card and with bonus and precious travel I have 40,000 p points on it. The hotel that I would like to use in Orlando for a week will cost me 70,000 points. So I need to do 30,000 of MS for this travel. If I go to CVS and buy $30000 VGS, then go to Walmart turn this VGS into MO and then deposit this MO and pay my CC off I will earn those 30000 pints, correct? If I do that I am looking at spending $330 on activation and MO fees (about $10 to activate 2 $500 VGS and then about $1 on MO), right? That $330 seems like a steep price to pay for those extra 3 nights. What are your thoughts? Is there a cheaper way to go about this? Another option is for me to take my family for those 3 extra days to the beach and do a different hotel stay. But then I am starting from scratch. What loyalty do I want to sign up for Hilton? Marriott? What CC?
Refer spouse/SO to the SPG card, get 5k for referring, spouse/SO gets 25k for doing signing up spend. Voila, 30k . SPG allows transfers between accounts if you live at the same address (must show same address on SPG account for 30 days prior to transfer).

Also, note that SPG does "5th night free" on award stays, so if you're looking at 10k/nt hotel for 7 nights, your cost would actually only be 60k points.

Last edited by dukerau; Jul 7, 16 at 10:33 am
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Old Jul 7, 16, 11:41 am
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Thanks so much!

Yes, I'd love to read up on the rules. And thanks guys. I had no idea you couldn't repurchase MO with VGCs. Thanks for stopping me before I did it!! So where can I read up on this? I have read some stuff on cash cow couple and I'm testing to learn. But please let me know where I an learn more!
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Old Jul 7, 16, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by Joshy119 View Post
Not to be trying to be trite but you have A LOT to read up on

Just for starters (And only starting) The gift cards that CVS sells cannot be liquidated at Walmart beyond 49.99 at a time
Thanks! Yes, I'd love to read and understand this! Where do I start? How did you start?
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Old Jul 7, 16, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by dukerau View Post
Refer spouse/SO to the SPG card, get 5k for referring, spouse/SO gets 25k for doing signing up spend. Voila, 30k . SPG allows transfers between accounts if you live at the same address (must show same address on SPG account for 30 days prior to transfer).

Also, note that SPG does "5th night free" on award stays, so if you're looking at 10k/nt hotel for 7 nights, your cost would actually only be 60k points.
Thank you! I didn't know SPG did 5th night free. That leaves only 20000 points. Thanks!!!
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Old Jul 7, 16, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by Irka View Post
Yes, I'd love to read up on the rules. And thanks guys. I had no idea you couldn't repurchase MO with VGCs. Thanks for stopping me before I did it!! So where can I read up on this? I have read some stuff on cash cow couple and I'm testing to learn. But please let me know where I an learn more!
you can purchase MO with VGCs but you cannot use the cvs ones at walmart, you can use other non vanilla at walmart or use cvs vanilla ones at places other than walmart

oh and welcome to flyertalk
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Old Jul 7, 16, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by particlemn View Post
you can purchase MO with VGCs but you cannot use the cvs ones at walmart, you can use other non vanilla at walmart or use cvs vanilla ones at places other than walmart

oh and welcome to flyertalk
Thanks! And thank you taking the time to explain this to me! So should I just buy the VGCs at Meijer/Kroger? Then buy MOs at Meijer or Walmart ? And I'm still not understanding if I have to pay about $11-12 for every 1000 points is that really a good deal? Seems like I need about 7000-10000 SPG points for all these hotels per night. So I'm still spending about $70-$110 on activation fees for one night stay. Do I just have a bad CC and I should look at other more advantageous ones? Or I'm doing the calculation all wrong?
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Old Jul 7, 16, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Irka View Post
Thanks! And thank you taking the time to explain this to me! So should I just buy the VGCs at Meijer/Kroger? Then buy MOs at Meijer or Walmart ? And I'm still not understanding if I have to pay about $11-12 for every 1000 points is that really a good deal? Seems like I need about 7000-10000 SPG points for all these hotels per night. So I'm still spending about $70-$110 on activation fees for one night stay. Do I just have a bad CC and I should look at other more advantageous ones? Or I'm doing the calculation all wrong?
only you can decide if paying those fees for that hotel room is a good deal. one place to start is looking at how much the room costs to pay cash. then deciding what amount you would be willing to pay in cash for the room( if the room is 1000 per night but you would never pay over 200 for a room then its really only worth 200 not 1000)
also how soon are you planning on making the trip, you could just spend your regular monthly spend ( gas groceries target runs and the like ) to the card and get points that way.
to add complications to your calculations you also need to compare the spend to a 2% cash back card like the citi double cash card. it has no annual fee and you get two percent cash back on all purchases. if you are not earning more that 2cents per SPG point it is better to spend on the 2% cash back card and sue cash to pay for additional nights.
hope this is not too complicated.
as a final note you may want to ask these type of questions in the "New to MS" thread. you may find more help in that thread
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Old Jul 7, 16, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by particlemn View Post
only you can decide if paying those fees for that hotel room is a good deal. one place to start is looking at how much the room costs to pay cash. then deciding what amount you would be willing to pay in cash for the room( if the room is 1000 per night but you would never pay over 200 for a room then its really only worth 200 not 1000)
also how soon are you planning on making the trip, you could just spend your regular monthly spend ( gas groceries target runs and the like ) to the card and get points that way.
to add complications to your calculations you also need to compare the spend to a 2% cash back card like the citi double cash card. it has no annual fee and you get two percent cash back on all purchases. if you are not earning more that 2cents per SPG point it is better to spend on the 2% cash back card and sue cash to pay for additional nights.
hope this is not too complicated.
as a final note you may want to ask these type of questions in the "New to MS" thread. you may find more help in that thread
All of this is great advice! We aren't traveling until February, but there is no way I am going to spend $30000 on CC purchases organically until then. What I going to do for the rest of the week is read my CC terms and cash back options and see which cards I should stick with and which I should close. But I think your advice on the City card is a very good one. I doubt I am getting 2% back on any of my cards, so I ef have these decisions to make. And you are also very correct about the room. The hotel I am looking at in Disney is $400-$500 per night (my family is a family of 6 so wee need the bigger rooms). But I would never pay that! Usually when we go I rent a house on Vrbo for about $600-$800 for the week. But I started rolling with these SPG points and I realized I'm onto something! Thanks for all your help!!!!
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Old Jul 8, 16, 1:48 pm
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Welcome!

You can purchase visa gift cards (VGC) from giftcards.com which can be used to purchase money orders from Walmart. The benefit of using this site to purchase VGC's is that you can use a cashback portal like topcashback.com and get 1 - 1.5% back on your purchase. This will help out in reducing the fee's. However, I would recommend that you start slow. You can read more about this in the giftcards.com thread.

Originally Posted by Irka View Post
All of this is great advice! We aren't traveling until February, but there is no way I am going to spend $30000 on CC purchases organically until then. What I going to do for the rest of the week is read my CC terms and cash back options and see which cards I should stick with and which I should close. But I think your advice on the City card is a very good one. I doubt I am getting 2% back on any of my cards, so I ef have these decisions to make. And you are also very correct about the room. The hotel I am looking at in Disney is $400-$500 per night (my family is a family of 6 so wee need the bigger rooms). But I would never pay that! Usually when we go I rent a house on Vrbo for about $600-$800 for the week. But I started rolling with these SPG points and I realized I'm onto something! Thanks for all your help!!!!
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Old Jul 8, 16, 2:44 pm
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by phatjoe View Post
Welcome!

You can purchase visa gift cards (VGC) from giftcards.com which can be used to purchase money orders from Walmart. The benefit of using this site to purchase VGC's is that you can use a cashback portal like topcashback.com and get 1 - 1.5% back on your purchase. This will help out in reducing the fee's. However, I would recommend that you start slow. You can read more about this in the giftcards.com thread.
Oh wow, Joe! That is a good thread, thanks for pointing me to it!! I'm actually very familiar with TCB, because I glitch so I've used them a lot. Great idea on using it to decrease the fees. So what I picked up from the thread is to use different personal info and CCs for my gift cards.com transactions. Once I buy say $1000 worth of VGCs what is my best bet? Turn around and purchase MOs? Or deposit them in lot a Bluebird type of account? Also, I haven't made any purchases but what do you mean start slow? $1000 per month?
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