Published on February 24th, 2017 | by William Charles30
SPG Nights & Flights Vs Marriott Flight & Hotel Packages – What’s Better?
In our recent post on the best uses of 35,000 SPG points, reader Kris asked why the SPG Nights & Flights program is rarely discussed (especially in comparison to Marriott’s flight & hotel packages). I said I thought Marriott packages were better value, but I didn’t know why I thought that. Not exactly an airtight argument, so I thought I should actually compare the two to see if I was wrong in following the herd or if there was a real reason SPG nights & flights packages are largely ignored.
SPG Nights & Flights
I’m going to start with the SPG nights & flights program because people are less likely to be familiar with it. This package lets you book a five night stay at a category three or category four property and in addition receive 50,000 airline miles. The cost is as follows:
- 60,000 SPG points for a five night stay at a category three property and 50,000 airline miles
- 70,000 SPG points for a five night stay at a category four property and 50,000 airline miles
Only airlines that transfer to SPG at a ratio of 1:1 are eligible, meaning the following airlines are eligible: Aegean Airlines, Aeromexico Club Premier, Aeroplan/Air Canada, Air Berlin, Air China Companion, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Alitalia MileMiglia, All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club, American Airlines AAdvantage, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, British Airways Executive Club, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Airways, Flying Blue, Hainan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank, Jet Airways, Korean Air, LifeMiles® of Avianca, Miles and More, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Virgin Australia.
Now normally a category three property will cost you 7,000 points per night and a category four property would cost you 10,000 points per night. It’s important to remember that you get the fifth night free on SPG awards, so really we need to look at the cost of four nights normally:
- Category three: 28,000 points
- Category four: 40,000 points
This means we’re paying 32,000 points for 50,000 airline miles with the category three package and 30,000 points for 50,000 airline miles with the category four package. You’d normally transfer at a rate of 1:1 and then get an additional 5,000 miles per 20,000 transferred. So you’re essentially getting an additional 12,000 airline miles with the category three package and 15,000 additional miles with the category four package.
Marriott Flight & Hotels Package
Rather than discussing this in detail again, I’m going to refer you to this post where we discussed these packages in detail before.
What Package Is Better?
Honestly that really depends on what your goals are and what airline miles you want. Here are some key differences:
- Marriott packages cost a minimum of 270,000 Marriott points (90,000 SPG points. Note this is for the packages that give the most amount of miles) vs SPG packages costing a minimum of 60,000 SPG points (180,000 Marriott points)
- Marriott packages are for seven nights, SPG packages are for five nights
- Marriott packages are for up to 132,000 miles, SPG packages are for 50,000 miles
- If you took the additional 20,000/30,000 SPG points you’d save and converted these to miles it would still be a maximum of 85,000 miles with SPG – plus an additional two nights at the Marriott property. But the SPG property would likely be nicer
- SPG has more airline partners than Marriott
- Marriott packages can be used at all categories, SPG can be used at only category 3 and 4 properties
I agree with my initial assessment that Marriott packages are better than SPG packages if your primary concern is airline miles. If your primary concern isn’t airline miles then I’d just stick to redeeming for award nights rather than going for one of these packages. For most people they will really want to see what hotels they’ll actually be able to stay at before even considering booking. I personally wouldn’t book either of these packages unless I’d a specific hotel in mind that I wanted to immediately book and had confirmed award availability as well but that’s just me.