Category Archives: Starwood Preferred Guest

Semi-Monthly Update (April 4, 2017)

In this post: an awesome credit card offer expiring tomorrow, our travel news and monthly points and miles round-up, some extreme free-after rebate sales at Menards, and more!

Credit Card News

Tomorrow (April 5th) is the last day for the elevated sign-up bonus on the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card.  The standard bonus on the Amex SPG card is 25k points or even lower.  The current bonus offer is for 25k points after spending $3k in the first 3 months, and an adidtional 10k points after spending an additional $2k in the first 6 months, for 35k bonus points.  Starwood points are some of the most valuable hotel points around, even beating out Hyatt on most points valuation lists.  Including the points earned with the regular spending to meet the bonus, new card holders will end up with 40k points.  That’s enough for 4 nights at the Westin Punta Cana, where VT readers Derek and Danie recently stayed.

Beach view at the Westin Punta Cana - 10,000 SPG points per night

Beach view at the Westin Punta Cana – 10,000 SPG points per night

I applied for the card last night and was instantly approved!

Here’s the link to the Flyertalk wiki with links to the application page.  THIS OFFER IS ONLY GOOD THROUGH APRIL 5th.  

Travel News

It’s been a busy few days of travel planning here at ValueTactics headquarters.

Today I booked a downtown Minneapolis hotel for a wedding Nicoleen and I have on Saturday evening.  We’re staying at the new Hampton Inn, which is currently ranked #1 of 49 hotels in Minneapolis on  The cash value of the stay is $110.02 and it cost us 20,000 Hilton points.  Expect a hotel review sometime after our stay!

I’ve also recently spent several hours planning our fall trip to somewhere warm with the kids.  (If you are a personal acquaintance DO NOT mention this to our kids!)  I’ll reveal details at a later date but I’ll give you this much.  We are staying 5 nights using only the bonus points from one card: the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier.  We’ll even have some points left over.

Household Points and Miles Activity for March

Between Nicoleen and I, here are the earnings and redemptions we made in March:

  • earned 948 hotel points
  • earned 114,282 Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • earned 2,653 Citi Thank-You points
  • earned 114 “other” points
  • redeemed 114 “other” points for $1.14 cash back from Capital One

Menards Free Stuff Update

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Menards update.  I’m still successfully resisting most of my urges to fill our garage and house full of free stuffVT reader Alex, on the other hand, is really ramping up his program!

When Alex sent me this photo I knew something big was brewing...

When Alex sent me this photo I knew something big was brewing…

When I stopped at Menards on Sunday I found out it was day three of a truly crazy “Crazy Days” sale.  There were 15 different free-after-rebate products on sale for a total quantity of 68 items.  The total retail value was $305.56!

As I explain on the Menards Free Stuff tactical page, sale cycles often overlap on Sundays.  Last Sunday was one such day, as the “Crazy Days” ad was ending and the “Menards Day Sale” flyer was just starting.  The Menards Day Sale goes until this Sunday, April 9th.  Here are the free-after-rebate deals from that sale that are currently available:

New ValueTactics Blog Posts

Card Review: Chase Hyatt is my review of the card that has largely fueled our last two free vacations: Hawaii back in September, and Costa Rica in February.  Check out the details on this super valuable card!

Now you’re updated. Go employ some Value Tactics!