On paper, Dubai should have been the ideal place to redeem Starwood Preferred Guest points for a beach holiday. The group has four beach resorts in the Emirate:
- The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
- Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
- Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa
- Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort
…… plus another 12 non-beach properties.
For reasons never quite understood, however, many of these hotels refused to participate in Starwood Preferred Guest. You couldn’t earn points and you couldn’t redeem points – it wasn’t quite clear why they were even carrying Starwood brands.
Whilst these redemptions are not the cheapest, they are good value at peak periods. Starwood has ‘last room availability’ which means that if the hotel has a standard room for sale it must be offered as a reward.
On Easter Monday, Le Royal Meriden is £475 per night, so you are getting almost 2p per SPG point. Sheraton Jumeirah is £355 so you receive almost 3p per point! The other two are already showing as sold out but I would expect a similar result. These prices are totally normal for beach resorts in Dubai over Easter or October half term, by the way.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)