I am a SPG Amex Star and Loyalty Traveler 25,000 Starpoints Sweepstakes on Twitter

I am a SPG Amex Star for 2012. Stardom seems to be the air I breathe these days. Two weeks ago I did a film piece with Expedia, last week I experienced the Hollywood star treatment during my week in Los Angeles and my schedule was so busy that I had to choose between staying in Los Angeles for the International Pow Wow 2012 travel conference or flying off to New York like Johnny Jet did to also attend the Tribeca Film Festival.

The SPG Amex Star gig does not come with a star on Hollywood Boulevard and I missed my film festival debut in New York, but seriously, you can still win 25,000 Starpoints from my Loyalty Traveler SPG Amex Star giveaway through Twitter. More details on that below, but first I want to talk a little bit about being one of five bloggers selected to be a SPG Amex Star and the Tribeca Film Festival.

You don’t have to be a star baby, just a Starwood Preferred Guest member to win in my show.

What is an SPG Amex Star?

Starwood Preferred Guest and American Express offer a co-branded credit card. As an SPG Amex Star I will be sponsored by SPG American Express along with some other bloggers including Johnny Jet, Lucky of One Mile at a Time, Jen Miner of The Vacation Gals to participate in some events including the US Open Tennis, New York Fashion Week and a trip to the new St. Regis Bal Harbour Miami Beach. The sponsors fly me from California to these places and I will blog about them.

Part of my obligation is to write about these experiences and the SPG American Express card benefits and give away prizes to my readers including 210,000 Starpoints and a $250 gift card between now and December 31, 2012.

Let me repeat the best part:

I get to give away six prizes to my readers totaling 210,000 Starpoints and a $250 gift card through periodic sweepstakes opportunities in 2012.

The first prize giveaway is 25,000 points through a Twitter giveaway based on Starwood Hotels in New York. Keep reading as you need to slog through this blog post to get more Twitter sweepstakes details.


Here are the reasons I decided to participate as an SPG Amex Star:

  • Prize winners only need to be a Starwood Preferred Guest member and not a SPG American Express card member to claim prize giveaways through the six corresponding Loyalty Traveler sweepstakes offers for Starpoints and a gift card.
  • I have been a SPG American Express card member since 2001 and a Starwood Hotels Platinum member from 2003-2011. I like Starwood Hotels and I see value in the SPG Amex card. Sadly I dropped to SPG Gold for 2012. I hope this is a temporary elite downgrade. The SPG Amex Star gig offers complimentary SPG Gold, but I had already qualified the regular way with my hotel stays in 2011.
  • My analysis shows there is good value in having a SPG American Express card from 5 nights and 2 stays annual elite credit to the 1 point per $1 earning rate on all spend and 2 points per $1 earning rate on Starwood Hotels spend. Nearly every year I qualified for SPG Platinum with the minimum 25 stays. I frequently find myself hotel hopping the last week of December to make status. Two hotel stays elite credit with the SPG Amex credit is typically at least a $200 value for hotel stays I can skip in my travel plans and still earn SPG elite from annual Starwood Hotel stays.
  • And just today I learned from Mommy Points that attendees of the Frequent Traveler University voted the SPG Amex “Best Credit Card in the Galaxy” award winner.


11th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, New York

First up in this SPG Amex Star gig is New York and the Tribeca Film Festival. Unfortunately, the Tribeca Film Festival ended yesterday which means that I am writing this post primarily for you readers who might be interested in picking up an easy 25,000 Starpoints.

I really enjoy films, particularly documentaries. My wife likes to be entertained and feel happy at the end of a film. I like to see slices of life and how people live, work, struggle and find pleasure with their daily lives. The film winners below all sound like movie time not wasted and I hope to see some of these films broadcast on Sundance Channel or one of the other movie stations or PBS over the next year.

2012 Tribeca Film Festival Winners for Narrative and Documentary Films

War Witch the story of a 14-year old girl kidnapped from her African village and forced to be a child soldier. Rachel Mwanza, the lead character, was not a professional actress. Filmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and based on a real story that took place in Burma.

  • 2012 World Narrative Competition Award Winner.
  • 2012 Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film Award Winner – Rachel Mwanza as Komona.

The World Before Hera documentary about young women participating in the Miss India beauty pageant in India juxtaposed with women from the Hindu fundamentalist movement.

  • 2012 World Documentary Competition Award Winner.

Una Noche A film about poor youth working in the tourist industry in Havana, Cuba who consider leaving for Miami. Apparently this film has beautiful imagery of Havana. I love seeing places in film. Director Lucy Mulloy lived in Havana for several years researching this film. Una Noche won multiple awards including:

  • 2012 Best New Narrative Director Award Winner – Lucy Mulloy.
  • 2012 Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature Film Award Winner.
  • 2012 Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film Award Winner – Dariel Arrechada and Javier Nuñez Florian as Raul and Elio.

Wavumba A documentary about Kenya fishermen by Dutch filmmaker Jeroen van Velzen.

  • 2012 Best New Documentary Director Award Winner – Jeroen van Velzen.


My SPG Amex Star 25,000 Starpoints Twitter Sweepstakes

Monday, April 30 – Friday, May 11 Entry Period

I missed my portion of the SPG Amex Star treatment at the Tribeca Film Festival last week due to my previously booked engagement in Los Angeles. I have only been to New York once in my life back in the year 2000. I stayed in Manhattan at the Starwood Sheraton Russell Hotel. That property was torn down and replaced with a condominium building in the past decade.

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express is sponsoring a prize for one Loyalty traveler reader to receive 25,000 Starpoints.

The Twitter sweepstakes is based around the concept of readers sharing the Starwood Hotel you would most like to visit in New York.

Rules to enter the 25,000 Starpoints Sweepstakes:

1. Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter.com.

2. Post a tweet sharing which Starwood Hotel in New York you most want to visit. See the list of 19 New York Starwood Hotels at end of this post.

3. Use the hashtag #SPGAMEX in the tweet.

4. Use @LoyaltyTraveler in the tweet. Supposedly this makes it easier for me to see all the entries for when I pick a random winner.

5. Eligible entries accepted from 10:00 am Pacific time Monday, April 30 through 10:00 am Pacific time Friday, May 11, 2012.

The Loyalty Traveler SPG Amex Star 25,000 points sweepstakes entry period will run 12 days, the same length as the Tribeca Film Festival April 18-29, 2012.

6. Prize winner will be chosen at random. You can tweet one entry per calendar day of the contest for 12 entries total.


Sample Eligible Tweet:

@LoyaltyTraveler W New York Times Square #SPGAMEX

Here are some Twitter Guidelines I read over to help with this sweepstakes:

  • Creating multiple accounts on Twitter to win a contest can result in all your Twitter accounts being suspended. I discourage you from doing this.
  • Posting the same tweet over and over is discouraged by Twitter. Try and change up the order of words or hotel. One #SPGAMEX tweet per calendar day for my Loyalty Traveler sweepstakes is acceptable. Posting more than one tweet per calendar day for this contest is discouraged and may result in your elimination from the prize.
  • Include @LoyaltyTraveler in your tweet so I can easily filter the tweets to pick a winner.

Cheat sheet for Starwood Hotels In New York (with NY city address).

There are 37 Starwood Hotels listed when you search New York, New York on spg.com. The 19 hotels listed below are within the New York city limits. Your tweet should include one of these 19 hotels.

1. W New York Times Square

2. The Chatwal, New York City

3. The Westin New York at Times Square

4. The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel

5. Four Points by Sheraton Midtown – Times Square

6. Element New York Times Square West

7. Sheraton New York Hotel

8. Le Parker Meridien New York

9. The St. Regis New York

10. W New York

11. The New York Helmsley Hotel

12. Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Chelsea

13. W New York – Union Square

14. Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan SoHo Village

15. Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

16. W New York – Downtown

17. Aloft Harlem

18. Aloft New York Brooklyn

19. Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel


Blogger Disclosure: Just in case you missed it earlier in the post, this is a sponsored post for Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express who has donated the 25,000 points for a Loyalty Traveler SPG Amex Star Twitter Sweepstakes in conjunction with Starwood Hotels and the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.

Also, please note that since this is my first sweepstakes as a SPG Amex Star, hopefully I have done everything correctly in writing about this sweepstakes. Please be understanding if I need to change any details about this giveaway after posting. This is a learning experience for me. Good luck to all the entrants.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »



  1. Awesome. You richly deserve this star treatment for all your efforts, and I am glad to see this opportunity come through for you.

  2. Thanks, Ric!

    Btw, the best way to filter entries would be to search your Twitter feed for “@LoyaltyTraveler #SPGAMEX” in one shot.

  3. Can’t get twitter to post anything this morning. After looking at all the hotels fell in love with St. Regis! Thanks for this opportunity!

  4. Hey I have not used twitter too much. Is the correct syntax in the tweet window…

    @LoyaltyTraveler #SPGAMEX The St. Regis New York


  5. congrats,ric.
    btw why should I wanna tweet it once every calendar day ? is that gonna increase my chances to win ?

  6. In the week before going to the Freddies and Frequent Trav Univ, I saw 5 Tribeca Film Festival films. The festival has really grown – the films are great and its a wonderful showcase for lower manhattan. I will tweet under my twitter name: katruns26point2

  7. @victor – the order does not matter. The tweet just needs to have #spgamex so they can see what the response is and @LoyaltyTraveler so I can filter all these responses. Also a New York Starwood Hotel needs to be named which is the requirement SPG Amex made for the giveaway.

    @zehk – Yes you will get more than one entry if you enter each day. I will filter all the sweepstakes entry tweets on Twitter, figure out how many there are and use a random number generator to pick a winner and then match the response to the number. That is my plan.

    How that will work with possibly 2,000 entries? I’ll find out. I will then contact the winning Twitterer and put them in touch with the people at Starwood.

  8. @Kathy – I was disappointed to miss the Tribeca Film Festival. A free trip to New York certainly fits my budget.

    Los Angeles was a great opportunity to hook up with California tourism boards and get a foothold in this travel market.

    I can’t wait to promote New York and Starwood Hotels there later this year when the next opportunity happens with the Tennis US Open in August/September. I am getting ready for sweat weather.

  9. I love this Ric. So fun for you! Sounds like my dream job when I’m not homeschooling, driving kiddos to activities, coaching basketball, managing a household,blogging, etc. Some day!!! When for now I can just live vicariously through you. Love reading all your posts. Don’t have time to comment too often but had to on this one. I’ll post about it tonight on my site. You are one of my featured top bloggers on my site BTW. Enjoy your time!!!

  10. @Miles Momma – My dream job is getting paid to hang out at home writing, doing the household chores, caring for the pets and keeping my wife fed and getting her out the door to work everyday with no stress.

    I meet plenty of travel writers who are out and about the world all the time. I like the 20% travel life. One week out of every five weeks traveling away from home is enough for me. Going more places is tempting, but I like to maintain a home life in Monterey.

    Keep the blogging alive.

  11. You’ll have to pay taxes on the 25k points, valued at 2.5 cents each (or $625 taxable). That comes out to $150-200, depending. This means you are “buying” the points for 0.06-0.08 cents/point.

  12. The sweepstakes entry period is now closed for the 25,000 Starpoints giveaway.

    Now I have to collate all the thousands of tweets and randomly select a winner.

    This will likely take me until Monday May 14 to actually get to choosing the winner using random.org.

    I will try and get all this done in time to notify the sweepstakes winner on Monday.

  13. Hi tweeps or whatever the current name is for Twitter folks.

    I just sent a direct message to the #spgamex 25,000 points Sweepstakes winner to contact me by email.

    I know from the person’s latest tweet that they are in Denver at a Starwood Hotel right now. So if you haven’t been in Denver lately, sorry, you did not win the 25,000 points.

    If the SPG winner wants more information released then I will share more details once we have been in contact.

    And if you are the winner, please note that I am hanging out in Santa Cruz for the Tour of California race today and I might not get back in touch until this evening Monday, May 14.

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