For 124,000 Starwood Hotels & Resorts points, Georgia and Michael Soares could have used those points toward a six night trip to Paris. Instead, the couple spent the points on one night with John Travolta and the cast of "Hairspray" at the film premiere.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Soares, a 43 year old father of four said "We walked the red carpet and everything. It was cool." Mr. and Mrs. Soares attended Hairspray's after party, chatted with Mr. Travolta, and took several pictures with him.
As numbers continue to grow like Mr. Soares who have accumulated tons of points, hotels have found ways to give customers more than just hotel rooms. Major hotels have now offered their customers in their loyalty programs the option to spend points on a variety of experiences such as weightless space flights or cooking lessons from star chefs.
Hotel companies have only a small percentage of customers that have earned enough points to spend on these experiences. The average nightly cost of a hotel room has continued to rise, and customers have been adding on the points at a quicker pace. The more the room costs the more a customer earns in points. Hotels have added partnerships with credit-card companies to allow cardholders to earn more points with every dollar spent.