Buy Starpoints With Up To 25% Discount

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Through May 31, 2015, Starwood is offering up to a 25% discount on the purchase of Starpoints. The discounts are tiered, where you receive a bigger discount the more Starpoints you purchase, as follows:

  • Buy 5,000-9,500 Starpoints Save 10%
  • Buy 10,000-14,500 Starpoints Save 15%
  • Buy 15,000-19,500 Starpoints Save 20%
  • Buy 20,000 Starpoints Save 25%

Starpoints-Bonus

How much do Starpoints cost?

Starwood ordinarily charges 3.5 cents per purchased Starpoint. So if you max out this promotion you can purchase 20,000 Starpoints for $525, which is 2.625 cents per Starpoint.

Buy-Starpoints

As a reminder, you can purchase a maximum of 20,000 Starpoints per account per calendar year, and accounts have to be at least 14 days old in order to participate in this promotion.

When Starwood offers a bonus on purchased points (which seems to be about twice per year), this seems to be the standard offer, as they offered nearly identical promotions last May and last December.

For what it’s worth, points purchases are processed by points.com, so wouldn’t qualify as hotel spend for the purposes of your credit card. That means you’d only earn one Starpoint per dollar spent if you use the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. That being said, given how valuable Starpoints are, that might still be the best card on which to put this purchase.

How to get around annual Starpoint purchase limit

One way to get around the limit of only being able to purchase 20,000 Starpoints per account per calendar year is to make a household points transfer. Starwood allows members registered at the same address to transfer Starpoints between accounts. This means if you have four people at your address with Starwood accounts, you can all purchase Starpoints through this promotion and you could then transfer the points to one account.

Starwood-Points-Transfer

Should you buy Starpoints?

This isn’t a rate at which I’d personally speculatively buy Starpoints, though with a specific use in mind it could make sense to take advantage of this promotion. Specifically:

Transferring points to an airline partner

Starwood has about two dozen airline transfer partners, and when you transfer points to them you receive a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer.

If you buy 20,000 Starpoints for $525, you could convert those into 25,000 airline miles. That’s a rate of 2.1 cents per mile. For many mileage currencies, that’s a pretty good deal.

For example, I bought Alaska Mileage Plan miles through Alaska’s recent 40% bonus on purchased miles, and those miles cost 2.11 cents each, so were (ever so) marginally more expensive than the rate at which you can buy them through this promotion. So if you missed the recent Alaska Mileage Plan bonus miles promotion, this is actually a great alternative.

Emirates-A380-First-Class-14
Convert Starpoints into Alaska miles, for redemptions in Emirates A380 first class

The one caveat is that converting Starpoints into airline miles isn’t an instant process — it takes anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Cash & Points and Fifth Night Free

Two of Starwood’s two most lucrative hotel redemption options are Cash & Points and Fifth Night Free. Through Cash & Points you can redeem part cash and part points for an award stay, though it is capacity controlled.

There are no blackout dates on Fifth Night Free. As the name suggests, when you redeem points for a five night redemption, the fifth night is complimentary.

Say you want to stay at the Walt Disney World Swan over New Years. The paid rate is $449 per night, while it’s 10,000 Starpoints for a free night. Five nights would cost you a total of 40,000 Starpoints (with the fifth night free), which averages out to 8,000 Starpoints per night. If you picked up Starpoints at 2.625 cents each, you’d be paying $210 to purchase the points for a $449 hotel room — that’s over half off!

WDW-Swan

Bottom line

This promotion runs for roughly six weeks, so you have plenty of time to decide whether you want to buy Starpoints with up to a 25% discount. There are definitely circumstances where it can make sense to, though it all depends on what you’d usually redeem points for.

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Comments

  1. Does anyone know if purchases of Starwood points are coded as Starwood purchases for purposes of Amex’s co-branded SPG card? In other words, which card should I use: SPG Amex or Citi Prestige/Premier?

  2. @ Daniel — The purchase is processed by points.com, so wouldn’t qualify as hotel spend for the purposes of your credit card.

  3. Lucky I had picked up the same deal back in Nov / Dec of 2014. Am I still elig for this promotion?

  4. @ AH — The cap is per calendar year, so you absolutely could take advantage of the promotion again.

  5. Hello Lucky,

    Quick question, I currently have Chase Sapphire and AA Platinum. I got approved with Citi Primier today (from your link), and now I am debating should I apply Citi Prestige or SPG. I normally travel between US and Hong Kong, and I sometimes travel between US, occasionally travel to Europe. Which one would you suggest?

    I read your article about diversifying programs, hence I am in mist about which one to apply. Thank you in advance!

  6. it’s amazing that only starpoints transfer to miles & more… no other program does… why is that? would be nice to fly a380 to south africa… hehe.

  7. @ Lantean — Well keep in mind that Lufthansa’s co-branded card is issued by Barclaycard, and they don’t have a flexible points currency. For airlines not linked to Chase, Citi, or American Express, presumably it’s just a function of price — they couldn’t agree on a price for selling miles which was mutually beneficial.

  8. @Lucky

    well, exactly… how much is LH asking for those miles??? lol
    their F is awesome… but is SQ can make it work with transfer partners, they could too! 😉

  9. @ Wesley C — Why not get them both? Chances are you’ll have no issues getting approved, and if nothing else they have great sign-up bonuses. There’s value to both program, so I guess it depends if you’re looking for a card for everyday spend, a card with a great sign-up bonus, or something else?

  10. @lucky

    I suppose a little bit of both. I am just curious with Citi Premier and Prestige together, how would one manage to use both cards (like do i cancel Premier after the bonus, since Prestige has what Premier has), along with having Sapphire and SPG on the side? And again thanks to your blog and your link, I did apply SPG and got approved.

    W

  11. @Lucky

    Wasn’t there a promotion last year when you converted SPG points you get AA bonus miles? Any chance we see that again in the near future?

  12. @ Danny — I don’t think they’ve had one that recently, though a couple of years back they did. I wouldn’t necessarily count on it returning anytime soon, though. Hope I’m wrong!

  13. @ Grover’s Bathtub — Whoops, good catch. Wouldn’t be surprised to see it return at some point this year, then.

  14. It’s very hard for me in the UK to collect KrisFlyer Miles, so I was thinking to purchase these and transfer them across, as SQ A380 in F is on the bucket list

  15. Lucky, I purchased Starpoints back in February to top off my account and received the “SPG AX – Starwood Spend” bonus from it. Looks like you do actually get the extra point or dollar even though it’s processed by points.com – Starwood’s system is intelligent enough to know and their rules are generous.

  16. I have never been able to buy miles/points from Points.com. Is there anyone in the same boat with me? How could I resolve this? I called Points.com and they told me there wasn’t any problem and to call the airline/hotel. When I called the airline, they pointed me back to Points.com :(. I tried with different cards from different banks and I still got denied all the time :(.
    Thank you

  17. 24hrs ago, I purchased 20’000 points for my wife’s SPG account which was 17 days old. Still no points. I called customer service, initially the rep said it was a new account and cannot receive points.
    I reminded her that it is a 14 day waiting period and the account has been active for longer than that.
    She said it would take 7 to 14 days for someone to get back to me regarding the issue which means the current promo could be finished and the points not credited?
    My AMEX card has been debited the $525
    🙁

  18. @ Croupier — I’d give it a bit of time and hope for the points to post. No need to be worried yet.

  19. any way around teh 14 day waiting period? just signed up for an account and now I see teh 14 day waiting period… thanks!

  20. @ thegin — Unfortunately not, if you don’t have another existing account you can use.

  21. Definitely should read the fine print people! I’m so happy I found this blog; I had no idea buying star points was a thing! Just bought some with my SPG AMEX! My cheap vacation is so close!

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