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Update: The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express has a limited time offer through 11/1/2017. Learn more about best available offers here.
Through June 30, 2017, Starwood is offering up to a 35% discount on the purchase of Starpoints.
The 35% discount applies as long as you purchase at least 5,000 Starpoints in a single transaction.
Starwood ordinarily charges 3.5 cents per purchased Starpoint. If you max out this promotion you can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints at a cost of $682.50, which is a rate of 2.275 cents per Starpoint.
You can purchase a maximum of 30,000 Starpoints per account per calendar year, and accounts have to be at least 14 days old in order to participate in this promotion.
While Starwood points purchases are processed by points.com, they actually do earn bonus points if using an SPG credit card. So you’d earn double Starpoints if you pay for the purchase with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.
This is as good as deals on purchased Starpoints get — I don’t remember ever seeing a better publicly available deal. Starwood’s last discount on purchased Starpoints was in April, when they offered up to a 30% discount. Meanwhile last May Starwood offered up to a 35% discount as well. Then just under a year ago they had a narrowly targeted promotion, where some received up to a 50% discount on purchased points.
Should you buy Starpoints?
Part of what makes Starpoints so valuable is how flexible they are. Starpoints can be transferred to over two dozen airline partners, including the following:
|AeroMexico Club Premier||ANA Mileage Club||Emirates Skywards||Qatar Airways Privileges Club|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||American Airlines AAdvantage||Etihad Airways Guest||Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan|
|airberlin Top Bonus||Asiana Airlines Asiana Club||Gol Smiles||Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer|
|Air China Companion||British Airways Executive Club||Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus|
|Air France/KLM FlyingBlue||Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank||United Mileage Plus|
|Air New Zealand Air Points||China Eastern Airlines Eastern Club||Korean Air Skypass||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||China Southern Airlines' Sky Pearl Club||LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms||Virgin Australia Velocity|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||Delta Air Lines SkyMiles||Lufthansa Miles & More|
Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to a vast majority of partners, and you get a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred.
So at a rate of 2.275 cents per Starpoints, that’s the equivalent of paying 1.82 cents per airline mile. For many mileage currencies, I’d say that’s an excellent deal.
For example, there’s a lot of value to be had in converting Starpoints into Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles for the purposes of redeeming on Emirates. This will prove valuable for many, given that Alaska’s first class redemption rates on Emirates are now ridiculous.
Convert Starpoints into Japan Airlines 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 hours to several days.
Converting Starpoints into Marriott points
Keep in mind that Starpoints convert into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, so this is an opportunity to buy Marriott Rewards points at attractive prices as well. At a rate of 2.45 cents per Starpoint, that’s like being able to buy Marriott points for ~0.75 cents each, which is quite a good deal.
The best use of Marriott Rewards points is for their Hotel + Air Packages, where you can redeem a set number of points for a fixed number of free nights plus a fixed number of miles, as follows:
In many cases it could be worth buying Starpoints in order to top up for one of these redemptions, given what a great value they represent (in many cases it’s an even better value than Starwood’s direct mileage transfer option).
Starwood’s sale on the purchase of Starpoints is available for a full month, so you have quite a bit of time to decide whether or not you want to take advantage of this offer. Deals on purchased Starpoints don’t get better than this, so if you could use Starpoints, Marriott points, or airline miles, I’d seriously consider this offer. Everyone will have to crunch the numbers for themselves, though.
Do you plan on buying Starpoints for 35% off?