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As I posted about in early June, Starwood is offering a 35% discount on the purchase of Starpoints at the moment. The sale was initially scheduled to end on June 30, though Starwood extended it to July 14. So if you haven’t yet taken advantage of this offer, you have just a couple of days left to do so (I assume they won’t extend it yet again, though I suppose anything is possible).
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.
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.
I wanted to once again highlight two instances where this could be especially worthwhile:
Convert Starpoints into airline miles
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, assuming you convert points in the right increments. 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.
Convert Starpoints into Marriott points
Starpoints convert into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, so this is an opportunity to buy Marriott Rewards 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).
Redeem 45,000 Marriott Rewards points for a stay at the Marriott London Park Lane
If you’ve been considering buying Starpoints under the current offer, you only have two days left to do so. While I wouldn’t necessarily hoard Starpoints at this cost, I do think this is a pretty safe “investment,” given how flexible Starpoints are. This gives you the opportunity to buy airline miles for as little as 1.82 cents each, or to buy Marriott points for as little as 0.75 cents each.