3 Opportunities To Buy Points With Big Bonuses

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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.

While I’ve written about these deals individually, I think it’s worth posting a reminder that three loyalty programs are offering a pretty compelling bonus on purchased points at the moment. In no particular order:

Buy Alaska miles with a 40% bonus through April 6, 2017

Links: original post about promotion / buy Alaska Mileage Plan miles with up to a 40% bonus 

At the moment Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles. The bonus is tiered, and the bonus you receive is based on how many miles you buy, as follows:

  • Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles = 20% bonus
  • Buy 20,000 – 39,000 miles = 30% bonus
  • Buy 40,000 – 60,000 miles = 40% bonus

This is an opportunity to buy Alaska miles for as little as 2.11 cents each. While that might not sound that cheap, Alaska Mileage Plan miles are among the most valuable miles out there, for many reasons:


Buy Starpoints for up to 30% off through April 30, 2017

Links: original post about promotion / buy Starpoints for up to 30% off

Starwood is offering a tiered discount on the purchase of points, as follows:

  • Buy 5,000 – 9,500 Starpoints and save 10%
  • Buy 10,000 – 14,500 Starpoints and save 15%
  • Buy 15,000 – 19,500 Starpoints and save 20%
  • Buy 20,000 – 30,000 Starpoints and save 30%

This is an opportunity to buy Starpoints for as little as 2.45 cents each. Keep in mind that:

  • You can convert Starpoints into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, so this is also an opportunity to pick up Marriott Rewards points for ~0.82 cents each, which is an exceptional deal
  • Starpoints convert into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred; this is an opportunity to pick up airline miles in some unique programs for 1.96 cents each
  • Starpoints can also be great for hotel redemptions, and there are plenty of circumstances under which you can get more than 2.45 cents of value per point


Buy Hilton points with a 100% bonus through May 3, 2017

Links: original post about promotion / buy Hilton Honors points with up to a 100% bonus

Hilton is offering a 100% bonus on purchased points, as long as you purchase at least 5,000 points in one transaction. This is an opportunity to pick up Hilton points for 0.5 cents each. You can purchase at most 80,000 points per account per calendar year, before factoring in any bonuses. That means through this promotion you can pick up 160,000 points for $800.

0.5 cents per point is more than I value Hilton points, though you can definitely get more value out of them than that. For example, their highest end hotels go for $1,000+ per night, yet cost only 95,000 points per night, with a fifth night free. So this is potentially a way to score a huge discount on their best hotels.


With which credit card should you buy points?

All of the above points promotions are processed by points.com, meaning that generally they don’t qualify as airline or hotel purchases. Therefore you’ll want to purchase these points with a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spend, like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit CardChase Freedom Unlimited®, or Citi® Double Cash Card.

The exception, however, is Starwood. Anecdotally, purchasing Starpoints triggers double points on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Bottom line

While I wouldn’t recommend everyone buy points, with a specific use in mind it can represent a great value. I know lots of readers who take advantage of these opportunities to buy Alaska, Hilton, and Starwood points through this promotion, especially for premium redemptions. You should crunch the numbers for yourself as to whether or not this makes sense.

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  1. I love using Alaska Miles for points redemptions to Australia because an F ticket is 70k points, versus 110k points on AA (I’ll buy AA miles to top up my account for award redemption to Australia, but if I had points in neither accounts to begin with, I’d definitely go the Alaska Miles route…)

  2. As another reader graciously commented in an earlier post, it’s cheaper to buy the SPG points under the current promo and convert them to Alaska miles than it is to buy Alaska miles outright.

    When buying the Alaska miles, there is an additional ‘recovery’ tax which SPG does not have.

  3. You should have to wash your mouth out with soap for suggesting that readers buy HH points after Hilton’s recent mega devaluation, which is getting worse by the day.

    Even though I am a HH diamond, I have not booked even one more Hilton stay since the magnitude of the devaluation hit. Judging by comments on FT, I am hardly alone.

    OTOH, thanks for the tip about using the SPG AmEx to buy Starpoints. I did not know that.

  4. If I buy Starpoints and convert them to Marriott points to top up my points for BIGGER Marriott Travel Package redemption, then I’m looking at 0.82 cents per miles, right? Am I missing something? It seems to good to be true!

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