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Through March 16, 2018, 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 (2x Starpoints per dollar spent rather than 1x Starpoints per dollar spent) 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 last December, and was identical to this one. Furthermore, since it’s the beginning of the year, your limit on purchased Starpoints should have reset last month, meaning lots of people should be eligible for this promotion again.
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:
|Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus||American Airlines AAdvantage||Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club||Qatar Airways Privileges Club|
|AeroMexico Club Premier||Asiana Airlines Asiana Club||Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||British Airways Executive Club||Iberia Plus||Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer|
|Air China Companion||Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank||Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus|
|Air France/KLM FlyingBlue||China Eastern Airlines Eastern Club||Jet Airways||topbonus loyalty|
|Air New Zealand Air Points||Delta Air Lines SkyMiles||Korean Air Skypass||United Mileage Plus|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||Emirates Skywards||LATAM Airlines LATAMPASS Kms||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||Etihad Airways Guest||LifeMiles of Avianca||Virgin Australia Velocity|
|ANA Mileage Club||Gol Smiles||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, at the moment Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles, which is an opportunity to pick up miles for 2.11 cents each. This is an opportunity to pick up miles at an even lower cost.
Redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan miles for travel in Cathay Pacific first class is a great deal
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
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 several weeks, 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?