Great Deal: Starwood Is Selling Starpoints For 35% Off

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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+BonusAmerican Airlines AAdvantageHainan Airlines Fortune Wings ClubQatar Airways Privileges Club
AeroMexico Club PremierAsiana Airlines Asiana ClubHawaiian Airlines HawaiianMilesSaudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan
Air Canada AeroplanBritish Airways Executive ClubIberia PlusSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Air China CompanionCathay Pacific Asia MilesJapan Airlines (JAL) Mileage BankThai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Air France/KLM FlyingBlueChina Eastern Airlines Eastern ClubJet Airwaystopbonus loyalty
Air New Zealand Air PointsDelta Air Lines SkyMilesKorean Air SkypassUnited Mileage Plus
Alaska Airlines Mileage PlanEmirates SkywardsLATAM Airlines LATAMPASS KmsVirgin Atlantic Flying Club
Alitalia MilleMigliaEtihad Airways GuestLifeMiles of AviancaVirgin Australia Velocity
ANA Mileage ClubGol SmilesLufthansa 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:

marriott-points

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).

Bottom line

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?

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Comments

  1. @Jayson, for >30k points, you can purchase into other family members’ accounts and move points to yours, there doesn’t seem to be a limit to that.

  2. Lucky –

    If you use Marriott points for the hotel and air package and you are a gold member – do you still accrue all the benefits of being gold (lounge access, etc.)?

    Thanks!

  3. They usually have this promo more than once a year. I got it at the end of last year. You are capped on 30k purchase per year so I would not rush on it as you never know what is coming later this year.

  4. I believe Jayson above was asking for that extra 10K points (on top of 30K) that was available the last promo. It was only for SPG members who had already bought 30K points prior to that last promo. I did that and got a total of 40K last year.

  5. here’s my math. 30,000 pts + 1365 pts charging to spg amex= 31365. stay at aloft weekend rates, which I do 1 or 2 times a week, @ 3000 pts per night. I get a platinum bonus of 250 pts each night. so at 10 nights, ive spent 30000 pts and received 33865 pts with this offer. so add on another free night and its like getting 11 nights for $682.50 or $62 per night. a room normally averages with tax and local fees $125 off peak and $250 peak. do this for your relatives and have the points transferred to your account and I end up paying 1/3 of what I normally pay and get 11 to 33 nights closer to my 100 night ambassador status. winner winner….

  6. Absolutely – Last year I bought the maximum and got great value from it. Starpoints are the only points I will buy without a specific redemption in mind.

  7. I took advantage of the hotel and air package and the United transfer bonus a few months ago. That was 157,000 UA miles and a 7-day hotel voucher for 270,000 Marriott points, transferred from 90,000 Starpoints. At today’s discount rate for Starpoints, that works out to 1.3 cents per UA mile and the free hotel voucher. If you consider the hotel voucher worth 45,000 Marriott points, then the math works out to less than 1.1 cents per UA mile. That is probably the best deal in FrequentFlyerDom.

  8. Not counting any points earned from the purchase, this equates to paying 1.41 cents per mile for any of the airlines in Marriott’s Hotel + Air package if you buy 3 sets of 30k SPG points (with the help of family members residing in your house), transfer 90k SPG points to your Marriott account, cash in the 270k Marriott points for 7 nights + 120k miles, book a 7-night stay at a cat. 5 Marriott, and then cancel that stay to get 45k in exchange for your 7-night certificate. (Yes, you can get much more value than 45k by staying 7 nights at a cat. 5 Marriott, but it’s good to know you can get 45k if you are unable to use your cert. before it expires!)

  9. Another year, another chance at earning more travel points. Great to top up for loyalty programs with very few transfer partnerships… like Asiana Club miles.

  10. Two trips coming up:
    Ritz-Carlton Dubai = 70k/night or US$400/night … bad deal, however, fifth night free with points makes it almost a push
    Shelbourne Dublin = 40k/night or US$346/night … good deal

    I’m unclear on how many Marriott Rewards Visa points I’ll get but I’ll probably do it since I can write off the Points.com expense (no IRS agents watching this, right?)

  11. The only thing more valuable than this promo: The post itself and the added value of the pro comments.. priceless!
    Thank you guys for sharing that wealth of knowledge!

  12. Thanks all!

    I tried buying using my SPG Amex (Canada) under “SPG American Express” dropdown menubut it keep on saying that my credit info is wrong. Anyone experiencing this?

    Will try again tomorrow.

    SPG is my favorite loyalty program

  13. Is it still possible to buy on two accounts at the same address and then move the points into one account?

  14. @ kr123 – yes, it should be possible for everyone at the same address to buy SPG points and then combine them into a single SPG account under one person’s name for future use (including for transfer to Marriott to use their Hotel + Flights deal).

  15. I have been trying to purchase points for 2 days now, but every time I click on the link this is what I get:

    “Sorry: This site is temporarily unavailable while we perform routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience. We should be available inside of a couple of hours. Please try us again.”

    Anyone else get this?

  16. In other blogs it says the spend does NOT qualify for bonuses. Are you sure you get 2x with SPG card?

  17. @Csue yes, I can confirm that buying Starpoints with your Amex SPG card will earn you bonus Starpoints. I just checked my recent Amex statements to double check my assumption is still valid. Also, remember you can purchase Starpoints for other family members’. If they live at your address (or at least registered at your address) and you have access to their account, you can transfer their Starpoints into your own account. Great way to take advantage of these discounted purchase offers each year.

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