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Similar to the promotion we saw last month, Starwood is offering a 35% discount on purchased Starpoints when you buy at least 5,000 points in one transaction through May 31, 2018.
Starwood ordinarily charges 3.5 cents per purchased Starpoint. If you max out this promotion you can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints (which is the maximum number of points you can buy per calendar year) 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.
Starpoints convert into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, meaning that this is an opportunity to indirectly buy Marriott Rewards points for ~0.76 cents each, which is potentially an excellent deal.
The other great potential value here is acquiring airline miles this way. 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.
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, I’ve written about the opportunity to buy Alaska miles for ~2.11 cents each through April 9, 2018, which I know many people take advantage of, so this is an opportunity to buy Alaska miles for even less.
Extra 25% bonus when transferring to American
Between April 15 and May 31, 2018, American is offering a 25% bonus when you convert select hotel points into AAdvantage miles.
The bonus can be used for multiple hotel partners, and bonus miles should post to your AAdvantage account within seven business days of when the initial conversion posted to your account.
There’s no limit to how many bonus points you can earn through this promotion, but registration is required using promotion code HTT25.
Starpoints convert into American miles at a 1:1 ratio, and for every 20,000 points transferred you get 5,000 bonus miles. So if you transferred 20,000 Starpoints you’d get 31,250 AAdvantage miles (which is 25,000 miles plus a 25% bonus), meaning you can potentially convert Starpoints into American miles at a 1:1.5625 ratio, which is something that many many find worthwhile.
Use American miles for Etihad 787 business class
Leveraging this promotion, you could purchase 20,000 Starpoints for $455, which would give you 31,250 AAdvantage miles. That’s an effective rate of 1.46¢ per AAdvantage mile, which is significantly less costly than purchasing them from American directly, even during a promo.
I’d never recommend purchasing miles speculatively, but if you need to top off an account for an award redemption, that’s a very good rate.
Which card should you use?
While these transactions are processed by points.com, if you use the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express to purchase Starpoints, you’ll earn two Starpoints for every dollar you spend purchasing points.
Depending on how you’re valuing Starpoints these days, that could make for an even more compelling return, particularly when transferring to airline miles.
This isn’t necessarily a deal everyone should take advantage of, but that’s an attractive price for purchasing Starpoints and converting them into American miles, especially if you’re looking to top off an account for a redemption.
Unfortunately, if you’ve already purchased 30,000 SPG points this calendar year, you won’t be able to buy more. However, SPG still allows points to be pooled between members of a household, so you can always move points between SPG accounts before transferring to an airline.
Will you be buying Starpoints during this sale?