35% Off SPG Points (Or American Miles For 1.46¢ Each)

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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+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.

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.

Bottom line

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?

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the post, Tiffany. Very informative and well written as usual. 1 quick question if you don’t mind:

    Can a husband and wife, each individually purchase the 30k points and then pool into one account for 60k total?

    Thanks!

  2. Thanks Tiffany!

    I was never tempted by these, but with the opportunity to redeem cat 7 in the fourth quarter for 20k SPG points (i.e., 60k MR points), it would be tempting (except that I have a bunch already).

    What’s the best recent deal on buying Marriott points? That might tell us as to whether it’s a good offer historically from a MR perspective.

  3. I assume there’s no restriction to these purchased miles ultimately transferring to the combined Marriott system on August 1?

  4. Tiffany: Towards the end of last year, I was able to buy an extra 10k points even though I maxed out my 30k allotment earlier in the year for a total of 40k. Haven’t tried yet, but I wonder if that’s possible.

    Second question: I’m eyeing a current cat 8 Marriott redemption for August. Will the current 40k points requirement hold if I redeem now? I currently have a seven night stay at this hotel for August which I reserved with the points and miles program a couple months ago and looking to extend a night or two

  5. Wow! I was just thinking I’d have to suck it up and pay for 5,000 Starpoints for a redemption I really want to make. This sweetens the deal slightly.

  6. Thanks – I had 2900 straggling points with SPG (almost never stay at SPG or Marriott hotels) but use AA saver award flights to Europe frequently (CLT is home airport). Picked up 17,500 SPG points for $398 to get me to 20,400 SPG points. Converted all of them for 25,400 AA miles * 1.25 = 31,750 AA miles for $398 for effectively 1.25¢ per as the 2900 would have gone to nothing. Not bad. Thanks for the h/t

  7. @Tim, it was a promotional offer last year. We don’t know if SPG would offer it one last time.

    The same thing happens each year when Marriott shuffles its hotel categories. So long as you don’t make any changes to your advance booking, the number of points required should stay the same post-merger.

  8. @Flyerguy10
    Please, do not feel compelled to stop there. If you have children you can open them accounts and pool those points as well. If your parents live with you, same thing. It never happened to me, but they may require proof of residence if they find strange too many people in one place. If you can provide it, why not do it?

  9. Ha this may be last chance to get some cheap SPG points to convert into MR for the August bonanza.

    I have a ton already..but why not?

  10. Is the Martine Miles + hotel thing still the beat bang for the buck for Marriott points?

    Working a min spend on the SPG biz, buying here seems really attractive if I can get to those packages

  11. Hello Tiffany,
    I have one question.
    I already bought up to 30K limit SPG Points for this year 2018. Can my brother transfer another 30K to my SPG account this year?

    Thank you.

  12. @ Franklin — If you’re in the same household, there aren’t restrictions as to how many points you can move between members in a year.

  13. who here created a new SPG account during a promo period and still got the promo offer attached after the 14 days? did it even really take 14 days?

  14. “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.”

    Is this a special offer from Points.com? I don’t think I’ve ever gotten 2 Starpoints for a points purchase. Thanks for a great article, as usual.

  15. hey tiffany. curious if you by any chance know the answer to my question? wanted to create a few family accounts today and wait 14 days before the promo is over.

  16. @Tiffany,

    Can you buy 30K points and gift 30K points? Spouse does the same (buy and gift) for 120K SPG points tally?

    Thank you!

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