ENDING TOMORROW: Buy Starpoints For 2.757 Cents Each

Buy Starpoints Starwood

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Starwood has been running its latest points promotion since early November but, if you haven’t had a chance (or remembered) to top up your SPG account, tomorrow is the last day to buy Starpoints with a 35% discount of 35%.

It’s worth remembering that, although SPG members can purchase Starpoints to use towards award night reservations at Starwood Properties, a better use may be to convert them to airline miles or to convert them to Marriott Rewards points (at a 1:3 ratio) and then use those to book Flight & Hotel packages.

Buying Starpoints – The Headline T&Cs

  • Buy 5,000 or more Starpoints to get a 35% discount
  • Transactions must be completed by 11:59 PM ET 29 December 2017 to be eligible for the discount.
  • Purchased points do not count towards Preferred Guest, Gold Preferred Guest, or Platinum Preferred Guest Status.
  • Transactions are final and non-refundable. All other terms and conditions of the Starwood Preferred Guest Program apply.
  • SPG members can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per account per calendar year

Full terms and conditions are on the promotion page (here)

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Working Out The Math

Good news! If all you need to do is to top up a SPG account to be able to book the award you need then this is a good promotion for you –  there’s no price penalty to pay for buying small numbers of Starpoints (as long as you buy at least 5,000).

Whether you buy 5,000 Starpoints (the minimum needed to trigger the 35% discount)……

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…or the full 30,000 Starpoint annual allowance….

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…you will still be buying Starpoints for 2.275 cents each.

Should You Buy Starpoints In This Promotion?

Possibly…it will depend on what you plan to do with them.

There is a lot of math coming up as I attempt to show you what you can do with points you buy in this promotion. Try to stick with me though all the calculations (which are really not complicated) and you should have a very clear idea of what your options are.

Buying For Starwood Reward Night Redemptions

Here’s Starwood’s award chart (click to enlarge):

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With Starpoints costing approximately 2.28 cents each in this promotion I don’t see much value on offer at the middle-tier or top-tier properties.

A category 4 property costs 10,000 points for an award night so, if you were to buy points at 2.275 cents each, that award night would essentially cost approximately $228 – some may think that’s ok but I don’t consider that to be good value at all and the higher up the award chart you go the same poor value you’ll get.

Lower tier properties can provided good value. Booking category 1 or category 2 properties for between 2,000 and 3,000 points per night using points bought in this promotion would see nights costing between $46 – $70 per night. That can be a fantastic deal.

Buying For Marriott Reward Night Redemptions

Starpoints transfer over to Marriott Rewards at a rate of 1:3 so a purchase of 15,000 Starpoints would transfer over to 45,000 Marriott Rewards points…..which is enough for a top-level redemption:

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15,000 Starpoints will set you back $341.25 if you buy them in this promotion and when you consider the fact that top-tier Marriott properties can often go for more than $500/night……

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……this can be another fantastic use of Starpoints.

Buying For Marriott Flight & Hotel Redemptions

All the Marriott Flight & Hotel packages charts can be found via this link but here’s one example to illustrate why this is often a popular option:

Marriott Flight and Hotel Packages

Three things to keep in mind:

  • Starpoints convert to Marriott Rewards points at a rate of 1:3
  • Starpoints cost 2.275 cents each in this promotion.
  • You’ll need to have Starpoints or Marriott Rewards points already in your account to make the most of this offer

If you buy your full Starpoint allowance (30,000) you could convert them to 90,000 Marriott Rewards Points, add them to your existing Marriott Rewards balance and then redeem them for one of the Flight & Hotel packages.

Here’s an example of how that could work:

If you redeem 270,000 Marriott Rewards points for a 7-night Category 1-5 package you would get…

  • 7 nights in a category 1-5 hotel and
  • 120,000 miles/Avios

a building with a rooftop bar

As 150,000 Marriott Rewards Points is enough to book 7 nights in a Category 5 hotel you would have essentially traded the other 120,000 Marriott Rewards Points for 120,000 airline miles or Avios.

As I value Marriott Rewards Points at around 0.7 cents each (as do a lot of people) you would have effectively just purchased 120,000 airline miles of 0.7 cents each….and that’s an AMAZING price to pay.

Buying Starpoints To Transfer To Airline Partners

This is probably my favorite use of Starpoints because you can get great value out of them this way and because it doesn’t require booking a hotel stay like the Marriott Rewards Flight & Hotel packages.

To a large extent Starpoints are popular because they can be transferred into 35 major airline loyalty programs (at the time of writing) and, in most cases, Starpoints transfer over to these loyalty programs at a ratio of 1 Starpoint to 1 Airline mile.

That makes Starpoints a very versatile currency to hold (and why I collect them when I can)

As if that wasn’t enough, if you remember to transfer Starpoints in multiples of 20,000, Starwood will add on a 5,000 bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints you convert:

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This means that the ideal number of Starpoints to transfer over to an airline’s loyalty program is 20,000, 40,000 or 60,000 (maximum allowed in one transfer is 79,999) as those transfers will earn you 5,000, 10,000 and 15,000 bonus points/miles respectively.

How much are the airline miles/points costing?

If you were to purchase 20,000 Starpoints in the current promotion it would cost $455….

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…and those Starpoints could then be converted to 25,000 airline miles (for most airlines).

Those airline miles have now essentially cost $455 which, for 25,000 airline miles, comes to 1.82 cents/mile.

That’s a very good deal and close to the lowest price we see airline miles sold for.

How To Buy Starpoints

a hotel with a large building

Here’s a link to the promotion page.

Starwood sells Starpoints through Points.com so you will not get a “travel” category bonus when using a credit card like one of the Chase Sapphire cards. As such you should use whatever credit card earns you the points you value most or the card on which you need to hit a minimum spend.

Bottom Line

A 35% discount is the best offer we ever seen on Starpoints sales but that’s not a good enough reason to buy them.

  1. If you’re thinking of buying Starpoints to use for Starwood redemptions you’ll probably be better off using them for lower category properties.
  2. If you’re thinking of buying Starpoints to use for Marriott redemptions you may be able to get some great deals during peak times.
  3. If you’re thinking of buying Starpoints for Marriott Flight & Hotel packages the number you can purchase won’t be enough so make sure you have points in your account to purchase the package you’re after.
  4. If you’re thinking of buying Starpoints in oder to convert them to airline miles then make sure you do the math and make sure the airline you’re transferring them to actually releases the awards you’re looking to book.

Most importantly make sure you don’t buy Starpoints to stockpile – no one knows when they’ll be devalued – have a plan and do the math, that way you should be just fine.