Starwood Preferred Guest has just launched a promotion for buying SPG points. From now until May 31st 2015, you can buy up to 20,000 Starpoints at up to a 25% discount.
Get 10% off 5,000–9,500 Starpoints
Get 15% off 10,000–14,500 Starpoints
Get 20% off 15,000–19,500 Starpoints
Get 25% off 20,000 Starpoints
Starpoints usually sell for 3.5 cents a piece, but with the 25% discount, if you buy 20,000 Starpoints for $525, you are essentially looking at 2.625 cents per point. But keep in mind that you can transfer Starpoints to a huge variety of airlines at a 1:1 ratio, and for every 20,000 points transferred, you also get a 5,000-point bonus—for example, you can turn 20,000 Starpoints into 25,000 Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles.
If you buy 20,000 Starpoints and convert them entirely to airlines miles, you are basically getting miles for 2.1 cents apiece. See the end of this post for a list of airlines applicable.
No Minimum Transfers for Platinum Members
If you are a Platinum member with SPG, there is no minimum transfer from Starpoints. This is especially useful if you are just a few miles short from a flight—Starwood would let you transfer as little as just one mile. Of course, you don’t get the 5,000-mile bonus this way. Note that there is a 2,500-point minimum for transfers for general Preferred members, and a 1,500-point minimum for Gold members.
Nights & Flights
A great redemption of Starpoints is through their Nights & Flights Program, whereby 60,000 Starpoints will get you 5 nights at a Category 3 hotel and 50,000 airline miles. You can also choose 5 nights at a Category 4 hotel for 70,000 Starpoints.
Restriction: Buy a Maximum of 20,000 Points per Calendar Year
There is one pretty caveat to buying points. SPG only lets you buy up to 20,000 points per calendar year, which means if you take advantage of this offer and buys 20,000 points, you cannot buy any more points for the remainder of the year. I haven’t seen a discount higher than 25% in quite some time, but of course a better offer could also come around later in the year.
Airline Transfers are NOT Instant
Transfers from Starpoints to airlines can take up to 21 days (though for many airlines it’s usually within a week or so), so if you are looking to book an award in the super near future, don’t count on the points being available in time for your award.
Should You Do It?
I would only take advantage of this offer at the 20,000 points level to maximize the discount. 2.1 cents is still quite a bit to pay for airline miles, but if you have some good uses in mind, or you just really need 25,000 Alaska miles to complete your Emirates First Class award, I would go for it. Otherwise, Starwood does run the 25% discount once in a while, so there is no need to buy right now.
Below is a list of transfer partners to which you can transfer Starpoints to at a 1:1 ratio.
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Aeroplan/Air Canada
- Air Berlin
- Air China Companion
- Air France Flying Blue
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Alitalia MileMiglia
- ANA Mileage Club
- American Airlines Advantage
- Asia Miles
- Asiana Airlines
- British Airways Executive Club
- China Eastern Airlines
- China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club
- Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Airways
- Hainan Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank
- Lufthansa/Swiss Miles & More
- Qatar Airways
- Saudi Arabian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Virgin Australia