Just a couple weeks ago I wrote about an offer to buy SPG Starpoints at a 25% discount, which is something that Starwood does a couple times a year. Now there is a more targeted promotion for saving 35% — but only if you’re a Starwood American Express cardholder. You must purchase these points by June 3, 2016.
I cancelled my personal SPG Amex a year ago and only carry the business version today, but I was still able to participate in the offer. Any purchase of 5,000 points or more is eligible for the discount. While you can only buy a maximum of 30,000 points remember that people who reside at the same address for more than 30 days are able to request a complimentary transfer and consolidate those points in one account.
What would be good reasons to purchase Starpoints?
My preference is to redeem them for free night awards. I have plenty of airline miles, so I don’t need more, but I would like to find a way to cover the cost of my hotel stay, too. Sometimes the hotel actually costs more than the flight there. And if you book five award nights, your fifth night is complimentary.
Going one better, sometimes Nights & Flights awards can be a great deal if you’re staying at a Category 3 or 4 hotel. Even if you don’t need the airline miles for the same trip, redeeming just a few more Starpoints can provide a big discount.
Finally, some people really like to use their Starpoints to transfer to airline miles. They do this to the exclusion of redeeming them for free nights, either not staying at SPG hotels at all or choosing to pay cash for those stays. If you transfer 20,000 points at once you’ll get 25,000 miles with most partners, which represents a cost of 1.82 cents per mile. That isn’t a bargain, but it is still a good price to pay for miles with many airline loyalty programs.
The Award Maximizer comparison tool that I built compares 14 different airlines, of which 13 are SPG transfer partners. (Don’t transfer to United, since you’ll get half as many miles.) One of the great features of this tool is that sometimes it will show you an award that’s much cheaper than your usual go-to airline loyalty program, but you don’t have any miles with them. A purple “SPG” icon shows which airlines accept transfers from SPG — and it is actually the only solution for Japan Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and American AAdvantage.
(Hat Tip: One Mile at a Time)