Starwood Preferred Guest runs semi-regular promotions when purchasing Starpoints — typically 25% off for a limited period twice a year. I bought some points last year to redeem for my honeymoon at the St. Regis Bali and don’t regret it. This is likely one of the lowest prices you will ever see for Starpoints. However, the deal doesn’t make sense for everyone.
Bonuses are tiered, such that purchases of 20,000 Starpoints (the maximum) will get a 25% discount and anything less will get a smaller discount. Starwood places a cap of 20,000 points each year per account, whether purchased or gifted. If you need to go above that cap, then consider purchasing points for a spouse or other family member at the same address for more than 30 days since SPG lets you combine balances. There is no difference in the price for purchased vs. gifted Starpoints, and the purchase is processed through Points.com so it will not qualify as hotel spend for category bonuses.
How good a deal is this? 20,000 points cost $525 after the discount, or 2.63 cents per point vs. the usual 3.5 cents each. This is a little rich. You would need to have a hotel stay in mind or know of a good redemption opportunity. The St. Regis Bali, for example, normally costs $600+ per night, and by using points for a five-night award stay I was able to get the fifth night free.
You could also transfer the points to an airline loyalty program. Transfer 20,000 points to most airlines and get 25,000 miles, a net cost of 2.1 cents per mile. Again, you would need to have a good redemption opportunity in mind. There are definitely some domestic economy class awards for 25,000 miles that would otherwise cost more than $525. But not many, and it’s more challenging than ever to get good value with international premium cabin awards as programs have been devaluing their award charts.
So, not everyone should bite, but this probably is the best deal you’ll find all year for one of the most valuable loyalty program currencies.