For a limited time, you can buy Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints at a 35% discount. The promotion, which runs through December 29, 2017, applies to any purchase of 5,000 or more Starpoints.
Starpoints normally sell for 3.5 cents each in increments of 500, and each account holder can purchase a maximum of 30,000 points per year. If you haven’t bought any yet in 2017 and wanted to max out the promotion, you can purchase 30,000 for $682.50 (the normal price would be $1,050).
Keep in mind that in order to buy Starpoints, your account has to be at least 14 days old — of course, that means there’s still plenty of time to open an account if you want to take advantage of the promotion.
Why Buy Starpoints?
So why would you pay for rewards points when the whole point of collecting them is to score free (or discounted) travel? Well, there are a few reasons.
Starpoints aren’t the easiest rewards currency to collect, other than by staying at Starwood hotels. There aren’t many partner earning opportunities or promotions, bonuses are few and far between, and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (as well as the business card) doesn’t have any bonus earning categories besides Starwood and Marriott hotels. That means that if you use it for purchases, you only ever earn 1 Starpoint/dollar.
However, Starpoints are among the easiest rewards currencies to use…and the most valuable. The SPG program has nearly 40 outgoing transfer partners, including a ton of airlines. Plus, for every 20,000 Starpoints that you transfer to airline miles, you earn a bonus of 5,000 miles.
Purchasing these points at a discount is a great way to boost your stock of airline miles (by up to 35,000 miles) if you’re looking to book a huge award in a premium airline cabin and are still short. $682.50 may be a lot of money, but that’s a steal compared to the thousands (or tens of thousands!) of dollars that international first and business class seats can sell for.
Of course, you can also use Starpoints to book nights in Starwood hotels. In some cases, you can actually get a better deal by buying Starpoints than by paying for the room outright.
For example, I searched for a Starwood hotel in Florida for 3 nights the weekend of January 19. At the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, the lowest rate was $324 with all taxes and fees, which would be $972 total.
If I wanted to use points, however, this hotel would cost 10,000 Starpoints per night, or 30,000 total. That means that you can purchase 30,000 points and stay in the same hotel for only $682.50.
Note that in this example, you’d still have to pay a $50/night resort fee for the award stay. Still, $832 (purchased Starpoints + fees) is a savings of $140, which is worth more than the Starpoints you’d earn during a fully paid stay.
Transferring to Marriott
Since Starwood and Marriott are in the process of merging, you can transfer Starpoints to Marriott Rewards points (and back) at a 1:3 ratio.
There are some great uses for Marriott Rewards points, so this also presents a valuable opportunity to top up your account if you’re short for your next award stay.
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Besides buying points, another way to boost your SPG balance is with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.
The card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 within your first 3 months of card membership.
For more information, check out our complete review of the card.
This is a great opportunity to build your balance of Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints. Whether you find yourself in a scenario where it’s worthwhile to purchase 30,000 points, or you just need a few to top off your balance before your next award flight or hotel stay, make sure to act before December 29!