Is It Worth It to Buy Starpoints for 25% Off?

Mar 2, 2016

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Starwood has offered a promotion for SPG members to purchase Starpoints for up to 25% off in the past — including from April to May and from November to December of last year. And now, Starwood is offering the same deal for SPG Members again — you can buy Starpoints for up to a 25% discount from now through April 15, 2016.

Here’s how the discount breaks down:

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 20,000-30,000 Starpoints

And although a discount almost always sounds appealing — especially for valuable Starpoints — is it actually worth it for you to buy Starpoints outright, even if they are a bit cheaper than usual?

Should you buy Starpoints for up to 25% off?
Should you buy Starpoints for up to 25% off?

Here’s how to take advantage of the promotion:

  1. Visit SPG’s Buy and Give Points link.
  2. Click Buy Starpoints Now or Give Starpoints Now.
  3. Enter your information, select how many points you want to buy/give and click Continue.
  4. Enter your credit card information and billing address and click Continue.
  5. Confirm the details, check the box to agree to the Terms and Conditions and click Continue.

Is It Worth It?

TPG currently values Starpoints at 2.5 cents a piece in his most recent valuations. If you plan to buy points, it’s generally a good idea to hold off if the price you’re getting is significantly higher than TPG’s valuation of 2.5 cents per point. Starwood normally charges 3.5 cents per point, which is not a good deal on your end. However, with the promotion, there are some sweet spots. Here’s how the price per point breaks down at the higher end of each bonus category:

Buy 9,500 Starpoints for $299.25 (regularly $332.50) = 3.2 cents per Starpoint
Buy 14,500 Starpoints for $431.37 (regularly $507.50) = 3 cents per Starpoint
Buy 19,500 Starpoints for $546 (regularly $682.50) = 2.8 cents per Starpoint
Buy 30,000 Starpoints for $787.50 (regularly $1,050) = 2.6 cents per Starpoint

As you can see, the closest you’ll come to TPG’s 2.5 cents per point valuation is when you purchase 30,000 points at once with Starwood. Keep in mind, however, that you can only purchase a maximum of 30,000 Starpoints per account per calendar year, and accounts have to be at least 14 days old in order to purchase Starpoints at the discounted rate. However, there are ways to get around the 30,000-point maximum by transferring Starpoints within the same household.

SPG's Cash & Points
SPG’s Cash & Points redemption options.

When you have a surplus of Starpoints at your disposal, you can get great value out of them, which makes purchasing points so appealing. Such redemptions as SPG’s Fifth Night Free option, which will get you a free fifth night at a Category 3-7 property with no blackout dates. You can also find some great deals with SPG’s Cash & Points options, especially at peak times. In addition, you can transfer these points to more than 30 airlines with an added bonus. SPG will give you an additional 5,000 points for every 20,000 points you transfer in a single transaction.

Remember too that there are many other ways to boost your SPG account balance. For example, the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express currently offers you 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. The program is also a transfer partner of Membership Rewards, though you’ll only get 333 Starpoints for every 1,000 points transferred.

If you have a specific redemption in mind, it could make sense to utilize this promotion.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, whether or not you choose to purchase Starpoints at this discounted rate depends mostly on your travel plans — you could save by purchasing points, even if you’re not getting the best deal on the surface. Thankfully, you have until mid-April to decide if you’ll be able to get enough value from the Starpoints you purchase.

And with the upcoming Starwood-Marriott merger, it’s unknown how SPG and the value of Starpoints will be impacted in the future. In the end, this could more incentive to take advantage of a deal like this and spend those points now, rather than down the line when the merger is complete.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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