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Does it ever make sense to buy points or miles? While it’s always better to earn points through credit card spending and sign-up bonuses, the question as to whether buying points makes sense depends on what you’re going to do with them. Sometimes there’s a buy points/miles promotion that’s really tempting once you know how to maximize it. And a new one of those just popped back up for possibly the last time.
Now through July 20, you can buy Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints with a 35% discount. This discount drops the price to 2.28 cents per point vs. TPG’s valuation of 2.7 cents per Starpoint. You’ll score this 35% discount when you purchase at least 5,000 Starpoints, and you can buy up to 30,000 points per account per calendar year.
Here’s how the promotion is structured — points are available for purchase in 500-point increments:
- Buy 500-3,000 Starpoints at 3.5 cents apiece
- Buy 5,000-30,000 Starpoints and save 35% (2.28 cents apiece)
One of the especially good perks of this promotion is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good rate. 5,000 Starpoints are going to only set you back $114. And by using the right credit card, you can earn up to 6.3% of your purchase back.
Hotels: The most obvious use of Starpoints is redeeming them for free nights at Starwood hotels. Some of these redemptions can make a lot of sense. For example, I recently redeemed 2,000 Starpoints for a one-night stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Medellin. If you buy points with this promotion, that’d be just $46 for the weekend night at a Category 1 property.
Experiences and Packages: You can also get good use out of Starpoints by redeeming them for SPG Moments or by transferring them to Marriott for Hotel + Air Packages. You can also stretch your Starpoints further through fifth night free award stays.
Airline Partners: Perhaps our favorite use of Starpoints is transferring them to airlines. SPG’s program allows point transfer to numerous carriers at a 1:1 ratio. Purchasing airline miles at 2.28 cents each isn’t bad compared to the standard purchase rates airlines charge.
However, it gets even better when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to an airline, because SPG tacks on an additional 5,000 bonus miles for each increment of 20,000 Starpoints you transfer. That means each 20,000 Starpoints you buy through this promotion could turn into 25,000 airline miles at an effective cost of 1.82 cents per mile.
Featured image courtesy of the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas.
This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about SPG’s “buy points” promotions, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for the latest offer. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older deals below.
Know before you go.
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