Starwood Preferred Guest has a 20% discount on the price for buying points from October 15 to November 30, 2012. The discount price is $28 per 1,000 points, reduced from the regular $35 rate.
Considering Cash & Points award nights will frequently give a redemption value in excess of $50 per 1,000 points, the option to buy Starpoints at a discount rate is one to consider.
There is a SPG limit at 20,000 Starpoints in a calendar year for buying or receiving points in a member’s account. Starpoint purchases can be made by members whose accounts have been active for a minimum of 14 days.
The key term here is calendar year. This means you can buy up to 20,000 points at $560 now and buy up to 20,000 more points as soon as January 2013 at the $35 per 1,000 points rate.
The SPG discount rate is a sale that happens at least once every year. In fact, the last 20% discount offer for buying Starpoints just ended six weeks ago.
Advantage of SPG Award Travel
One of the major advantages of buying Starpoints to book award travel is an award can usually be canceled with the same policy applied to the hotel’s flexible, refundable paid rates.
Some hotels will charge a difference of more than $100 per night for the flexible rate compared to the prepaid, nonrefundable rate.
Strategy for buying more than 20,000 points at a discount
There is no limit to the number of points you can buy and gift to other members. Yet, other members still have a 20,000 point calendar year limit for receiving points.
You can stock up trusted family and friend SPG accounts with points that they can then redeem for your award stays. And if the person shares the same residential address, then you can transfer Starpoints free of charge from a household member’s account into your account.
Here is how I could plan a vacation to Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali Hawaii
Currently I have fewer than 8,000 Starpoints in my account after many Starwood award stays in the past year. That is why I stayed at the Four Points Barcelona last month on points rather than Le Meridien or W Barcelona. And all those award stays in 2012 counted for elite credit. I will likely regain SPG Platinum elite in 2012 after letting it lapse for this year.
I can quickly get up to 48,000 points for a hotel stay at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali for 5 nights March 3-8, 2013.
- Buy 20,000 points by Nov 30 at $560 for my SPG account. Points deposit with 24 hours.
- Buy 20,000 points by Nov 30 at $560 for my wife’s SPG account. She has not purchased or received any Starpoints this year. Points deposit within 24 hours.
- Request a SPG household account transfer of 20,000 points from my wife’s account to my account. This process may take up to 5 days to complete transfer. Now I have 40,000 points and my SPG elite status means more benefits on our award stay.
- Repeat this process for more points using any adult children still hanging out at your house or living away, but still using your address.
- No children at my home. Either I can wait until January and buy another 8,000 points (and up to 20,000 points at $35/1,000) or take advantage of current SPG promotions with Starwood Hotel stays or SPG American Express credit card spend to earn more points.
- If I wait until January, there is a possibility the Maui availability will be gone.
Westin Ka’anapali March 3-8, 2013 SPG Category 5 Hotel.
A 5-night stay is $475 per night after tax or 9,600 Starpoints per night.
Starpoints redemption value = $49.48 per 1,000 points when you redeem 9,600 points instead of paying $475 per hotel night. You can buy 1,000 Starpoints for $28 with this sale.
Westin Maui Resort Cost Analysis Buying Starpoints
5-night stay is 48,000 Starpoints or $2,375 after taxes. Resort Fee is 31.25 per night additional whether paid stay or award stay.
$1,120 to buy 40,000 points by November 30 and combine points in household account. If you have another adult living at your residential address, then you can gift 8,000 points to that account for $224.
$1,344 for 5 nights at Westin Maui compared to lowest published rate at $2,375 after tax. That is a savings = $1,031 on a 5-night Hawaii vacation through buying points.
And if you need to buy 8,000 points in January 2013 at $35 per 1,000 points, then your savings is reduced to $975 discount for a 5-night stay at Westin Maui.
This is one example of many possibilities for significant savings through the purchase of Starpoints if your goal is one upcoming vacation stay and you currently do not have sufficient Starpoints for an award stay.
Or like me, you never seem to have enough Starpoints for all the good value stays available when traveling.
Thanks to Deals We Like.
Buy Starpoints at $28 per 1,000 points through November 30, 2012.
Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.