Starwood Preferred Guest offers 25% discount rates when you buy 20,000 to 30,000 Starpoints by April 15, 2016. That is still big spend to pay $525 for 20,000 Starpoints compared to $700 at the normal purchase rate of $35.00 per 1,000 points. The bonus percentage is smaller than 25% when you buy smaller amounts of points.
- 10% off 5,000 to 9,500 points = $31.50 per 1,000 points.
- 15% off 10,000 to 14,500 points = $29.75 per 1,000 points.
- 20% off 15,000 to 19,500 points = = $28.00 per 1,000 points.
- 25% off 20,000 to 30,000 points = $26.25 per 1,000 points.
There is an annual calendar year (Jan 1-Dec 31) purchase limit per member account. An SPG member cannot buy or be gifted more than 30,000 points in a calendar year for own account.
Value in Starpoints buying at $26.25 per 1,000 points?
At this price the talk of converting points to miles is not that good a deal. Unless you consider paying $525 for 25,000 frequent flyer miles a good deal?
One of the major shifts with the SPG hotel reward category changes effective March 1, 2016 were 36 hotels from SPG Category 5 moved to category 6. That 67% points increase from 12,000 points to 20,000 points per night devalued points at these hotels to a large degree. There are now 125 SPG category 6 hotels, up from 89 hotels a week ago. Five of those 36 new SPG category 6 hotels are California Starwood hotels.
Loyalty Traveler – Analysis of SPG category changes March 1, 2016.
$525 for 20,000 points does not look like such a good deal to me for one night at SPG category 6 The Park Central San Francisco. I stayed at the hotel frequently on $90 room rates during the 2008-09 recession when it was SPG category 3 as Westin Market Street San Francisco.
Across the street from The Park Central is St. Regis San Francisco, the deservedly only SPG category 6 hotel in San Francisco back in those days.
Element Amsterdam on Cash & Points
The ability to get more than $700 value out of $525 for 20,000 Starpoints is not too difficult to find.
Element Amsterdam is $190 USD per night after tax or 3,500 points + $61 per night with Cash & Points on a two night stay in March 2016.
7,000 Starpoints saves $258 USD on this 2-night stay. Redemption value = $36.85 per 1,000 points and is higher than the cost to buy points with this current discount rate sale.
Element Amsterdam is not a particularly great example of Cash & Points value, but I think it illustrates the type of non-aspirational redemption value one can expect to find with Starpoints in some high-priced cities.
In general, I don’t recommend speculatively buying points without a specific higher value redemption purpose available for booking.