Mar062016

Buy Starpoints at discount rates to April 15, 2016

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.

Starpoints buy points 25% by Apr15-16

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 cash-points rate

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.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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