25% off Starwood Preferred Guest points means buying airline miles at 1.25p

Starwood is (again) offering a 10%-25% discount when you purchase SPG Starpoints before 31st May. The link to buy is here.

The discount is staggered.  You get 10% off purchases of up to 9500 points, 15% off 10000 to 14500, 20% off 15000 to 29500 and the full 25% off only when you buy 20,000 points.

At the top end, 20,000 points will cost you $525. These can be converted in 25,000 airline miles in the majority of programmes. The price per mile works out at 1.25p, which is certainly not a bargain but less than a lot of airlines charge for buying their miles directly.

SPG logo

The rules are straightforward – points post within 24 hours, maximum purchase of 20,000 points per year, your SPG account must be 14 days old to participate.

The ‘sweet spot’ with Starwood was historically their ‘cash and points awards’ for mid-tier properties.  Starwood ‘cash and points’ deals were ‘enhanced’ a while back and offer poorer value than they did, albeit that they are now available at a wider range of properties.

It can still make sense to buy ALL the points you need for a room, though. The Sheraton at Frankfurt Airport, for example, costs €235 on 20th May. Alternatively, you could buy 10,000 SPG points for just $297.50 / €215. The reward night would also be cancellable, whilst the €235 room I quoted is not.

(PS. Qudos to Starwood for one thing.  Last time they ran this offer, you had to buy at least 4,500 points to get a discount.  I wrote at the time:  “This is a practice which I don’t like – I don’t see why someone who only needs a small number of points to top off their account should not receive some sort of discount, even if it was just 10%.”  And, lo and behold, that is what they have done!  Now even the smallest 500 point purchase gets a discount.)

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Comments

  1. Sinizter says:

    Typo – Qudos should Kudos.

  2. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Nb Also that if 20k is restrictive you can transfer SPG points free of charge between accounts registered at the same address.

  3. Assuming BA offer the “usual” 25% hotel conversion bonus later in the year (and no changes to the conversion rate in the interim) this would work out v slightly better than 1p per avios if waiting until then to convert.

    • Yes it would. I am 85% certain that they will re-run this promotion, as it has appeared for the last 5 years or so and is an easy moneymaker for BA.

  4. Well it certainly puts a nice value on the 21k SPG Amex sign up bonus I received 😛 Just booked a 12k Sheraton AMS stay – probably similar value to what you note above.

    • I personally like this 25% SPG bonus i bought 20k on 31/12 and might give it another go to stock a pile of jolly points for future AA/BA/VA or M&M moreover now that i am going for the 241BA voucher, 31k BA would not hurt;-) the only pity with AA now is the stopover rule

      • That rule may change. Now they have scrapped Explorer awards, some redemptions on AA are impossible due to the stopover rule which makes no sense.

        • Do you mean a situation where an overnight connection is required to physically complete a journey? If so I thought they were still OK with that as long as it was the last flight in/first flight out that was used (ie no prolonged stopovers)

          • No, I was referring to this rule (quoting View From The Wing): “You cannot connect in a third region. Award travel between two regions cannot touch a third region, unless a specific exception is in place. You cannot fly from the US to Europe to Asia, you have to fly direct from the US to Asia. Again, unless there’s an exception — no American partner flies non-stop form the US to Africa, and it’s possible to use American miles to fly to Africa, because they do make an exception that will allow you to connect in the third region of Europe.”

          • Ah OK, thanks – agree it would seem bonkers for them not to allow connections in Europe.

  5. As a slight aside, am looking to save up spg points to use in a nice hotel in New York later in the year.

    Next to no “Points and cash” availability but the best “value” pet point seems to come from the luxury properties- however they’re 30k pts per night.

    If transferring from amex MR am I right in that I get only 1 spg point for 2 mr’s? Are there often bonuses? Sign-up literature is misleading (well, wrong) in thAt it suggests 100k mr’s will get you 5 nights in a cat 6 hotel whereas it’s only half that due to transfer ratio (and likewise 1 night in a cat 4 hotel for 10k whereas you’d need 20k pts to transfer to 10k spg pts).

    • Starwood is odd in that the best value is NOT the luxury properties, it is in the mid tier ones. Take a look at this old post I wrote – http://www.headforpoints.com/2012/10/01/how-i-got-370-of-value-from-my-starwood-amex-sign-up-bonus/

      Using 30k SPG points (which means giving up 35,000 airline miles) for one night in a luxury property is a bit crazy unless you are miles rich.

      There is NEVER a transfer bonus from Amex to SPG. And, yes, it is 2:1 from Amex MR to SPG.

      • Seems there’s not so much value in NYC- W hotels are 20-25k pts a night but cost c$350 whereas luxury ones 30k pts but $750-1000pn. That said I’d never pay that for a room. The 12k/night hotels don’t really appeal unfortunately. Shame no points/cash as that would be perfect.

    • pazza2000 says:

      Can highly recommend the Westin Grand Central at a bargain 12k per night or 48k for 5 nights

      • That doesn’t sound bad is it?i ll check the value!

      • Thanks, that seems like a smart hotel, excellent value (60k pts for 6 nights for me) and similar location to where I usually stay. Ticks all the boxes!

        Rooms seem fairly large too especially as we’ll be there with our 1-yr old

        Hope it isn’t devalued before I accumulate sufficient points- do spg give notice of devaluations as could always transfer membership rewards at short notice?

        • Michael says:

          How easy is it to find a room for a couple and child via SPG i.e. in NYC but also elsewhere. Is there a difference in point neede for sole traveller, couple, family with a child?
          Also does it work for 3 people in 1 room via the free Hilton night with their creditcard sign up bonus? Thx.

        • SPG, along with Hyatt, are the two companies you can trust not to massively devalue their programmes overnight – and not to make changes without giving decent notice.

  6. Great spot. Two questions:
    1) Is there US sales tax on top of this?
    2) Does this work with UK credit cards? There was a problem with Alaska airlines earlier this year not letting non-US/Canada/Mexico issued credit cards from purchasing points via points.com

    • 1. Says clearly no tax on the website – I now double check this!

      2. Should be fine with a UK card, I have bought SPG points in the past albeit not for a fee years