Last call: 30% bonus on SPG point purchases, 100% bonus on Hilton purchases

There are two ‘buy points’ offers available at the moment which are worth a look and which, because they have been running for a while, you may well have forgotten about.

IHG Rewards Club is also running a pseudo ‘buy points’ bonus as well!

Starwood Preferred Guest:

Starwood is offering a staggered 10%-30% discount when you purchase SPG Starpoints before 30th April.  The link to buy is here.

You get 10% off purchases of up to 9500 points, 15% off 10000 to 14500, 20% off 15000 to 19500 and the full 30% off only when you buy at least 20,000 points.

At the top end, 30,000 points will cost you $735 (£575).  These can be converted to 35,000 airline miles in the majority of programmes. The price per mile works out at 1.7p which is certainly not a bargain but less than a lot of airlines charge for buying their miles directly.

(One good reason to do this is to get Lufthansa Miles & More miles, as these cannot be bought directly from the airline.)

The rules are straightforward – points post within 24 hours, maximum purchase of 30,000 points per year, your SPG account must be 14 days old to participate.

Remember that you can transfer SPG points into Marriott Rewards at a generous 1:3.  This opens up a lot of opportunities, especially around Marriott Travel Package rewards.

If you don’t know about Marriott Travel Package rewards, read this article.  As an example, 270,000 Marriott Rewards points (90,000 Starwood points) will get you 7 nights in a Marriott Group Category 1-5 hotel AND 120,000 Avios points.  This is exceptional value.

If you are interested, you can buy via SPG points this link.

SPG Starwood 350

Hilton:

Hilton Honors is offering a 100% bonus when you buy points before 3rd May.  See here for details.

This is the first bonus promotion since the new Hilton redemption process kicked in.  Under this new offering – which applies to purchases of 5,000 points or more – the cheapest price you can pay is 0.40p based on $800 for 160,000 points.

Does this still make sense under the new structure?  In theory, yes.  Or, to put it another way, it makes as much sense as it ever did.

Whilst the redemption cost of Hilton properties is now more closely linked to the prevailing cash price, there is still a cap on the points required.  The best value will generally be at properties which are selling for a very high price but where the points ‘cap’ has kicked in.

Conrad Tokyo, when I booked for my recent stay, was selling for 95,000 points or £517 including tax (this was peak tourist season pricing).  That gets me 0.54p per point.  My room at the Waldorf-Astoria in Beijing the following week worked out at 0.48p per point.

At both of these hotels, buying points under this offer would have been somewhat cheaper than paying cash although you should net off any points you would earn back.

One upside of the new Hilton redemption structure is that your downside for buying points is limited.  You can now use points as part-payment for any hotel at any time and you should get back at least what you pay under this offer – and hopefully more.

The link to buy is here if you’re interested.

IHG Rewards Club logo

IHG Rewards Club:

Finally, IHG Rewards Club is offering a 20% discount on the cash element of ‘cash and points’ bookings UNTIL FRIDAY.  This allows you to effectively buy points cheaply for future use.

See this page of ihg.com for details.

This is a roundabout way of picking up cheap IHG Rewards Club points.  You need at least 5,000 points in your account to get started, although in the example below you need 40,000 points.

This is what you do:

Pick a random hotel on ihg.com – let’s take InterContinental London Park Lane as an example which usually costs 60,000 points

Book a room using ‘cash and points’ – the best value is 40,000 points + $100

Make the booking

Cancel the booking – you don’t get your $100 back but you DO get 60,000 points back

You have therefore “bought” 20,000 points for $100 which is a bargain $5 per 1,000

Simple!

Whether $5 per 1,000 points works for you depends entirely on where you redeem.  A top InterContinental would be $300 on this basis (60,000 points) which at peak periods would be a decent deal.

Full details are on ihg.com here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. The key question is, are we going to see 50% bonus buying SPG points later in the year?
    If so you don’t want to exhaust your 30K limit in first half of the year.

    • That 50% SPG points buying bonus was very targeted and you would have been lucky to receive it, I think. Perhaps more relevant is that the Starwood program is due to merge fully with Marriott’s as of January 2018 and who know what the redemptions will look like then.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It’s in 2018 rather than Jan 18. Most believe it will be mid to end of 18 before it actually merges

  2. PalCsaky says:

    This IHG offer is a better deal than the recent Daily Getaways promo which I went for (insert banging head on wall emoji here)

  3. Sandgrounder says:

    OT but good to see that Hilton ‘Points Pooling’ finally launched yesterday. Nice to see a genuine loyalty scheme ‘enhancement’!

    • Sandgrounder says:

      And I see it is the third article today. As it should be!

      • I did announce this in yesterday’s comments, but I don’t think we can ever beat Rob except for extremely niche news :p

  4. Buying 500 starpoints will extend my just about to expire small stash right?

  5. IHG offer only applies to stays upto end of May. I made 3 bookings last week, was tempted to cancel and re-book until I read the small print 😉

    • But ….. if you do a ‘book and cancel’ for a day before May, and then use the points for a booking after May, you’ve got the same deal!

  6. Stephen says:

    If you combine 30,000 SPG points with the 10,000 from a card sign up; one could presumably make two separate transfers of 20,000 and end up with 50,000 (2x 5,000 bonus)?

    • Genghis says:

      Yes but if say transferring to avios, thats still quite expensive. Fag packet maths:
      40/50*1.7p=1.36p per avios

      • If you go ahead with an airline transfer despite warning from Genghis yo don’t need to do two separate transfers. You will get 10k bonus for one 40k transfer.

  7. Just the other week, did a Marriott Travel Package.

    For 300,000 Marriott Points – i.e. 100,000 SPG points – we got seven nights in the Cat 6 Marriott near out son and daughter-in-law PLUS 120,000 American Airlines points (which I value highly since there is no fuel-ish surcharges)

    The hotel just 50,000 AA points was 70,000 Marriott points less, so once you buy a hotel you get 1 AA mile for 1 Marriott point – which is a bargain THREE AA points for 1 SPG!

    How I love my SPG Amex – twice the points of a BAAmex once you can book a hotel for a week – and no 241 to worry about, lower card fees and on AA no BA fees!

    For the Cat 1-5 redemptions, 7 nights and 120,000 miles are 3 x 30k SPG = 3 x £575 = £1,725

    That’s almost worth it for the flights you could book with the points alone!

    (and there the week in a hotel thrown in – which can be taken at a different time)

    Now if you can’t find three members of your family to apply and combine……..

  8. Would the additional points gained via cancelling (20k in the example you used) be considered as qualifying points towards elite status or not ?
    Thanks

  9. Pangolin says:

    I’ve just received an SPG Amex card to my UK address.

    Thing is, I’m currently based in WAW and will then be doing some trips to neighbouring EU countries before I get back to the UK. These trips are being combined with a status challenge which I’d like to use my new SPG card for.

    So can anyone offer advice on the most cost-effective way of getting the card sent to my current address in WAW? I looked at UPS but their quotes were absolutely ridiculous (even when I selected low priority shipping).

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      To send a driving licence to the USA with ups was going to be about 50 quid – so i sent it regular airmail telling customs it was a membership card, because Royal Mail wasn’t keen on accepting licences!

  10. One can potentially use this offer to buy SPG Miles to transfer to AA.
    with current 25% bonus, 20K SPG points will convert to 31250 AA Miles
    https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/miles/partners/hotels/convert-hotel-points-to-miles.jsp

  11. Cormac says:

    re IHG
    You have therefore “bought” 20,000 points for $100 which is a bargain $5 per 1,000
    Looking around on the 1st May I was unable to find any hotels on IHG that fell into this category – not sure whether they have closed that particular workaround…

  12. Optimus Prime says:

    Do Hilton and Starwood run more than one sale per year? Any chance of doing another one this summer?