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 1.3p, which is certainly not a bargain but less than a lot of airlines charge for buying their miles directly.
There is, by the way, no discount at all on buying up to 4,500 points. 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%.
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. As I repeated back in April, Starwood ‘cash and points’ deals have been ‘enhanced’ 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 a crazy €386 on 20th November. Alternatively, you could buy 10,000 SPG points for just $280 / €208. The reward night would also be cancellable, whilst the €386 room I quoted is not.
(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)