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.
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.)