Last chance to buy Starpoints at 35% discount before new program in August

Guide to buying Starwood Preferred Guest points

GUIDE: Buying Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 4 minutes
POSTED: July 16, 2018
UPDATED: March 23, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Relevant to Multiple Programs
STATUS: SPG was merged into Marriott Rewards in August 2018. This content is now out-of-date but has been kept on the site for informational purposes.

Starwood Preferred Guest is again running a solid 35% discount on buying Starpoints until 20 July. These points can be used for high-end expensive hotel stays, or can be transferred to one of their many partner frequent flyer programs.

Why this is a good deal

You can find value in the usually inaccessible currencies for points purchasing like Velocity, Asia Miles and KrisFlyer, all of whom partner with Starwood.

Also, with the merger of Starwood and Marriott moving forward in August, it is worth understanding that the SPG program is going through a range of changes. Prices on bookings made between August and December 2018 (even for later dates) at some Starwood properties will be significantly cheaper than they currently are. Read our full guide on the merger to find out more.

St Regis Singapore

Save Starwood sweetening with a last-minute offer between 21 and 31 July before the changes come into effect, this will be the last chance for you to buy Starpoints (I thought last month’s offer would be the last one but it has come back again!). From 1 August, Starpoints will be automatically converted at the ratio of 1 Starpoint = 3 points in the new program.

The current Starpoints promotion

The maximum purchase is 30,000 points (which is the limit for each calendar year) for $682.50 USD. The deal runs until 20 July.

Discounts are tiered as follows:

  • 500 to 3,000 Starpoints: no discount
  • 5,000 to 30,000 Starpoints: 35% discount

At the 35% discount level, this yields a cost of 2.275 USD cents per Starpoint, or if all 20,000 points are transferred to airline miles with the 5,000 point bonus, 1.82 USD cents per airline mile/point at 25,000 miles.

You’ll need to have an SPG account that is at least 14 days old to take advantage of this deal, so sign yourself and other family members up (with their permission!) for the current promotion.

Also note that these points expire after 12 months of inactivity in your account—read how to prevent your points from expiring in this guide.

Offer history

DateDiscount/bonus (%)Notes
June-July 201835Highest public offer
April-May 201835Highest public offer
January-March 201835Highest public offer
November-December 2017 35Highest public offer
June-July 201735Highest public offer
March 201730
November 201650Highest targeted offer
June 201630
March 201625
December 201525
September 201520Lowest public offer
May 201525
December 201425
May 201425

Using Starpoints to transfer into airline miles/points

Starwood Preferred Guest has the widest range of airline partners out there, including Velocity, Krisflyer and Asia Miles – but not Qantas Frequent Flyer. The full list of transfer partners and ratios is below.

For all 1:1 transfer partners, for a transfer of 20,000 points you’ll also get a bonus of 5,000 additional airline points or miles, which really makes it worth targeting that 20,000 point transfer as the sweet spot.

Frequent Flyer ProgramsExchange Ratio - Marriott Points : Airline Miles
Aegean Airlines3:1
Aeroflot Bonus3:1
AeroMexico ClubPremier3:1
Air Canada Aeroplan3:1
Air China Phoenix Miles3:1
Air France/KLM Flying Blue3:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints200:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan3:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia3:1
ANA Mileage Club3:1
American Airlines AAdvantage3:1
Asia Miles3:1
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club3:1
Avianca LifeMiles3:1
British Airways Executive Club3:1
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles3:1
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club3:1
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles3:1
Delta SkyMiles3:1
Emirates Skywards3:1
Etihad Airways3:1
Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns3:1
Hainan Airlines3:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles3:1
Iberia Plus3:1
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank3:1
Jet Airways JetPrivilege3:1
JetBlue TrueBlue6:1
Korean Air SKYPASS3:1
Lufthansa Miles & More3:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer3:1
Qatar Privilege Club3:1
Saudia Airlines3:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer3:1
South African Airways Voyager3:1
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards3:1
TAP Air Portugal3:1
THAI Airways3:1
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles3:1
United MileagePlus3:1.1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club3:1
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer3:1

Example uses of Starpoints

I’ve used Starpoints to top up a range of my frequent flyer accounts for redemptions, including American Airlines, Velocity, Asia Miles and KrisFlyer. I’ve also redeemed Starpoints for exclusive events through SPG Moments, and for hotel stays.

Melbourne GP 2014 Panorama
Using my Amex points for an F1 experience: SPG Moments package at the 2014 Melbourne Grand Prix

The Westin Resort, Langkawi
The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa Review – Langkawi, Malaysia

The use for airline redemptions is too broad to cover off in one guide, but for starters have a read of the following guides to give you some ideas:

Limitations on purchase and transfer amounts

Starwood put a 30,000 limit on the maximum number of points per SPG account you can purchase per (calendar) year, so at first glance it seems like this promotion can’t be used for large purchase amounts.

However, one way to get around this restriction is to use household points transfers, where SPG allows members who have the same address on their account the ability to transfer between accounts.

You would purchase miles for each account individually, and then request a ‘household’ transfer, which can be made online or over the phone. Thanks to One Mile at a Time for this tip.

There are also techniques to follow to maximise the amount of airline miles you can receive from SPG transfers.

There’s a limit of 79,000 miles that be transferred out of your account per 24 hours, and given that Starwood only awards the 5,000 point bonus for 20,000 point transfers, you’ll miss out on one chunk of 5,000 bonus points if you transfer the maximum 79,999 Starpoints.

As a result, the transfer sweet spot is 60,000 SPG points to 75,000 airline miles, so to maximise the bonus, transfer no more than 60,000 points (to a single program) per 24 hours.

Some transfer bonus examples come out as follows:

10k SPG = 10k airline miles
20k SPG = 25k airline miles (20k + 5k bonus)
30k SPG = 35k airline miles
40k SPG = 50k airline miles (40k + 10k bonus)
50k SPG = 60k airline miles
60k SPG = 75k airline miles (60k + 15k bonus)
70k SPG = 85k airline miles
79,999 SPG = 94,999 miles (79k + 15k bonus)

Last chance to buy Starpoints at 35% discount before new program in August was last modified: March 23rd, 2019 by Daniel Kinnoch

Summing up

Starpoint purchases can be an excellent way to top up an overseas frequent flyer account, where miles or points are otherwise hard to come by. The sheer volume of their transfer partners yields a lot of opportunities to use these points.

You can also leverage them into cheaper hotel stays, but that’s completely dependent on the nightly rate a hotel is charging on a given night, versus what they want to charge in Starpoints.

There may be an opportunity for your specific hotel stay plans, so check on that if you have any stays coming up.

Last chance to buy Starpoints at 35% discount before new program in August was last modified: March 23rd, 2019 by Daniel Kinnoch