Buy Miles With Your Choice of Over 30 Airlines for 2.1 Cents Apiece

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Starwood is offering a discount of up to 25% on purchased points through April 15. Starwood points are the most valuable loyalty currency, and there’s leverage in any bonus they offer, however I don’t think this offer quite is cheap enough to justify buying.

Still, if you need to top off most any frequent flyer account this could be strategically useful.

Here are the discount tiers:

The ‘normal’ price on Starpoints is 3.5 cents per point. Ouch. Fortunately, unlike airline miles, you don’t pay an additional tax on top. And there’s not also a ‘processing fee’ like many of the airlines charge.

This offer drops the price per point down to 2.625 cents apiece. It’s a semi-regular though infrequent offer, for instance it was available at the end of 2015, in April, twice in 2014, and once in 2013.

20,000 Starpoints transfer to 25,000 airline miles with those airlines where points transfer 1:1. That means you are effectively buying 25,000 miles with your choice of airline at 2.1 cents apiece.

You can only buy 30,000 points per calendar year per account. Of course you can overcome the restriction by having other people in your household buy points for their own accounts. Starwood allows you to transfer points free between family member accounts registered at the same address.

Here’s the full list of airline mileage transfer partners:

Frequent Flyer Program Exchange Ratio (Starpoints : Miles)
Aegean Airlines 1:1
Aeromexico Club Premier 1:1
Aeroplan/Air Canada 1:1
Air Berlin 1:1
Air China Companion 1:1
Air New Zealand & Air Points 65:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 1:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia 1:1
All Nippon Mileage Club 1:1
American Airlines AAdvantage 1:1
Asia Miles 1:1
Asiana Airlines 1:1
British Airways Executive Club 1:1
China Eastern Airlines 1:1
China Southern SkyPearl Club 1:1
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 1:1
Emirates Skywards 1:1
Etihad Airways 1:1
Flying Blue 1:1
Gol Smiles 2:1
Hainan Airlines 1:1
Hawaiian Airlines 1:1
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank 1:1
Jet Airways 1:1
Korean Air Skypass 1:1
LAN LANPASS 1:1.5
Miles and More 1:1
Qatar Airways 1:1
Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan 1:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1:1
Thai Airways RoyalOrchidPlus 1:1
United Mileage Plus 2:1
Velocity Frequent Flyer 1:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1:1

Points.com processes these transactions, so buying Starpoints does not earn a bonus as hotel or Starwood spend with various credit cards.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. How long would this process take usually? Buy SPG points today and then transfer to AAdvantage. I am trying to see if I can top off the miles and beat the upcoming March 22 DevAAluation if the process starts today.
    Thank you!

  2. I’m down to 100 points after booking the Gritti Palace, so I’m actually contemplating buying some points. With C&P so low in SPG cat II hotels in India, I’d get 6c/mile switching from AAA rate to C&P rate. 2000 points will cost me $52.50 and save me $112.

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