Lowest Price Ever: Buy Starwood Points for 2.275 Cents Apiece (or Most Airline Miles for 1.82 Cents)

Starwood is offering a 35% discount on purchase of Starpoints only for holders of Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express cards.

This is the biggest discount I’ve ever seen on Starwood Starpoints, which I believe is the most valuable currency (one point is worth more than one of any other point). The ‘regular’ discount that Starwood runs occasionally is 25%.

You’ll be asked to validate your account which will verify that you’re a Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express cardholder.

Once you’ve validated your account information you’ll see the discount which is valid on purchases of 5000 points or more, and will be available through June 3.

Oddly, though Starwood allows purchase of up to 30,000 points per year the purchase page only gives me an option up to 27,000. So to max out I’d presumably make a 25,000 point purchase and a 5000 point purchase. Here’s pricing for 27,000 – although any purchase of 5000 or more gets a per point price of 2.275 cents.

I often get 3-4 cents per point in hotel redemptions, so this will be useful to some people — because outside of high and low season pricing at higher redemption categories, pricing for hotel awards is fixed while rates for hotels are highly variable across the year. As long as there’s a standard room available redemptions are best when hotels are at their priciest.


W Doha


Al Maha Desert Resort

Most Starwood airline mileage transfer partners are at a 1:1 ratio, and they give you an additional 5000 miles when you transfer 20,000.

You can view buying 20,000 Starpoints as really buying 25,000 airline miles. The cost of 20,000 Starpoints under this offer is $455 (2.275 cents apiece) but when that gets you 25,000 miles you’ve purchased those 25,000 miles at — and then you are buying miles at 1.82 cents apiece.

That’s going to be too rich for most people, but if you need to top off for instance an Alaska Airlines account towards a good specific award then this can be a reasonable way to do it as it’s a lower price than Alaska usually sells miles for even when they’re running promotions. Another play is Japan Airlines miles, JAL’s Mileage Bank is one of my favorite programs for distance-based oneworld awards and for Emirates redemptions.

Virgin America transfers are interesting, buy 30,000 Starpoints and transfer to 35,000 Virgin America Elevate points which is enough for one-way Virgin Atlantic Upper Class one-way between the East Coast and London (plus fuel surcharges).

Korean Air is an amazing option for first class redemptions, Europe business class redemptions, and Hawaii redemptions.


Korean Air First Class

And Aegean, a new transfer partner arguably has the single best Star Alliance award chart.

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 America Elevate 1:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1:1

If you want to buy more than 30,000 Starpoints, remember that:

  • Each member’s account can buy 30,000
  • Starwood allows you to transfer points between each member of a family at the same residential address

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

Buy Starpoints

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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Comments

  1. Is this an offered received through email or is it something I should see when logging into Starwood Preferred Guest? I can’t seem to find the offer even though I have the Starwood AmEx and am a SPG member? Do you have a link for the offer?

  2. ” 35,000 Virgin America Elevate points which is enough for one-way Virgin Atlantic Upper Class one-way between the East Coast and London (plus fuel surcharges).”

    35,000 elevate points is enough for a round trip not a one-way upper class redemption.

  3. Indeed the 30k starpoints are good for a round trip to London in upper class on virgin. However taxes/fees are a killer at almost $1,200 for a total cost of around $1,800 for business. Assuming availability is similarly restricted between awards and discount J, you’re looking at very similar cash out the door especially when factoring in miles/status credit earned with a full pay ticket.

    If you have some elevate points already, then this could be a very good deal.

  4. The Thought Leader might want to consider a bit more Quality Control on blog posts.

  5. That’s really cheesy to have those fake links, presumably with a political agenda. You should correct it ASAP. We’re here to get good deals on travel, not to be converted to your political views. Take it elsewhere.

  6. @DCS – My thoughts exactly. 🙂

    Get some bag holders to buy before devaluing the whole thing.

  7. That was certainly not intentional, and not part of any kind of ‘political agenda’. For those who missed it, there was a link to a YouTube clip I shared with someone on Facebook that was relevant to a political conversation (Hillary Clinton speaking on TV about her husbands affairs in the early 90s) — one should definitely not infer my own political beliefs from it! Pretty funny actually.

    I’ve fixed the link but I trust that readers are smart enough that they can go to the Starwood website and figure out how to buy points.

  8. ACTUALLY I WENT TO THE WEB SITE AND THEIR DEAL WAS THE OLD ONE WITH NO DISCOUNT SO I AM NOT SURE WHAT’S WHAT.

  9. Just a data point, I’m not a Starwood Card member, but i entered my account info and it allowed me to purchase points. Perhaps its because I have Amex Plat? Anyway, could be good news for some.

  10. Gary do you get a referral fee for everyone who buys SPG points?

    Seriously it is hard to justify unless you have a really high value redemption. Most of the properties I like are $300-400.nt or 12k-20k points. The math just doesn’t work out plus you miss out on the SPG points for your hotel spend (mediocre as that is at SPG).

    The other factor is that it makes no sense to buy and bank unless you have an IMMEDIATE need. Putting aside category creep, Marriott will almost certainly devalue from the current SPG chart (think 1:2 conversion, if we are lucky, rather than 1:3) so banked points will depreciate.

    27k points will not get me 2 nights at most of the properties where I want to use points, and I normally prefer not to spend more than $200-250/nt. So this one is a loser for me.

  11. Gary, I validated the info but it didn’t show me a discount. Have SPG AMEX personal card.

  12. Do you have to use an SPG credit card to buy these? I assume so, but you never actually said. If not then you could use a 2% cash back card to buy them.

  13. It must be a targeted offer? I have the SPG Amex and the discount does not show up for me.

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