Why the Current 30% Discount Buying Starwood Points is Really Available Year-Round

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Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Plastiq bill pay service

Through April 30 Starwood is offering up to a 30% discount on buying Starpoints.

  • 10% off 5,000 – 9,500 Starpoints
  • 15% off 10,000 – 14,500 Starpoints
  • 20% off 15,000 – 19,500 Starpoints
  • 30% off 20,000 – 30,000 Starpoints

Thirty percent is the second-biggest discount ever (which they’ve offered a few times). The only bigger discount was last year and required you to have a co-brand American Express card.

This prices Starwood points at 2.45 cents apiece. And since Starpoints transfer to airline miles with a bonus — transfer points into 20,000 miles and receive 5000 bonus miles — you are effectively buying airline miles with your choice of programs (any of the many where Starpoints transfer 1:1) at a cost of 1.96 cents apiece.

Starwood only lets you buy 30,000 points per year for your account. And this is a limited-time offer.

But you can buy points at 2.5 cents any time you wish if you have a Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and pay bills with the card. Using this technique you aren’t subject to the any terms and conditions-imposed limit.

All you have to do is pay bills using the Plastiq bill pay service. They charge your credit card and mail a check to nearly any business you wish.

Charge your bills to your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. Plastiq’s fee is 2.5% and you’re earning a Starpoint for each dollar charged. Effectively you’re buying Starwood points at 2.5 cents apiece, in whatever amount you have bills to pay.

Your rent or mortgage, for instance, let you buy these points uncapped. And since you can transfer the points to miles you have tremendous flexibility with those points.

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
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

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Plastiq bill pay service

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.


  1. For what it’s worth, the Canadian SPG card is also 1 starpoint per dollar and the plastiq fee is still 2.5% resulting in 35% more points per dollar spent.

  2. Also Plastiq sometimes runs specials well below 2.5%. It’s worth signing up just to get emailed when they have specials. I generated over $100k on card spend through Plastiq when they had double points last year.

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