Buy SPG Points at 35% Off, Then Transfer to Frequent Flyer Miles for 1.5-1.8 Cents per Mile. There was a 35% off Starpoints deal until March 16, about a month ago, but if you (or a family member) missed it, this is a chance to stock up on SPG points (up to the 30K per year limit), in light of the upcoming devaluation of the SPG AMEX (see New Marriott and SPG Rewards Program: 5 Reasons to Hate It).
Since I plan to cancel my SPG Business AMEX soon due to the annual fee being charged and the 33% haircut in points earning come August 1, 2018, I'll definitely be buying 30K SPG points each for my husband and son with this offer. Here are the details:
- Save 35% when buying 5000 or more Starpoints
- Offer expires May 31, 2018
- You can buy a maximum of 30,000 Starpoints per calendar year per SPG account
- SPG account must be at least 14 days old
Buy AAdvantage Miles at 1.46 Cents per Mile
Currently, until May 31, 2018, American AAdvantage is offering a 25% transfer bonus from hotel points, as Tiffany points out. That means you could buy 20,000 SPG points at $455, transfer them with the built in 5000 SPG transfer bonus to AAdvantage, and get an additional 6250 AAdvantage miles (25% transfer bonus on 25,000 miles), which gives you 1.46 cents per AAdvantage mile.
That's a better deal than you'll ever see when outright buying AAdvantage miles. This isn't how we'll be using most of our SPG points, since we've been getting several targeted Citi AAdvantage card offers in the mail that aren't subject to the usual 24 month language, but for anyone who is low on AAdvantage miles it could be a good use.
Which Credit Card is Best to Use for Buying SPG Points?
As points.com processes the Starpoints transaction, you don't earn a travel or hotel category bonus from a card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige. But you do earn 2X per dollar with an SPG AMEX, per the terms:
“If you use your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express (this includes your SPG Business AMEX) to purchase Starpoints, you will earn additional Starpoints for the dollars you charge on the card.”
If you don't have an SPG AMEX or SPG Business AMEX, I recommend using a card that you're working to meet minimum spend on, or, if you still have the 2X on all spend offer for the AMEX Blue Business Plus, that's a different way to earn 2X, albeit Membership Rewards points.
Can I Transfer My Starpoints to My Spouse or Partner's Account?
Yes, you can transfer Starpoints to a household member (need not be related to you) as long as both of you have been at the same address at least 30 days. Also see How to Transfer Starwood Points Between Accounts. Since the 35% off SPG points offer is valid until May 31, you still have time to sign up your kids or extended family members living at your address, if you really want to maximize the promotion.
What Are the Best Uses of SPG Points?
The greatest value of SPG points is if you transfer them to partner airline frequent flyer programs. Just be aware that SPG points do NOT transfer instantly, so you do run the risk of award space disappearing during the transfer time. If there are certain frequent flyer programs you regularly redeem from, you may want to transfer over Starpoints in advance, so that they're there when you see the award space.
Some clients like to use SPG points transferred to JAL Mileage Bank to book Emirates A380 First Class and other awards at a good award rate, since Emirates awards are no longer attractive with the devalued Alaska Mileage Plan award chart for Emirates.
We tend to use ours to transfer to Lufthansa Miles & More, as Lufthansa First Class one way between the U.S. and Europe is 85,000 Miles & More miles, so given 55,000 miles thanks to a signup bonus from the Lufthansa credit card, we just need to transfer 25,000 SPG points (earning a 5000 transfer bonus, for a total of 30,000 Lufthansa miles) for the award.
And of course with the attractive 25% transfer bonus to AAdvantage, that opens up a variety of oneworld awards in JAL First Class, JAL Business Class, Cathay First Class, Cathay Business Class, Qatar Business Class, etc.
How Long Do Starpoints Transfers to Airline Frequent Flyer Programs Take?
How Do I Transfer to Marriott Rewards, and What's the Conversion?
1000 Starpoints = 3000 Marriott Rewards points. See Link Your SPG and Marriott Accounts, How to Transfer Points and FAQ
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