SPG is Offering 35% Off Buying Starpoints: 2.275 Cents per Point, 1.8 Cents per Mile. As always, the best use of SPG Starpoints, at least if you value first class and business class flights, is transferring Starpoints to partner airline miles (see SPG Airline Partners: Transfer Starwood Points to Miles). That's because transfers in increments of 20,000 points earn a 25% bonus, so 20,000 Starpoints purchased for $455 will get you 25,000 frequent flyer miles, as long as the transfer is 1:1, which it is for most SPG partner airlines. Here are the offer details:
- Save 35% when buying 5000 or more Starpoints
- Offer expires December 29, 2017
- SPG account used for the purchase must be at least 14 days old
What is the Maximum Number of Starpoints That Can Be Bought?
You're limited to receiving a maximum of 30,000 Starpoints per account per calendar year, and this includes both purchased points and points gifted by another member.
When Will the Starpoints Post?
Starpoints are credited to your account within 24 hours of purchase.
How Good is The 35% Discount on Buying Starpoints Compared to Prior Offers?
The regular price of Starpoints is 3.5 cents per point, which is high and which I don't recommend. Previous public SPG offers were for a 30% discount, although last year there was a targeted offer that a few people got for 50% off Starpoints purchases. In sum, this is a good deal if you need to top up your Starpoints, although not as amazing as a past highly targeted offer. Also keep in mind that most airline buy miles bonus offers still cost over 1.8 cents per mile, with the bonus factored in. For example the recent targeted Alaska Airlines 50% Bonus Miles Offer still meant you were buying Alaska miles at 1.97 per mile.
What Are Good Uses of Starpoints?
Personally, I prefer to transfer Starpoints to frequent flyer programs that are otherwise hard to earn miles because they're not transfer partners of other programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards or AMEX Membership Rewards points. For example, we often need to top up our Lufthansa Miles & More account after earning 55,000 miles with the Miles & More card, so that we can redeem for Lufthansa First Class.
Clients also transfer Starpoints to JAL Mileage Bank to redeem for roundtrip awards in Emirates First Class on the A380, since Alaska's 2016 devaluation of its award chart (see Alaska: Why Emirates First Class Awards Increased 100 Percent with No Notice) made these ridiculously expensive with Alaska miles.
When Do Starpoints Expire?
Starpoints expire if there is no activity in the account during the prior 12 months. Any earning or redeeming activity within a 12 month period will keep your Starpoints active for another 12 months from the date of the activity.
Is There Excise Tax or a Transaction Fee When Buying Starpoints?
No–unlike U.S. frequent flyer programs, which are charged an excise tax and usually a transaction fee as well, there is no tax or transaction fee for Starpoints purchases.
Which is the Best Credit Card to Use for Buying Starpoints?
Because points.com processes the Starpoints transaction, you won't earn a travel or hotel category bonus from a card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige. But you will earn 2X per dollar with an SPG AMEX, per the terms:
“If you use the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express to purchase Starpoints, you will earn additional Starpoints for the dollars you charge on the card.”
If you don't have an SPG AMEX, I recommend using a card that you're working on minimum spend for, or, if you still have the 2X on all spend offer for the AMEX Blue for Business, that's another way to earn 2X.
Do you plan to purchase Starpoints and transfer them to frequent flyer miles?
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