Reminder: SPG Starpoints 35% off sale ends soon

Good opportunity to redeem hotels at below revenue cost, or transfer to difficult-to-acquire mileage currencies like Alaska Mileageplan.

SPG Points are one of the most useful points currencies out there because of how flexible they are. You could use them for hotel stays, of course, but you can also convert them into mileage currencies that are impossible to earn in Singapore or very expensive.

Starwood is offering a 35% discount on Starpoints purchases until 11.59pm ET on 16 March (that’s 11.59am Singapore time on 17 March) which brings the effective purchase price down to 2.275 US cents each (regular price: 3.5 US cents each).  This is the best publicly available offer that we’ve seen, so if you’re thinking of buying points now’s as good a time as any.

SPG Retreat and Spa - Hotel Picture

To enjoy the 35% discount, you need to buy a minimum of 5,000 points. You can buy a maximum of 30,000 points in a year.

Use Starpoints for mileage transfers

I mentioned mileage currencies that are difficult to earn in Singapore- here’s the list of FFPs that you can transfer Starpoints to. Remember that for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer, you get a bonus 5,000 miles

Frequent Flyer ProgramStarpoints to Miles
Aegean Airlines1:1
Aeromexico Club Premier1:1
Aeroplan/Air Canada1:1
Air Berlin1:1
Air China Companion1:1
Air New Zealand & Air Points65:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan1:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia1:1
All Nippon Mileage Club1:1
American Airlines AAdvantage1:1
Asia Miles1:1
Asiana Airlines1:1
British Airways Executive Club1:1
China Eastern Airlines1:1
China Southern SkyPearl Club1:1
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles1:1
Emirates Skywards1:1
Etihad Airways1:1
Flying Blue1:1
Gol Smiles2:1
Hainan Airlines1:1
Hawaiian Airlines1:1
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank1:1
Jet Airways1:1
Korean Air Skypass1:1
LAN LANPASS1:1.5
Miles and More1:1
Qatar Airways1:1
Saudi Alfursan1:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:1
Thai Airways RoyalOrchidPlus1:1
United Mileage Plus2:1
Velocity Frequent Flyer1:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:1

The one that’s interesting for me is Alaska’s Mileageplan. I’ve written about it before on the site (including an interesting way to get cheaper JAL flights), and Milegaeplan’s best public offer on miles sales is a 40% bonus (there’s one on right now). This works out to 2.11 US cents per mile.

Doesn’t that mean Starpoints (2.275 US cents) cost more than buying Milegaeplan (2.11 US cents) miles outright? Yes- but you’re forgetting about the bonus. Suppose I buy and transfer 20,000 Starpoints to Mileageplan. I will get 25,000 Mileageplan miles. In other words

  • 20,000 Starpoints @ 2.275 US cents= 25,000 Mileageplan miles
  • Effective cost of 1 Mileageplan mile= 1.82 US cents

We need 25,000 Mileageplan miles for our JAL trick, so that’s merely US$455 for an (almost) round trip business class flight from Singapore to Tokyo (plus US$60 of taxes and fees).

Of course, there are other options too. You might consider transferring your points to American Airlines/ANA to redeem for Etihad First Class awards. Or maybe explore the sweet spots that exist in other awards programs like Flyingblue and Miles and More. If you’re coming for the Miles Masterclass (fully sold out!) you can hear Troy Liu from Mileslife talk about using some of them.

Ethiad A380 First Class Apartments. Photo credit: Sam Chui

Buy Starpoints for hotel price arbitrage

Depending on when and where you’re staying, it can sometimes be a better deal to buy Starpoints than pay the hotel’s revenue rates. Look at this example from New York City in June.

At a price of 2.275 US cents per point, you get

  • St Regis New York- US$796 (although 35,000 Starpoints is more than you can buy in a year)
  • Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West- US$273
  • W New York- US$273

This is cheaper than the revenue rates on offer. Plus, remember that the revenue rates here are the lowest, non-refundable and non-changeable ones. Starpoints bookings are generally refundable up to 48 hours before check-in (individual properties may have more strict/less strict policies so it’s always good to check) so that’s another factor in your favor.

Conclusion

The restrictive thing about Starwood points is that you’re only allowed to buy a maximum of 30,000 per year, but there are some ways of getting around this restriction.

If you’ve made up your mind to buy Starpoints, you can support the site by using this link to make your purchase.

Points purchases are processed by Points.com, so I’d use my DBS Woman’s World card for 4 mpd on the first S$2K of spend. You could also use the UOB Visa Signature for 4 mpd provided you spend a minimum of S$1K on foreign currency expenditures in that particular statement period,  or the Citibank Rewards card for 4 mpd too.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Khen

Use topcashback too for rebate.

Andrew

They stated that the max points you can purchased/ received as gift is 30k per year. Will it be counted as gift if I purchase using household member account and transfer to my account later?

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