Ascott Star Rewards (ASR) may not be the most familiar loyalty program out there, but they’ve been making a big push for recognition over the past few months.
After its excellent 100% bonus points sale in August, it’s now launched a status match program for elite members of other loyalty programs, as well as a Capita STAR$ conversion partnership, which may be intriguing to some.
Ascott Star Rewards Status Match Offer
Elite members from other hotel loyalty programs can now match their status to ASR, provided they can demonstrate proof of at least one stay (with their existing loyalty program) over the last 18 months.
Status will be matched according to the following table:
|ASR Silver||ASR Gold||ASR Platinum|
|Silver||Gold||Platinum / Diamond|
|Silver||Gold / Platinum||Titanium / Ambassador|
It’s surely a sign of how far Marriott Platinum has fallen that a relatively unheralded serviced apartment loyalty scheme like ASR is only willing to match them to Gold!
Ascott’s press release says they will also consider relevant loyalty status from other airlines or online travel booking sites. It sounds to me like they’re looking for a reason to give status away (as a fairly nascent program, their ranks must be quite thin), so there’s no harm trying.
To apply for a status match, send the following information to [email protected]
1) Full Name and Email registered with ASR
2) Hotel loyalty programme and proof of existing status (screenshot of membership dashboard or member card with showing name and member ID)
3) Proof of stay within the last 18 months
Upon receiving a status match, members will have 12 months to meet the minimum qualifying spending (illustrated in the table below) to retain their status for a further year. Here’s the benefits you can expect as an ASR elite member.
As a reminder, AMEX Platinum Charge cardholders can enjoy ASR Platinum status for two years when they register here by 31 December 2020. If your account does not get automatically upgraded, contact ASR customer service. I did this in July 2020 and got my account upgraded.
Convert Ascott Star Rewards points to Capita Star$
ASR points can now be converted to Capita Star$ (and vice versa). The following conversion rates are used:
20,000 STAR$ can be converted into 6,000 ASR points. Each conversion must be in blocks of 20,000 STAR$, and a maximum of 120,000 STAR$ can be converted per calendar year.
10,000 ASR points can be converted to 18,750 STAR$. Each conversion must be in blocks of 10,000 ASR points, and a maximum of 50,000 ASR points can be converted per calendar year.
Here’s the implications of this partnership:
First, 1 STAR$ is worth 0.1 cents (assuming you convert them for eCapitaVouchers), while 1 ASR point is worth 0.25 cents. Therefore, a conversion ratio of 20,000 STAR$: 6,000 ASR points represents trading S$20 for S$15- a loss of 25% value, and straight up value dilutive.
Likewise, a conversion ratio of 10,000 ASR points: 18,750 STAR$ represents trading S$25 for S$18.75- a similar loss of 25% value.
However, had you bought ASR points during August’s 100% bonus sale, you would have paid 0.125 cents per point. This means there’s a potential cash out opportunity for this group, because they’d be trading S$12.50 for S$18.75, a gain of 50%!
I’m of course assuming that there’s no restriction on transferring purchased points out of ASR, but I don’t see anything in the T&C prohibiting that. Do note that your upside is capped though, given the 50,000 ASR points conversion limit per year.
Second, this partnership means the American Express CapitaCard can now become a pseudo hotel cobrand credit card. This card earns:
- 65 STAR$ per S$1 spent at STAR$ X’tra merchants
- 30 STAR$ per S$1 spent at participating CapitaLand Mall merchants (capped at S$1,200 per calendar month) with min S$60 spend
- 15 STAR$ per S$1 spent at other CapitaLand Malls merchants (capped at S$1,200 per calendar month)
- 5 STAR$ per S$1 spent elsewhere
To express all of this in terms of ASR points:
- 19.5 ASR points per S$1 spent at STAR$ X’tra merchants
- 9 ASR points per S$1 spent at participating CapitaLand Mall merchants (capped at S$1,200 per calendar month) with min S$60 spend
- 4.5 ASR points per S$1 spent at other CapitaLand Malls merchants (capped at S$1,200 per calendar month)
- 1.5 ASR points per S$1 spent elsewhere
It’s still a miserly rebate, ranging from 0.38-4.9%, but at least now you know.
Other benefits coming for OCBC cardholders and SMA members
Ascott will be offering ASR status upgrades and discounts for OCBC cardmembers and Singapore Medical Association (SMA) members. Details have not been released yet, and I’ll update this section when more is known.
Earn 2,000 ASR points for referring friends to join Ascott Star Rewards
ASR has launched a “refer-a-friend” campaign, although it’s extremely restricted and the payoff is weak.
Existing ASR members can now earn 500 ASR points (S$1.25!) per referral for up to two members referred. If the referee signs up and refers additional members, you’ll earn an additional 250 ASR points (63 cents woohoo!), for up to four members. You can earn a maximum of 2,000 ASR points under this referral campaign, or a whopping S$5.
So yeah, don’t go out of your way to do this.
There’s no harm in matching your existing hotel elite status to ASR, especially if you’re planning to staycation with Ascott in the near future. I’ve yet to hear any data points about how ASR Platinums are treated during stays, so do sound out below if you have some experience.
If you previously bought ASR points with a 100% bonus, you have an arbitrage opportunity on your hands, so do take a close look at that too.