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This is a quick reminder that the Starwood bonus on purchasing SPG points ends December 31, 2014. This is a tiered bonus, so the more points you purchase the higher the discount (you can purchase points here):
- Buy 500–9,500 Starpoints: save 10% ($31.50 for each increment of 1,000 points)
- Buy 10,000–14,500 Starpoints: save 15% ($29.75 for each increment of 1,000 points)
- Buy 15,000–19,500 Starpoints: save 20% ($28.00 for each increment of 1,000 points)
- Buy 20,000 Starpoints: save 25% ($26.25 for each increment of 1,000 points)
Of course the best value is to go all in and purchase the 20,000 maximum per calendar year. This will give you a 25% discount on your purchase meaning you paying $525 for your purchase. This could also be a good way to top off an award if needed.
This promotion comes in handy when you know of a particular upcoming stay at a Starwood hotel. I DO NOT recommend purchasing points speculatively as you never know what will happen to the points! Of course, this will not work out in your favor for every hotel stay, but there are some scenarios where purchasing and redeeming points might be cheaper than just paying for the lowest available rate.
For example, the Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Le Meridien Chiang Rai (both in Thailand) are category 2 hotels and typically always available for cash + point redemption. This will require you to redeem 2,000 points + $35. The cost of the points plus the “cash” portion of the redemption will only cost you $87.50. However, if you have plans on staying on a weekend, you can redeem just 3,000 points for a free night, which will cost you $78.75. Typically, a room at this hotel typically costs about $120/night.
Some things to know with this promotion:
- The maximum number of points you can purchase in a calendar year is 20,000 points (but you can transfer points freely between members of the same household)
- You can purchase points in increments of 500
- Points take up to 24 hours to deposit into your account
- Your Starwood account must be activated for at least 14 days
- Purchase points here
Pros/Cons of Redeeming Points:
- You will still get stay/night credits even when redeeming (pro)
- You will not get the points (con)
- If there is a bonus at the time, you will be ineligible when redeeming points (con)
- If you are using all points, you will not have to pay any taxes (pro)
- If using cash + point, you sometimes need to pay tax on the cash portion, but since this is on such a smaller amount you will not have to pay the full tax on the regular rate and at some resort and city locations this can be extremely high (pro)
- At some hotels, you do not have the pay the resort fee if using points to redeem for your stay (pro)
So unless there is some unbelievable promotion going on, or the cost of purchasing points is close to the cost of actually paying for the stay, definitely use points when it is cheaper.