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Starwood currently has a promotion out where if you purchase their points you’ll receive a 35% discount. This offer is available to everyone and you can purchase up to 30,000 points through December 29, 2017.
Now many people were wondering if purchasing points is actually worth it, especially with a discount. While I would never suggest purchasing points speculatively, there are many scenarios where purchasing points will actually save you a ton of money!
Example #1: Equinox Resort & Spa, Vermont
This hotel is the only Starwood property in all of Vermont and actually one of the few chain resort properties in all of New England. It is a historic property in Southern Vermont close to lakes, mountains, and a perfect spot for leaf popping.
During peak season, this hotel can go for well over $500/night, but is only a category 5 property and only requires 12,000 points a night. You can purchase 12,000 points for $273. So instead of paying $522/night + tax you can pay just $273 for the night. While Cash + Points is not available for that particular night, if it was available it would cost 6,000 points + $110. The cost to purchase 6,000 points is $136.50, which means a total of $246.50, which is even less then the full points cost.
Example #2: Aloft, Bangkok
This hotel right is right in Bangkok and only requires 3,000 points a night if you are staying on the weekend (4,000 points during the week)! Let’s say you have two night weekend stay in Bangkok that would cost you 6,000 points. Or, if you pay cash you are looking at about $100/night. Purchasing points will cost you $136.50 for the two nights, so $68.25/night. While you might find a rate this inexpensive during the off-peak, chances are this hotel is always more then the cost to purchase points at a discount. Or, if you are staying during the week and you can redeem for a free night using Cash + Points, that will cost you 2,000 points + $35. Doing the math, that ends up costing $80.50 a night. So at this hotel you can always stay for a maximum of $80/night, assuming a standard room is available.
Some things to know with this promotion:
- The maximum number of points you can purchase in a calendar year is 30,000 points
- 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)
Definitely do the math to see if you have an upcoming stay where purchasing points would actually save money. It will definitely depend on the time of the year and where you are looking to stay.