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Buying miles and points usually isn’t as good as getting them without an out of pocket cost, but it can still make sense when the cost of buying the points is a good amount less than the flight or hotel would have cost if paid for outright.
If you do decide to purchase miles or points, doing it when there is a sale or bonus is the best plan. It is impossible to predict sales, but right now there is a sale on Starwood points that knocks up to 30% off the regular price, depending on how many points you purchase. Sales on Starwood points historically come around every few months, and this particular sale runs until April 30, 2017.
Getting 30% off the regular price for SPG points takes the price as low as 2.45 cents each if you purchase at least 20,000 points to trigger the 30% discount.
- Up to 5,000 points – 3.5 cents each (no discount)
- 5,000 – 9,000 points – 3.15 cents each (10% discount)
- 10,000 – 14,000 points – 2.975 cents each (15% discount)
- 15,000 – 19,000 points – 2.8 cents each (20% discount)
- 20,000 – 30,000 points – 2.45 cents each (30% discount)
These are not the lowest prices we have seen for SPG points, but obviously 2.45 cents each is better than the regular price of 3.5 cents each. SPG award nights start at 2,000 points per night, which would come to $49 a night if you purchased points at 2.45 cents each.
To give a real life example, the very well located resorts of Westin Grand Cayman or Westin Whistler can be as low as 9,600 SPG points per night (plus resort fees) on five night award stays, which would be about $235 per night at 2.45 cents per point. That is not cheap, but paid rates at both of these hotels can be well more than double that rate during peak periods, so it can make sense in some situations.
If you do decide to take advantage of this offer, I recommend paying with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card since they will provide a 2x bonus on purchased SPG points.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.