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We now know the end date for the Starwood Preferred Guest program as we know will be July 31, 2018, as the program will be combining with Marriott Rewards on August 1, 2018. This means there are just a little over three months to earn and use SPG points as we always have before the new award chart and program rules kick in later this summer.
Last call for earning points in the SPG program as we know it
If you were hoping to rack up lots of SPG points quickly in advance of the combined program, it may not be super simple. Both of the SPG Amex cards have already changed their welcome bonuses from SPG points to statement credits, which was a big bummer. Thankfully, there is another way to get 30,000 SPG points in a hurry. You can get out your credit card and just buy them. Fortunately, Starwood just launched a sale where you can purchase SPG points at a 35% discount over the ‘regular’ price until May 31, 2018.
This means that if you purchase a minimum of 5,000 points, they are just 2.275 cents each. This is the same discount we have seen a few times over the last year, but I don’t know how many more times it will be available before the programs combine on August 1, 2018. At that time, your Starwood points will transfer to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio, meaning that with this discount you are effectively purchasing points at about 3/4 of a cent each for the new program.
Top Tier SPG properties will temporarily get cheaper in the new program
I think this sale is a little more intriguing than normal given that we are coming up on the end of the line for SPG as we know it and we know that the top tier Category 7 SPG resorts will actually temporarily get cheaper in the new program. Currently, it costs 30,000 to 35,000 points SPG per night to book award stays at Category 7 properties including St. Regis Princeville in Kauai, St. Regis Punta Mita in Mexico, St. Regis New York in Manhattan, the St. Regis Aspen, St. Regis Deer Valley in Utah, and many more.
However, from August 1 until they add a Category 8 in 2019, you will be able to book all of those properties for a maximum of 60,000 points per night in the new program. This is the equivalent of 20,000 SPG points. If you book five nights, you will only pay for four dropping the per-night price to just 16,000 points per night. That is almost half off of the current maximum rate of 35,000 points per night, and it may present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay at these world-class resorts for a reasonable award rate.
Lock in Category 1 stays from just $45.50 per night
At 2.275 cents per point, 16,000 points per night comes to $364 per night, which certainly isn’t cheap, but is much less than what these resorts can often sell for with cash. On the other end of the spectrum, a Category 1 stay on the weekend costs just 2,000 SPG points per night, which is the same as $45.50 per night at 2.275 cents per point. Even if you don’t actually need a Category 1 stay, that may help some who are pushing for Platinum status on stays for one final time pick up some inexpensive stay credits.
Free household transfers means your family can purchase even more
You can purchase a maximum of 30,000 SPG points per year, but remember that SPG allows for free transfers between household members, so your partner with the same address could do the same and you could combine your points down the line.
Pay with your SPG Amex to earn more points
Finally, if you do make a purchase, remember to pay for your points with your SPG Amex cards in order to earn 2x points on the purchase.
Will you be picking up some final SPG points with this 35% off sale?