In terms of absolute value, SPG points are the most valuable. That’s partly due to flexibility, but also because they transfer at such a good ratio to other programs. The latest promotion allows you to buy Starwood points with a 35% discount.
I highly recommend using SPG credit cards for all everyday purchases that don’t have a category bonus. In Canada, American Express offers these SPG cards in personal and business variants.
Both cards currently have a 20,000 SPG points bonus after completing minimum spend:
- Starwood Preferred Guest American Express: Earn up to 20,000 SPG Points!
- Starwood Preferred Guest Business American Express: Earn up to 20,000 SPG Points!
These American Express cards do not contain the once per lifetime language. That means you’re able to get the bonus even if you’ve gotten this card before.
Buy Starwood Points with a 35% Discount
Starwood is running a promotion where points are on sale with a 35% discount. This runs until June 30th, 2017. SPG points normally cost 3.5 cents, so with this sale, you can buy them at 2.28 cents.
The maximum amount of points you can buy is 30,000 points, which would cost $682.50 instead of $1050. This is a great way to top up your points if you’ve already gotten both the SPG Personal American Express or Business American Express. Keep in mind, American Express has recently improved their underwriting, including removing personal income requirements, so nearly every is eligible for a card. You can easily pick up 70,000 SPG points by applying for both cards and then buying points with the promotion.
What makes the deal even better is that you get a 25% bonus when transferring to over 30 airline programs at increments of 20,000 points. That means 20,000 SPG points could be 25,000 American miles, or Alaska miles, or Aeroplan, and so on.
Is It Worth it?
If you buy SPG miles and then transfer to airline miles, they’ll cost only 1.82 cents, which is an extremely good price if you utilize sweet spots.
For example, Starwood points transfer to Asiana miles, which partners with Etihad. A route like Abu Dhabi – London would only cost 40,000 Asiana miles. That’s a lot cheaper than the alternative which is redeeming 62,500 AA miles. When transferring from SPG that’ll cost only 32,000 miles at the 1:1.25 ratio, a fantastic deal, especially since that there are no cards in Canada that earn Asiana miles directly.
That’s not to mention all the different Starwood and Marriott hotels that you could redeem for if you chose not to transfer to airline miles. Y0u have so many options, so if even if you purchase some miles speculatively, you won’t be in bad shape in any circumstances.