Well, this is the first time I’ve ever purchased points outright.
I mean, you can only be in this hobby so long before you drink the Kool-Aid, right?
In all seriousness though, this represented a pretty good buy for me. Let’s walk through the process, and then I’ll get to the math behind it.
Buying SPG Points
So, the purchase is actually very simple. Gotta love credit cards and online shopping right? It’s the math behind the purchase that’s important. Buying SPG points is just like purchasing anything else on the internet. I went to the link here (you can just Google “buy SPG points” and you’ll be brought to the Points.com front end). Once there, I had to login with my SPG information, as you can see below.
Then, I selected the number of points I wanted to buy. To get the best deal, you had to purchase at least 20,000 points. Here’s the breakdown from the promotion (pictured in the featured image):
- Buy 5,000 – 9,500 Starpoints and save 10%
- Buy 10,000 – 14,500 Starpoints and save 15%
- Buy 15,000 – 19,500 Starpoints and save 20%
- Buy 20,000 – 30,000 Starpoints and save 30%
In the past, Starwood Preferred Guest has occasionally run promos up to 50% off, but those are rare. On the other hand, this 30% off promotion is something you can usually find at least once a year if you need to boost your SPG balance. You can buy a maximum of 30,000 SPG points per year. I went for the full 30,000 points, and they rung up to a total of $735.
You then confirm your payment information, hit purchase, and that’s it! I immediately got a “Large Purchase Approved” email from AmEx, as well as the confirmation email from SPG about 30 seconds later.
Two days later, the points showed up in my account.
Now for the important question…why did I buy those points?
Are the points worth the money?
With this deal, I purchased 30,000 SPG points for $735. At that rate, each point costs 2.45 cents. Typically, SPG points are valued somewhere between 2 and 2.5 cents, so this isn’t a bad deal in itself. Due to their flexibility and transfer partners (not to mention some nice hotels), it’s great to have a decent balance of SPG points in your toolbox.
Normally, the cost would have been $1,050. At a value of 3.5 cpp, I’d never buy the SPG points without some kind of promotion going on. It’s just not worth it to me.
Since I paid with my American Express SPG personal card, I should earn additional points on the actual purchase too. Most of the time, buying points through Points.com won’t qualify for bonus purchase points, but according to Flyertalk, the AmEx SPG works. I’m not sure why it works, but it sure sweetens the pot!
$735 charge x 2 points/$ spent on SPG = 1,470 SPG points
Accounting for the 30,000 points I actually purchased, I’ll have a total of 31,740 SPG points.
$735 charge / 31,740 SPG points = 2.316 cpp
The additional points bring the cost down to 2.3 cpp, which makes this a pretty good time for me to buy Starwood points.
It doesn’t stop there! Since I only recently opened up my personal Starwood card (I’ve had the business version for just about a year now). The card came with a sign up bonus of $3,000 in spend in the first 90 days, netting you 25,000 SPG points, which comes out to around 8.3 points per dollar spent. So on that $735 charge, I’ll get 8,820 SPG points closer to earning the bonus. If we add all those together:
SPG points bought + SPG Amex spend points + SPG sign up bonus points
30,000 SPG + 1,470 SPG + (8.3 points/$ x $735 charge)
30,000 SPG + 1,470 SPG + (~6,100 SPG) = Total haul of 37,470 Starwood points
I’ll be “earning” 37,470 Starwood points, from spending only $735. With that total in mind, my cost is 1.9 cents per point. 1.9 cents is way below market value for SPG points! Now you start to see why those sign up bonuses can be enticing, huh?
I thought this would be an easy little post on buying points, and I hoped it helped! We’re gearing up for our Costa Rica trip on Saturday, and I wanted to make sure I got something posted this week (even if it’s a small post). We’ll only be there for 5 days, but I’ll give you the full trip report once we’re back – I hope you’re traveling this Spring as well!