Buy Marriott points for 0.7 cents each

Through June 30th, Points.com is offering SPG Starpoints for 35% off.  Since the normal price is 3.5 cents per point,  this discount makes it possible to buy those points for 2.275 cents each.  But you can do even better:

  1. Start with TopCashBack to get 2.5% cash back
  2. Pay with your SPG Amex card to earn 2 points per dollar

By following the above steps, you will get more SPG points for less money (after the TopCashBack rebate).  In the end, your cost per point will be only 2.12 cents.

Example

  1. Go through TopCashBack
  2. Buy 20,000 SPG points for $455
  3. Pay with your SPG card to earn 455 x 2 = 910 points
  4. Get back 2.5% of $455 = $11.38 from TopCashBack

Final cost = $455 – $11.38 = $443.62

Points earned = 20,000 + 910 = 20,910

Cost Per Point = $443.62 / 20,910 = 2.12 Cents Per Point

Marriott Rewards

Marriott usually sells their points for 1.25 cents each.  Since SPG points transfer to Marriott at a rate of 1 to 3, you’re always better off buying SPG points if you need Marriott points.  At the usual price of 3.5 cents per SPG point, that comes to 1.17 cents per Marriott point — a slightly better deal than buying from Marriott directly.

With the 35% discount, combined with the steps above, you can buy SPG points for 2.12 cents each then convert them 1 to 3 to Marriott Rewards.  In the end, your cost per Marriott Rewards point will be only 0.7 cents each.

Airline Miles

SPG points transfer to many airline mile programs at a rate of 20,000 SPG to 25,000 airline miles.  Thanks to that generous transfer ratio, by buying SPG points for 2.12 cents each, you can get airline miles for only 1.7 cents each.

Should You Buy?

In general, I don’t recommend buying points or miles unless you have a specific award in mind for which you need extra points.  Buying SPG points can be a great way to quickly get enough SPG or Marriott points for free hotel nights.  It can also be a great way to get the extra airline miles you need to top off an award, especially when the points are available at a discount as they are now (through June 30th).

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Comments

  1. I want to applaud you for pointing out the TopCashBack. The OMAATs/TPGs of the world are happy to collect referral fees instead.

    I will be using your links when possible.

  2. sorry to say, how we can access the SPG purchase webpage after clicking TopCashback’s points.com link? I understand the purchase is to be done through points.com, but it is not on the points.com homepage, nor seemingly i can navigate to. Shall I just paste the purchase webpage link on the address bar after I click TopCashback link? Thanks.

    • That’s a great question. I’m surprised to see that when we click through from TopCashBack, there’s no obvious option to buy points. Here’s one way that I found:

      1. Click through to Points.com from TopCashBack
      2. Log into Points.com (or register if you haven’t before)
      3. Make sure SPG is added to your loyalty wallet
      4. Go to your loyalty wallet and click on SPG
      5. Click “Program highlights and benefits”
      6. A box should pop up on the right, scroll down to the section titled “Program Information” and under that click the link “Buy more Starpoints for your account”

      I hope someone else can chime in with an easier option 🙂

      • Yes, it works! Thanks, Greg! Surprised that Points.com doesn’t advocate this function at their homepage.

        BTW, for those looking for an evidence of extra point when using Amex SPG card, here is the proof:

        “Which credit cards may I use to purchase Starpoints?
        …If you use the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express to purchase Starpoints, you will earn additional Starpoints for the dollars you charge on the card.”
        Source: https://buy.points.com/marketing/spg/faq_page/buy/#/en-US

        • All that means is you will get 1 spg point for spending on a spg card….aside for the points you are buying…like any credit card….

      • Greg-

        I manage multiple SPG accounts on behalf of my family. Would this work for all those accounts I manage or just my personal account?

        Thanks in advance!

  3. Doh!! I wish I had remembered this promotion! Instead I transferred 60K UR points to top off my Marriott account to upgrade my Marriott Travel Pkg from a Cat 5 to a Cat 7. That was the equivalent of $900 value (booking thru Chase UR, using CSR)! Ugh.

  4. OK, I currently have 117,568 Marriott points burning a hole in my Iphone app. I think you are right about buying points, don’t buy them unless you are going to use them. However, I think as we have been looking at resorts, it makes sense to buy points if you are close to a “5th night free” Marriott or Star-wood redemption.

    For example, if we wanted to stay at least 5 nights at the Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, five nights would “cost” us 140,000 points, due to the 5th night free. We are 23,000 points short of that 5th free night. If we were to buy the 4th and 5th night at the current rate of $217 per night, including taxes and fees, we would be out $265X2= $530. Buying the SPG points for .02275 cents each (after discount) would only cost us $182. That’s only about $91 per night, comparatively.

    That’s the great thing about booking with points, taxes aren’t included, and they can’t be ignored.

  5. So if I am reading these responses correctly, using starwood credit card would get 2pts / dollar. Does anyone know if using the marriott credit card would get 5 points / dollar?

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