Don’t like Credit Card bonuses? Just buy your points for a cheaper vacation.
So I was chatting with a co-worker about buying some Starwood points to top up an account – it was a prudent move. The Disney Dolphin/Swan Resort is moving up a category on March 1 but you can still book it for 10,000 points/night.
You can still get the fifth night free as well when you book 4 in a row – so 40,000 points to get 5 nights at a Disney resort. He has 36,000 points. 4000 points would cost him $140 US or $200 CDN.
Worth it? I should say so in his case! That $200 CDN just got him 5 nights in Disney (if booked before March 1)
After March 1 his 36,000 points wouldn’t get him 3 nights!
Now this is a very specific example, but for many cases buying points ahead of time can be wise if you do’t like getting the hotel credit cards.
Here is just one example of a Category 2 hotel in Ft. Lauderdale.
5 nights for $179 US a night. Nope add their fees.
Let’s be conservative and call this an even $200 US a night.
With Cat. 2 you don’t get 5th night free but since you can only buy 20,000 points a year I’m keeping this example under 20,000 points.
5 nights if you paid cash = 5 x $200 = $1000 US. Seems reasonable.
5 nights using Starpoints = 5 x 3666 = 18,330 points.
So you buy 18,500 Starpoints = $647.50 US.
This way, you are paying less than 2/3 of the actual cost of the booking!
Why Starwood points?
Good question – other programs have deals to buy points – IHG, Marriott etc.
Because when they sell them for 3.5 cents per point it can be great value.
A better example would be a married couple both buying 20,000 points each for $1400 US.
You have 40,000 Starpoints – combine for a family account – 5th nights free at Cat. 3 or better. I just did a new page on using Starpoints on beach hotels.
I can guarantee you those 3 hotels I mention will be at least $2000 US for 5 nights.
You just bought a $2000+ hotel stay for $1400.
Kind of like Groupon, etc. but the best part is you can shop around where you use the points.
It’s also like paying 2/3 of your hotel room bill on a nice vacation.
Again, we don’t gain from this post, it’s just smart budgeting.