The Value of a Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoint
The dollar value of 1 Starpoint is
|Dollar value of 1 point||Flexibility of points||Can miles cover taxes and fees?|
- 20,000 bonus Starpoints after you charge $500 in purchases to your card
- Earn one point per dollar
How much are your SPG Starpoints worth?
Before we begin, it is worth noting that "SPG Starpoints", "Starpoints", and "Points" are the same thing and will be used interchangeably.
The value you receive for your Starpoints depends on which hotels you redeem your Starpoints towards. Ratehub.ca has determined the average value of a Starpoint if redeemed for an eligible Starwood hotel in each hotel category and at various regions. Our results are displayed in our Starpoint value chart below.
|Categories||North America||Central & South America||Europe||Africa||Middle East||Asia Pacific||Total Average|
Here is the methodology we used to determine the average value of Starpoint:
A. For whatever hotel category and region you are analyzing, price out a hotel night in three different cities within the region at the selected category level, and divide the price by the points needed. The price of a hotel night was found using the website Kayak.
B. Calculate the average for the region by taking the average value per point of the three cities.
C. Complete A and B for every region at each hotel category level.
Example: Comparing hotel prices in three different cities within Central & South America at the category 2 level
|Total Cost of Hotel Night in Mendoza, Argentina||Number of Points Required|
$145.00 Price of hotel found on Kayak
|Total Cost of Hotel Night in Medellin, Colombia||Number of Points Required|
$139.00 Price of hotel found on Kayak
|Total Cost of Hotel Night in Lima, Peru||Number of Points Required|
$223.00 Price of hotel found on Kayak
Starpoints can be redeemed for travel- hotels, flights and trains. However, the main focus of the rewards program is on hotel redemption. There are nine hotel chains which make up Starwood’s worldwide network of 1,100 hotels. The nine hotel chains are:
- Four Points by Sheraton
- W Hotels
- Le Meridien
- The Luxury Collection
- St. Regis
To redeem for a hotel, you can use Starpoints or a combination of cash and Starpoints (not an option for all hotels). There are seven categories of hotels which require different quantities of Starpoints:
|Categories||Description||Points Per Night|
|Category 1||Mid-priced, full-service hotels||3,000|
|Category 2||Full-service hotels||4,000|
|Category 3||Full-service hotels in major cities||7,000|
|Category 4||Superior hotels and resorts||10,000|
|Category 5||Exclusive hotels and resorts||12,000-16,000|
|Category 6||Exclusive hotels and resorts||20,000-25,000|
|Category 7||Elite hotels and resorts in the most spectacular destinations||30,000-35,000|
Overall Flexibilty: Strong
|Taxes and fees covered?||Consistent value?||Transferable to/from other rewards programs?|
|Yes, when booking hotels, the taxes and fees can be covered with points.||No, the value you receive for your Starpoints depends on which hotel category and location you redeem your Starpoints towards.||Yes, see list below.|
|More than one airline involved in program?||Can the points be used retroactively?||Expiration date on points?|
|Yes, there are many airlines at your disposal when using Starpoints.||Yes, you are allowed to credit your SPG Starpoints account for 30 days.||No, SPG Starpoints do not expire in an active account (must be active at least once every 12 months or else they expire).|
At many hotels, you can book using Starpoints and cash, which is a great option if you are short on the required Starpoints. A category 3 hotel requires 7,000 Starpoints but can also be booked with 3,500 Starpoints plus $55 (US).
|Hotel Cateogry||Combination of Points & Cash|
|1||1500 Starpoints + $30|
|2||2000 Starpoints + $35|
|3||3,500 Starpoints + $55|
|4||5,000 Starpoints + $75|
|5||6,000 Starpoints + $110|
|6||10,000 Starpoints + $180|
|7||15,000 Starpoints + $275|
In addition, although Starpoints are intended to be used for hotel nights, Starpoints can be redeemed for flights using their travel service. In addition, the SPG program allows you to transfer Starpoints to other popular airline rewards programs at a 1:1 ratio (the most popular being Aeroplan). Below is the list of Airline programs that you can transfer Starpoints with:
|Frequent Flyer Program||Exchange Ratio (Starpoints: Miles)|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1:1|
|Air China Companion||1:1|
|Air New Zealand & Air Points||65:1|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||1:1|
|All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club||1:1|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||1:1|
|British Airways Executive Club||1:1|
|China Eastern Airways||1:1|
|China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club||1:1|
|Delta Airlines SkyMiles||1:1|
|Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank||1:1|
|LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms||1:1.5|
|Miles ans More||1:1|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan||1:1|
|Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer||1:1|
|Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus||1:1|
|U.S. Airways Dividend Miles||1:1|
|United Mileage Plus||2:1|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1:1|
Another great feature of the program is the free 5000 point bonus you receive if you transfer 20,000 Starpoints. For example, if you are an Aeroplan user and transfer 20,000 Starpoints to Aeroplan, you’ll receive 25,000 Aeroplan miles (including the 5000 bonus points).
When booking hotels with your Starpoints, the taxes and fees can be covered with your points.
Best Way to Use Your Starpoints
The value you receive for your Starpoints depends on which hotels you redeem your Starpoints towards. The math to determine the value of a Starpoint can be seen in the "Value of Miles" tab. Some hotels offer you very little value for your Starpoints and if you think you’ll be travelling in the near future, you may want to save your Starpoints for more valuable hotels
Our methodology showed that the average value of a Starpoint is $0.0223, so when you redeem your Starpoints use this average as your benchmark.
Certain hotel categories offer greater value for your Starpoints. For example, on average when you book a category 1 hotel, you receive $0.0348/Starpoint. This is more than double the value you receive when booking a category 4 hotel, $0.0170. Hotels in categories 1 and 2 offer the greatest value for your Starpoints but are often in undesirable locations (near airports). The greatest value you can get for redeeming your Starpoints is by booking a Category 2 hotel in Central & South America.
If you are looking to redeem your Starpoints for nicer hotels, categories 3 ($0.0191/Starpoint) and 5 (0.0224/Starpoint) also offer good value for your Starpoints. It is important to remember that prices vary considerably within each category so you can still receive great value for your Starpoints when redeeming for a hotel in categories 4, 6 and 7.
The number of Starpoints required to book a hotel varies with each category but not by region. Since each region requires the same amount of Starpoints, you receive better value for your Starpoints in regions with high hotel prices. The category levels are tied to the quality of the hotel rather than being directly linked to the price.
Hotel prices in the Middle East and Central & South America are significantly lower than the prices in North America and Europe. For example, to book a category 5 hotel you need to redeem 12,000 Starpoints. If you choose to redeem your Starpoints towards a category 5 hotel in Boston (priced at $354/night), you receive $0.0295/Starpoint. If you choose to redeem the same number of Starpoints for a category 5 hotel in Vina Del Mar, Chile (priced at $234/night), you receive only $0.0195/Starpoint. If you are travelling to a location with lower hotel prices, it may be worth it to pay for those hotels with cash and save your points for another time
The value you receive for your Starpoints is largely tied to the price of the hotel. Certain regions offer more value on average but within a region there are still massive price discrepancies between hotels.
A higher hotel price does not always mean that a hotel is superior but most people do notice a difference between a $175/night hotel and a $350/night hotel. When redeeming Starpoints it’s important to take note of the price differences between hotels in that category.
For example, on average you receive great value when booking a category 2 hotel in North America, but not all hotels in this group provide great value. A category 2 hotel in Guadalupe (Mexico) is priced at $94/night while a category 2 hotel in Toronto is priced at $151/night. Due to the price difference you would receive $0.0235/Starpoint for the hotel in Guadalupe and $0.0378/Starpoint for the hotel in Toronto. If you are visiting Guadalupe, it could be worth it to pay for that hotel and save your Starpoints for another destination where the category 2 hotels are more expensive.
Some hotels will offer the option of booking with Cash and Points. Choosing to book with Cash and Points is a good option if you do not have enough Starpoints because you still receive good value. Usually, you will receive more value for your Starpoints by redeeming only points but in some situations you receive better value by choosing the Cash and Points option.
For example, if you were to book a category 2 hotel in Croatia, you have the option of redeeming 4,000 Starpoints or using 2,000 Starpoints and $35 (USD). A hotel in Zagreb, Croatia is priced at $132 (CDN) and if you redeem 4,000 Starpoints for this hotel you receive $0.033/Starpoint.
The Cash and Points option requires you to pay $35 (USD) + taxes in cash, in addition to using 2,000 Starpoints. Including tax this amounts to $42.39 (CDN). To find the value of your Starpoints subtract the amount paid with cash from the hotel price ($132-$42.39 = $89.61) and divide the net amount into the number of Starpoints required. If you use the outlined combination of cash and points to book the hotel, you receive $0.044/Starpoint.
For this hotel you receive greater value for your Starpoints by choosing the Cash and Points option. If you are happy to pay for hotels partially with cash, this option allows you to save up more points and can still provide good value. When looking to redeem Starpoints for a hotel always check to see if they have a Cash and Points option as it could provide better value for your points.
By booking hotels in specific categories and regions, comparing hotel prices and using the Cash and Points option, you can ensure that you are maximizing the value of your Starpoints.