How much are Starpoints worth for you?

 
Old Feb 25, 15, 10:27 am
  #1  
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How much are Starpoints worth for you?

I just redeemed Starpoints for the first time (first time ever redeeming any points at all, actually). How much do you usually get out of your Starpoints in terms comparison to the normal price? I used Starpoints + cash for 3 nights at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista in Orlando in May. The normal rate was $116/night and I used 2,000 Starpoints + $35/night. The Starpoints only rate was 3,333/night, so I felt like the cash + points was a better deal in this case. I see The Points Guy values them at 2.4 cents each as of January, and I got 4.05 cents a piece out of them, so I guess that was a good deal? I'm planning a trip to Hawaii later this year, and the deals did not look as attractive there, so I figured I would go ahead and use some points when we go to Orlando.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 10:42 am
  #2  
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Value of Starpoints is very subjective. I consider the source of the points in addition to the buying power. If I have hundreds of thousands of points from business stays, using them for free nights and the such is fine. If I had to pay for all the points, then they have a much higher value.

Doing the math and determining your pain threshold is the best approach. If you are happy with the results, that's all that matters. The only finite rule I have is to burn them as quickly as you can. No program has increased point value over time. So unless you have a big vacation coming up that you want to use points, burn them now.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
Value of Starpoints is very subjective. I consider the source of the points in addition to the buying power. If I have hundreds of thousands of points from business stays, using them for free nights and the such is fine. If I had to pay for all the points, then they have a much higher value.

Doing the math and determining your pain threshold is the best approach. If you are happy with the results, that's all that matters. The only finite rule I have is to burn them as quickly as you can. No program has increased point value over time. So unless you have a big vacation coming up that you want to use points, burn them now.
That makes sense. When I was looking at rates I sort of used the 2.4 cents/point as a baseline and figured anything significantly above that was probably a good deal. I just got the SPG AmEx, so these are signup bonus points. I didn't have to "earn" them. I figured I would come out better using them now than on our Hawaii trip in November after comparing.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 11:08 am
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I have a simple formula... I take the Starpoints and divide by 35. If that rate is lower than the cash rate of the room, I use the Starpoints.

So, 3333 a night = $95
2000 + $35 = $92

Both are better than the $116 cash rate, so I would be OK using either the Points or Cash+Points rate.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 11:20 am
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Personally, my lower bound is 3.5cents per Starpoint. However, in the past i have redeemed my points for a lot more (i.e. 32,000 points for 3 nights in Sheraton Maldives using the 35% discount Plat award).
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Old Feb 25, 15, 11:28 am
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I wouldn't exchange them for cash at all as it's against program rules and I value participation in the program. But if I would, I probably would be cash-point agnostic (in terms of being no more comfortable holding points or cash) somewhere around 2.4c per point. But I don't like to redeem them for less than 3c per point and aim for 3.5-4c whenever possible.

That said, if I've got a bunch of points (several hundred thousand) at the moment, I'll reduce my threshold to hedge against a devaluation--particularly for an expensive stay (i.e. spend 150,000 points instead of spending $4000).

ETA: Welcome to FT, Drew777

Last edited by DC777Fan; Feb 25, 15 at 12:12 pm
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Old Feb 25, 15, 11:47 am
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When comparing cash booking cost vs award booking cost, also make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Award bookings are cancellable, so compare against a cancellable rate. Also, cash bookings would earn more starpoints on the cash paid, so adjust for that as well.

With all that said, I've found that it is extremely easy to get award redemptions at per point values of 3-4 cents.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 12:33 pm
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I tend to use ~2.2 as my starting point (meaning if I'm indifferent between 100K Starpoints and $2.2K in cash), but how that factors into my redemptions does vary somewhat.

Most practically, I don't chase the "best" point value redemptions necessarily. I look for the best redemption that fits my needs. Hypothetical example: Hotel A is a Cat 4 (10K/night) and Hotel B is a Cat 6 (20K) in the same general area. Suppose I compare award bookings at these hotels to cash prices for my dates, which are $250 for A and $750 for B. A works out to 2.5 cents per, B is 3.75. Depending on the trip, and the specifics of these properties, there's a good chance I'll choose A over B even though it's a "worse" redemption from a value-maximizing perspective.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 1:32 pm
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Generally speaking, I prefer using my points when I can get 3.5 cents or better for my points.

As an example, who how I calculate:

I've got a stay from last year for which the room was $247 a night incld tax (5 nights). This comes to: $1235. Points rate for 5 nights is 32,000 points.

1235/32,000=3.9cents so I went with points.

That said, there have been definite times that I've had plenty of "extra" points, and didn't want to spend cash so I've redeemed for less.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 1:34 pm
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Forgot to mention, also you can call *wood customer service to check-out redemptions for premium rooms.

In my example above, the hotel was a cat 3, normally 7K points per night, but for only 1K more points I was guaranteed a much nicer...and more expensive room.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Drew777 View Post
I just redeemed Starpoints for the first time (first time ever redeeming any points at all, actually). How much do you usually get out of your Starpoints in terms comparison to the normal price? I used Starpoints + cash for 3 nights at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista in Orlando in May. The normal rate was $116/night and I used 2,000 Starpoints + $35/night. The Starpoints only rate was 3,333/night, so I felt like the cash + points was a better deal in this case. I see The Points Guy values them at 2.4 cents each as of January, and I got 4.05 cents a piece out of them, so I guess that was a good deal? I'm planning a trip to Hawaii later this year, and the deals did not look as attractive there, so I figured I would go ahead and use some points when we go to Orlando.
4 cents is a very good redemption rate. I value Starpoints at 3 cents per - and will redeem for no less than 2.7 cents. Obviously I always attempt to get higher... and when I can get 4 cents + it's a no brainer. Good job redeeming.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 3:32 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by dcstudent View Post
Generally speaking, I prefer using my points when I can get 3.5 cents or better for my points.

As an example, who how I calculate:

I've got a stay from last year for which the room was $247 a night incld tax (5 nights). This comes to: $1235. Points rate for 5 nights is 32,000 points.

1235/32,000=3.9cents so I went with points.
That said, you did sacrifice roughly 4,200 points (or 1,000 more if you have an SPG/ AMEX MR card) which would actually put you at about 3.4 cents value all things considered

I probably average around 5 cents per point (I find some Cat 5 and occasional Cat 6 properties on weekends can be $500+ and very good value). I find SPG points useful enough and easy enough to spend that my balance tends to be below 50K.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 4:14 pm
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My best redemption ever was at the Westin Snowmass over Christmas. 5 days, 48000 starpoints, cash rate $695 a night. Value: 7.24 cents per point.

The thing is that I would never pay the cash rate so I didn't really get that value but it's a nice number.

2.5-3cents is about right for me.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 9:44 pm
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Originally Posted by DWFI View Post
My best redemption ever was at the Westin Snowmass over Christmas. 5 days, 48000 starpoints, cash rate $695 a night. Value: 7.24 cents per point.

The thing is that I would never pay the cash rate so I didn't really get that value but it's a nice number.

2.5-3cents is about right for me.
My personal favorite redemption is the W Times Square for New Years Eve. 25,000 points or roughly $1,000.00. 4 cents per point.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 9:58 pm
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Base on Starpoint promo sell every year
525 USD : 20,000 point
2.625 cent/point
if i can use starpoint > 2.625 = it's profit
but if in more detail calculation
525 USD = 1050*,1575*,2100* for prefered/gold+plat/plat75
525 USD :18950*,18425*,17900*
Prefered = 2.77 cent/point
Gold+Plat = 2.85 cent/point
Plat75 = 2.93 cent/point
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