I have only recently lost my Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold status that I have gotten with just one qualifying stay when I paid for it using a World MasterCard. One of the things that I truly appreciated with SPG Gold was the 4PM guaranteed late checkout benefits at most properties. Last evening, I received my new Marriott Rewards Silver card in the mail and got the offer to buy back my Gold Elite status for 25,000 Marriott Rewards Points. Now that Marriott Rewards and SPG have integrated, buying back Gold Elite would also mean another year of SPG Status which I wouldn't mind at all. Also, as you may already know, there is currently a sale of up to 30% off on Starpoints purchases which you can in turn convert into Marriott Rewards Points in blocks of 1,000 at a conversion rate of 3:1.
For the sake of a fair comparison, assume that I have zero points in both accounts. Therefore there are three main options (the calculations below take into consideration the sale that is currently running on Starpoints):
- Purchase 25,000 Marriott Rewards Points - USD 312.50 (Approx. SGD 441)
- Purchase 9,000 Starpoints (27,000 Marriott Rewards Points) - USD 283.50 (Approx. SGD 400)
- Purchase 8,000 Starpoints (24,000 Marriott Rewards Points) and 1,000 Marriott Rewards Points - USD 264.50 (Approx. SGD 373)
The third option is definitely the most wallet-friendly option but you do get 2,000 leftover Marriott Rewards Points with the second option. If you were to value each block of 1,000 Marriott Rewards Points at USD 12.50, you will still end up with a total cost of USD 268.50 - the third option remains to be the most lucrative option.
With the sale of up to 30% off Starpoints that is currently running, buying above 20,000 Starpoints at one go seems to make more sense as it triggers the maximum bonus rate. So then perhaps the best way to buy back my Gold Elite status with SPG and Marriott Rewards is to purchase 28,000 Starpoints and 1,000 Marriott Rewards Points instead. That way, I can convert the 20,000 Starpoints to say, 25,000 Alaskan Airlines Mileage Plan miles (which will take me on two Business Class flight segments in Asia) and I will still have just enough Marriott Rewards Points to extend my Gold Elite status by one more year. All of that for USD 698.50 (approx. SGD 986) does not sound too shabby in this part of the world.