How & Why to Transfer Starpoints Between Accounts for Free

Most airline miles charge exorbitant fees to transfer miles from one person's account to another's. For instance, United is currently charging $82.50 to transfer 5,000 miles from one account to another, which is more than the 5,000 United miles are even worth!

However, SPG Starpoints can be freely transferred from one SPG account to another as long as both accounts have had the same address on file for 30 days.

Marriott & SPG Status Matches and Points Can Be Combined

Marriott and Starwood have merged. With admirable speed, Marriott has announced that you can now status match between the two rewards programs and transfer your Marriott points to Starpoints or vice versa, and that the programs will remain separate until at least 2018.

I'll break down the news from the perspective of how to maximize the separate programs.
Status Match Angle
This one is a no-brainer.

Buy Avios for 1.45 Cents through Starpoint Sale & Avios Transfer Bonus

Until July 5, 2016, you can transfer 20,000 Starpoints to 33,750 British Airways Avios. The normal rate is 20,000 points to 25,000 Avios, but Avios is running a 35% bonus on transferring hotel points.

The only hotel-point transfer option with a decent rate is Starpoints.

 

If you don't have Starpoints, you can buy them right now for 2.45 cents each. The best number to buy would be 20,000 for $490 to maximize this promotion, since Starwood gives a bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred to airlines.

Second Cheapest Starpoints Ever (2.45 Cents)

Until July 1, 2016, Starwoodis offering a 30% discount on the normal purchase price of SPG points.

Starpoints are normally sold in increments of 500 points for 3.5 cents per point. With 30% off, the price drops to 2.45 cents each.

The deal applies to all purchases of 5,000 points.

This is the second cheapest I’ve ever seen Starpoints sold, behind last month's 2.275 cents price that was only open to SPG credit card holders.

[Ends Today] Cheapest Starpoints Ever If You Have an SPG Credit Card (2.28 Cents). Good Deal?

Until today (June 3, 2016), Starwood Preferred Guest personal or business credit cardholders can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints with up to a 35% discount on the normal purchase price.

10,000 SPG Points Per Credit Card Referral, up to 55,000 Per Year

You can earn 10,000 Starpoints per referral to the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, up to 55,000 Starpoints per calendar year. That's double the normal Starpoints per referral (but the same annual cap.)

I value 10,000 Starpoints at $250 and 55,000 Starpoints at $1,375.
How does the referral bonus work?
Look for an email with the subject "Limited Time: Refer a Friend, Earn Double the Starpoints" and click the Refer Now button.

Ends Today: Buy SPG Points or Airline Miles with 25% Discount. When Is It a Good Deal?

Until today (April 30, 2016), you can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints with up to a 25% discount on the normal purchase price.

Starpoints are normally sold in increments of 500 points for 3.5 cents per point.

HUGE! SPG Adds Virgin America as 1:1 Transfer Partner, 30k Points Roundtrip in Flat Bed to Europe

Effective immediately, you can transfer SPG Starpoints to Virgin Elevate points at a 1:1 rate. Like all 1:1 partners of SPG, you get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points transferred, so 20,000 Starpoints equals 25,000 Virgin America points. This is 2-and-a-half times the Virgin America points that you get from competing transferable points.

Ends Today! Biggest Bonus Ever: 35,000 SPG Points on Personal and Business Cards

The Starwood Preferred Guest personal and business credit cards from American Express now come with 35,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $3,000 and $5,000 respectively in the first three months of cardmembership.

Links:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (personal)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

The normal sign up bonus is 25,000 points, the twice yearly limited time offer is 30,000 points. This is the highest public sign up bonus ever on these cards.

Chinese Insurance Company and Marriott Go Back and Forth with Bids to Buy Starwood

The Chinese insurance company Anbang has topped Marriott's latest bid for Starwood, the company that manages these hotel brands.

This soap opera has been ongoing since November when Marriott offered $72.08 per share for Starwood. Anbang and Marriott have gone back and forth with the latest Anbang offer worth $82.75 per share.

I haven't been covering the twists and turns and won't cover them again until a sale is completed.