Through Dec. 31, 2010, Starwood Preferred Guest members can purchase or gift points at a 20 percent discount. Members can buy up to 20,000 points per account per year for $14 for 500 points (normally $17.50 for 500 points). In order to buy points, you must be a SPG member for at least 30 days prior to purchasing points. Points will be credited to your account within 24 hours.
Bottom line: Weekend award nights with Starwood start at 2,000 points, which means you can buy a weekend night at a Category 1 hotel for only $56 with this offer, but there are very few properties at the Category 1 level. Another way to take advantage of this offer is through Cash & Points. For example, a stay at a Category 2 hotel with Cash & Points is 1,600 points plus $30. You can buy 1,600 points for $44.80 and pay $30 for a Category 2 hotel stay for $74.80, which includes properties such as The Westin Atlanta Airport and Four Points by Sheraton LAX. If you are looking to book a stay at one of the lower category hotels, this offer is worth looking into, but it may be more expensive to buy the points than it is to pay for a room with cash.