Why Using the Fewest Number of Points for a Hotel Stay Is NOT Always Worth It!
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Million Mile Secrets reader, Traveller Tom, commented:
Is it better to use 90,000 Marriott points for a 2-night stay at The Cove Atlantis, Autograph Collection or book the stay through the Chase travel portal for ~56,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points?
On the surface, using the least amount of points sounds like the best idea. But Chase Ultimate Rewards points are extremely valuable!
For example, reader Traveller Tom will save ~$700 by using his Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book a 2-night hotel stay through the Chase travel portal.
But just about the same number of points could get him a luxurious 2-night stay worth ~$2,000+ if he transfers points directly to Hyatt for an award stay at top-tier hotels like the Park Hyatt New York!
I’ll explain a few things you should consider when deciding which type of points to use for an award stay.
Use Hotel Points or Flexible Bank Points for a Free Stay?
I’ve written how earning transferable points gives you more options for booking award travel, including free hotel stays.
And with certain flexible points, like Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can avoid blackout dates by booking hotel stays through the bank’s travel portal. That’s one reason Chase points are my favorite!
That said, you’ll typically get the most value for your flexible points by transferring them directly to a travel partner and booking award travel. Also, you will NOT enjoy any elite status perks by booking hotel stays through a travel portal.
But here are some other factors to consider.
1. How Many Points Do You Have?
If you only have a limited number of flexible points, you might not want to use them all. Although, some folks don’t mind using their flexible points if they can replenish them quickly.
For example, team member Keith frequently redeems Chase Ultimate Rewards for free hotel stays. Because he can boost his points balance by earning 3X points on travel & dining purchases with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
But other folks might have a stash of Marriott points set to expire. In this case, it makes sense to use these points to book an award stay. So it really depends on your personal situation.
2. Will You Miss Out on Elite Status Perks?
- 4:00 pm late check-out
- Free continental breakfast
- Lounge access
- Room upgrades (if available)
For folks without elite status, using fewer points through the travel portal could be a better option.
3. What Are Your Future Travel Goals?
There are many ways to make use of your points to achieve your travel goals! And planning ahead can help you get the most value for your points.
For example, if Tom has other trips in mind for the future, it might make sense to hang on to his Chase Ultimate Rewards points. This way, he can transfer his points directly to travel partners to get the most Big Travel with Small Money!
Bottom LineDeciding which points are best to use for a hotel stay depends on your personal situation.
Thanks for the question, Tom!
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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