When redeeming points for hotel stays, it’s becoming easier and easier to get creative with how you spend your points. Most, if not all, hotels offer a cash and points rate, which is a fraction of the nightly point cost plus a cash co-pay.
But then again, I’m not telling you anything earth-shattering. ZzzZzzZzz
Cash and points is a great option if you don’t have enough points to cover your entire stay, and sometimes (depending upon how much the co-pay is), you can get a really good deal.
The inspiration for this post stems from a recent trip that I booked to LA for labor day weekend. I knew I only had 18,000 SPG Starpoints to use and I wanted to stay for three nights.
Using points for my entire stay at the Sheraton Grand would cost 36,000 Starpoints, so I had to take a look at my other options. The Cash & Points offer of 6,000 Starpoints plus $110 per night looked attractive, though I didn’t like the idea of paying >$300 plus 18,000 Starpoints for a semi-decent hotel.
This got me thinking. What if I booked a night with 12,000 Starpoints and paid for the rest at the $164 nightly rate? Since it would technically be two reservations, I wondered if I would be able to combine the reservations to avoid having to check out and into a different room. Before I went through the hassle I did some brief math:
As you can see, option B would only save me $2, but would cost 6,000 Starpoints less, which at a 2.1 cents per point valuation yields a savings of $126.
For this particular reservation, I called the Starwood reservations desk and asked if I could book a night with my points and then booked two cash nights. I also asked the agent if they would be able to combine the reservations so I would avoid having to check out and into a different room as I mentioned earlier. I was expecting a little bit of pushback, but the agent was as nice as could be and gladly combined the reservations.
One thing to note is that if you want to combine reservations, the same room type has to be used and it has to be available.
I’ve heard of people not having any luck using this method so I was genuinely curious, but it couldn’t have gone any smoother.
Have you ever tried this? Did it work or did you get pushback?