Continuing on the hotel theme, here’s how to get absurd value with cash and point deals for only 5 seconds of work.
Besides straight up spending your points for hotel rooms, you can sometimes “save” or stretch your points through cash and point deals. You typically have to specifically “check” or “select” that you want to see a cash and points rate before you are given a quote by the website.
Here’s an example for SPG (hotel pictured above):
First of all, this hotel has a really lucrative point redemption offer, since you’re getting 3.41 cents per point ($294 + $47.14 in taxes and fees) and most travel sites value SPG points somewhere between 2.3 and 2.5 cents.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say you want to leverage points and dollars for even more outsized value.
By spending a couple dollars, we can stretch our points and save additional cash by increasing our value per point. In this example, for $75 + 12.81 in taxes and fees we can cut our point redemption in half. Our total cost become $87.81, and our value per point increases by 59% to 5 cents per point.
A good rule of thumb is that the cash payment on a cash and points deal should be less than half the cost of the lowest standard rate (if the point spend also gets cut in half or more). That means the value you’re getting per point will increase — sometimes really significantly!
Cents on Cents on Cents: If you add up elite benefits, the value you receive gets even more absurd. For example, as a platinum member, you could qualify for free breakfast, an upgraded room if available, and guaranteed late checkout.
Plus 40% Kickbacks: Platinum members with the SPG card can typically earn 8 points per dollar spent on SPG hotel stays due to various promotions — so by redeeming points at 5c per point you can receive a 40% kickback on spend on SPG hotel stays, in addition to absurd upgrade and redemption value.
And Additional BRG Points: Because I try to BRG my stays when possible, I sometimes qualify for 2,000 extra free points or an additional 20% off the lowest price, whichever has a greater value. At 5 cents per point, one BRG claim is worth $100! BRG claims typically take me 5 to 10 minutes to find and process, click here to learn how.
Bottom Line: By simply clicking a box, I can determine if cash and point deals offer outsized, leveraged value. And by combining cash and point deals with elite member benefits and BRG claims, I can earn 40% or more kickbacks when I do spend money on my hotel stays. That’s crazy!
Have you used cash and point deals to increase your buying power?
In yesterday’s post, we talked about how to use point sales and low hotel categories to get absurd deals on hotel rooms. In an earlier post, we talked about a strategy to use best rate guarantees to earn additional discounts or rebates off the lowest rate, potentially saving hundreds or more per hotel stay.