This article looks at potential for some hotel deal savings with Marriott and SPG low category hotel rewards. SPG has a 35% discount on points purchased by Dec 29, 2017 reducing the price to $22.75 per 1,000 points. Discount kicks in when buying 5,000 or more points. Members can buy up to 30,000 points.
Starpoints transfer to Marriott Rewards points at 1:3 ratio.
5,000 Starpoints for $113.75 converts to 15,000 Marriott points.
Low Hotel Category Fruit is my Plan
Greg at Frequent miler lays out a plan for a person to spend $2,047.50 and haul in 177,000 United miles buying SPG points at 35% discount promotional rate. That scheme is complicated with a hefty initial outlay required. A good deal if you have a travel plan where $2,050 will save you a couple thousand dollars in your travel budget for a trip you plan to take.
My travel plans do not include flying Business and First Class flights. Sure it is more comfortable to fly around the world on a lie-flat bed, but it is not something I actually need. I have survived flying hundreds of thousands of miles sitting upright watching movies on a 12 hour binge until I arrive at my far-flung destination.
I place more value in saving money on hotels where I travel. I actually need a bed at night when I am in a place far from my home, family and friends.
The value I see in the Starwood points purchase is the opportunity to get discount hotel rates in several places where I have found good value before at Marriott and SPG category 1 and 2 hotels. There are many places around the globe where I see good value open up with a few thousand Starpoints.
Lánchíd 19, Budapest, a Member of Design Hotels – SPG Category 2 reward night.
June 15-18, 2018 = 10,000 SPG points for 3 nights.
$227.50 to buy 10,000 SPG points during current sale.
Comparable flexible rate reservation = $464.82 EUR / $541.50 USD after tax.
A 3-night stay in Budapest at $76 per night is my kind of hotel deal. The fact that the published hotel rate is $180 per night is not particularly relevant to me. I could find many other fantastic hotels in Budapest for $180 per night, but my choices of fine Budapest hotels is a far less populated list when looking for hotel deals in June 2018 at $76 per night.
Budapest is a city where I see value in buying Starpoints for $22.75 per 1,000 points by December 29.
Three low category hotels I have booked in the past year using Marriott and SPG points.
Marriott Category 1 Courtyard Pilsen (one hour from Prague) = 7,500 Marriott Rewards points.
Marriott Category 2 Fairfield Inn Tehachapi (midway between Monterey and Las Vegas) = 10,000 Marriott Rewards points (was only 7,500 points in Nov. 2016 when I booked stay).
SPG category 2 hotel Luxury Collection Sofia Hotel Balkan, Bulgaria = 3,000 points Fri/Sat or 4,000 points Sun-Thu or Cash & Points for 2,000 points + $35 when available.
Buying Starpoints at $22.75 per 1,000 points means a discount at these three hotels most nights of the year.
- Luxury Collection Sofia Balkan Hotel = $68.25/night to $91.00/night at 3,000 to 4,000 Starpoints/night.
- Courtyard Pilsen, Czech Republic = $56.88/night to buy 2,500 Starpoints and convert to 7,500 Marriott Rewards points.
- Fairfield Inn Tehachapi = $75.85/night to buy 3,334 Starpoints and convert into 10,000 Marriott Rewards points.
There are dozens of hotels in Marriott Rewards and Starwood Hotels at category 1 and category 2 levels, where spending $46 to $76 per hotel night will allow me to get a highly competitive hotel rate for the place I am staying that puts me in a higher quality hotel than otherwise available for the same price.
I am not seeking a big investment Frequent Miler scheme to spend $2,000 and earn enough United miles to fly Business Class somewhere across the world. My travel plans are simply spend $200 to $300 to buy points and save $100 to $200 on hotel rooms in places I travel.
Small investments in hotel points across multiple hotel loyalty programs throughout the year keep me supplied with currencies providing discount hotel rooms wherever I travel. Over the course of a travel year and 90 or so nights in hotels, those frequent small savings night to night tend to add up to $1,000s of dollars in hotel rate discounts.