When to use points and when to pay for hotels in cash? This is a common question when you are a premium traveler and you are hacking.
Can I Pay Cash For Hotel Room
Hi Debra, have you ever stayed at the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort? Not sure if the Hyatt in Phuket is only $90 per night or 12,000 points is worth it or better to pay only $90.
When You Should Use Points & When To Pay Cash For Hotels
In March, I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort for three nights while traveling through Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Some people prefer to set an arbitrary point value. For example, one Chase Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1.5 cents.
And this value is not a fixed number. That may vary depending on how much it costs to use that point.
Whether you have empty points or are looking for a specific number of points for travel, you need to know how much you paid for each point.
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Calculate how much it will cost you to use this point versus paying cash.
You can also find out how much it costs you to earn those points.
Everyone loves Park Hyatt Maldives. Who wouldn’t? The hotel is located on a private island with white sand beaches. It’s just heaven.
Depending on when you stay, you can pay upwards of $1,000 per night. Yes, $1,000 per night for a standard room.
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If you don’t already have Hyatt points accumulated from a World of Hyatt credit card or transferred from a card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can purchase Hyatt. points for every 2.4 cents.
Pro tip: Check if the hotel offers rate + cash rate. You can save both points and cash.
Even if you’re not staying in fancy hotels, staying in a hotel during the holidays, summer, or spring break in cities like New York and Los Angeles can be expensive.
Spending New Year’s Eve at the Hilton Times Square costs $1,719 per night. But it is only 80,000 points.
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If you have a large family or are traveling with adult children and need multiple rooms, earning hotel points is cheaper than paying cash.
You can save a lot of money when hotel programs have points sales, offer discounts when you buy points, and offer select hotels at lower points rates.
If you’ve already done the math and found that you’re saving money by paying for points and cash, you’ll save even more money when you can redeem points at a discount.
Currently, IHG offers an 80% points bonus. So instead of paying 1.15 cents to 1.35 cents per point, you pay 0.56 cents to 0.64 cents per point!
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Not only can you save money, you can get extra nights for less. Think of it as your own version of the free Fifth Night app.
When staying at a hotel, it can be more beneficial to pay with points instead of cash.
This means your week’s vacation just got cheaper. Whether you are staying in expensive hotels, mid-range hotels or cheap hotels.
Pro tip: Low on points? Book the first four nights with points, get the fifth night free and pay cash for the last two nights.
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Being able to use points to stay at popular hotels in certain countries means you don’t have to give up on your travel dreams.
You can visit places where you don’t want to travel because it is not considered as safe as other cities.
Using points allows you to stay in central locations near the places you want to see or the things you want to do.
Tip: You do not pay taxes or resort fees during your stay. No refunds will be made after your stay. So that your wallet is safe in your wallet and no one knows how much cash you have.
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The best time to use points and cash is when you’re rich and poor.
Saving points for a specific trip is a good plan. But hotel programs often change their award schedule.
The points you’re saving for your dream trip might not be worth as many free hotel nights as you think.
As I explained how to calculate the value of points at the beginning of the article, if Jose bought 12,000 Hyatt points for 2.4 cents his stay would cost him $288 per night.
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When he pays with his Ink Business Preferred® credit card, he earns 5x points. To get 12,000 points, he has to spend $2,400. That’s $90 a night!
Because even if it only costs you 5,000 points for the free night, you’re still spending $120 to earn 5,000 points.
When you pay cash for your room, you earn more points that can be used for future investments.
Tip: Although hotels only allow you to earn Elite Night Credit for one room, you can earn points for up to 3 paid rooms per night.
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If you have benefits like the free fourth night bonus from the Citi Prestige card, you should consider paying cash.
When you pay for three nights at the same hotel with the Citi Prestige Card, the fourth night is free.
Just because you get one night free, paying for other nights can be more expensive than using your points.
Not all hotels offer this price and sometimes it is only sometimes. But when you can find it, sometimes it’s a good deal.
Downtown Toronto Hotel
The points + cash rate saves you both points and cash, as you pay half the value of points plus the cash rate for your stay.
Compare the point value + cash rate to see if you’re actually saving money or paying more.
This can happen when prices are low, such as during the off-season. Or when the combined cost of using points and cash is more than paying for the room.
I recently stayed at the Hyatt House across the street from the Universal Orlando Resort. The cash cost of my stay was $247 per night. Or I can pay 8,000 points. I picked the points.
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Currently, their cash rate is $137 per night and they are offering points + 4,000 points + $55 per night cash rate.
Since it costs $96 to buy 4,000 Hyatt points, plus $55 in cash back, your total cost is $151.
Even better if you can pay for the room and your company will reimburse you. You earn points for your stays and bonus points for using the hotel’s branded credit card.
Pro tip: You can deduct cash expenses for travel on your taxes, but you can’t deduct using your points.
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When you book your hotel with programs like Hyatt Prive, Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, and Visa Signature Hotels, you’ll receive special benefits like Resort Credit.
When you book through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, you’ll receive a $100 resort credit at the Delano Las Vegas. On select dates, the cash rate is just $90 per night.
Tip: When you book a Hyatt Private Rate, you get Elite Stay Credit and all the World of Hyatt benefits.
If you don’t have enough points or if you use them for expensive trips, it’s okay to pay in cash.
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Knowing when to pay with points and when to pay with cash requires simple math. You need to calculate how much it costs to use points and pay cash.
Because even if you’re missing out on big sign-up rewards from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Inc Preferred, there’s a cost to using points.
Once you know how much it costs to buy points versus paying cash, you can decide if it’s cheaper to use points.
While it may seem like using already earned points would be cheaper, it might not be. Because sometimes you can buy hotel points like Hyatt and Hilton at cheap rates.
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Of course, you’ve already spent money to earn those points and miles. So you can consider it as money already spent.
But if you plan to travel a lot, in some cases it’s cheaper to pay cash now and save your points for another trip.
Traveling Well for Less has partnered with CardRatings for coverage of our credit card products. Better travel at lower prices and CardRatings may earn commissions from card issuers.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for beginner travel hackers. This is the first card you need to start your free journey, as the welcome offer is worth 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
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My favorite benefits about this card are 5X points on travel when you book through the Chase portal (2X if you buy direct), 3X points on dining, $50 annual credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal.
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