This is one of my favorite hacks for hotels. It’s so simple it’s stupid.
I have used it for IHG, Hilton, and Hyatt properties(including Andaz hotels)
THE HOTEL HACK
Simply put, you book a hotel room using points. BUT you also PURCHASE the points first:
1) Hotel room prices are set based on demand and time of year.
2) The price of the room in Reward Points remains the same no matter what dates you search.
3) The USD price to purchase hotel rewards points stays the same OR even gets BETTER due to promotions.
If you can buy these hotel reward points when a good promotion is running and use them to book a hotel stay during a period where the USD cost is high due to seasonal demand, then you are likely to get the rooms for at least half price of the usual USD price. Even if no promotion is running and you have to purchase the reward points at full price, you can still save money overall.
Here is an example of a hotel stay I recently booked.
In Palm Springs hotel prices are never higher than during Coachella music festival.
The Holiday Inn in Rancho Mirage costs $385 a night. With taxes and fees that’s $435. Three nights, therefore, cost $1305.
The price for these same three nights in points costs 30,000 a night, totaling 90,000.
If 90,000 points cost anything less than $1,305 then I’ve saved money.
It just so happened that 50,000 points cost $500, and IHG are currently giving an 80% points bonus(through May 31st), making it 90,000 points total.
$500 for 90,000 points
90,000 points for 3 rooms at the Holiday Inn that should have cost $1305.
TOTAL SAVINGS = 62%!
When I ran the same Coachella dates at the Hilton Garden Inn, I could buy 150,000 Hilton Honors points for $800 and that would get me three nights. Those three nights are usually priced at $600 per night including taxes. This would have been a 55% saving.
Availability of reward rooms booked with points isn’t the same as normal rooms. Quite often the rooms can be available if booking in USD, but none are available for purchase with loyalty points.
Be sure to check award availability before you buy the points. You don’t want to be stuck with reward points that you now can’t use and have to save for a later time. Run all the dates in both USD and hotel points, make sure you are getting a good deal and make sure there is availability.
If everything adds up, buy those points and enjoy your trip!