#Travel140: Travel Tips via @TravelLatte

#Travel140: Save Your Points for Hotel Stays

#Travel140 Travel Tips

You’ll get more bang for your buck (ig: better value) if you save your loyalty points for hotel stays.

Many hotel loyalty programs are starting to offer rewards that have nothing to do with staying at hotels. For example, Hilton Honors allows you to redeem points to Shop with Points on Amazon. Hotels say guests want a more immediate way to use points, instead of having to save up thousands of points to pay for a stay. Is that the best use of your points, though?

“It’s a really bad value,” according to Noah Brodsky, Senior VP of Loyalty & Engagement for Wyndham. He says, “Using your points for something like Amazon.com is always going to be a worse conversion rate than using it for a hotel stay.” How much worse? Staying with the Hilton example, Hilton Honors points convert at 500 points per dollar at Amazon. That’s a value of $.002 per point. The consensus in the points & miles world, though, is that Hilton Honors points are worth about $.005, as explained by Million Mile Secrets. So Mr. Brodsky is right: “The best value for using your points is to stay at the hotel.” This is particularly true when you can use points earned during routine travel to pay for a luxury stay.

Adding to that value, points for nights are usually stable. That is, they don’t fluctuate very much, aside from the points per night being adjusted periodically. Except for those hotel programs that have black-out dates or dynamic points pricing (as Hilton does), you will often find that, when there is a big event in town, or a popular holiday, the point value doesn’t go up the way room rates can.

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What is your favorite travel hack for saving and spending loyalty points? Please share in the comments, and we’ll re-post the best. (Be sure to include your Twitter handle and a link to your blog, if you have one!) Or click here for more #Travel140!

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