While I’m not a big fan of Social Media sites, I often check my Facebook and X (but I’m still going to call it Twitter) sites to see what’s happening. I just saw a memory on Facebook about one of my best hotel redemptions ever where I got over 2 cents value for an IHG point.
In 2016, there was a concert called Desert Trip held in California at the same place they have the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals. Instead of current performers or country acts, this was a 3 day weekend with shows by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Roger Waters.
Needless to say, hotels in the area were massively expensive, with large room blocks booked for packages by the concert promoters. However, I found a Holiday Inn Express which was across the street from one of the bus stops to the concert. Rooms were going for over $400 per night but I was able to snag a room for 20K IHG points.
When it comes to airline redemptions, my best feat was booking my dad and his wife for a trip to Bali and back home on an open-jaw ticket from Thailand on EVA Air and ANA for 136,000 points.
The cash price for that ticket would have cost close to $10,000. That comes to almost 7 cents per American Express Membership Rewards point which they transferred to ANA to book those tickets.
I’ve had other wins, like when I was able to book us at a Residence Inn in Manhattan on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route.
So while it seems it’s getting more difficult to score a great redemption, I’ve been hearing this for years. While you might not be able to find a first-class seat for peanuts anymore, it doesn’t mean that every good redemption is gone forever. Not everyone wants to fly to the Maldives or stay at the St. Regis and for those people, there are still some great values when using points for hotels and airlines.
For us, I just used Marriott Bonvoy points for 6 nights in a hotel in December for a trip to New York. While every hotel in Manhattan costs over $2,000, I was able to book a hotel within a 10-minute subway ride of midtown for 200K points. 1 cent per point isn’t a fantastic value, but since most sites value Bonvoy points between 0.6 and 0.8 cents each, I think it’s a decent deal. Which is why I keep collecting points instead of opting for cash back.
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