Many have been been waiting anxiously over the past four days for the results of the US Presidential election to be revealed.
First, let me say that this is not a political post, but I presume that some (perhaps 50%?) are interested in traveling to the inauguration in Washington D.C. on 20 January 2021.
Unfortunately, your options are limited at this point, but the circumstances present a unique opportunity to highlight how redeeming points can save you a lot of money when prices are a bit higher than usual (and/or above your budget).
Although, there are several hotel chains to select from, I’m going to keep it simple and focus on Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt.
When searching for a one-night stay at a Marriott property (specifically on January 20th), the options were extremely limited. In fact, on 63% (124 out of 198) of the properties were available, but many of them were located in either Virginia or Maryland.
Additionally, many of the properties were only available to be purchased using
cash credit card (no points redemptions).
THE DMV has reliable public transportation so staying, say, in Pentagon City is inconvenient but should not determine whether you plan your trip or not.
For what it is worth, many value Marriott points at .07 – .08 cents per point so:
- 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = ~$280 – $320
- 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = ~$210 – $240
In other words, it would be wiser to redeem 40,000 Marriott points at The Alexandrian than to spend $362 (excluding taxes).
When searching for a one-night stay at an IHG property (specifically on January 20th), the options were even more limited. Only 37% (23 out of 63) of the properties were available, and the nearest hotel to the Capitol building was the Holiday Inn Express & SuitesI-95 Capitol Beltway-Largo which is roughly 11 miles away. That’s a hike!
Unfortunately, those 140,000 points from the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card aren’t going to do much good in this situation.
When searching for a one-night stay at a Hyatt property (specifically on January 20th), the options were…better but not much better. Hyatt has a much smaller footprint than both Marriott (the largest hotel chain in the world) and IHG. However, the option to redeem points or pay cash is available at every hotel and you can stay as close as the Park Hyatt Washington D.C. for 20,000 points.
For what it is worth, many value Hyatt points at 1.5 – 1.7 cents per point so:
- 20,000 World of Hyatt points = $300 – $340
- 12,000 World of Hyatt points = $180 – $204.
In other words, it would be MUCH wiser to redeem 20,000 Hyatt points at the Park Hyatt than to spend ~$1500 (excluding taxes) and likewise better to redeem points than to pay ~$500 for the Hyatt Regency also.
Again, this is not a political post but a simple example of how points can open additional options for you as the consumer.
Is a room “worth” $1500? No, never! But the demand is driving the price. But if someone does NOT have points but is really interested in attending the inauguration, you can see the predicament they would find themselves in.
This is also another example where buying points during a sale may be a great option too. Hyatt is currently have a points sale and 20,000 points would cost $384. That’s still pricy but far less than $1500.
Fortunately, you already have points from welcome bonuses, so you have options.
p.s. Today is last day to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with the increased bonus of 80,000 points. Recognizing that Hyatt is a transfer partner of Chase, you could easily have four free nights at the Park Hyatt Washington D.C.
What hotel looks like the best option to you?
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