Ah, the problems of a frugal traveler If all my problems were this easy and fun to handle. We have a four day stay at the Kauai Hilton Resort next week from 12/2 to 12/6 that I booked months ago with an AXON award at 125K Hilton Honors points. The normal redemption is 160K for the 4 night stay but the free Hilton Amex Platinum card qualifies us for the reduced award.
As I am getting frugaller, (not sure it is a word, but I should get to use it), I’m trying to double check my costs more often as I get closer to travel date. I can get the room from the Hilton Website using Katybug’s AAA membership for $144 per night. It is also available on Hotwire for $139 but no points if I understand the new Hilton guidelines. I could bid it on Priceline, but may get one of the other 3 stars that are not as attractive to us.
The Marriott, a nicer and larger resort is right down the street at about $225 per night and I have about $900 of Marriott gift cards.
What do we do now? I can throw out the Hotwire choice as no points earned for a $5 savings from the AAA rate at the Hilton. My Gold Hilton status will get me free breakie and a room upgrade I’m sure with the low occupancy. I checked yesterday and the Entertainment Card rate is available which usually only shows if they are less than 80% booked. BTW that rate was higher than the AAA rate. I also learned on Tripadvisor I can pick up free wifi from another source as they have removed the free business center computers since my last stay and free is always the best rate for wifi. I don’t think they will give me the free breakie, room upgrade and wifi. And they have a shuttle to the airport so we can rent a car for our one day adventure to the north end of the island.
The Marriott is more money, there is no great promo for staying there or at the Hilton for that matter and we are going to be in Hawaii again. Yep, the decision is made. I’m too frugal at this point for the Marriott unless I steal it at about $120 per night on Priceline. Yesterdays bid of $75 fell “just a bit outside” as my buddy Bob Euker says. Time to rebid tonight.
So if it is not the Marriott, then the Hilton with cash or points? It has to be cash I think as Hilton points are worth far more to me than .5 cents each, if I use them correctly.
I get the question all the time: “should I pay cash or points?” Only you can answer that one for yourself at any given moment in time. Some of my younger readers that are a bit short of the green are lucky they don’t have to struggle with that decision. They only have points. Isn’t life grand when we have limited options?
But wait a minute, what about the Sheraton at Poipou Bay? I’d better check out the availability of the cash and points option. That may work out fine as well. Or maybe I can get that hotel on Priceline.
The dilemmas of ADD, ADHD and frugal travel. How blessed we all are.
Update It is late Monday night and the Priceline bid of $100 won the Sheraton Poipou Beach Resort. That price is $10 more than their cash and points price of 4800 SPG points per night and $90 per night. That is less than I expected, and less than I originally bid. Here is a Priceline giveaway tip:
If you bid and give them the wrong credit card information (ie address or security code) and the bid would have been accepted, they will ask you for the information to be corrected. If they are going to reject your bid, they will just outright reject it.
I bid $110 per night and put in the wrong billing address. They came back and asked for corrected information. I stopped the bid and started all over at $100 with the correct info. Bingo, saved $40.