Last weeks winning travel tip goes to Joshua, who submitted his tip via email (Thanks, Joshua)
Another way to maximize your SPG points is to take advantage of their 5th Night Free Offer.
You redeem points at Category 3 through 7 hotels for four nights and the fifth night is included for free. The free fifth night must be the fifth night of a five consecutive-night stay for which the reward was redeemed and you get no credit or refund for any unused portion of your stay.
Fifth Night Free Total Points needed by category in general:
3 – 28,000 or 5600 per night
4 – 40,000 or 8000 per night
5 – 48,000-64,000 or 9600-12,800 per night
6 – 80,000-100,000 or 16,000-20,000 per night
7 – 120,000-140,000 or 24,000-28,000 per night
Points needed to redeem one free night per room in general by category:
3 – 7,000
4 – 10,000
5 – 12,000-16,000
6 – 20,000-25,000
7 – 30,000-35,000
Using the fifth night free deal can save you some real points on your vacation.
|Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan, photo by Andrew Ingersoll|
I searched for some hotels in Hawaii since that’s always a great vacation. I found the Category 5 Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa in September for 12,000 Starpoints a night. That’s a total of 48,000 Starpoints for five nights or 9600 points per night. The standard room goes for $279 US per night, giving your Starpoints a value of three cents. At the regular rate, your hotel costs for five nights here would be $1395. And at the regular points per night redemption, it would have cost you 60,000-80,000 points. So by using the fifth night option in this case, you save anywhere from 12,000-32,000 points.
Another good one I found was the SLS hotel in Beverly Hills, a Thursday through Monday stay in May. This is a Category 5 hotel for 12,000 points per night or a total of 48,000 points. Each night of the five-night stay would be 9600 points. The standard room rate is $489, placing a value of five cents on each Starpoint. Fifth night free again could save you between 12,000 and 32,000 points on these redemptions.
Peak seasons affect room rates as well as points required per room. To maximize your award, search for travel off-season. Each location, hotel, and vacation are different so you must go onto SPG’s website and do some digging to really individualize how you are going to stretch your points, but this is a great start.
– The Rookie, Shannon
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49