Starwood Cash & Point Redemptions

a lobby with columns and flowers

One of my favorite features of the Starwood Preferred Guest program is the ease and the value of point redemptions. There’s no blackout periods (which by the way, does not mean point redemptions will always be available, but rather specific dates will never be blocked) and they led the  way with cash & point options.

Cash & point redemptions essentially let you purchase a portion of the points needed for the award at a discount. You can spend 7,000 pts or 2,800 pts + $45, acquring the additional 4,200 points for $.011 each. And I for one think its worth it because Starwood award redemptions are often at a huge discount from the rack rate.

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If you get the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card, then redeeming a $250+ room night for 7,000 points is the equivalent of $70 cashback on a 1% earning card.

But anyway, back to cash & points. They’re my favorite because they stretch my Starwood points the farthest, but they are capacity controlled. So they’re not always available. There are things you can do to increase you’re likelihood of snagging that rate though.

Book a cancellable rate or award night and check back for cash & points availability every week. Then about a week or so out, start checking availability daily. I find this to be particularly effective for the Moana Surfrider Westin in Waikiki. Rooms have opened up anywhere between 3 weeks and 3 days out.

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I’m currently adopting this strategy for several of my upcoming trips where the room rates are low enough it’s not worth spending the whole 7,000 points but I would like to save $100 bucks.


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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