“One of the most common mistakes I see people make with booking hotels using points is not comparing rates,” says Ariana Arghandewal, points and miles editor at The Points Guy. “People will redeem their points at a popular hotel without considering what the cash rate is and whether it even makes sense to use hotel points,” she adds. In other words, why blow tens of thousands of points for a $200 hotel room when you might be better off paying cash now and saving those points for a more expensive redemption down the road? To avoid this trap, whip out your calculator and divide the cash cost of a night by the number of points you need. It will depend on the specific currency you’re using, but if you’re getting under a half-cent per point in value, you can bet it’s not a good deal.
BY ERIC ROSEN FEBRUARY 27, 2021