Book a hotel for half the Amex Membership Rewards points! If you have an American Express card then you earn valuable Membership Reward points [MR]. These can help with purchasing from Amazon, Home Depot, as well as traveling. I am focused on travel!
When you use Amex points you have a few different ways to book your travel. The first is to use the Amex travel portal. The second is to transfer points between Amex and one of their travel partners [e.g., SPG, Delta, etc…]. These are both good options depending on what your travel plans call for. Mine call for a hotel in Phoenix, AZ since my son will be competing in a soccer tournament there in February and we are staying an extra night to check out Phoenix!
Even though I am going to use American Express MR points to secure a hotel for us the cost in points is very different. The take home is that you need to compare options to maximize your valuable points. In this scenario I saved half my points for the same room.
My son loves the Aloft hotels. They happen to be an SPG property. I know I can book these through Amex. Time to do some research! Here is what I found:
Option 1: Use Travel Portal at Amex. Here I can purchase the night I need through the travel portal at a cost $159 [same as I could buy directly on the Aloft website] or 22,714 Amex Membership Rewards points. Aloft Room = 22,714 MR points
Option 2: Transfer Amex Points To SPG. The SPG site says the number of points needed for a room at the Aloft for the night I need is 3,000. On the Amex site MR points transfer at a rate of 1,000 MRs to 333 SPG points. It turns out I need 10,000 MRs to get 3,333 SPG points for the room [Now I will have a few extra SPG points, but that’s just how it works]. Aloft Room = 10,000 MR points
I am going for Option 2! I get the same room for less than half the MR points! For the same room I could pay 10,000 Membership Rewards points or 22,714 Membership Rewards points. My choice is clear! I will transfer points to my SPG account and only be out 10k MR points. I’m headed off to book my room now…