That said, it can be challenging at times to find availability. So sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. Em and I are presently in New York for the weekend and wanted to stay at the W Union Square. When we first made the reservation, rates were going for $400++ so I booked two nights at 20,000 SPG points a piece. That's a steep price to pay but getting 2.25 cents a point isn't bad either.
|Friday night in Union Square|
Over the last couple of months, rates dropped from $400 to $350 and finally down to $270. But I could only secure that rate for the first night of our stay. The second night was going for $370.
So I made my own "cash and points" rate by booking the first night at $270 and the second for 20,000 points. If you average the two nights, that's $135 and 10,000 points per night. Compare that to the Starwood Category 6 cash and points rate of $180 cash and 10,000 points per night and I'm actually coming out ahead.
I was able to quickly chat with SPG Platinum customer support and they linked the reservations together. Upon check in, we were upgraded to a suite (two categories) for the first night but they only had availability the second night at a one level upgrade. We opted to "downgrade" the first night so we didn't have to switch rooms on Saturday night.
That was a good choice as our Spectacular room is spacious (as far as NYC rooms go) and has a great view of Union Square.