Getting your 5th Night Free With Starwood Points

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This is post #3 of a series regarding the Starwood Preferred Guest hotel program

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While I do not use this option too much, a great perk of the SPG program is that when you redeem your points (except at category 1 and 2 hotels), you will get your 5th night free. The reason why I personally haven’t used this much is that I rarely am staying at a hotel for 5+ nights. The one time I used it was for my 5 night stay in Krabi, Thailand. I was able to redeem 28,000 points where the room was otherwise going for $200+/night over Christmas and Cash & Points was not available.

Also, as long as a standard room is available, points can be used, including the 5th night free option.

So when you are staying for 5 nights at the same hotel, which option should you use, Cash & Points or 5th night free? Personally, I will only redeem if I am getting 2 cents per point minimum, but typically I like to get much more (around 3.5-4 cents/point). At the bare minimum, I definitely would not recommend redeeming unless you are getting at least 2 cents/point, but again that is personal preference. Let’s do the math:

Category 1: 5th night free option is not available

Category 2: 5th night free option is not available

Category 3: 5th night free = 28,000 points; Cash & Points = 17,500 points + $275

  • With the 5th night free you are redeeming an extra 10,500 points for $275 giving you a redemption rate of 2.6 cents/point for the extra points redeemed.
  • In this scenario, depending on the value you typically receive when redeeming use 5th Night Free or Cash & Points

Category 4: 5th night free = 40,000 points; Cash & Points = 25,000 points + $375

  • With the 5th night free you are redeeming an extra 15,000 points for $375, giving you a redemption rate of 2.5 cents/point for the extra points redeemed
  • In this scenario, depending on the value you typically receive when redeeming use 5th Night Free or Cash & Points

Category 5 (off-peak): 5th night free = 48,000 points; Cash & Points = 30,000 points + $550

  • With the 5th night free you are redeeming an extra 18,000 points for $550, giving you a redemption rate of 3.05 cents/point for the extra points redeemed
  • In this scenario, use 5th night free

Category 5 (peak): 5th night free  = 64,000 points; Cash & Points = 30,000 points + $550

  • With the 5th night free you are redeeming an extra 34,000 points for $550, giving you a redemption rate of 1.6 cents/point for the extra points redeemed
  • In this scenario, if available, use Cash & Points

Category 6 (off-peak): 5th night free = 80,000 points; Cash & Points = 50,000 points + $900

  • With the 5th night free you are redeeming an extra 30,000 points for $900, giving you a redemption rate of 3 cents/point for the extra points redeemed
  • In this scenario, use 5th night free

Category 6 (peak): 5th night free = 100,000 points; Cash & Points = 50,000 points + $900

  • With the 5th night free you are redeeming an extra 50,000 points for $900, giving you a redemption rate of 1.8 cents/point for the extra points redeemed
  • In this scenario, if available, use Cash & Points

Category 7 (off-peak): 5th night free = 120,000 points; Cash & Points = 75,000 points + $1,375

  • With the 5th night free you are redeeming an extra 45,000 points for $1,375, giving you a redemption rate of 3.06 cents/point for the extra points redeemed
  • In this scenario, as long as you have enough points, use 5th night free

Category 7 (peak): 5th night free = 140,000 points; Cash & Points = 75,000 points + $1,375

  • With the 5th night free you are redeeming an extra 65,000 points for $1,375, giving you a redemption rate of 2.12 cents/point for the extra points redeemed
  • In this scenario, as long as you have enough points, use 5th night free (unless you typically redeem for a better rate)

By utilizing the 5th night free option and the bonus points from the personal or business Starwood American Express credit card, you could go on a free 5 night vacation at a category 3 hotel. Keep in mind though, in most countries a category 3 hotel isn’t anything too too special. Yes, there are some great category 3 hotels in Asia, for example, the Sheraton Krabi that I’ve stayed at, but for the most part a category 3 hotel won’t give you a luxury vacation.

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  1. I am originally from Jerusalem,all over the country avoid the tourist traps. Telaviv-nice beach and lively city , Jerusalem-old city , religious places for christians, jews and moslems, , Haifa-nice mountain and beach-bahai temple with one of the most beautiful architecture and what a garden, Eilat-red sea , Jericho-the oldest city in the world and lowest under sea level . Restaurants -go where locals go, too many to mention , best food to be had in the arab side of jerusalem and in Jaffa and Acco and Eilat for seafood,, ,FALAFEL,HUMUS , SHAWERMA-GYROS- and sesame bread are good to try. In Haifa there are a few hotels right on the beach, i stayed in Haifa a few times and i liked it.

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