How Using Points Saves Money On Hotels For Special Events & Concerts

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We have an upcoming trip to Austin, Texas for Bob Seger’s last concert tour. This “concert” trip lines up with our South Padres Island trip that we have been wanting to take. Therefore, we decided to do this trip to check out Corpus Christi, South Padres Island, and Austin.

We wanted to stay within walking to the concert performance center in Austin, which is the Frank Erwin Center. While looking for hotels there just for one night stay, I was shocked to see how expensive the rates of those hotels around the downtown/Frank Erwin Center’s area. One of the hotels that surprised me the most is the La Quinta Inn Austin Capitol – Downtown – 2 months ago the rate for that particular night was $359, but as of today, the rate drops to $259 per night before taxes. This rate is still expensive for a La Quinta property, but it’s very close to the Frank Erwin Center. The next hotel that’s also within walking distance to the Frank Erwin Center is the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol. The lowest rate at the Sheraton for that concert’s night at the time of this writing is $313 per night before taxes.

Points To Rescue
It is understandable but at the same time amazing to see how hospitality industry jacks up the room’s rate during special events and concerts. If we did not know about using points to book for hotel stays, we probably spend hundreds of dollars to reserve the room. We recall about Wyndham acquired La Quinta and is offering status match along with points transfer, we went ahead and looked up how many points required to book a room at the La Quinta Inn Austin Capitol – Downtown. Turns out, it requires 15,000 La Quinta points for a free night stay. Score! We went ahead and transferred 15,000 Wyndham points to La Quinta points at 1:1 ratio. The transfer was instant and we were able to book the room for 15,000 points with no money out of our pockets. This is a savings of $259 before taxes for us. This trick just makes us love miles and points travel even more! If we did not have enough points in Wyndham, our next option is to purchase Wyndham or La Quinta points. The total cost will be still cheaper than paying cash for the room’s rate. Another surprising about this La Quinta property is that, it does not have self-parking. It only has $25 valet parking. In the end, we figured it’s a small amount to pay and will get us pretty close to the Frank Erwin Center without having to worry about Uber or public transportation before and after the concert.

The Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol is a category 5 hotel requires 35,000 points per night. The free night certificate with Marriott Bonvoy’s credit cards qualify for this property. But we wanted to keep that for a better use at a nicer Marriott’s property instead. But once again, points booking yields so much better value in return than cash booking when the room rate is high.

Bottom Line
Hotels can fluctuate the room’s rate as they want. There are several factors that go into that decision making for each hotel such as weekend stays, weekday stays, special events, holidays, or in this case a concert. However, most hotels do not change award nights. Award nights do not fluctuate based on seasons or special festive events. The points required are set and fixed until the rewards program announces the changes. This is why it is good to use points to book when the rate is insanely high during special events that you must be there, even though the property does not seem to worth that much to you.

We are glad that we can take advantage of this trick prior to April 3, 2019 which is when Wyndham rewards changes and La Quinta will be discontinued for good.

As a reminder, transfer points between both programs before March 31, 2019 to take advantage of 1:1 ratio. La Quinta will no longer be available for redemption and Wyndham rewards will no longer require a set amount of 15,000 points for every Wyndham properties. More information can be found at the following links:

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