Starwood has expanded its Cash & Points awards to include category 1 and 2 properties in the U.S. and Canada. The program previously only offered a Cash & Points option on category 1 and 2 properties in Asia Pacific. SPG members can now redeem Cash & Points award nights at category 1 hotels for 1,200 points + $25 and at category 2 hotels for 1,600 points + $30.
Bottom line: As we’ve mentioned before, you can often get a better deal when redeeming Cash & Points compared to points-only redemptions and the inclusion of U.S. and Canadian properties is a welcome addition to the program. BoardingArea blogger Gary Leff concludes that these new awards are more valuable for weeknight redemptions because Starwood discounts award nights on the weekends, making points-only stays less expensive on weekends. For weekend stays at category 1 hotels where points-only awards are available for 2,000 points per night, you save 800 points with your $25 co-pay. You can save more, 1,800 points, on weeknight stays where the requirement is 3,000 points per night.