Starwood Preferred Guest offers members the option to spend cash plus points to redeem for hotel stays. In the past, only award categories 1-6 were available as a Cash & Points award option. Now, Starwood has added the top and final award category 7 to Cash & Points. Members can spend 15,000 Starpoints plus $275 cash to get an award night in a standard room. Not all category 7 hotels are available with Cash & Points awards, are subject to availability and blackout dates apply. Your Cash & Points stay will count toward elite status but you will not earn Starpoints or airline miles for the cash portion you pay. You cannot book these awards online, but must call SPG Customer Care. Some of the category 7 hotels offering these awards are The Chatwal, New York City; The St. Regis Aspen Resort; The St. Regis Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico; The St. Regis Florence; The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort; The St. Regis New York; W South Beach; W Paris-Opera. Visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?6899 to see a full list of participating hotels.
Bottom line: It’s good to see this top award category open up but look at the numbers before booking. This option is best used for the most expensive rooms.