Pay Extra For Points?

Photo by PhillipC

One of the common reasons why people do not want to use Hotwire or Priceline when it comes to booking is because they don’t get any points.  Now, I am a points fan.  I love to earn points whenever I can.  However, you get into an expensive position when you start spending extra for points.

Consider someone who is getting tickets from Orlando to Charlotte.  The could get Hotwire tickets for $30 less, but then they don’t get points.  Should she pay extra for the points?

Here is why I don’t think you should pay extra for points

  1. Points represents potential future savings.

    If you get points for a hotel stay those points potentially could save you money in the future when you get a reward night.  However, when you save cash that is a guaranteed savings that you know you will use.

  2. The cheapest method today will most often be the cheapest method tomorrow. 

    Consider for example buying an airline ticket.  People sometimes justify paying more to fly on a certain airline just to get the points.  However, if an airline is cheaper today they will likely be the next time you book. 

  3. Typically the value of your points do not outweigh the cash savings.

    Imagine for a moment that you could save $30 on a hotel booking with Hotwire.  That $30 savings might mean you miss out on 1,000 points.  However, if a hotel needs 15,000 points to get a free night you will spend $450 over the course of 15 stay just so you can get a free night. 

  4. Cash savings today is always better than point accumulation. 

Next time you sit down to do a booking and consider paying extra so you can get points stop and calculate the real price of your FREE rewards.  My guess is often you will end up paying much more in the long run if you are concerned more about points than you are about price.

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