Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
Almost every TV-watching American knows that the Super Bowl is this coming Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona. Most of us who will watch the game (or just eat finger foods at a party while watching the commercials more than the game), will do so on a TV in a living room or bar. However, there are tens of thousands who will travel to Arizona to see the game in person. Likely they will pay a pretty penny to do so, but just like when my husband’s family went to the World Series, lodging itself does not have to cost a fortune. In fact, even now, there are many hotels available near the Super Bowl at a standard level on points when the selling rate is $800/night or more for an otherwise 2-3 star hotel.
This article indicates that those attending the Super Bowl “will pay at least $500 a night for a hotel, even if they look for rooms further away from the stadium.” From a few quick searches, I have no doubt that is true, but clearly those folks are doing it wrong.
We are not going to the Super Bowl, but out of curiosity I wanted to see what hotel points could do for you on short-notice during one of the most popular sporting events in the country. To get a very good quick overview of availability, I used Hotel Hustle (built by BoardingArea blogger, Wandering Aramean) to view points availability for Choice Privileges, Club Carlson, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, IHG Rewards, Marriott, SPG, and Wyndham Hotels.
Not surprisingly, lots of hotels have no availability that weekend, but if you aren’t too picky, plenty still do have some availability. One example I found is the Sheraton Crescent Hotel, an SPG property. The going rate right now for rooms booked from Saturday – Monday of Super Bowl Weekend (1/31 – 2/2) is $799/night on a prepaid rate. That would be $1,794.07 for a two night stay at a Category 3 Sheraton in Phoenix, ouch.
Or, you can simply use 7,000 SPG points per night and book the same room for a total of 14,000 SPG points and $0.00. Not that you would really count in this manner, but technically that is 12.8 cents per point in redemption value, which is crazy (I shoot for 3-4 cents for my good SPG redemptions). Even if you go with the numbers from the article above that reference folks spending an average of $500 a night to stay in the Phoenix area for the Super Bowl, that would still be 7.1 cents in value if you used 14,000 SPG points for two nights instead of forking over $500/night.
Believe it or not, there are still tons of people out there who think miles and points are a “scam”, and they can’t ever be used for anything valuable or on peak travel days. Well, for the Phoenix area, I’m not sure it will ever get more peak than during this upcoming weekend and Super Bowl XLIX, yet there are still many hotels that are accepting reservations on points when the cash rates are through the roof.
I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty cool….