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Some hotel award programs make it easier than others to find days with hotel points award availability. On one extreme some programs make you call in and ask days to be checked one by one, and then on the other end of the spectrum many programs have the availability viewable and bookable online. In many cases the hotel award programs actually utilize a combo of those two approaches with having most standard rooms bookable online with special rooms and suites potentially available with points if you call.
One program that makes it easier than average to view which dates have standard awards available online is the Starwood Preferred Guest program. With most SPG properties, when a standard room is for sale with cash, that same room should be available for booking with points. They also have a cash + points option that is subject to availability at the hotel’s discretion and often harder to secure.
Knowing how to find the available award dates at the properties you like will help you get the most value out of your existing SPG point
You can not only search for and book SPG award nights or cash + points awards online, but you can also quickly spot which dates do and do not have availability online without having to go date by date with individual searches. Here’s how…
How to Find SPG Award Availability Online:
1. Search for the hotel or city of your choice on the SPG website.
2. As shown below, at the top of the results list you can select up to four rate types to compare – I recommend having “SPG Free Nights” and “SPG Cash & Points” as two of those rates.
2. Choose the property you are interested in pricing and select “Browse Dates/Rates” under the name of the property (as highlighted above).
3. You can then select the different buttons to view SPG Free Nights or SPG Cash & Points availability two months at a time.
Click on the desired date(s) to view the price on dollars/points and hit “continue” to select the room type and book. Using this technique should result in being able to quickly spot which days should have availability with the type of rate you are interested in without having to call, chat, or utilize a ouija board.
This technique is useful at all SPG properties, but I have found it especially helpful in hunting down the limited cash and points availability during peak seasons such as winter at ski resort properties. If you are able to utilize availability to drive the exact dates you travel then the calendar can quickly point you to the days you can utilize your SPG points to stay at the hotel of your choice!
If you want to check award availability for deluxe rooms or suites you still need to either tweet, chat, or call SPG to have those room types checked. Have you used the SPG online calendar to easily spot standard award availability?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.