Staying Comfortable During a Home Remodel — Reader Success Story

Nov 21, 2018

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Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Dick, who used his points to book an unexpected hotel stay:

After a day or so of noise and dust, I decided to check into a local hotel for the duration of a remodeling job in my home. I noticed Amex was offering a 30% transfer bonus to Hilton Honors, in addition to getting the fifth night free for award stays [for Hilton elite members]. I ensured my numbers were right and converted 40,000 Membership Rewards points into 104,000 Hilton points, and reserved a local Hampton Inn for five nights at a value of about $900.

The contractor then told me he needed an additional week, but my Hilton was filling up for a local event, so I took to the computer again and found a deal at a local Comfort Inn for 8,000 points per night. I transferred 40,000 points from Amex to Choice Privileges and got another $900 of value (for a slightly nicer hotel).

At about 2.25 cents per point, these awards weren’t as valuable as international business class flights, but those two weeks at essentially no charge allowed me to apply some needed dollars to the remodeling. Meanwhile, I got a ten-day vacation at two very serviceable hotels nearby. That made it easy to check up on the remodeling regularly without getting in the contractor’s way.

I’ve written before about using rewards for last-minute travel and shared other success stories from readers who saved a huge amount by booking award flights when time was short. While hotel rates don’t typically skyrocket to the extent airfare does, hotel awards can also be a great value in a pinch. Most hotel programs charge the same amount regardless of when you book, and they don’t tack on a close-in booking fee. So long as there’s availability, any premium you would normally incur for a paid stay won’t translate to your award redemption.

Ten nights at a pair of mid-level hotels near home probably isn’t what most award travelers have in mind for their points. But this story is a good example of how rewards can make life easier by giving you options. Without the ability to redeem points from Amex, Dick would have either had to pay for a hotel out of pocket or suck it up and deal with the noise and mess of the remodeling work. His award wasn’t glamorous, but it made his life more pleasant and offered a good return. That passes muster in my book.

I love this story and I want to hear more like it! In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Dick a $200 airline gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes, or to contribute to our new award redemption series. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!


Featured image by Petra Kessler via Unsplash.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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