Save thousands of dollars by booking Las Vegas hotels with points during CES

Sep 26, 2019

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From Jan. 7 – Jan. 10, 2020, nearly 200,000 business executives, journalists and tech-savvy consumers will descend on the Las Vegas convention center for CES, one of the largest annual technology trade shows. This year is especially interesting for many TPG readers as the keynote speech will be delivered by the CEO of Delta Air Lines, Ed Bastian.

In addition to Bastian’s speech, Delta has promised a major presence in the conference showroom, where it will show off “trail-blazing consumer innovations impacting the future of air travel, now and for years to come.”

Vegas deals with large numbers of tourists pretty much all year round, but CES is large enough that many airlines even adjust their flight schedules to accommodate the influx of conference attendees and, as you might have guessed, most hotel rooms book up pretty far in advance — and at very high rates. However, if you’re still finalizing your plans to attend CES, you have an opportunity to potentially save thousands of dollars by using your points. There are plenty of hotels that still have award space left, which is good because cash prices are skyrocketing.

(Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

Today we’re going to take a look at some of the Las Vegas hotels that still have award availability during CES, as well as share a few tips to help you find space and maximize your redemptions. All award inventory is accurate at the time of writing, but is subject to change, so please double check before transferring any points.

Marriott

Marriott has dozens of properties in Las Vegas, with affordable lower-category options as well as some incredible high-end properties. If you’re looking for luxurious accommodations for your CES trip, consider shelling out points to stay at The Cosmopolitan, an Autograph Collection hotel. Marriott recently implemented peak and off-peak award pricing, but as of now, this category 7 hotel is still showing standard pricing for all three nights of the conference, meaning award nights will cost 60,000 points each.

This is a great deal relative to the cash prices of $846 a night, giving you a redemption value of 1.41 cents per point (TPG values Marriott points at 0.8 cents each). Unfortunately you will still have to pay the hotel’s resort fee even on award nights, which adds $44 per night to your cost.

You can also currently book the Category 5 Westin Las Vegas Hotel and Spa for 40,000 points per night (peak rate), or 120,000 points for three nights. Again, this is an excellent deal given the $521 per night cash rate. (There’s also a resort fee of $32 per night).

Marriott has a number of hotels in and around the Las Vegas convention center where CES is hosted, but unfortunately they currently only have award space available on the last night of the event. While none of these properties fall under Marriott’s more luxurious brands, you will still get a killer redemption value compared to the $550+ cash room rates.

If you happen to have any 35k free night certificates lying around from a Marriott Bonvoy credit card like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, now would be a great time to use them. The SpringHill Suites Las Vegas Convention Center, Residence Inn Las Vegas Convention Center, and Courtyard Las Vegas Convention Center all would be available for use with a 35,000 point free night certificate from Thursday Jan. 9 to Friday Jan. 10, and the $550+ you’ll save will more than make up for the annual fee on whichever Bonvoy card you hold.

Related: How to earn Marriott points

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21. Terms apply.

Hilton’s dynamic award pricing hits especially hard during major events like this, but there are still a few deals left for CES. The Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas occupies an incredible piece of real estate on the strip, and has award space available at 80,000 points per night for all three nights of CES.

Compared to cash rates of $977, you get a very respectable redemption value of 1.2 cents per point, more than double TPG’s valuation of Hilton points at .6 cents each. A number of Hilton credit cards also offer relatively unrestricted weekend night certificates either as part of their welcome bonus (like the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express) or for hitting certain spending thresholds (like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card), so if you decide to extend your stay into the weekend this is a surefire way to get an incredible value from that certificate.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, consider the Home2 Suites by Hilton Las Vegas City Center. At only 30,000 points a night, and with availability the entire week of CES, you could book three nights at this hotel with the welcome bonus from any of Hilton’s cobranded credit cards. With cash rates above $300 per night, you’d still get a great redemption value of over 1 cent per point.

Related: How to earn Hilton points

The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express is one of the most all-around compelling premium credit cards on the market, offering new applicants 150,000 Hilton points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months, as well as automatic Hilton Diamond elite status and a free weekend night certificate on account opening and each year on your account anniversary.

Hyatt

While Hyatt is generally known for having a smaller footprint, it dominates in Vegas with some of the most well-known names on the strip. While you won’t find much in the way of standard award availability, most of Hyatt’s top properties have Points + Cash availability.

Since Hyatt devalued its points+cash booking option, you’ll now need to pay 50% of the standard room rate in addition to points if you book this way. Given how high the rates at these hotels already are during CES, that makes this option significantly less attractive though still worth considering. At 10,000 points and only $350, the Mandalay Bay is one of the better deals available during the conference using Hyatt points.

Related: How to earn Hyatt points

Hyatt is a fan favorite because of the ease with which you can earn points by transferring from Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. With redemption values this high, that transfer option looks even more attractive. The following credit cards can all help you earn Hyatt points quickly:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Earn 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • World of Hyatt Credit Card: Earn up to 60,000 World of Hyatt points: 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 more Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spend on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening.

IHG

IHG has two InterContinental properties at the Venetian Resort, both of which have award availability Jan. 9 and Jan. 10, or the last two nights of CES. At 70,000 points per night these properties represent IHG’s top award category, but with cash rates for either starting at $795, this is also a great time to use your points.

If you’re looking for a single IHG property for all three nights of the conference, consider the Staybridge Suites Las Vegas for 30,000 points or ~$280 a night.

Related: How to earn IHG points

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is offering a sign-up bonus of 125,000 bonus points plus a reward night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. You’ll also earn up to 25 total points per dollar spent at IHG Hotels and Resorts.

Tips for finding availability

Around a big event like CES, you might have to be flexible with your accommodations especially if you book late. That might mean switching hotels midway through the week, or mixing up your cash and points to take advantage of sporadic award availability. If you search for award availability for the entire event and don’t like what you see, your next move should be to try searching one day at a time and see what you find.

In contrast, some hotels have a multi-night restriction during CES, so one-night stays will sometimes be harder to spot. Some hotel chains like Marriott even make it very easy to combine cash rates and award nights on the same reservation, so you don’t have to deal with multiple confirmation numbers or even maybe moving rooms. Also note that some hotels might have a two-night minimum requirement specifically imposed for an event like this, so be sure to keep that in mind.

One last tip is to think outside the box, and remember to look at non-chain hotels. You can take advantage of other hotel loyalty programs like Hotels.com or even consider paying with Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you find an attractive cash rate, but remember you’re not limited to booking with one of the major players.

Bottom line

Even though CES is a few months away, hotels are booking up quickly with cash prices climbing and award space drying up. If you’re planning on attending CES you should strongly consider locking down accommodations now. Many hotels allow penalty-free cancellation on award stays before a certain date, so there’s no harm in making plans now even if you’re not sure you’ll actually attend.

Featured photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy

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