Accumulating many hotel points among various hotel chains inevitably leads to the same questions when traveling to a new city: Which hotel in this city is best for a points redemption? Which hotel requires the least amount of points? Can I use my free-night certificates, and is it worth it? In order to answer these questions, you typically need to open the website of each hotel chain and do repeated calculations, or you need to find a very experienced friend to discuss. Luckily, you don’t have to go to this trouble any longer!
Our strategic partner, Yeek (www.yeekapp.com), has in our opinion developed a premier search engine for searching for hotel redemptions, including points and free-night certificate redemptions. The use of Yeek is very simple and clear. Below I show you how to use this really awesome tool!
- 1. Sort by “Cash Rate | Asc(ending)”
- 2. Sort by “Points Value Percent | Desc(ending)”: the most valuable redemption
- 3. Sort by “Points Redeem Value | Asc(ending)”: the cheapest redemption
- 4. Sort by “Cash Rate | Desc(ending)”: the best free night
- 5. Other filtering / sorting options
- 6. Detail page
1. Sort by “Cash Rate | Asc(ending)”
This is the default setting. Let’s assume you are looking for a hotel room in Chicago. After entering Chicago in the Yeek search box, select “Chicago, IL, United States” from the drop-down box and enter the date you want. Next you will see the five major hotel chains: Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, and IHG (other hotels are not included in Yeek). The default sort is the price from low to high by cash rate. Next to “Cash Rate,” there is a “90 Day Average Cash Rate.” If your dates are flexible, you can use this data to determine if you should attempt to travel on a different date.
2. Sort by “Points Value Percent | Desc(ending)”: the most valuable redemption
Most credit-card churners are more interested in redemption value than the absolute number of points required for a redemption. Click “Filter” and you can see a variety of sorting options! A common request for people who have accumulated a bunch of points through credit cards may be “sort by points value percent | desc(ending),” as shown in the following figure. Using this method, we can see the most valuable redemption options based on a particular valuation of each point currency. For example, you can see below that the Hyatt Regency O’Hare would cost $229 per night or only 8,000 points, for a redemption value of 2.86 cents per point, 59.03% higher than the estimated Hyatt points value!
Yeek provides filters for “points value percent” instead of “points value” because the value of different types of points are different. For example, if we ranked hotel points according to their individual points value, SPG hotel points would have a higher value than, say, IHG. Therefore, sorting by the redemption rate and relative value of the different points provides more useful information. In the above example, we can see that a points redemption of 2.86 cents per point at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare would give us a 59.03% value greater than our estimated or expected redemption value when redeeming Hyatt points.
The formula for points value percent is:
(Points Value – Estimated Points Value) / Estimated Points Value = PV Percent
If this value is positive, it is likely a worthy redemption over paying cash. The more positive the value is, the better the redemption is. If this value is negative, the points redemption is below the estimated redemption value for that points program and may not be a good redemption. Remember, this is not absolute and you may have your own points valuations. While only you can decide if a redemption is a good value, Yeek provides a quick and easy estimate.
Yeek uses the following points valuations from The Points Guy:
- SPG 2.7 cent per point (c/p)
- Hyatt 1.8 c/p
- Marriott 0.9 c/p
- IHG 0.7 c/p
- Hilton 0.6 c/p
As we all know, these estimated values are too high. These valuations are only being used temporarily, and we may be able to do a more objective valuation model based on real data. In the future, Yeek will introduce customized settings, where you will be able to register to set your own point value estimates. Please look forward to it!
3. Sort by “Points Redeem Value | Asc(ending)”: the cheapest redemption
The “points redeem value” is defined as follows:
All Points Rate * Estimated Points Value = Points Redeem Value
Points redeem value is defined because points are a currency, and each point is worth something different. The value of 10,000 SPG points and the 10,000 Hilton points is different. The points redeem value takes into account the exchange rate between each point system and USD to create a valuation, and then uses this exchange rate to compare that points value in USD to the cost of the hotel. The lower the points redeem value is, the cheaper the redemption is.
4. Sort by “Cash Rate | Desc(ending)”: the best free night
This type of sorting is ideal for redeeming free night certificates issued by some credit cards (for example, Chase IHG). Let’s say I want to determine how to make the best use out of my IHG free night certificate in Chicago. To do this, we can choose to sort by ascending cash rate, and then choose only IHG from the hotel-chains filter. From this, we can see that the most valuable hotel at which to use our free-night certificate for that day is the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, as it is the most expensive IHG hotel.
5. Other filtering / sorting options
If the default search range is too large, we can adjust the search radius.
If you are not familiar with the specific brands within each hotel chain and just want to see the hotel group logo, you can click “advanced” and choose “show the hotel group logo.”
There are some additional filter and sort options that are not listed here. Download Yeek and give it a try for yourself!
6. Detail page
Click any hotel from list and you can see details about that particular hotel, including map location, and details regarding the points-redemption and cash rate mentioned above. Yeek also provides some great trend graphs, which makes understanding the historical data easy.
By using the different sort functions of Yeek, it is convenient and easy to find the most valuable/cheapest hotel redemption options in a particular city! For some cities, it may not be possible to find a good, high value of redemption (for example, New York). This can easily be seen in Yeek, and then you’ll know it is better to pay by cash instead of points.
If you have any questions about Yeek, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments! Also, please recommend the website to your friends if your think Yeek (www.yeekapp.com) is a worthwhile hotel search tool!