A guide to redeeming hotel points for Singapore staycations

Last Updated:

Should you redeem hotel points for staycations during Phase 2? Probably not, but there are exceptions.

As Singapore hotels start to reopen for staycations in Phase 2, some of you may be thinking of burning your hotel points locally. 

This is generally a bad idea, because we’re bound to see a deluge of low price deals over the next few months, with extras like F&B credits usually thrown in. Low prices usually mean that it’s less “worth it” to redeem points. 

However, there are exceptions to the rule, as we’ll see in this article. 

What are my points options for staycations?

I’m only going to talk about the major chains in Singapore, which would be:

  • Accor
  • Hilton
  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Marriott
  • Shangri-La

Choice Hotels and Wyndham also have a presence here, but their footprint is so small it’s not really worth mentioning. 

The map below lays out your options based on chain and location preference.

 

Do note that some properties may be part of a given chain, but don’t let you redeem points for stays. For example, the Ritz-Carlton Millennia is under Marriott, but does not participate in Marriott Bonvoy.

Likewise, ibis budget properties (former Fragrance Hotels) are under Accor, but don’t participate in Accor Live Limitless. I’ve excluded these from the map. 

What type of redemption system is used?

It’s important to first understand the different types of redemption mechanics that a hotel loyalty program can use, because this may make redeeming points for staycations a better or worse deal. 

There are four main types to note:

  • Fixed price, with chart
  • Variable price, with chart
  • Variable price, without chart
  • Fully dynamic

Fixed price, with chart

 Off-peakStandardPeak
Category XN/AYN/A

This is the simplest of all schemes: A room in a Category X property will always cost Y points per night, regardless of when you stay. 

This is used by Shangri-La Golden Circle and World of Hyatt. 

Variable price, with chart

 Off-peakStandardPeak
Category XY – ZYY + Z

This introduces an element of seasonality into pricing. A room in a Category X property will typically cost Y points per night, but may be adjusted to Y + Z or Y – Z depending on peak demand. 

Advertising

On the plus side, because there’s a published award chart you’ll know for sure what the minimum and maximum prices are. 

This is used by Marriott Bonvoy

Variable price, without chart

 Off-peakStandardPeak
Category X???

Here’s where things start to get more dicey. Some chains group their properties into categories, with off-peak, standard and peak dates, but don’t publish the categories or prices.

This means they’re free to move properties up or down categories at will, and although you might be able to figure out the minimum and maximum prices of the entire program, good luck mapping out which hotel “should” price at how much. 

This is used by Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards Club

Fully dynamic

 Off-peakStandardPeak
All HotelsRoom Rate/ Value per pointRoom Rate/ Value per pointRoom Rate/ Value per point

With fully dynamic redemptions, points are assigned a fixed value, e.g 1 cent per point. This means that redemption prices will always change in a fixed relationship to room prices, and removes any possibility of sweet spots. 

This is used by Accor Live Limitless

Now let’s look at the redemption options available to members of each program for Singapore staycations. 

Accor Live Limitless

Award Chart?Peak/ Off-Peak Pricing?Points + Cash?
NoN/AN/A
Redeem for F&B?Credit Card PartnersIdeal Redemption Value
Yes- must be staying guestStandard CharteredN/A

Accor points can be redeemed for hotel credit at a fixed rate of 2,000 points= €40 (~S$63). This can be used when booking your stay online at at the Accor website, or during check-out to cover the cost of incidentals like F&B or spa treatments charged to the room. 

accor points staycation

This mechanic may actually make Accor properties the best value for staycation redemptions at the moment. Given how depressed the market is, hotel prices will be lower than usual, and therefore your Accor points will go further.

Do note that not every staycation package may be payable with Accor points. If the package is only bookable through email, it may not qualify. Always check with the hotel for further information. 

Hilton Honors

Award Chart?Peak/ Off-Peak Pricing?Points + Cash?
NoYesYes
Redeem for F&B?Credit Card PartnersIdeal Redemption Value
NoAmerican Express  ≥ 0.7 SG cents

Hilton no longer has award charts, and instead prices award nights dynamically. 

Advertising

Their website has a Points Explorer feature which shows you the minimum and maximum cost of an award night at a given hotel, but because there’s no award chart, Hilton can change these at any time. 

In fact, if you look at the bottom there’s a disclaimer that says:

* Lowest Points per night that our members have booked at this hotel as of March 13, 2020. Current Points per night may vary. Maximum Points per night for a Standard Room as of March 13, 2020. Subject to change.

In other words, these prices are for illustrative purposes only. There’s no guarantee the dates you want will price according to this page (although most of the time they do). 

Assuming we use the indicative rates, my valuation of 0.7 cents per Hilton point creates the following heuristic for redemptions:

PropertyPoints RequiredRedeem if Rates >
Hilton Garden Inn Serangoon20,000 – 30,000S$140 – 210
Hilton Singapore48,000 – 60,000 S$336 – 420
Conrad Centennial 52,000- 60,000S$364 – 420

IHG Rewards Club

Award Chart?Peak/ Off-Peak Pricing?Points + Cash?
NoYesYes
Redeem for F&B?Credit Card PartnersIdeal Redemption Value
NoStandard Chartered  ≥ 0.7 SG cents

Like Hilton, IHG no longer publishes an award chart, and dynamically prices awards based on demand. 

It doesn’t have a tool to show the maximum and minimum prices for each property, so it’s hard to get “indicative” pricing. I’ve cobbled together the chart below based on random sampling, since not all properties may be available on a given date. Take it with a pinch of salt.

Advertising

My valuation of 0.7 cents per IHG point creates the following heuristic:

PropertyPoints RequiredRedeem if Rates >
HIX Serangoon12,500 S$88
HI Atrium15,000 S$105
HIX Orchard Road15,000 S$105
Hotel Indigo Katong17,500 S$123
HIX Clarke Quay17,500 S$123
HIX Katong17,500 S$123
HI Orchard City Centre25,000 S$175
Crowne Plaza Changi25,000 S$175
Regent Singapore27,500 S$193
InterContinental Singapore37,500 S$263
InterContinental Robertson Quay50,000 S$350

Interestingly enough, some of these rates look like they could give staycation packages a run for the money. For example, staycations at the InterContinental Singapore were pricing at S$330 nett, so it may be possible to get a better deal with points (you’ll need to see what extras they’re throwing in with the staycation package though). 

IHG is currently selling points with a 100% bonus, or 0.5 US cents each. Be sure to do the maths and see whether this can make sense for you. 

Marriott Bonvoy

Award Chart?Peak/ Off-Peak Pricing?Points + Cash?
YesYesYes
Redeem for F&B?Credit Card PartnersIdeal Redemption Value
NoAmerican Express  ≥ 1.1 SG cents

Marriott uses an award chart with peak, standard, and off-peak pricing, but to complicate matters, these dates are subject to change from month to month.

For example, I may want to stay at the JW Marriott South Beach, where award nights cost 40,000- 60,000 points depending on date. On 1 January 2021, I make a booking for a stay on 15 April 2021. This prices at the standard cost, or 50,000 points. 

In February 2021, I visit the Marriott website again and see that 15 April 2021 now costs 40,000 points, because the algorithm has now determined that demand for this date is low. I can cancel and rebook at the lower price, saving 10,000 points. 

Of course, it could also be that in February 2021, Marriott’s algorithm decides that 15 April 2021 should cost 60,000 points because demand for this date has increased. I’m protected in this case, and don’t need to pay any additional points. 

Advertising

Because reservations do not automatically reprice, if you book standard or peak pricing it’s advisable to check back each month to see if your dates have dropped into an off-peak or standard slot.

By that same token, if your preferred hotel is pricing at off-peak or standard rates, it may make sense to do a speculative booking to lock-in the current price. You can always cancel it later if you can’t stay, as most points reservations can be cancelled without penalty 24 hours before arrival.

My valuation of 1.1 cents per Marriott Bonvoy point creates the following heuristic for redemptions:

PropertyPoints RequiredRedeem if Rates >
Courtyard Singapore Novena30,000 – 40,000S$330 – 440
Four Points by Sheraton Riverview30,000 – 40,000S$330 – 440
Le Meridien Sentosa30,000 – 40,000S$330 – 440
Marriott Tang Plaza30,000 – 40,000S$330 – 440
Sheraton Towers30,000 – 40,000S$330 – 440
Vagabond Club30,000 – 40,000S$330 – 440
Warehouse Hotel30,000 – 40,000S$330 – 440
Westin Singapore30,000 – 40,000S$330 – 440
JW Marriott South Beach40,000 – 60,000S$440 – 660
St Regis Singapore40,000 – 60,000S$440 – 660
W Sentosa Cove40,000 – 60,000S$440 – 660
The Ritz-Carlton Millennia does not participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program

Staycation rates before the circuit breaker were pricing well below this, so it’s probably a bad idea to redeem points. 

Shangri-La Golden Circle

Award Chart?Peak/ Off-Peak Pricing?Points + Cash?
YesNoNo
Redeem for F&B?Credit Card PartnersIdeal Redemption Value
Yes- no need to stayNone
(can transfer from KrisFlyer)
 ≥ 14 SG cents

Shangri-La has a no-frills award chart without peak or off-peak pricing. 

However, given the value that Golden Circle points can command if redeemed for F&B credit (10 GC points= US$1), it’s hard to spend them on rooms. 

PropertyPoints RequiredRedeem if Rates >
JEN Orchardgateway3,500S$485
JEN Tanglin3,500S$485
Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa5,000S$695
Shangri-La Hotel6,500S$900

For reference, pre-circuit breaker staycation rates at the JEN Tanglin and JEN Orchardgateway were S$187++ and S$238++ respectively. Chope was even selling a S$288 nett staycation package at the Shangri-La. 

World of Hyatt

Award Chart?Peak/ Off-Peak Pricing?Points + Cash?
YesNoYes
Redeem for F&B?Credit Card PartnersIdeal Redemption Value
Yes- no need to stayNone  ≥ 2.4 SG cents

Hyatt was supposed to introduce peak pricing from March 2020, but Covid-19 has put those plans on hold. All properties will price at the standard rates for the rest of 2020. 

My valuation of 2.4 cents per Hyatt point creates the following heuristic for redemptions:

PropertyPoints RequiredRedeem if Rates >
The Outpost Hotel15,000S$360
Andaz Singapore20,000S$480 
Grand Hyatt Singapore20,000S$480 
The Barracks Hotel25,000S$600 

Before the circuit breaker, we were seeing weekend/public holiday staycation rates of S$220 nett at the Andaz, s$230++ at The Outpost and S$185++ at the Grand Hyatt. Assuming those rates return, it’d be very difficult to justify burning points, especially considering the additional perks staycation packages usually come with (e.g F&B credit, late check-out). 

As a reminder, Hyatt is currently offering 15% pointsback on all award bookings, valid for stays and experiences consumed by 8 October 2020. 

Conclusion

Barracks Hotel Singapore
Barracks Hotel Singapore- redeemable with World of Hyatt points

I’ve based the above analysis on my own ideal redemption value, but your valuation may be different. It very much depends on whether you’re earning points as a by-product of your spending (lower cost), or buying them explicitly when they go on sale (higher cost).

For example, it’s silly to accept a value of 0.4 US cents per point when you bought Hilton points at 0.5 US cents each, but if you earned Hilton points as a by-product of your American Express card, it’s a different story. Credit cards in Singapore are generally terrible for earning hotel points anyway, although we occasionally get a good deal thrown our way. 

If staycation rates and points rates work out to roughly the same, it probably makes more sense to pay cash. Remember that you’ll earn points on your credit card, and possibly with the hotel loyalty program too (some staycation rates are excluded from earning points). 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

Similar Articles

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] kind of thing. But that’s another different level altogether. Aaron from The Mile Lion is pretty good with that so head over to his blog for […]

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

Advertisment

Featured Deals

Advertisment

Follow us

5,975FansLike
2,641FollowersFollow

RECENT COMMENTS

TAGS