It looks like Lucky and I have come to the same conclusion… Starwood Cash and Points reservations are now more available than they were before the cash and points award chart was changed yesterday. I spent a
unhealthy healthy amount of time playing with cash and points reservations in the days and weeks leading up to the award chart change, so there are some properties that I am pretty familiar with in terms of availability. I locked in all the cash and points reservations I could before the change, but there were some properties I was interested in that just didn’t have much, if any, cash and points availability. I can’t say that has changed across the board (in the 36 hours since the award chart change), but it is much better for several of the properties that I routinely check.
Here are a few of the examples that I have been keeping an eye on that previously had no or very limited cash and points availability, but now are much improved:
Westin Whistler Resort and Spa (during ski season): 6,000 SPG points + $110 per night
Walt Disney World Swan (Westin) & Dolphin (Sheraton): 5,000 SPG points + $75
Westin Beaver Creek Resort & Spa (during ski season): 6,000 SPG points + $110 per night
The Liberty Hotel in Boston: 6,000 SPG points + $110 per night
W New York: 10,000 SPG points + $180 per night
Of course some of the properties that are now both higher in category and higher in cash and points price may not be a great deal even if they are available, but I am happy to see some tangible improvement in cash and points availability. I am not swimming in SPG points, so cash and points reservations help me to stretch my points out further by supplementing with cash. I am personally really eyeing the Westin Whistler resort during ski season. Rooms are often close to $500 per night, and can go for as many as 16,000 SPG points per night during peak season, so 6,000 SPG points + $110 per night seems a lot more realistic!
If you want to get a quick overview of availability for a specific property, then check a date for cash and points availability, then select “Browse dates/rates”. Then select “Cash and Points availability”. This will show you a good overview of availability.
Have you found cash and points availability to be any better for the properties you are interested in? If you are curious, there is also a thread on Flyertalk that is pointing out some properties that have increased cash and points availability. I hate that these type of awards are more expensive than they used to be, but if they indeed continue to become more available than they were before, then it isn’t such a bad change overall.