Travel Rewards: The Nines Hotel in Portland with Starwood Points

Here’s another post in our travel rewards tips series showcasing the best ways to get maximum value out of your credit card rewards points:

The Nines Portland hotel roomPortland, Oregon is on our short-list of must-see travel spots in the US, so I’m always paying attention to rewards options to get us out there for free.  I came across Jacob’s article on I Heart Budgets about their recent trip to Portland and I was blown away by the fact that The Nines, which Frommer’s gives their top ‘3-star’ ranking, is not only included in Starwood’s rewards program, but it is only a Category 4 hotel!

(Note:  Since publication of this article, Starwood changed this to a Category 5 hotel, but there are many Category 4 hotels that still fit the description below)

Category 4 hotels only cost 10,000 Starpoints per night, so this hotel which normally costs about $400 per night is one of the absolute best values in their entire rewards system!

Opening one Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card and meeting the minimum spending requirement of $5,000 in the first six months the account is open will currently earn you 30,000 SPG points (10,000 bonus upon first purchase plus an additional 15,000 bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first six months plus 5,000 for the $5,000 of spending). Annual fee of $65 waived the first year.  This is enough for three free nights at any Category 4 Starwood hotel (see all Category 4 hotels here)!

So instead of potentially paying $1,200 for three nights at this fancy hotel, just open this credit card, meet your minimum spending requirement of $5,000 in the first six months and book the hotel.  It really is that simple because Starwood has no blackout dates, so if a standard room is available there for cash, it’s available using your Starpoints.

Even if you have no interest in visiting Portland or this one hotel, this particular credit card is one of the absolute best for travel rewards, as the Starwood redemption chart is extremely favorable.  Here’s what you can redeem for your 30,000 points:

  • Category 1 Hotels:  10 weekday nights (3,000 x 10 = 30,000) or 15 weekend nights (2,000 x 15 = 30,000)
  • Category 2 Hotels: 7 weekday nights (4,000 x 7 = 28,000) or 10 weekend nights (3,000 x 10= 30,000)
  • Category 3 Hotels: 4 nights (7,000 x 4= 28,000) or 5 consecutive nights at the same hotel with free 5th night automatically included
  • Category 4 Hotels: 3 nights (10,000 x 3 = 30,000)

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We've figured out how to avoid blackout dates and actually make this work for a regular family like ours and we want to help you do the same.

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--The New York Times' Frugal Traveler

"I couldn't believe that Brad was willing to get on the phone with me and walk me through understanding the complexity of travel rewards... I kept thinking, there's got to be a catch! But, there wasn't! Brad made it easy to understand and helped me develop a simple, focused strategy that wasn't overwhelming and could be implemented with my current budget."

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"With Brad's help my wife and I have earned hundreds of thousands of miles (and cash back as well!) over the last few months. Having Brad as a resource has been nothing short of incredible in our quest to travel cheaply."

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Comments

  1. says

    Brad, as you know we have about 60,000 Starwood points to burn. But we’re real cheapos and are looking to spend them on some 2-3 Catetory hotels, if we can. :)

    Portland is a fantastic city to walk around in. Be sure to visit the Rogue brewery/bar downtown. Good stuff!

    • says

      No need to call yourselves ‘cheapos’! I’m definitely with you guys — try to get as many free nights out of these points as you possible can. It’s all well and good when people book these crazy expensive hotels and then say they “saved” $1,000 a night, but being serious, were they really going to spend $1,000 on a hotel room for one night??

      We normally spend $100-150 per night for a room, so if we can go on a 7-10 day trip and get all our hotels paid for at “just” a Category 1-3, that’s a huge savings of actual money for us.

      • says

        Yea so true. I read many travel bloggers write about the Hyatt Vendome in Paris saying that the Hyatt card is worth $1800 since 2 nights at the Vendome is that price. Well you might be better off using the points to stay more nights at a less luxurious hotel. But if I ever make it to Paris, I just might have to check it out. It’ll be fun to travel in style once in a while.

        • says

          Agreed! My internal “worth” of a night is NOT the rack rate the hotel charges, but what I’d realistically pay to stay for a night. It’s more of an opportunity cost calculation than a ‘this is what they charge for the Park Hyatt Sydney so I’m getting all this “value” out of my points.’

          I’ve recently come across the Club Carlson card, which I’m going to detail at length in a series of future posts; it is an amazing card for people looking to really maximize the number of days they can stay for free at various hotels (especially in Europe). Stay tuned…

    • says

      I’m with you Laurie! We hate to spend a lot of money on hotel rooms, so we normally wouldn’t splurge. The thing is, these points are so easy to come by in general, that you really can splurge from time to time!

      Laura and I went to NYC and stayed at the Andaz 5th Avenue right in the heart of midtown. It was amazing!! It cost us quite a few Hyatt points, but it was such a nice luxury that we didn’t mind at all…

  2. says

    We stayed here a few years back for my wife’s bday. We upgraded to “Club Level”, with free food, wine and beer throughout the day. Only 11,500 pts a night! Loved it there, very classy and enjoyable stay :)

    • says

      You just taught me something I didn’t know! I had no idea that Starwood had these smaller upgrades for 1,000 – 2,000 points per night; I called up the SPG line to see what I could get on the Disney Swan and for 1,000 points per night they gave us a nice balcony and a better location/view. That seemed well worth it to me!

      But wow, to get free food, wine and beer sounds awesome!

    • says

      If you want to learn how to earn them and use them most effectively, we offer our free travel rewards coaching service so sign up there and we can discuss.

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