Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Limited Time Offer ends 11/8/2017. Terms Apply.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Also Hertz President's Circle status, 2 free checked bags, and more.
If you enjoy staying at independent hotels as unique as the places you visit, Stash Hotel Rewards points could be a good bet for award nights. The Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card currently offers 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days from account opening. The card comes with an $85 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. This offer expires on November 16, 2017.
Over 100 boutique hotels in the United States, the Caribbean and Panama are available with Stash points. In turn, the 50,000 point bonus could easily turn into two or more nights at one of their member hotels.
The 50,000 bonus is five-times bigger than the usual sign-up bonus for only 50 percent more spend, which is the best offer we have ever seen for this card. We think you can get about $500 worth of hotel stays with the bonus. On top of that, the card earns 3X points at participating Stash hotels and 2X points at all hotels, restaurants and gas stations.
On the downside, the 50,000 point bonus is not the best available credit card bonus for hotel stays. The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card currently offers 80,000 points to qualified accounts with a minimum spending requirement. Earlier in 2017, the bonus was as large as 100,000 points. Marriott Rewards have additional flexibility because they transfer to Starwood Preferred Guest points: three Marriott points equal one Starpoint.
If you enjoy staying at places that break the chain hotel look, or travel often to an area with a Stash Hotel Rewards partner, the Stash Hotel Rewards Visa could give you a good bonus for the minimum spend. Otherwise, you may have more trouble finding and booking a hotel than the points are worth.
Unlike other hotel rewards programs, Stash Hotel Rewards doesn’t have a set award chart. Instead, prices are variable based on the hotel, room type and demand.
While you can book most hotels with points directly through the Stash website, some do not publish their immediate rate availability, meaning you will have to request availability through the Stash Hotel Rewards website. In these situations, Stash will respond in one business day with points pricing, and you will have 24 hours to book.
When we searched, point value ranged from 0.8 cents per point on the West Coast and in New York, up to 1.2 cents on the Gulf Coast. Stash points trend higher as a better value than Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards Club points, but lower than World of Hyatt points.
But one of the problems we ran into during our searches were finding available rooms, especially for the more luxurious destinations. The only hotel available in Panama, the Casa Cayuco Eco Adventure Lodge, doesn’t publish their rates on the Stash website. Other hotels in the Caribbean, such as the Blue Haven Resort and Marina in Turks and Caicos, had a very limited number of rooms. The only awards we could find were in the middle of hurricane season, but at a value of 1.1 cent per point.
You can use Stash Hotel Rewards points to book participating independent boutique properties in North and Central America. Some of our favorite locations available on points include:
The Buccaneer – U.S. Virgin Islands
Built on a hilltop overlooking the ocean with history dating back to the 18th century, The Buccaneer caters to family travelers with crab races and treasure hunts, to couples who want to dine on the beach. We found mid-week awards for 28,400 throughout the summer and fall (a $299 value), giving you a value of just over one cent per point.
Perdido Beach Resort – Orange Beach, Alabama
Located on the border of Florida and Alabama, the Perdido Beach Resort sits right on the sands of the gulf coast. Awards can go for as little as 7,900 points per night (a savings of $94) in the winter, up to 21,500 points per night for a weekend stay in the summer, for a value of 1.2 cents per point.
The Betsy Southbeach – Miami, Florida
Just a short walk to the beach, The Betsy Southbeach is one of the top rated independent resorts in one of Miami’s most opulent district. Late summer retreats to this destination can go for as little as 27,300 points per night, for a value of 1.1 cents per point.
What are the card benefits?
The most value from this card comes from earning Stash points with every purchase, and using those points for hotel stays. You can earn 3X points when spending at Stash participating hotels, 2X points on all hotels, dining and gas, and one point per dollar spent everywhere else. Plus, when you use your Stash points for hotel rooms, you will get 10 percent back for being a cardholder.
While the card does come with an $85 annual fee, it is waived for the first year. The card also has no foreign transaction fees.
Can I “double dip” by using the Stash Hotel Rewards Visa on their website?
Yes: When using your Stash Hotel Rewards Visa to book a Stash Reward Member hotel, you will earn 8X points – 5X for booking the member hotel, and 3X from the card. You will also earn 3X points at other hotels booked through the Stash Hotel Rewards website: 2X from using the credit card for your hotel, and one point per dollar for using the website.
What else can I use Stash points for?
You can only use Stash Hotel Rewards points for hotel stays. Points cannot be used for credits at hotels, or be traded for gift cards and cash. You can’t transfer points to other Stash accounts or loyalty programs, either.
Can you get this offer if you had the card before?
According to the terms and conditions, the 50,000 points bonus offer is available for new accounts only. If you currently hold the Stash Hotel Rewards Visa, you may not qualify for the bonus.
Can a couple get two cards?
Yes: Each cardholder with their own card can earn a maximum of 50,000 bonus points. You can’t combine points into a single account, but you can book hotels for someone else out of your account.
If you would rather have the attention of independent hotels over elite status with a hotel chain, and can book all of your hotels through Stash Hotel Rewards, you could gain long-term value with the Stash Hotel Rewards Visa Signature card. With bonuses available for booking all hotels and low-cost awards at beachfront boutique properties, you can earn points fast and turn them around just as easy for hotel rooms.
When hotel loyalty is not your priority, another flexible rewards card may be better for your spending habits. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® currently offers 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points to new cardholders after spending $4000 in the first three months the account is open. Our calculator estimates this bonus can provide as much as $1,060 in rewards for the first year. However, you may not qualify for this bonus if you have opened five credit cards in the last 24 months, or have closed any Chase Sapphire card in the past two years.
If you are okay being locked into one hotel program, both the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express each offer a lot of points for new accounts. The Marriott Rewards card offers 80,000 Marriott Rewards points, while the Starwood Preferred Guest card offers 25,000 bonus Starpoints, after meeting minimum spending requirements with each card. Both points programs can be combined into one account, potentially giving you over 150,000 Marriott Rewards points or over 50,000 Starpoints.
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