Senator Menendez might be completely inocent when it comes to other charges, but who on earth would waste 650,000 MR points for 3 nights at the Park Hyatt Vendome? Well, that’s Bob Menendez! I would hope that as part of his sentence he is also required to learn about how to maximize points and miles.
It’s a simple as this, you could get the same room Senator Menendez got for the same 3 nights for as little as 99,000 Hyatt or Chase UR points! There is just so much one can do with so many MR points! The most value would undoubtedly come from transferring to those points to airlines for trips to Europe or Asia in business or first class. As a rule of thumb, the senator should know that MRs are typically very low value when used for hotels.
However, Mr. Menendez could have transferred his MRs to SPG at a poor 3:1 ratio and still done better than what he did. For instance The Price De Galles goes for a little over 25,000 Starpoints per night, while the W is costing a bit over 17,000 points per night. Once his MRs were on the SPG account, the NJ lawmaker could have transferred those points to Marriott and once again have close to 650,000 points, but now in Marriott currency. It would have been easy to find space at the Renaissance Paris Vendome (near the Park Hyatt) for 45,000 Marriott points per night. All other top Marriott hotels go for 40,000 points a night or less. Yet, the best use of those points would have been to book a 7 night stay at one of the top Marriotts in Paris and get 132,000 United miles for 390,000 Marriott points. This means, Mr. Menendez could have stayed at one of Paris very best hotels, traveled in business class and have 260,000 MR points left!