Deciding to pay vs redeeming points is a very tough decision. There are times when one might look at the cents per point ratio, the opportunity cost, and the type points in question. For instance, I will use all my IHG points as soon as I get a chance. In the case of Hyatt hotels, if the night costs less than $500, I’d rather pay than use my points. The same goes for Marriott, why would you use 40,000 points (especially if you are converting UR points) for a hotel that costs $197 per night, unless you are broke or want to burn those points. I have found myself making this points vs cash analysis several times this year. A couple of days ago, I took a quick look at hotels in the Cusco area and it was the same situation sub-$200 per night vs 40,000 Marriott/UR points.
Each decision is very dependent on our circumstances and our mood at a given moment. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that we are happy with our choice regardless of the monetary value we get from the transaction.
How do you decide?