The South By Southwest conference and festival floods the city of Austin with visitors for 10 days every spring, causing hotel prices to skyrocket.
For those not on the company tab, that could mean paying hundreds of dollars per night if you want to stay anywhere near the action downtown.
But, if you have a stockpile of hotel points, you could stay for free.
Keep in mind, under normal circumstances most hotel points are valued at only about a half a cent, though Hyatt and SPG points are more valuable.
During SXSW you could get amazing value out of your points.
Here are some options:
Night 1: Hyatt Regency Austin
A Hyatt point is worth: ~6.6 cents. Woah!
Or use points:
Night 2: Sheraton Austin
An SPG point is worth: ~2.3 cents.
Pay at least $229 in cash or this in points:
Sunday and Monday nights were a struggle, as everything in downtown is sold out.
But there is an option only a few miles north.
Nights 3-4: Hyatt Place Austin-North Central
A Hyatt point is worth: ~3.75 cents.
Whew, options are starting to open up.
Night 5: Hotel Indigo, Austin Downtown
An IHG point is worth: ~1 cent.
Pay cash: $400
Or points: 40K
Have a bunch of Marriott points?
First, a Marriott point is worth ~2 cents if you stay here:
Or, here, where your Marriott point is worth ~1.7 cents:
Night 6: Holiday Inn Express – Austin Downtown
An IHG point is worth: ~1.3 cents.
Check it out:
Night 7: Hyatt Regency Austin
A Hyatt point is worth: ~2.6 cents.
Want some stability for Tuesday through Sunday? Stay 5 nights at this awesome hotel:
A Hyatt point is worth: ~2.7 cents.
Or for another great Hyatt option Wednesday through Sunday:
A Hyatt point is worth: ~3.3 cents.
So, there are quite a few options for staying in Austin for free during SXSW.
I used AwardMapper to determine what hotel options there are for each chain in downtown Austin.
Don’t have any points?
Please comment if you have any of your own tips for staying affordably in Austin during SXSW.