With respect to getting a better view with the standard room vs. executive room, don't count on it. We had the executive room which was bigger than a standard room, however, all we had was a view of a courtyard. However, this room was probably the quietest room I have ever stayed in which was impressive given the volume of the most popular street in Paris. The hotel was great, I would opt for the quiet and the room over the potential of a view of a busy/noisy street.
We traded with points which was a great value given the low value of the US dollar when we went last year.