As many of you know, I'm on my way in a few days to the good ol' USA visiting civil war sites with my son, Houston, and a County collecting trip around Texas. In October my wife and daughter are visiting New York staying in Times Square.

Question... And I always ask myself this one, I have the points, but do I use them? Do I pay cash or do I redeem? These are the best rates I could get, and I have the points to redeem against everything but that would leave me empty and I don't want that. I also have a Cat5 certificate expiring this year to use as well. All rates include taxes...

Let's see what you think, all y'all (still practisin' ma' Texan)

All rates are for 1 night:

01. Cat 1 Courtyard - 7,500 or $190

02. Cat 2 Residence Inn - 10,000 or $140

03. Cat 2 Residence Inn - 10,000 or $170

04. Cat 3 Marriott FS - 15,000 or $70

05. Cat 5 Courtyard - 25,000 or $100

06. Cat 5 Springhill Suites - 25,000 or $130

07. Cat 5 Renaissance - 25,000 or $180

08. Cat 6 Marriott FS - 30,000 or $160

09. Cat 7 Autograph - 35,000 or $220

10. Cat 9 Renaissance - 45,000 or $600

Personally, I chose to pay for some and redeem for others, but what would you choose?

Make your choices folks, pay or redeem?

The first thing I would do is to consider where to use the certificate knowing that it will expire soon. I always go with the highest category property eligible on the list. With 3 cat 5s, I'd then pick the most expensive, so the cert gets used at the Renaissance.

There are a few obvious "pay" choices. The $70 FS Marriott and the $100 CY. The $130 SHS is also a good "pay" options. The $220 Autograph is a tricky one for me. The points redemption value is not that great, but my points balance is high enough that I might consider using points over cash. Looking at it from strictly a value proposition, it would have to be cash.

The clear "points" redemption is the cat 9 Renaissance. The cat 1 and cat 2 properties are good choices as well based on the value of the points redeemed. The only thing that might make me consider paying for any of these low cat rooms would be the MegaBonus. If I knew one or two additional nights would be enough for the next tier of points, I'd give that some thought and start switching from points to cash with the lowest priced rooms first. Anything more than 2 nights to reach the next level wouldn't be worth considering.

So my results are (with the caveats noted above)