Medellín is a major city, but there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to points hotels: IHG fields an InterContinental and a Holiday Inn Express, Hilton has a Hampton by Hilton, and there’s a Four Points by Sheraton under the Starwood banner. Based on room rates, location and the fact that the Marriott opened late last year, I decided to stay there.

For the nights I needed, standard rooms were going for $195 per night. The hotel is a Marriott Category 3 property where award nights cost 15,000 points each (or 5,000 Starpoints if you convert them from Starwood Preferred Guest to Marriott Rewards). This is subject to change, though, when the new, unified award chart is released.

At 1.3 cents per Marriott point or 3.9 cents per Starpoint, a points redemption would definitely have been worth it. But the paid rate wasn’t unreasonable, and I wanted to continue building up my points balance, so I decided to pay for my room instead.

As a Marriott Gold, I earned 12.5 points per dollar on my stay, and I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the bill.