In case you don’t already do this, I highly recommend that you continue to check rates for your hotel on your travel dates even after you’ve made your reservation. It’s possible that the great rate you got could go even lower and we all love to save money, don’t we? I’ve never seen a hotel that won’t let you modify your reservation to get the lower price.
To really get a feel for this, take mental or written notes when you’re first planning your itinerary. Check both weekday and weekend rates on random dates throughout the year so you have an idea of the price range at each particular hotel. When you eventually make your reservation, you’ll know whether or not you have any wiggle room in looking out for a price drop.
For example, I have a 2 night reservation that was booked several months in advance. I’m paying for one night and using points for the second night. The AAA rate I booked at was $116/night. I decided to check again today and the rate went down to $80/night. There may still be room for the price to drop another $5 or so but I’m pretty close to bottom, if not already.
The price drop is great but keep in mind that any rate changes will also affect your award night redemption rates (if you’re redeeming points). At that point you’ll need to determine the new value of the redemption and decide whether or not it’s worth keeping or paying out of pocket.