Redeeming Hyatt Rewards Points
Award nights start at 5,000 points a night and go up to 30,000 points. But it’s a great deal compared to most chains. 5,000 points for a low end reward is about as good as it gets. On the top end, there are only 8 Hyatt hotels worldwide that are category 7s and therefore the top-tier goes for 30,000 points a night. And the hotels that are in the top categories can be the kind of hotels that are $1,000 a night.
One thing to know about any award night is that there has to be award availability, which is almost always only for standard rooms. This is pretty easy to check on Hyatt.com, as you can just check the box “Show Hyatt Gold Passport Points” when viewing the results for a search.
Hyatt recently decided to get into the market of all-inclusives and started buying/building resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. The pricing is slightly different than regular hotels, and you may need to call to book. I wouldn’t value a hotel in Puerto Vallarta nearly as much as one in Jamaica for a number of reasons, in this case because of the general rate of hotels in the areas. Still, this can be a good deal for someone looking for a luxury all-inclusive experience.
Here are the award prices:
Points for Club Rooms
When viewing results you may notice two award prices for two different room types. This is because you have the option to use points to book a “club room” online.
The difference between a club room and a standard room can vary greatly from hotel to hotel. But in general the rooms are nicer and it gives you access to the “club lounge”. The club lounge usually serves cocktails and hor dourves in the evening, and a breakfast in the morning.
The amount of food in a club lounge can be as great as a restaurant (like our experience in some hotels in Thailand/SE Asia) and as poor as microwaved chicken nuggets or a little bit of chips and salsa (like most of our experiences in Central America).
To decide if it’s worth it, you first need to read the description of the room that you can find in the booking process.
This will give the general differences in the room. To find out the details of how good the hor dourves are, I usually search for the flyertalk thread on the hotel and read about people’s experiences at the lounge. While I find that there are an absurd number of reviews on there that state “it’s the best club lounge in Asia!”, you can at least get a general idea of what the food will be like.
Points for Suites
Another option for using points for award nights is for suites, but the rules are a little different. Sometimes only 1,000 points more than a Club Room it can be an awesome deal for families, and the best part is that some suites still come with lounge access.
Figuring out which suite you’ll get
You can’t book online awards for suite rooms, and therefore you need to call in this award. But how do you know which room you’ll get? You may think that you can just go over to the cash rate and look at the first suite, but the problem is that sometimes the lowest level suite (which is what would be available for points) is sold out and not showing on the cash rate.
To find what the lowest level suite actually is, you need to click over to the hotel’s website and click the “ROOMS” tab. From there you need to click the “SUITES” tab over on the right.
The first suite you see here is the only suite available for points with the special suite awards. Then the only way to make sure it’s available is to check if it’s still for sale with cash, and then call in.
Suites with lounge access and person limit?
While you’re at the suite description, check out the details regarding lounge access and how many people are allowed in a room, which is extra-relevant for families. Also, it may have a couple pictures to flip through to get an idea for the room itself.
Simply put, in the description it will say something like “with access to the lounge” or “access to the club”, or something similar.
Below in the bullet point listed details usually you’ll see a maximum person limit. If it’s not listed you just have to look at the cash rate and keep adding people and hitting search again. Searching for 3 people and if the room is still there, then try searching for 4 people and seeing if the suite goes away.
Unfortunately Hyatt has a minimum of a 3 night award for their nicest properties. “Minimum 3-night award stay required at Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and Hyatt Resorts.”
And in the case of “Hyatt House” you would just get the room above the standard room, which is definitely not worth it.
These have the same property exemptions as last time. Can not book suites for:
Suite Free Night Awards are not valid at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort , Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Hyatt Regency Tulsa, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt Manila City of Dreams, Hyatt Santa Barbara, Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Hyatt Place hotels and M life resorts.
Hyatt Cash + Points
Traditionally, I’m not a big fan of cash + points and if I’m paying cash at all, hopefully it’s towards a promotion earning me a ton of points. But there are a number of situations that would make it a great idea.
The fact that cash + points nights still earn elite night credits could be helpful for those going for Diamond status.
Besides elite night credit, it works like a paid night in that you can use points to upgrade to a suite.
Points for upgrades
If you have a paid night, you can upgrade that night to a club room for 3,000 points a night, or upgrade to a suite for 6,000 points a night. This is a pretty great deal, especially at nicer properties that you would be paying for anyways. The advantage is again, club lounge access or a suite for more people with possible lounge access.
Here are a list of hotels that don’t participate:
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort , Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Hyatt Regency Tulsa, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt Manila City of Dreams, Hyatt Santa Barbara, Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Hyatt Place hotels and M life resorts.
Best Uses of Hyatt Rewards Points
Free Nights from Credit Card
As mentioned in the section on earning Hyatt Points, you get two free nights for signing up for the Hyatt credit card. The beauty of these two free nights is that they can be used at any hotel in the world, including their most expensive properties.
For me the best use of these free nights would be to pick properties where I definitely would not pay the cash rate nor use points because the price would be too high. After all, I already have Hyatt points and points with other programs. So when I do use free night certs, it’s just one certificate no matter what property I pick, and so I’ll pick cities that are really expensive.
We could use the top category redemptions of Hyatt points to gauge which properties are best. Here are the category 7 properties.
These are the hotels that Hyatt decided are worth the top price in terms of points – 30,000 Hyatt points a night. However, there are a number of other hotels that are also very nice, and also very expensive that are in other categories, but that’s a good starting point.
Personally, I try to imagine what my travel plans might be in the next year and see if there are any expensive locations where I might not have better options, or the hotel is simply a great option, like the list above.
For example, when we stayed at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the price in points and cash for hotels in downtown Tokyo were already absurd, so using a free night was great.
Best Category 4 Hyatt Hotels
A couple other things to mention that could make a stay a little more rewarding…
The free night that you get every year after the annual fee kicks in again is for category 4 hotels. You can check the entire list of category 4 Hyatts here (or by visiting the complete map). Of course, you can use your cert at all categories 1 through 4.
Still, there are a few standout properties worth mentioning here. Here are some notable hotels to redeem your category 4 cert for:
There are way more amazing hotels out there, but these were some I noticed as great hotels and locations that happen to also be worth a lot of money.
How To Use Free Night Certs
When it comes to availability, free night certs are treated like any other awards in that any (category 1-4) rate that has award availability will be eligible for booking with your free night cert. However, to book with your cert you must first find it in your account.
Follow these instructions to find and book with your cert:
Log in to Hyatt
1. Click “Account Details”
2. Click “My Awards”
3. Click “Reserve”
4. Search for location or hotel name from here.
What Is The Best Use of Hyatt Points
While it’s pretty obvious that the best use of a free night cert might as well be the nicest hotel possible and within your travels. But when it comes to using points it’s more of a debate.
Some people use points to chase the nicest hotels and have the most luxurious experiences. We tend to err on the side of having more free nights instead of nicer hotels.
With that in mind, here are some examples of great low category redemptions.
Best Category 1 Redemptions
Best Category 2 Redemptions
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