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Complete Guide to Hyatt Rewards Chapter 2: Best Use of Hyatt Points

The Complete Guide to Hyatt Rewards


Chapter 2:
Redeeming Hyatt Rewards Points

Introduction

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 award chart

All-Inclusive Hotels

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:

Hyatt All inclusives

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.

Club room upgrade

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.
lounge food hyatt
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.
Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 11.58.43 AM

 

Figuring out which suite you’ll get

Hyatt suites
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.

rooms suite

 

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.

lounge access

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.
maximum 3

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

cash plus pointsTraditionally, 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 plus cash hyatt
 

Points for upgrades

suite 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

welcomeAs 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.

  • Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, Colorado
  • Park Hyatt New York, New York
  • Park Hyatt Sydney, Australia
  • Park Hyatt Tokyo, Japan
  • Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Republic of Maldives
  • Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, France
  • Park Hyatt Milan, Italy
  • Park Hyatt Zurich, Switzerland
  • 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.
    free night cert Tokyo

    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.

    If you’re looking for properties to align with your travel schedule you can try checking my Complete Map of Hyatt Hotels (by category), or Hyatt’s list of hotels by category.

     

    Best Category 4 Hyatt Hotels

     
    A couple other things to mention that could make a stay a little more rewarding…

    happy anniversaryThe 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:

  • Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Australia
  • Park Hyatt Toronto, Canada
  • Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Grand Hyatt Seattle, USA
  • Park Hyatt Hamburg, Germany
  • Hyatt Regency Boston, USA
  • Hyatt Regency Cologne, Germany
  • Park Hyatt Saigon, Vietnam
  • Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, Thailand
  • 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.
    low category hyatts
    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

  • Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
  • Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
  • Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
  • In general airport hotels.
  • Best Category 2 Redemptions

  • Grand Hyatt Santiago
  • Park Hyatt Mendoza
  • Grand Hyatt Amman
  • Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
  • Follow These Links to Keep Learning

  • Continue on to Chapter 1: Earning Hyatt Gold Passport Points
  • Continue on to Chapter 2: Best Use of Hyatt Points
  • Continue on to Chapter 3: Hyatt Status
  •  
     
     

    click to see chapter 1

    click to see chapter 3- right

    Related Posts:

    11 Comments

    1. A ton of info to absorb. Thanks. For the 3 night minimum on awards, is that for suites only?

      Reply
      • Yep. Thank you.

        Reply
    2. St Louis is a steal at cat2. Perfect location next to Arch. Don’t forget HR Montreal, also a cat2, also in the heart of the city. But I think possibly the best deal in the system is the recently down-leveled HR Vancouver as cat3. There’s a city I would go back to in a heartbeat any time, and it’s much more expensive than the first 2.

      Reply
      • Ya know, I’ve never been to Vancouver. I hear only good things and Carrie wants to go. Montreal is a great deal.

        Reply
    3. I definitely agree about the grand Hyatt Santiago. High cash price, low points price.
      HR st Louis is really nice as well. I Said in an email to them that it would be great if an upgrade to an arch view were available for a diamond member and when I arrived I had the most amazing room with a giant window facing the arch and of course the river as well. It was so beautiful. I only wished that I had my family with me to share it. Since they weren’t along, I did invite some friends to stay and enjoy the room with me. One of those wonderful surprises that keeps me interested in status.

      Reply
      • Funny, that’s two votes for the HR st louis. I haven’t been there in so long but I kind of assumed that the hotel prices weren’t as expensive as say the Hyatt Santiago (at which we had lounge access where they brought up Sushi from the Japanese restaurant all evening!). But sounds like a great upgrade.

        Reply
      • I was kind of seconding what the italdesign said about it being a great location near the arch and cheap. I’m not sure I’d go there just because it’s cheap on points. My best friend lives in St Louis, so I visit fairly often and stay out by them in the burbs, but this last time I went by myself (without my fam) and stayed downtown in the HR. The hotel was really nice and the neighborhood around it seemed safe and was said to be so by the staff, but I didn’t feel safe at all when I was changing from the amtrak to the local commuter line at the main station. I had one of those weird incidents where I was just sort of minding my own business and had a guy walk by and say something fairly disturbing to me, which could only loosely be described as a pick up line. It was broad, broad daylight and really gave me the creeps for the rest of the day.
        So, I used to say that I loved St Louis when we were doing stuff in a big two family lots of kids kind of group, but I’d be much warier going there on my own again. I’d be sure that I’d worked out my route to the hotel beforehand, and maybe even take a taxi instead of the subway.

        Reply
    4. Should note ph saigon closed a few days ago for reno. Was looking to use my cert night of 3/1. One day too late! Would be nice if it’s still cat 4 after reno.

      As for the 3000 point club upgrades. Does that also apply to c+p?

      Is there a way to upgrade to club on a points stay? Or just cancel and re book?

      Fireworks from GH hkg for CNY were epic.

      Reply
    5. I knew you could upgrade paid stays to a suite using points, but I didn’t know that you could book suites using points. Thanks! Do all Hyatt’s allow this? Does the suite cost vary between the hotels? Is the only way to determine availability and number of points by calling Hyatt Gold Passport?

      Thanks for the informative post.

      Reply
    6. Great post, tons of detail – thanks! I will try the regular night – club night at the Hyatt Kathmandu later this year, will see if it’s worth the extra points at that property…

      Reply
    7. Was trying to do points upgrade to Club level from P&C booking at GH Kauai. They told me over the phone that they do not offer points upgrades to Club at this property. In your experience is this seasonal? I don’t see GH Kauai in their list of excluded properties…
      Love the blog, thanks for sharing your insights!!

      Reply

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    We have spent the majority of our marriage traveling full time, living out of hotels.   All the while, we list our expenses publicly, budgeting $25,000 a year for our nomadic life while still staying in mostly 4 or 5 star hotels across ~20 countries a year.
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