If your already a member of Hyatt Gold Passport or you’re considering joining the program, what’s the best use of points after you’ve accumulated Hyatt points by staying at their hotels while traveling for work or taking vacations? Other people may have earned Hyatt points through credit card spending on Hyatt branded credit cards. Most people don’t have time to go through the mental gymnastics of figuring out the best use of Hyatt points after earning. Since I’m planning on staying at Hyatt hotels while traveling this summer, I decided to find the answer to that question.
I’m planning on traveling to the Middle East on my way to Australia while flying on one of the most expensive airline tickets in the world later this month. I’ll be spending two days in Abu Dhabi before leaving for Sydney. While I’m in Abu Dhabi, I’ve decided to stay at two different Hyatt hotels. On the first night, since I’ll be landing late at night, I’ll be staying at the Hyatt Capital Gate, which is closer to the airport. On the second night, I’ll be staying at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi. I’ve accumulated 20,000 Hyatt points over the past year staying at hotels while traveling for work. Since the hotel points are worthless if you don’t spend them, I wanted to figure out how to spend them on this trip and get the greatest value for it.
Points Plus Cash
The two major options for redeeming Hyatt points are: free hotel nights or upgrades to better rooms. Free hotel nights can be redeemed 100% with points or can be redeemed with a points & cash redemption (which is partially for points and partially for cash). With the upgrade option, points can be used to upgrade to a Regency / Grand Club room or to upgrade to an entry-level suite. Regency Grand Club room upgrades cost 3,000 points and Suite upgrades cost 6,000 points. Free hotel nights or points & cash redemptions have different point costs depending on the hotel category.
In the chart below, I’ve highlighted the cash costs of each hotel I plan to stay at as well as the point redemption costs (the hotel cost on Hyatt’s web site is listed in United Arab Emirates Dirham’s, but I’ve converted to US dollar costs in the chart below):
In order to determine the best use of points, I need to convert the points into the dollar cost of each of the redemption options. For the points & cash option, I’ve calculated the additional cash cost of the room not covered by the cash portion of the cash & points redemption option.
Value of Points
The final chart shows the dollar value of a Hyatt point for each of the three major redemption options (I didn’t use the Regency / Grand Club redemption option because as a Diamond member, I automatically get upgraded to that room level). As you can see from the below chart, the results are very clear, the best use of Hyatt points at either hotel is by using points to upgrade to a suite.
To put it another way, assuming I were to use 10,000 points on night 1 and 10,000 points on night 2, by redeeming points for a suite upgrade, they would be worth $764.83 at the Hyatt Capital Gate and $840.60 at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi. If I instead chose to use the points for a free hotel room (in standard room), those same 10,000 Hyatt points would be worth $65 at the Hyatt Capital Gate and $88 at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi.
In my mind, if I want to get maximum value from Hyatt points, the only logical choice is to use the points for a suite upgrade (Hyatt hotels excluded from suite upgrades). So that is exactly what I did, when I made my reservation for later this month, I used 6,000 points for a suite upgrade at the Hyatt Capital Gate on the first night and 6,000 points for a suite upgrade at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi on the 2nd night.