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Hyatt used to allow point purchases, but it was always complicated – you could only buy up to 10% of the points needed for an award- so in essence you could never buy points if you had a decent balance (though I guess you could have made dummy bookings, but that was a hassle I wasn’t willing to take).
Today they announced a much easier process, powered by points.com. Per the Hyatt rep on Flyertalk, the new price is 2.4 cents per point, up to 40,000 points a year and points can be purchased at any time – no reservation necessary.
I can really see this working in your favor if you want to stay at an expensive hotel, like the Park Hyatt Maldives or Park Hyatt Vendome Paris. At the 2.4 cents/point rate a 22,000 points category 6 hotel night can be purchased for $528 – a steal if you consider nights at many Park Hyatts can eclipse $1,000. This may even work in your favor for a 5,000 points category 1 hotel, which can be purchased for $120. Just note that you don’t earn elite status nights or points when you redeem points for stays. However, if you are trying to plan an expensive honeymoon, you can amass a bunch of free nights if you apply for the Hyatt Visa (2 free nights for $75), Chase Sapphire Preferred (fee waived for the first year and 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points which can be transferred to Hyatt) and the Daily Getaways promotion I wrote about earlier today where you can buy points for less than 1 cent a piece if you have an Amex card.
Overall, I like this change because it simplifies the process and gives an easy way to top up an account to get the award you need.