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Now through June 30, 2013, Hyatt is offering up to a 30% bonus on Gold Passport points purchases. The bonuses are hard-coded into the buy points page, so you don’t have to register, and here’s how the bonus works based on how many points you buy:
- Purchase 1,000 to 9,000 points and get a 10% bonus
- Purchase 10,000 to 29,000 points and get a 20% bonus
- Purchase 30,000 to 40,000 points and get a 30% bonus
Normally, Hyatt points cost 2.4 cents each. With this promo, however, when you purchase 1,000-9,000 points the 10% bonus brings the cost per point to 2.2 cents each. When you buy 10,000-29,000 points, you receive a 20% bonus and points cost 2 cents each. Finally, when you purchase 30,000-40,000 points, the 30% bonus brings the cost per point to 1.85 cents apiece. You can only purchase up to 40,000 Gold Passport points for yourself a year.
As usual, it rarely makes sense to make a big points purchase if you don’t have a specific award stay in mind. Especially since even at 1.85 cents, these might be a bit overpriced. However, if you have a particular award stay you’re gunning for and not upcoming opportunities to earn Hyatt points, purchasing enough points to top up might make sense.
There are a couple other cases where I would think about it personally, for example. With this promo, you could buy 34,000 points for $816 and get an additional 10,200 for a total of 44,200.
That’s enough for two free nights at any top-tier Category 6 hotel including the Park Hyatt Sydney (where I want to stay when I head to Australia at some point) and one of my all-time favorite hotels, the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. I just checked rates at the Park Hyatt Sydney in June, and there’s plenty of award night availability, including these two nights for 44,000 points.
At the Park Hyatt Paris, I was actually surprised to find a lot of award availability as well since we’re getting into summer high season, but there were plenty of nights bookable with points for 22,000 each.
So you’re potentially getting a really significant discount here. That said, you are dependent on award availability, but if you have some flexibility and think you’ll be able to book award nights, this promo could be worth it.
On the other hand, if you wanted to stay at a Category 4 property such as the Hyatt Regency Chicago, you’d need 15,000 points per night. That would cost you $336 (you’d pay for 14,000 and get 2,800 as a bonus). Rooms at this hotel are going for just $239 a night though, so you’d actually be paying about $100 more for the points!
Buying a few extra thousand points to top up to the closest award level might make sense, as would redeeming for free nights at Hyatt’s top-tier hotels and resorts since, in general, those are some of the best redemption options out there. However, I would always caution you to check the rates at the specific property you are interested in and see if purchasing points makes sense for your particular situation.
On the other hand, if you don’t already have it but have been thinking about getting the Hyatt Visa, when you make a reservation at hyatt.com (you must be logged out of your Gold Passport account), a box should populate with an offer for the card with a sign-up bonus of 2 free nights plus a $50 statement credit (you’ve actually got to make a reservation to get this credit), almost taking care of the $75 annual fee – so you might as well get those two nights for free instead of paying over $800 for them if getting the credit card is an option for you.