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Now through November 29, 2013, Hyatt is offering a promotion where you can buy Gold Passport points at up to a 30% bonus. It’s a tiered promotion where the bonus yet get depends on the number of points you buy, and here is how the bonus is calculated:

  • Purchase 10,000 to 19,000 points and get a 10% bonus
  • Purchase 20,000 to 39,000 points and get a 20% bonus
  • Purchase 40,000 points and get a 30% bonus

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 8.45.06 AM

Gold Passport points normally cost 2.4 cents apiece, but if you max out the bonus at 40,000 points to end up with a total of 52,000 points for $960, then you’re paying closer to 1.85 cents per point.

As always, whether that’s worth it depends on what you plan to use those points for. 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 overpriced for some redemptions. 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.

For example, if you wanted to end up with 44,000 points in order to book 2 nights at a top-tier Category 6 hotel before the January 7 devaluation where six of those properties will go up to 30,000 points per night, you’d only have to buy 37,000 with the 20% bonus this promo offers for a total cost of $648.

Let’s say you decided to take a last-minute trip to Milan over Thanksgiving since airfares there are low right now thanks to competition between Delta/Alitalia and Emirates on its new JFK-MXP route, you could book a room at the Park Hyatt Milan where I stayed last May for either 540 EUR ($732) or 22,000 points per night (again , after the devaluation, this hotel will require 30,000 point per night):

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 9.19.04 AMSo you paid $648 but you’re getting $1,464 in value – that’s a savings of $816, or a 126% bonus. Granted, this is a very expensive example and one where it makes sense based on the very high room rates at Hyatt’s top-tier hotels. If you’re looking to use your points at mid-tier hotels, you might not be getting such a great deal.

For example, the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent is a Category 4 hotel where each award night will cost you 15,000 points. Let’s say you bought enough points for 2 nights here – 30,000, only with this promo you’d only need to purchase 25,000 points for a total of $600. However, room rates are as low as $109 next month:

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 9.28.41 AMSo you’d actually be spending $382 more than you’d need to for those 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.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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