Should I Book My Stay with Ultimate Rewards or Hyatt Points?
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TPG reader Brian sent me a message on Facebook to ask about booking a Hyatt award stay:
“I’m using points to book a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency in Nice, France. The rate is 25,000 Hyatt points per night; however, the Chase Travel Portal is also offering rooms for 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night based on the current cash rate. Should I transfer points to Hyatt or just book the stay directly through Chase?”
There’s often more than one way to book award travel, and knowing which loyalty program to use can help you get more value out of your points and miles. Brian plans to use Ultimate Rewards points for his stay in Nice and wants to know whether he should bother transferring those points to Hyatt. The cost is the same regardless of which method he uses, so while this case is more of the exception than the rule, there’s no advantage to transferring, assuming the cash rate is refundable.
If you already had Hyatt points on hand, it would make sense to redeem those first rather than transfer from Chase, since Ultimate Rewards points are more valuable. However, in this scenario you’re going to spend 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night either way, so there’s no difference in that respect. Booking directly spares you the small task of logging in and initiating the transfer, but that process is instantaneous anyway, so you won’t save much time.
Hyatt doesn’t award points or elite credits for stays booked through its own rewards program, and you generally won’t earn hotel points when you book through Ultimate Rewards. I’ve heard anecdotes of people earning elite credits when booking hotel stays through Chase, but I wouldn’t bank on it. On the other hand, you typically do earn both redeemable and elite miles for flights booked through the Chase Travel Portal. If you find yourself in a similar predicament when shopping for airfare, be sure to factor those rewards into your calculation.
Brian’s decision is even more of a toss-up because that property doesn’t charge a daily resort fee. Hyatt generally waives those fees for award bookings, but not for stays booked through a third party, so transferring to Hyatt Gold Passport is the better option at properties with resort fees.
One more thing to think about is whether using points is the best option in the first place. The Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée is a Category 6 property, so standard rooms cost 25,000 points per night. I value 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points at about $525, but rates at that property can start as low as $160 per night depending on when you visit, so it might not be a good redemption value. You’ll get a better return during peak seasons when rates are higher, but make sure to run the numbers to see if you’re better off paying cash.
For more info on Hyatt Gold Passport, Ultimate Rewards and transferring points, check out these posts:
- How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt Gold Passport
- The Award Travelers Guide to Hyatt Gold Passport
- Is the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal Worth Using?
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