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5 easy ways to maximize Hyatt award redemptions

July 12, 2020
8 min read
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Despite being one of the smallest among the major hotel chains, Hyatt has earned a phenomenal reputation among value-seeking award travelers. World of Hyatt points are relatively easy to earn and the Hyatt portfolio contains some of the most luxurious properties around the globe, especially with the continued addition of Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties. Today we'll take a look at a few tricks you can use to maximize your redemptions with the World of Hyatt program.

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Start at the Top or the Bottom

It's generally a universal truth that the best value redemptions in any loyalty program will come at the upper end of any program's award chart (think Cathay Pacific first-class flights as an example). While that's true of Hyatt as well, you'll also find many good deals on lower-tier properties.

With Category 1 awards starting at only 5,000 points per night, you won't have to save up forever to use your Hyatt points. In fact, you could snag several of these nights by opening The World Of Hyatt Credit Card, which is currently offering a sign-up bonus of up to 50,000 points. You'll earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening plus an additional 25,000 points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first six months of account opening.

Those points would be worth a whopping 10 free nights if you redeemed them exclusively at Category 1 hotels.

While it's nice to get more than a full week of free lodging out of a single credit card bonus, maybe you have your eyes set on a slightly more luxurious getaway. Hyatt has you covered here as well, with its top Park Hyatt properties topping out at 30,000 points per night.

This means you can also think of your 50,000 point bonus as getting you almost two free nights at world-renowned properties like the Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt New York. Rooms here can climb well over $1,000 during peak season, making this a surefire way to get a good bang for your buck.

Now if you read the award chart carefully, you'll notice that Category 7 is no longer the top of the award chart. Hyatt added an eighth award category in 2018 which costs 40,000 points a night, but for now, this is limited to the most luxurious SLH properties, and Hyatt has indicated that it does not plan to move any of its core hotels (i.e. Park Hyatt) up to Category 8.

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When you consider the level of some SLH locations, like the Sailrock Resort in the Turks & Caicos, spending 40,000 points per night can be a terrific value proposition.

Related: How to redeem points with the World of Hyatt program

Upgrade Paid Stays

While we generally think of room upgrades as perks reserved for only the most loyal of elite travelers, Hyatt allows any member to upgrade eligible paid stays using points. The rates are very reasonable.

For example, you can upgrade to a club level room for only 3,000 points per night at eligible properties. TPG values Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each, making 3,000 points worth $51. There are plenty of Hyatt properties around the world where a free club level breakfast on a double occupancy room would net you more than $51 in value, so this is an option you should definitely consider if you don't have any elite upgrades to use.

While only certain paid rates are eligible to be upgraded, this can be a great strategy to use when standard rooms are priced cheaply but suites and premium rooms are much more expensive.

Unfortunately, you will have to call Hyatt to begin the upgrade process. Before you get too excited about the penthouse suite at the Park Hyatt Maldives, a number of the most sought-after Hyatt hotels are excluded from these point upgrades. The list of exclusions includes most of Hyatt's all-inclusive properties as well as the Park Hyatt Maldives, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Park Hyatt Sydney and more.

All-Inclusive Awesomeness

Short of staying at high-end hotels, one of the easiest ways to get more value out of your points is to use them at a property that provides additional perks. The Hyatt portfolio includes several all-inclusive properties that fall under the Ziva, Zilara and Miraval brands. You can check out several TPG reviews of these various properties below:

Dine for free at one of the 11 bars and restaurants at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta. (Photo by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy)

With dozens of food and beverage options at these properties, you're sure to never get bored.

If you find yourself breaking the vacation budget on dining, an all-inclusive Hyatt resort might be a great option to consider for your next getaway.

Related: 11 all-inclusive beach resorts you can book with points

Transfer From Chase Ultimate Rewards

The World of Hyatt program as a whole may not be inherently more valuable than its competitors (including Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy). It does, however, have one undeniable mathematical advantage. As you can see above, Hyatt uses a relatively 'cheap' award chart, meaning Hyatt hotels cost fewer points than an equivalent Marriott or Hilton property would on an absolute basis.

While that has the immediate impact of making each Hyatt point worth more than each Marriott or Hilton point, it also gives you a leg up on the transferable currency side.

Chase Ultimate Rewards allows you to transfer points to three hotel programs: Hyatt, Marriott and IHG. The transfer ratios are all the same (1:1). However, free nights at Hyatt properties cost comparatively less than ones booked using Marriott or IHG points. As a result, transferring to Hyatt is one of the best ways to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for solid value.

This is a terrific option if you just signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and earned a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. You could use those points for two nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives and easily net $3,000+ in value from a single card bonus. Or, you could spend nearly two weeks (12 nights) at a Hyatt Category 1 hotel and really explore a new city.

Get a Hyatt card

Applying for The World Of Hyatt Credit Card is great for giving your Hyatt balance a boost, but it can also help you maximize your award redemptions. Through Oct. 8, 2020, Hyatt is offering 15% off award redemptions. This discount is increased to 25% for Hyatt credit cardholders.

The card carries a $95 annual fee and comes with an annual free night valid at a Category 1-4 hotel. It’s worth considering if you want to save your Hyatt points for higher-category awards.

Bottom line

The World of Hyatt program is easy to love thanks to valuable and easy-to-earn points. Whether you're a long-time Hyatt loyalist or a hotel free agent, you can find plenty of value in the World of Hyatt program. Make sure to leverage the extreme ends of the award chart, consider using your points to upgrade to a premium room and don't overlook the value Hyatt's all-inclusive hotels can offer.

Featured image by Hyatt Ziva Cancun (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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