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Sweet Spot Sunday: Why the Park Hyatt Istanbul is a great use of points and free night awards

May 09, 2021
8 min read
Park Hyatt Istanbul Macka Palas exterior
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I've been to Istanbul four times in the last nine years and have stayed at seven different hotels.

While the Hagia Sofia Mansions remains my favorite hotel due to its location, pool and historical significance, the Park Hyatt Istanbul is the best value on points. The hotel is currently a Category 4 World of Hyatt property, meaning it requires just 15,000 points per night. Boasting a great location and amenities, it's a true bargain at this rate.

If you're looking to redeem World of Hyatt points and get a great return in the process, look no further. You'll not only stay at a great hotel for a reasonable rate on points, but you can really squeeze value out of your annual free-night award. Let's take a closer look at the Park Hyatt Istanbul and what makes it such a great sweet spot redemption.

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Why it’s special

The Park Hyatt Istanbul is located in the fashionable Nisantasi district close to Taksim Square and Sisli. The area is charming, beautiful and reminiscent of Paris.

It's worth noting this area is not where you go to take in Istanbul's culture. It's where you go to hang out, buy things and go people-watching. It's a bit shallow but fun in its own way.

The hotel is about four miles from the Sultanahmet area, where all the major historical sights are located. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to get there, depending on traffic. So you really want to save the Park Hyatt for the end of your trip, when you're done sightseeing and want to spend your days indulging in food, shopping and spa treatments.

The Park Hyatt has a lot of character and a boutique vibe. The rooms are modern yet warm and offer a quiet sanctuary from the bustling city outside. This theme is evident in the hotel lobby, with its glass atrium and on-site spa. I had several meals at both The Lounge and Nusret, which were all fantastic. The spa offered a relaxing reprieve after two hectic weeks in the city.

A standard room at the Park Hyatt Istanbul (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal / The Points Guy)

The neighborhood has tons of great dining options and if you're up for it, there's a Nusret restaurant inside the hotel. When I stayed there in August 2020, it had just opened and the owner of the hotel and restaurant (of Salt Bae meme fame), was there. He even chopped up a steak at our table and took photos. It's a fun experience. And yes, Nusret really is that good. And the spectacle around how he serves his steak is pretty entertaining.

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I recommend the beef carpaccio, butter steak and chocolate cake for dessert. The steaks are served family-style and are the best I've had anywhere. I've been to three Nusret locations and the one inside the Park Hyatt Istanbul is by far the best one (not to mention the most beautiful).

The Park Hyatt Istanbul pool and Nusret outdoor dining area (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal / The Points Guy)

But enough about the hotel and its surrounding area: What makes this hotel so special is that it's a Category 4 hotel and bookable for just 15,000 points per night. That means you can use your annual free night award from the World of Hyatt Credit Card at this property. Not only is this property a bargain for a Park Hyatt in this kind of neighborhood, but considering room rates go well over $300 per night in the summer, it's a terrific use of Hyatt points.

After two weeks of running around Istanbul to take in all the sights, it was nice to spend a few days at the Park Hyatt, getting spa treatments, eating meals prepared by a celebrity chef and just doing a lot of nothing.

Related: How to get to Istanbul on points and miles

How to book this award

Booking any Hyatt award is straightforward. All you have to do is type in the hotel information (location and dates) into the search field and check off "use points." You can choose between a standard room, suite, free night or Points + Cash award.

(Screenshot courtesy of Hyatt.com)

Cash + Points awards aren't always the best value. For example, I searched for a room at the Park Hyatt Istanbul in May. The Points + Cash award rate is 7,500 points and $157 per night, while the lowest cash rate is $246.

If you're short on points for a full award booking and just want to save a little, go for it. But if you're booking two nights, you're better off redeeming points for one night and paying cash for the other instead of a Points + Cash award.

How to earn points for this award

With the hotel going for 15,000 points per night, earning enough Hyatt points is fairly easy. For example, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Hyatt instantly at a 1:1 ratio. So you could get four nights covered with the welcome bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which is currently offering 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

You can also earn points for free nights at this hotel through the World of Hyatt Card. The card offers up to 60,000 bonus points: 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first six months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point (up to $15,000 spent).

I don't recommend the World of Hyatt Card right now unless you're able to spend $15,000 on it over the next six months. The Sapphire Preferred offers essentially the same welcome bonus with a much more reasonable spending requirement.

Bottom line

The Park Hyatt Istanbul is a great hotel with a fantastic location in the heart of Istanbul's shopping district. If you're looking for a high-value redemption for your Hyatt points and free night awards, you will find that here. Between the relatively high paid rates and the hotel's low category, you'll truly find value in your rewards.

Featured image by Hyatt is a great option for Ultimate Rewards points, allowing you to book stays at properties like the Park Hyatt Istanbul. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/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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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
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The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

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  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
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  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees