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Hyatt may not be the largest of the major chains, but its World of Hyatt Program has some of the most valuable hotel points according to TPG’s valuations. In large part, this is due to the chain’s high-end properties, excellent redemption rates and a stand-out elite status program that gives lounge access, excellent free breakfast and other benefits to its top-tier elites.
Despite their value, World of Hyatt points are somewhat difficult to earn. World of Hyatt only has one transfer partner (Chase Ultimate Rewards), one cobranded credit card and a limited number of ways to earn points with partners.
So with this in mind, you’ll want to use your hard-earned World of Hyatt points wisely. In this article, we’ll show you how to do just that. We’ll start by using World of Hyatt points on hotel nights and then move into alternative uses like points transfers and rental cars.
Redeeming Hyatt Points For Hotel Stays
Like most hotel chains, World of Hyatt prices its award nights by hotel category. The higher the category, the more points you’ll need for a free night redemption. Generally speaking, the more upscale brands (like Park Hyatt and Andaz) along with hotels in more desirable cities are usually placed in higher categories.
You can find which hotels are in a category by looking on Hyatt’s “Search Hotel by Category” page. Just enter a location and category and you’ll be presented with all hotels in that category in your selected region. This tool is useful if you’re planning a trip with limited mileage, letting you make the most of your World of Hyatt Points in any city.
Note that Hyatt has also started adding some Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties into its award chart. After initially announcing the partnership in August 2018, we’ve seen three waves of integration (in November, January and February), so you currently have over 150 of these hotels and resorts bookable using Hyatt points. We expect to see additional properties integrated throughout 2019, representing a significant expansion of Hyatt’s worldwide portfolio.
To search for real-time availability (including participating SLH properties), you’ll need to pull up Hyatt’s website. Simply head over to www.hyatt.com, enter your search criteria and check the Use Points box. You will see a list of all Hyatt properties in the city you searched along with points and cash prices needed to book your stay.
However, note that this doesn’t guarantee availability. To see if the property has standard or upgraded rooms available using points on your specific date(s), find the hotel you like and click the yellow Select button to view all available room types. If applicable, this will display standard accommodations as well as any upgraded rooms bookable online using points. That being said, we’ve found that many suites and some rooms with club access don’t appear online, even though they can be booked using World of Hyatt points. To check availability for standard and premium suites, you’ll need to call World of Hyatt customer service.
TPG currently values World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each. However, you often can get even more value when searching for high-end properties on peak dates. For example, the Park Hyatt New York costs $995 per night on Christmas Eve. Alternatively, you can redeem 30,000 World of Hyatt points for the same room, giving you a value of 3.31 cents per point.
Not all bookings will be this lucrative though. For example, a one-night stay at the Hyatt Place Chicago/River North in March is $99 or 15,000 points, giving you a value of just 0.66 cents per point. Make sure to do your own math and decide if it’s worth using your hard-earned points on this stay.
Points + Cash Bookings
Don’t have enough World of Hyatt Points to cover your whole stay? Consider booking a Points + Cash booking instead. As the name suggests, these redemptions allow you to combine points and cash for a discounted stay, and when available, they should appear online. Unfortunately, the program did change these awards in the fall of 2018. Instead of a flat cash copay, you’ll now need to pay half of the standard rate plus half of the full points required for a standard room.
As a result, you won’t get the outsized value you could’ve before the devaluation, but it can still be a good option if you’re cash-rich and points poor.
Redeem for Dining, Spa or Meeting Credits
You also can redeem your World of Hyatt points for dining, spa or meeting credits at Hyatt properties worldwide. However, whether you should redeem your points for these credits is a different story. On the dining and spa side, 2,000 World of Hyatt points gets you a $10 dining and spa certificate, giving you a mere 0.5 cent-per-point value. This is a whopping 1.2 cents less than TPG’s 1.7 cent valuation and not a particularly good redemption option.
Meeting credits give a better value but still less than a well-planned hotel stay. These redemptions start at 15,000 World of Hyatt points for a $200 credit. This gives you a 1.3 cent-per-point-value — better than dining and spa credits, but still far less than TPG’s valuation.
Transferring World of Hyatt Points to Airline Partners
Like most hotel loyalty programs, you can transfer World of Hyatt to a variety of airline partners. Currently, Hyatt offers a 2.5-to-1 transfer ratio for airline transfers, meaning 2.5 World of Hyatt points equals one airline mile. You must transfer a minimum of 5,000 points and transfers must be made in 1,250-point (500 miles) quantities.
So, with that in mind, we only recommend transferring your World of Hyatt points to an airline if you need to top up your account balance for a very specific reward on a hard-to-earn airline loyalty program. Otherwise, your points are likely better spent on a hotel stay.
Redeem World of Hyatt Points for Rental Cars
Finally, you can redeem 6,000 World of Hyatt points for a free, one-day Avis “intermediate-sized” car rental. However, we recommend staying away from this option, as it too will give you a low cent-per-point value. For example, an intermediate car rental is $64 in Chicago this May, giving you a redemption value of just 1.06 cents per point. You’d be much better off swiping a credit card that offers primary car rental coverage (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve) to pay for the rental instead of using your valuable Hyatt points in this fashion.
World of Hyatt points are super valuable, so make the most of them. We recommend sticking to strategically planned free night awards and Cash + Points redemptions to get the most value from your points. In doing so, you can stay at super luxurious properties for free or inexpensively — and, hey, who doesn’t like that?
Featured photo courtesy of Hyatt Ziva.
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