6 ways to redeem Hyatt points as travel rebounds

May 31, 2021

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World of Hyatt doesn’t have a massive portfolio of hotels like Hilton and Marriott. But it makes up for it by having an excellent loyalty program with low redemption rates. We value Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each, among the highest of hotel programs. Hyatt’s Globalist elite status is considered by many to be the best top-tier status around.

Hyatt planned to introduce peak and off-peak pricing, award chart changes and more this year, but it’s been postponed until July 2021 due to the coronavirus. That means you have more time to take advantage of the current award chart before changes go into effect next year. While we do not know exactly what peak and off-peak dates will look like, you should prepare to take advantage of current award prices at your favorite properties during peak seasons before it potentially goes up. However, If reward prices go down on your booking, you will automatically be credited the difference. 

You can earn World of Hyatt points from hotel stays, promotions or credit cards. The World of Hyatt Credit Card ($95 annual fee) offers up to 60,000 bonus points. You’ll earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 more Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening.

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card at a 1:1 ratio.

But once you have a bunch of Hyatt points, you might be wondering how to redeem them. Today, I’ll talk about how to redeem points – and redemption options to avoid – with the World of Hyatt program.

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Redeem Hyatt points for Free nights

Hyatt prices its award nights by hotel category, similar to other major hotel chains. The higher the category, the more points you’ll need for a free night redemption. 

The more upscale brands (like Park Hyatt and Andaz) along with hotels in more desirable cities are usually in higher categories. You’ll find lower redemptions at chains like Hyatt House and Hyatt Place.

The current World of Hyatt award chart

You can find which hotels are in a category by looking at Hyatt’s “Search Hotel by Category” page. Just enter a location and category, and you’ll see all hotels in that category in your selected region.

Hyatt also has a partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties and integrated the chain into its award chart. You’ll find many SLH properties in Category 7 or 8, which require 30,000 and 40,000 points a night, respectively. 

Hyatt Zilara / Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall
(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Sweet spots

As I said at the beginning, Hyatt’s redemption rates are incredibly low, with Category 1 hotels starting at 5,000 points a night. 

Some of the best Category 1 hotels can be found in the Middle East and Asia. You can score deals at hotels such as Alila Bangsar Kuala Lumpur or Studios at Alila Seminyak in Bali for just 5,000 points a night. 

Malaysia’s Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort is another incredible redemption. For a measly 5,000 points a night, you can reserve a recently renovated 420-square-foot room with options of a kind bed or two twin beds. Our own Katie Genter stopped by on a Malaysia status back in 2019 and was very impressed with the beautiful property.

Related: Your guide to maximizing Hyatt redemptions

Hyatt Reward night certificates

You can earn World of Hyatt Category 1-4 free-night certificates annually in three ways:

  • On your cardmember anniversary for the World of Hyatt Credit Card
  • When you spend $15,000 during an anniversary year on your World of Hyatt credit card
  • By staying 30 nights or earning 50,000 base points at Hyatt properties

This is a great way to enjoy some fabulous mid-tier resorts in North America, like the Andaz San Diego (Category 4) or Hyatt Regency Toronto (Category 3). Note that the latter property will resume accepting guests on Aug. 4. You can also use the free-night certificate for international stays, like at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar in Tanzania.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hyatt has extended Suite night awards with Feb. 28, 2021 expiration dates to Dec. 31, 2021, along with any used club lounge access awards. This includes all free night awards earned through partner credit cards.

Points + Cash bookings

If you don’t have enough points for a free night award, you can book a Points + Cash rate instead. This allows you to combine points and cash for a discounted stay. When available, they should appear online. To book this rate, you’ll need to pay half of the standard rate plus 50%-70% of the full points required for a standard room.

Related: Your ultimate guide to World of Hyatt

Redeem Hyatt points for Rental cars

World of Hyatt points can be redeemed for Hyatt for Avis car rentals by calling World of Hyatt directly.

However, we recommend staying away from this option, as it will give you a low cent-per-point value. 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.

Redeem points for dining, spa or meeting credits

You also can redeem points for dining, spa or meeting credits at Hyatt properties, but it’s not the best bang for your buck. 

Depending on how many points you redeem, you can get between 1 and 1.54 cents per point — less than TPG’s 1.7 cent valuation and not a particularly good redemption option. Meeting credits start at 15,000 World of Hyatt points for a $200 credit, or 1.3 cents-per-point in value. It’s still far less than TPG’s valuation, however.

Transfer Hyatt points to airline partners

You can transfer World of Hyatt points to a variety of airline partners. Hyatt offers a 2.5:1 transfer ratio for airline transfers. There are some exceptions, however. The following travel partners support different conversion ratios. If you convert 5,000 World of Hyatt points you will receive:

  • 4,000 Aeromexico
  • 3,200 Air China kilometers
  • 3,200 China Eastern Airlines points
  • 2,400 Qantas Airways points
  • 2,400 Southwest Airlines points
  • 3,000 Virgin Atlantic Airways miles

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 particular reward on a hard-to-earn airline loyalty program. Otherwise, your points are likely better spent on a hotel stay.

TPG: 10 surprising ways Hyatt loyalists can earn more points

Bottom Line

The World of Hyatt program doesn’t get enough love, even when it has some of the best redemptions in the points world. As long as you avoid poor redemptions like booking rental cars or meeting credits, you should be able to get a lot of value out of your Hyatt points. Stay tuned for more in July for more news on Hyatt’s new peak and off-peak rewards. 

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh and Ryan Patterson

Featured photo of the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy

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