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Chase Ultimate Rewards points regularly appear near the top of TPG’s monthly valuations, and for good reason. The program offers some great transfer partners than can unlock some terrific value when it comes time to redeem the points you’ve earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. However, before you can even think about redeeming these points for maximum value, you first need to know when you should transfer to partners and then know how to actually make the transfer.
Today I’ll go through that exact process with one partner in particular: the World of Hyatt program.
When to Transfer to Hyatt
The World of Hyatt program is considered by many to be the single most lucrative transfer partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Its current award chart maxes out at 30,000 points per night for top-tier properties like the Park Hyatt New York, and with nightly rates that could reach $1,000 or even more, you can easily get outsized value from these redemptions. However, it’s critical to compare the award rates for your desired property with the paid rates for your desired property to know whether it makes sense to transfer.
There are a few different ways to look at this, but for the sake of this analysis, I’m going to focus on one. I call this the “no-brainer, break-even decision” when you’re trying to determine if you should transfer your points. It’s one of the most common steps an award travel enthusiast takes in moving from the intermediate to the advanced level, and it’s very simple. You compare two different numbers:
- How many points would you need to book a standard room through Chase’s online travel portal?
- How many points would you need to book a standard room through the World of Hyatt program?
Then, you simply select whichever option requires the fewest number of points.
To start the search process, login to your Chase account and navigate to the Ultimate Rewards page for your Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, as these three cards currently allow transfers to partners.
(NOTE: If you have points in other Ultimate Rewards accounts (e.g. the Chase Freedom Unlimited), be sure to combine them into one of the three accounts above to enable them to be transferred. For more details on this process, check out my guide on the subject.)
From there, expand the top bar labeled Earn / Use and click on travel. Enter your hotel search criteria and click through to see how many points you’d need to use for the stay. It’s important to not stop on the room options page; you must select a specific room to see the total number of points, including taxes and fees. In addition, Sapphire Reserve cardholders will see that their Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when redeemed in this fashion; Sapphire Preferred and Ink Preferred cardholders will only get a value of 1.25 cents per point.
As an example, let’s consider the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, a property that has wildly seasonal paid rates during the year. This is a Category 7 property in the World of Hyatt program, so a standard award stay would set you back 30,000 points per night. Once again, if booking directly through Chase’s portal would require fewer points, you shouldn’t transfer. If it would require more points, you should transfer.
Here are two different dates with two different decisions (note that I have the Sapphire Reserve):
Tuesday Feb. 6 — Wednesday Feb. 7
- Standard King Room through Chase Portal: 47,284 points
- Standard King Room through World of Hyatt: 30,000 points
In this case, you’re saving over 17,000 points per night by transferring your Ultimate Rewards points rather than booking directly. If you had the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred, the difference would be even more pronounced; to cover a $709.26 hotel stay with points from either of those cards, you’d need to redeem 56,741 points, nearly double what it would cost you to transfer!
Wednesday July 10 — Thursday July 11
- Standard King Room through Chase Portal: 19,598 points
- Standard King Room through World of Hyatt: 30,000 points
For these lower-demand dates, you’d be better off redeeming points directly for the stay, since you’d be able to save over 10,000 points by doing so.
Of course, this isn’t always cut-and-dry. You can sometimes get even lower member or discount rates booking directly through Hyatt, and if you hold World of Hyatt elite status, you’ll most likely not receive those benefits (nor will you earn points for your stay) when booking through the Chase portal. However, comparing the above numbers will at least give you a starting point to decide whether it makes sense to transfer or not.
How to Transfer to Hyatt
Before you can begin transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt, you’ll need to complete a few basic steps. For starters, you need to set up online access for your Ultimate Rewards-accruing credit card. To do this, simply go to www.chase.com and look for the “Not enrolled? Sign-up now” link at the right-hand side:
Then simply enter in the required information to complete your online enrollment.
If you already have an online credit card account with Chase, you can add a new card to it, though it appears that Chase has removed the link to do so online. When I searched for “How do I add an account?” while logged in, I was given the following notice:
Apparently you now need to send a secured message or call to add your account. Despite this added inconvenience, I’d highly recommend keeping all of your Chase cards under a single login. This doesn’t just simplify your life; it also makes it easier to combine your Ultimate Rewards points and “convert” any cash-back earnings from cards like the Chase Freedom into fully transferable points. This is a key way to extend the value of your redemptions and a large basis of my perfect Chase quartet of credit cards.
The other important thing to do is to sign up for World of Hyatt (though if you’ve read my points and miles mistakes post, hopefully you’ve already done this!). To do this, just visit the page to join the program and enter your information.
Once these two things are complete, you’re ready to start transferring.
Transferring to Hyatt
Once you’ve crunched the numbers and have determined that transferring makes sense, you can transfer points to your own frequent traveler account or the account of one additional household member who is an authorized user on the account. The actual process for transferring Ultimate Rewards points to all partners starts the exact same way:
1. Log in to your Chase account and click on the Ultimate Rewards link at the right-hand side.
(1a. If you have more than one card account, choose your desired one from the next page, keeping in mind that only points from the non-cash-back cards can be transferred.)
2. If it’s not automatically expanded, click on Earn / Use at the top and then select Transfer to Travel Partners.
3. Scroll down the list of Hotel partners and click Transfer Points next to World of Hyatt.
(NOTE: Once you’ve added your account the first time, it’ll appear at the top as a saved frequent traveler program in the future.)
4. Select the recipient of the points, enter the recipient’s World of Hyatt member ID, then click Continue.
5. Enter the number of points you want to transfer (must be in increments of 1,000) and click Continue.
6. Review your details on the next page and then click Confirm & Submit.
The next screen should confirm that the transfer was successful.
We’ve tested how long Ultimate Rewards transfers take for each of the program’s partners, and fortunately Hyatt is one of the partners that processes transfers instantaneously. Sure enough, when I logged in to my Hyatt account after transferring, the points were already there.
Just remember that these transfers are nonrefundable, so be certain you want to make the transfer before you click Submit. As noted above, you can also only transfer to your own Hyatt account or to the account of one household member who’s an authorized user on the card.
Once the points have arrived, go ahead and finalize your redemption.
Redeeming Points with Hyatt
The World of Hyatt program has some terrific redemption options, despite the 2018 devaluation of Cash + Points awards. Unless you’re in an extreme case (like the example above with the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s incredibly low rates during the summer), it’s generally a better value to transfer your points than redeem them directly through Chase. Here are some of my favorite awards with Hyatt:
1. Category 7 properties
As noted above, Hyatt’s Category 7 properties can be incredibly luxurious, and they are often quite expensive. Redeeming 30,000 points for a room that would otherwise set you back $1,000 is a fantastic value proposition. I did this exact redemption back in 2015 for a stay at the Park Hyatt Zurich, and we had a phenomenal stay. While the program is apparently considering a Category 8 with the pending acquisition of Small Luxury Hotels, booking this high-end properties will typically give you great bank for your points.
2. Room Upgrades on Paid Stays
Another nice award option within the World of Hyatt program is the ability to redeem points to upgrade paid stays. This is particularly valuable when there’s a huge difference between the cash rates for a standard room and a standard suite, and the number of points you’d need for the upgrade is relatively small:
- Upgrade to Regency Club / Grand Club: 3,000 points per night
- Upgrade to Standard Suite: 6,000 points per night
- Upgrade to Premium Suite: 9,000 points per night
Note that at all Hyatt brands with rooms that are upgrade eligible, you must book the Standard Rate, and at Hyatt resort properties, you must book into at least a Deluxe room. However, the difference in prices between deluxe rooms and suites can easily be hundreds of dollars, so this is a great way to extend the value of your points.
3. Low-tier Properties
If you’re looking for solid value without the frills of a luxury resort, consider looking at Category 1 and 2 properties. Free night awards at these hotels are just 5,000 and 8,000 points, respectively, and with paid rates rarely dipping below $150 per night, you’re almost guaranteed to get a great return from your redemptions.
This could be especially valuable for families looking to plan a trip to Orlando. There are a handful of Category 2 properties in the city, giving you an inexpensive way to stay (and saving your money for the various theme parks). For example, the Hyatt House across from Universal Orlando Resort falls into this category. For a four-night stay over Easter weekend, you’d spend nearly $900 dollars for a standard room:
Booking the same room by transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt would set you back just 36,000 points, giving you a value of 2.49 cents per point.
4. Guest of Honor Awards
A final award option applies to those with Hyatt’s top-tier Globalist status. In most airline and hotel loyalty programs, you can redeem your points and miles for other travelers. However, when they go to take the flight or stay in the hotel room, your elite status doesn’t carry over. That isn’t the case with Hyatt. When you use your points for a loved one’s stay as a Globalist member, he/she temporarily “inherits” your status and all of the perks that go along with it, including free breakfast and space-available upgrades at check-in. While not available at all Hyatt brands, it’s still a fantastic way to share the wealth of your road warrior ways with a friend or family member.
The World of Hyatt program is a favorite of award travelers thanks to its reasonable redemption rates and luxurious properties around the world. I’ve personally had some incredible stays with Hyatt, and the program is my go-to transfer partner from Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, it’s critical to know both when and how to transfer your points to your Hyatt account, and I hope this guide has clarified both of those processes. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to redeeming your Ultimate Rewards points for maximum value.
Featured image courtesy of Hyatt Hotels.
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