Which Hyatt Milestone Reward Should You Choose?

Aug 27, 2019

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Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

Earning elite status with your favorite hotel chain is rewarding enough in its own right, as your many nights spent on the road unlock bonus points, free food and drink, and maybe even an elusive suite upgrade. However, it can be a long road to get there, especially if you’re starting from scratch. We’ve seen many brands institute “milestone bonuses” that reward you for qualifying activity before (and after) you reach a certain tier of elite status, and TPG reader Kevin wants to know which reward he should pick …

I’ll hit 70 nights with Hyatt on the year in October and have the option to choose between 10,000 bonus points and a suite upgrade certificate. Which one should I pick?

TPG READER KEVIN

First of all congratulations to Kevin, as 70 nights puts him well over the 60 needed to earn top-tier Hyatt Globalist elite status. In addition to its three tiers of elite status, Hyatt offers a large number of activity and milestone bonuses starting as low as 20 nights a year:

Milestone or activity Reward
Stay at five different Hyatt brands and pay an eligible rate after March 1, 2017 Free night award in a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort, Small Luxury Hotels of the World hotel, or M life Rewards destination.
Stay 20 qualifying nights or earn 35,000 base points in a calendar year 2 club lounge access awards for use at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts at the time of reservation.
Stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points in a calendar year

Free night award in a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort, Small Luxury Hotels of the World hotel, or M life Rewards destination.

2 club lounge access awards for use at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts at the time of reservation.

Stay 40 qualifying nights or earn 65,000 base points in a calendar year Your choice of 5,000 bonus points, a $100 Hyatt gift card or save 10,000 points on a FIND experience.
Stay 50 qualifying nights or earn 80,000 base points in a calendar year 2 suite upgrade awards to use at the time of reservation at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts.
Stay 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 base points in a calendar year

Free night award in a category 1-7 Hyatt hotel or resort, Small Luxury Hotels of the World hotel, or M life Rewards destination.

2 suite upgrade awards to use at the time of reservation at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts.

Access to My Hyatt Concierge agent for reservations and personalized service.

Stay 70 qualifying nights in a calendar year Your choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award.
Stay 80 qualifying nights in a calendar year Your choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award.
Stay 90 qualifying nights in a calendar year Your choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award.
Stay 100 qualifying nights in a calendar year Your choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award.

Note that while many of the rewards such as free night certificates are repeated at different tiers, the expiration dates vary slightly (from 180 days to one year) so be sure to double check the terms and conditions at each milestone.

Kevin asked which reward he should pick at 70 nights, but since there are only two milestone bonuses that give you a choice, we’ll look at both of them. At 70, 80, 90 and 100 qualifying nights in a calendar year, Hyatt members will get to choose between the following two rewards:

TPG values Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each, meaning 10,000 points are worth $170. 10,000 points is also just shy of the 12,000 you’d need for a free night at a Category 3 hotel, and it should be easy for those familiar with Hyatt’s award chart to get closer to $200 in value from these points.

I’ve always found Hyatt’s suite awards to be more generous than Marriott’s, as Hyatt requires you to use one award per reservation (up to seven nights) as opposed to one award per night. This means that the value of the suite award varies massively depending on how you use it. If you never stay in the same hotel for more than two nights, you might have trouble getting a good value out of that certificate, but if you’re planning a week-long vacation with your family the extra space could be incredibly valuable.

The biggest drawback is that suite upgrade awards are valid only for standard suites, as defined by each property. This might mean that you’re upgrading into a junior or queen suite that isn’t much bigger than a standard room. In addition, a 70-night Globalist member would already have four suite upgrades — two for reaching 50 nights/80,000 base points and another two for passing 60 nights/100,000 base points. It’s entirely possible that a fifth certificate wouldn’t provide any additional value.

It’s up to you to look at your own travel patterns to try and figure out how much value you would get out of this certificate — or if you’d even be able to use another suite upgrade. Personally, I wouldn’t choose the suite upgrade unless a) I had a stay of four nights or more planned without an existing suite upgrade allocated to it, or b) I frequently stayed at aspirational Park Hyatt and Andaz properties where a suite upgrade would be more valuable.

Further Reading: Your Guide to Maximizing Redemptions With Hyatt

The other choice for a milestone reward comes at 40 nights, where Hyatt members can pick between the following:

  • 5,000 bonus points
  • A $100 Hyatt gift card
  • Save 10,000 points on a FIND experience redemption

If you frequently shop through Hyatt’s FIND experience platform for tours, meals, events and other experiences, the 10,000-point discount could be very handy. Note that Hyatt pegs the redemption value to roughly 1.4 cents per point through FIND, so you’d be saving about $140 this way. However, most people would prefer points or cash to use on their next hotel stay. In this case, based on TPG’s valuations, the 5,000 points ($85) fall short of the $100 gift card, though it’s very easy to find Hyatt redemptions that net more than 2 cents per point, making the points the better option. This is one of the reasons that I keep a spreadsheet tracking my own personal redemptions, so I can see if and where my travel diverges from TPG’s published valuations.

Further Reading: Best Ways to Earn Points With the World of Hyatt Program

Bottom Line

While suite upgrades are one of the most enjoyable benefits of hotel elite status, they might not be the best choice for a milestone bonus. Hyatt limits these suite awards to standard suites, making this award hard to value and highly dependent on the length of your stay. If you’re already Hyatt Globalist, odds are the benefits of your elite status — and the four already-earned suite upgrades — will make it easy for you to score a high-value redemption, which is why points are usually the way to go.

Thanks for the question, Kevin, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Sydney

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