How I’m spending 1 million World of Hyatt points
With the most valuable hotel points and as TPG's long-adored hotel loyalty program, there are plenty of reasons to love World of Hyatt.
In the last two years, I've earned 1 million Hyatt points. Through much of 2020 and 2021, cash prices at most Hyatt hotels were comparatively low, so it was hard to get maximum value out of my points. But once borders began reopening and mask mandates started going away, hotel prices increased, and I began cashing in my earnings before they decreased too much in value.
So, how did I map out my plan to redeem my 1 million World of Hyatt points? Let's dive in.
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How I earned 1 million World of Hyatt points
As I mentioned in my previous article on how I'm spending 4 million Hilton points, I created business partnerships with hotels and placed students in hotels during the pandemic while the university dorms were closed.
The hotels I worked with provided me with hotel points as compensation for my efforts. Although I mostly earned Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors points, I did business with several Hyatt Place hotels, earning me 1 million Hyatt points (or roughly $17,000 worth of points, according to TPG's latest valuations) in the process.
During my student hotel project, I was also approved for The World of Hyatt Credit Card, which came with a 60,000-point welcome bonus at the time.
Current offer: 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 bonus 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, on up to $15,000 spent.
Related: Here’s how to quickly stock up on Hyatt points for your next vacation
My plan for redeeming 1 million Hyatt points
Unambiguously, points and miles are a bad long-term investment. Despite this, I decided to stretch my Hyatt redemptions out so I could enjoy award stays on vacations for at least three years.
To get the most value out of my points, I applied three key strategies to all of my World of Hyatt award stays:
- Book all rooms as standard room free night awards (as opposed to standard or premium suites).
- As a general rule of thumb, disregard off-peak/standard/peak awards. If it's a good return on points, off-peak and peak rewards aren't relevant in decision making.
- Include all resort fees, parking fees, taxes and other fees when comparing cash and points prices since Hyatt waives these fees when using points as a Globalist member.
As a Globalist elite member, I've defaulted to trying for a standard suite complimentary upgrade at check-in (one of the perks of my elite status) instead of shelling out more points upfront.
Of course, my goal has been to maximize the number of award nights I could get for as little out-of-pocket cost as possible.
Related: What is World of Hyatt elite status worth in 2022?
With these booking conditions in mind, I began redeeming points for some stays in the U.S. and abroad.
3 nights at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach for 45,000 points
Shortly after Hawaii reopened to tourists in October 2020, I took my first trip to Honolulu since the pandemic began. As a Globalist, I received an upgrade to an ocean-view suite. Unfortunately, all food and beverage services at the hotel were suspended.
Still, being located just a few blocks away from the ocean, the Hyatt Centric didn't disappoint. And the hotel provides its guests with beach chairs and boogie boards.
During my stay, cash prices were going for around $250 per night. Additionally, there's a $33 resort fee, and self-parking was $42 per night, which was waived since I redeemed points.
In the end, it was a question of $325 per night plus taxes or 15,000 points. This boiled down to a value of 2.2 cents per Hyatt point, so of course I paid with points.
2 nights at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa for 30,000 points
Located adjacent to the posh Four Seasons Residences, the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort was a fantastic February 2021 escape.
The resort featured beautiful grounds and contemporary California-style finishes. The hotel was happy to provide a complimentary Globalist upgrade to an 885-square-foot Pool Suite, which featured California coastal views in the distance.
Cash rates were steep at $425 per night, and there's a $45 resort fee and $45 overnight valet parking fee. The hotel was a Category 5 property (normally 20,000 points per night), and Hyatt was running a promotion in early 2021 where you could get 25% points back as a rebate for making an award reservation. At a redemption rate of 3.4 cents per Hyatt point (twice TPG's valuations), I only wish that I had stayed there longer.
2 nights at The Confidante Miami Beach for 2 Category 1-4 free night certificates
As a hotel that has also since rolled into a higher category, there's no more using Hyatt Category 1-4 certificates at The Confidante Miami Beach. Even if it was a Category 4 hotel, I wouldn't race back.
In March 2021, Miami Beach wasn't the right place to be. Protests related to mask mandates and cooped-up spring breakers didn't make for the vacation I was looking for. The Confidante was running at 98% occupancy, and everyone could tell that the hotel had plenty of staffing issues. When requesting a rollaway bed, it was left at the door with a brief knock. Opening the door, housekeeping had disappeared and left the unmade bed with some tossed sheets standing in the hallway.
To make matters worse, the room we had only had a single window that wasn't much bigger than a laptop screen.
On paper, this was a fantastic redemption as cash prices were going for $459 plus the $45 resort fee and $47 valet parking fee, but that didn't make it a good stay.
I learned a valuable lesson from this stay: A good redemption isn't the only way to choose your hotel.
2 nights at the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa for 50,000 points
In my previous Hilton points article, I mentioned that we checked out early from the Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo and headed to the Hyatt Centric Key West.
This hotel went above and beyond and delivered the Florida Keys trip I was looking for. From divine, unlimited a la carte Globalist breakfasts to the rejuvenating tropical breeze, I didn't regret spending 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night at the Hyatt Centric Key West.
The hotel has since moved to Category 7, but I wouldn't hesitate to splurge on points here again since cash rates were over $1,200 during my stay. Also, at $50.63, the property's resort fee is the highest I've seen in the Hyatt Centric brand. Standard self-parking is also $29.
In the end, I got 5.1 cents per point during my stay, which is triple TPG's valuation.
2 nights at the Andaz Savannah for 30,000 points
Another winner was the Andaz Savannah, where I stayed in April 2021.
Traveling to Georgia for my first time, I selected the Andaz Savannah after TPG's great review. While no upgrade was provided, each morning started with a traditional Southern-style Globalist breakfast, and I found the hotel's Ellis Square location unbeatable. In 15 minutes or less, you can walk to the Savannah waterfront, Forsyth Park and the Owens-Thomas House. If you find yourself in Savannah, go to The Olde Pink House for a meal, but make your reservation in advance!
Cash prices at the Andaz Savannah were around $350 during my stay, and there's a mandatory $33 destination fee. Parking was $42. By using points, I got 2.8 cents apiece in return.
3 nights at the Hyatt Regency Seattle for 45,000 points
Completely renovated, this Hyatt Regency is well located but it lacks flavor. As a convention center-style property, its 1,260 rooms feature lovely views. During my June 2021 stay, the Globalist upgrade was a standard room with a water view.
Within a block, you can walk to two other Hyatt properties — the Grand Hyatt and the Hyatt at Olive 8. If you're in Seattle, I suggest trying out either of those properties. But at 15,000 points per night, the Hyatt Regency is the least expensive of the three, and you can use Hyatt Category 1-4 certificates here. From any of the three hotels, you are within blocks of the Seattle Art Museum, Pike Place Market and Pine Street.
Cash rates were $160 during my June 2021 stay, and parking was $40 per night. So that only provided 1.3 cents per World of Hyatt point (yikes! below our valuation!), but it was better than paying cash or spending points to stay at the Grand Hyatt or Hyatt at Olive 8.
2 nights at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome for 30,000 points and 1 Category 1-7 certificate
My July 2021 stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome was very special. I had my eyes on this hotel since I watched the Netflix show "Lupin," where one of the final scenes was shot in the Park Hyatt Paris. Despite the hotel providing a decadent American breakfast each morning, it was too pompous, and no upgrades were provided.
It was 85 degrees in Paris, and every time I would walk into the hotel in shorts, several men in suits and black ties would look at me from head to toe like I was up to no good. While I realize that I was in the younger demographic for this particular hotel, it wasn't a very welcoming way to return to the hotel every night.
On the upside, the hotel is located on the border of the First and Second arrondissements in Paris, so you can easily walk to destinations like the Place Vendome, Palais Garnier and Louvre Museum.
Cash rates were $1,300 during my stay, so I netted just over 4.3 cents per World of Hyatt point. Now, however, the hotel is a Category 8 property, requiring between 35,000 and 45,000 points per night.
7 nights at the Andaz Singapore for 140,000 points
There's a lot to love about the Andaz Singapore. When I stayed at the hotel in February, the staff provided a royal welcome and provided a complimentary upgrade to an Andaz Residence Suite, which was a premium suite (generally ineligible for complimentary upgrades). The Globalist breakfast was a la carte with plenty of locally inspired and Western fare.
Related: A first-timers guide to Singapore’s hawker centers
Second only to the Marina Bay Sands, the Andaz offers amazing city views from its rooftop. On the last night, Greg, one of the hotel managers, invited us for drinks. It was a great way to conclude a special week in Singapore.
As a Category 5 hotel, a week here costs around 140,000 points. Cash prices, on the other hand, were going for around $350 per night, bringing in a redemption rate of around 1.7 cents per point, right in line with TPG's valuation.
3 nights at the Hyatt Place London City East for 36,000 points
Most recently, I redeemed 36,000 points for three nights at the brand-new Hyatt Place London East.
The hotel is located just across from the East London Mosque and between the Aldgate East and Whitechapel Tube stations, so it isn't your typical Mayfair or Soho stay. I thoroughly enjoyed staying in East London, and of course, it was a refreshing change from extortionate costs in Central London. I also am a big fan of the biryani shops around this area. In particular, make sure to try Lahore Kebab House and Tayyabs.
I had the choice of either spending 167 pounds (around $217) or 12,000 points each night. Of the two choices, I went with the latter option, bringing in a redemption rate of 1.8 cents per point.
Other hotels I am considering
Halfway through my 1 million Hyatt points, I look forward to using my remaining points in overseas locations.
For New Year's, I've locked in an award stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney. With cash rates going for around $3,000 per night, my 35,000 points will provide almost 8.6 cents per point in value.
I'm also looking at potentially using my points at some lower-category Hyatts in Southeast Asia like the five-star Category 3 Hyatt Regency Manila, City Of Dreams and Category 1 Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta.
How you can earn lots of Hyatt points
By providing hotels with business, I managed to accrue quite a few Hyatt points quickly. Of course, my situation was unique, but if you’re planning a group event (like a wedding or meeting), see if you can get points for all room reservations included in the rate agreement.
Another move that quickly boosted my World of Hyatt balance was opening up a World of Hyatt Credit Card to earn 60,000 points. You also earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 bonus points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels and 5 base points per per dollar from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member and 2 bonus points per dollar spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.
The card also comes with an annual Category 1-4 certificate, which can be extremely valuable.
By using the World of Hyatt Credit Card on each of my Hyatt stays, I earn a total of 10.5 points per dollar (more than twice the standard 5 points per dollar):
- 5 points per dollar: Base points.
- 1.5 points per dollar: 30% Globalist bonus.
- 4 points per dollar: World of Hyatt Credit Card bonus.
As you can tell from the point accrual breakdown, Hyatt also runs promotions where you can earn extra points.
Although it has a smaller footprint than Marriott or Hilton, there are many ways to maximize your World of Hyatt points.
Even if you haven't accrued millions of Hyatt points, you should always ensure that you're getting the most of your earnings.
You'll learn the intricacies and sweet spots of the World of Hyatt program and soon find yourself booking an award stay at one of the many unbeatable Hyatt properties in no time.