Why You Shouldn’t Get Excited by Hyatt’s New Partnership With China Southern

Jul 31, 2019

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Hyatt announced on Tuesday that China Southern joined the World of Hyatt loyalty program as an airline partner.

“A new airline partner joins World of Hyatt providing our members more ways to get rewarded,” the hotel chain’s website reads. “Now you can earn Sky Pearl Club kilometers for eligible Hyatt stays and convert World of Hyatt points into Sky Pearl Club kilometers.”

Here’s how it will work, according to Hyatt. You will earn 800 kilometers of Sky Pearl Club mileage after completing a qualifying stay at a Hyatt hotel. You can also convert 5,000 World of Hyatt points into 2,000 Sky Pearl Club kilometers.

It’s an odd partnership, and one travelers should be wary of.

Hyatt is a well-known hotel chain with a super popular loyalty program, although with a relatively small property footprint. But while China Southern offers travelers dirt-cheap flights from the US to China and much of Asia, it’s not known for having a strong mileage program and its website is difficult to navigate.

Hyatt is already a transfer partner for several airlines, including Delta, United and Etihad. Hyatt currently offers a 2.5-to-1 transfer ratio for airline transfers. You’ll need to transfer a minimum of 5,000 points and transfers must be made in 1,250-point (500 miles) quantities.

If you do want to earn airline miles on paid Hyatt stays, you forfeit the ability to earn Hyatt points. It almost all cases, you’re going to be getting more points, and more value, when choosing to earn Hyatt points over airline miles.

World of Hyatt points are worth 1.7 cents each — the highest of any hotel program — according to TPG’s most recent valuations. For that reason, we don’t recommend transferring World of Hyatt points to an airline unless you absolutely need to top up your account balance for a particular reward on a hard-to-earn airline loyalty program. Otherwise, your points are better spent on a hotel stay.

For instance, Category 1 hotels in the Hyatt portfolio — such as the Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh Resort or the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu — will only set you back 5,000 points a night, which is a much better deal than transferring your hard-earned Hyatt points to China Southern. And at the top of the spectrum, you can get amazing value when redeeming points for luxury Hyatt properties, like the Park Hyatt Tokyo or Park Hyatt New York.

We’ve reached out to Hyatt for more details about the new partnership but have yet to hear back.

Featured photo by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy.

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