World of Hyatt is fast emerging as an interesting alternative hotel loyalty program to Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors.
They’ve recently announced their latest promotion on purchased points, a valuable way for members to top up their points balances and book hotel stays. This could be a great deal, especially if you’re looking to enjoy your Globalist status as often as possible.
World of Hyatt is offering a bonus on points purchases until March 25, 2023. You’ll get a 25% bonus when you buy at least 5,000 points.
Normally, Hyatt charges 2.4 cents per point (USD) to buy points. With this 25% bonus, the rate is reduced to 1.92 cents per point (USD).
This isn’t necessarily the most competitive price for buying World of Hyatt points, as it’s above our current valuation of 1.5 cents per point (USD) and also more than some of the most recent offers of a 30% discount on purchased points.
World of Hyatt imposes a limit of 55,000 points purchased per calendar year before any bonuses are accounted for. That limit remains in place for this promotion, even though we’ve seen it doubled in previous offers.
Note that World of Hyatt refers to all purchased points as Bonus Points.
If you max out this promotion, it’ll cost $1,320 (USD) for 68,750 Hyatt points.
Purchased points will appear in your account within 48 hours.
World of Hyatt sells points through an external vendor, Points.com. They don’t count as a travel purchase, and there’s no extra benefit to using, say, Chase’s US-issued personal or business World of Hyatt credit cards.
Instead, I’d suggest any card with a high base earn rate, or one where you’re working on meeting the minimum spend requirement.
In particular, any US credit card will do. That’s because you’ll be charged Canadian sales tax if your billing address is in Canada.
Therefore, even a Canadian-issued credit card with no foreign transaction fees would be a worse choice – although it’s still your best option if you don’t have any US credit cards yet.
Shrewd travellers will be able to find pockets of value both at the high and low ends of the World of Hyatt hotel portfolio.
However, it’s not that easy for Canadians to earn World of Hyatt points. Hyatt’s only co-branded credit cards are in the US, and it’s a bit of a process for Canadians to get US credit cards with Chase.
Therefore, you may be motivated to look for other means of acquiring points, like buying them outright, assuming the price is right.
The World of Hyatt program boasts many highly appealing hotel brands and properties which offer exceptionally unique travel experiences.
For example, you could book a stay on Calala Island, a private island in Nicaragua with only four villas. An all-inclusive stay covers your room for two, food, drink, activities, and round-trip plane and boat transfers to and from the island.
It’s a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which has a marketing partnership in place with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. World of Hyatt members can stay at Small Luxury Hotels for 35,000–45,000 points per night.
Cash prices are astronomical, starting at $2,350 (USD) per night and reaching as high as $3,650 (USD) on peak dates.
By booking on points instead, you’d bring this exclusive experience well within reach. You’d get an outrageous value of 6–9 cents per point (USD), well above our nominal valuation of a Hyatt point.
With the current bonus on buying points, it would cost you $768 (USD) to buy 40,000 points for a standard night at Calala Island – a screaming deal compared to the cash rate for the room.
Of course, you’ll want to ensure you’ve lined up the award availability at the hotel before pulling the trigger on a points purchase, especially for Small Luxury Hotels, which limit the number of rooms bookable on points. The resort also imposes a three-night minimum stay, so keep that in mind when you’re searching for award availability.
There are also some decadent resorts within Hyatt’s own portfolio, even within the US. For example, you could book a night at the Alila Ventana Big Sur for 56,000–66,000 points on the new award chart for suites, or $2,400 (USD) for the same room.
Buying points is clearly a better deal, as it would only cost up to $1,272 (USD) per night with the current promotion, which is an absolute bargain.
You’ll also find similar value in Hawaii, where you can redeem awards at high-end Category 7 properties for over 5 cents per point (USD).
Hyatt brands have a particularly strong footprint across the US. In particular, look for hotels in popular small-town vacation destinations.
I’ve got my eye on Hyatt for my next trip to the American Southwest. Accommodation is scarce in southern Utah, often not enough to meet demand during tourist season.
As a result, cash prices can be upwards of $600 (USD) per night, which in my opinion is remarkably steep when all you need is a simple place to rest after a long day of adventures.
While the Hyatt Place Moab has recently gone up to Category 4, even standard nights at 15,000 points are still a strong redemption at 4 cents per point (USD).
In this case, it would absolutely make sense to buy Hyatt points. With the current 25% bonus, at a rate of 1.92 US cents per point, it would cost about $240 (USD) for an off-peak night or $288 (USD) for a standard night, which is much less than the price of paying cash directly.
For an option a bit closer to home and with more on-property amenities, consider Spirit Ridge Resort Osoyoos for an Okanagan winery getaway. Also a Category 4 property, it’ll cost up to 18,000 points per night on peak dates, compared to cash prices exceeding $500 (CAD) in the summer.
It’s always worth checking the prices on your travel dates. As long as the value of your redemption is above the acquisition cost of the points, you’ll come out ahead on any booking.
The only reason I wouldn’t do this is if I were saving my World of Hyatt points for an even more valuable redemption. There aren’t many ways to earn Hyatt points, so you might want to keep them for exclusive opportunities and pay cash elsewhere.
While the value of World of Hyatt points is more reliable than its competitors, it’s always a risky proposition to buy points if you aren’t imminently planning a booking.
Indeed, with the Marriott Bonvoy devaluation, World of Hyatt is the only major hotel program that will keep publishing an award chart in 2023. However, the introduction of off-peak and peak pricing could be a sign of further changes to come in future years.
If you’d prefer to slowly build your balance for a bigger redemption down the road, I’d recommend looking at other earning methods first.
South of the border, Chase issues two co-branded World of Hyatt Visa cards:
Furthermore, with the personal card, each year you can earn up to two Free Night Awards for a Category 1–4 hotel:
In addition to co-branded World of Hyatt cards, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred 1:1 to World of Hyatt. You can earn these rewards on any of the Chase Sapphire products:
If you have one of the above cards, you can also turn your cash-back rewards from some other Chase cards, including their Freedom lineup, into Ultimate Rewards.
These credit cards are undoubtedly a great way to extract value from the World of Hyatt program as you progress deeper into the US credit card game.
You can also combine points from multiple accounts. However, if you’re looking to fast-track your Hyatt balance, there are a few major caveats to be aware of:
Due to these limitations, in general I wouldn’t recommend relying on pooling World of Hyatt points. Still, the option is available and might be useful in select situations if you’re facing a points shortage before making a booking.
As you decide whether this promotion is a good opportunity for you to meet your travel goals, here’s a look back at World of Hyatt’s previous promotions on purchasing points over the past year:
25% bonus on purchased points
25% discount on purchased points
25% bonus on purchased points
30% discount on purchased points
30% more purchased points
30% discount on purchased points
30% more purchased points
World of Hyatt is offering a promotion on purchasing points. With a 25% bonus, you can effectively buy points at a rate of 1.92 cents per point (USD).
While I don’t normally recommend buying points speculatively without an immediate redemption need or long-term plan, I’d give some consideration to this opportunity, as the World of Hyatt program has a strong track record of delivering value where its peers have faltered.
Make sure to purchase World of Hyatt points before March 25, 2023 to take advantage of this offer if you’re interested.
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