Hyatt Hotels is a favorite hotel chain among many frequent travelers and points aficionados. World of Hyatt points are easy to earn, the redemption rates are very reasonable and Hyatt’s program is fairly straightforward and easy to use.

Let’s look at when and how to transfer Hyatt points, when it makes sense and when it doesn’t and how to book award stays at Hyatt hotels.

You’ll see that depending on the cash rates it doesn’t always make sense to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to the World of Hyatt. Quite counterintuitively, sometimes you are better off booking a Hyatt property through the Chase Travel portal or with cash earned with the new Pay Yourself Back feature.  

How to Earn Hyatt Points

There are two ways to earn a good stash of World of Hyatt (WOH) points without spending a lot of nights at Hyatt hotels.

World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card card comes with a two tier bonus and you can earn up to 50,000 bonus points:

  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening; and
  • Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first six months of account opening
World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

Earn 25,000 World of Hyatt Points after $3k spend in 3 months and another 25k points after $6k total spend in 6 months

LEARN MORE 

The card has some interesting bonus spending categories:

  • 9X on spent for Hyatt stays 
  • 2X on local transit and commuting
  • 2X on dining  
  • 2X on flights purchased directly from the airline
  • 2X on fitness club and gym memberships
  • 1X on everything else

As a cardmember, you’ll receive one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary. You’ll also earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.

The annual fee is $95, not waived the first year.

The card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.


Ultimate Rewards Earning Credit Cards

Hyatt is one of Chase’s transfer partners and the points transfer 1:1. Chase has a number of excellent personal and business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points. One of our favorites is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

For a limited time, the welcome bonus on this card is 80,000 points. But even a regular 60,000 bonus is a great deal for this low annual fee card ($95, not waived the first year).

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 spend in 3 months

LEARN MORE 

The card earns 2X on travel, and that includes everything, from airfare and hotels to taxis, trains and even tolls. All dining purchases also earn 2X. For a limited time through March 2022, you’ll earn 5X on Lyft rides.

The card comes with a host of other benefits, such as trip interruption and cancellation insurance and rental car benefits.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card is a great card for any small business owner. The welcome bonus is 100,000 points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. The annual fee is $95, not waived the first year.

The card earns 3X on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines. All other purchases earn 1X.

Both of these cards don’t have foreign transaction fees and are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.


How to Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Hyatt

It’s very easy to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your Hyatt account. When you login to your Ultimate Rewards account, click on the little arrow next to the number of points to expand the dark blue header.

pasted image 0 20

Then click on Transfer to Travel Partners. And scroll down to the list of hotel partners.

pasted image 0 21

On the next screen fill out your details and click continue.

pasted image 0 17

As you can see, Chase made it very easy to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt. The transfer is instant, so log into your Hyatt account to see your newly transferred points. At this point you are ready to book your stay!

One caveat, you need to have one premium card (a card with an annual fee)  in order to be able to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners.


When Should You Use Points and Award Sweet Spots

Hyatt is considered to be one of the best Chase transfer partners thanks to the program’s reasonable award redemption rates. For example, you can book a room at the iconic Park Hyatt Sydney with 30,000 points. In contrast, the rates at this amazing property top $1,500 in high season.

In 2019 Hyatt announced that they will introduce standard, peak and off-peak pricing but that has been delayed to July 2021. So for now, we can book awards at standard rates even for the most in-demand properties.

pasted image 0 15

Not all properties, however, offer outsized redemption values. When booking a Hyatt, always check how many World of Hyatt points you’ll need to book directly with Hyatt and the price in points on Chase’s travel portal.

Sometimes you’ll need fewer points if you book a Hyatt property through the portal. It’s important to always compare the price in points you’ll find on the portal with the price in points on Hyatt’s site.

You’ll get the best value through the portal if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card because Sapphire Reserve cardholders can redeem points through the portal at 1.5c/point. Sapphire Preferred cardholders can redeem points at 1.25c/point.

Let’s look at a couple of examples. If you wanted to go skiing in Utah over the President’s Day weekend, these are the cash rates at two Park City hotels.

pasted image 0 16

Hyatt Centric is a category 7 hotel, bookable with 30,000 Hyatt points. Hyatt Place Park City is a category 4 hotel, bookable with just 15,000 points.

Now, let’s see how many Ultimate Rewards points you’ll need to book these properties through the Chase travel portal if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The price on the portal is tied to the cash prices and each point is worth 1.5 cents.

pasted image 0 22

Remember, when you transfer the Ultimate Rewards points, one Ultimate Rewards point is equal to one Hyatt point. So to book one of these Park City hotels, you’ll need twice as many points if you book through the portal when the cash rates are this high.  

Now let’s compare these two options when the demand is much lower. I looked up these two hotels on the portal for midweek dates in December, before the start of the school holidays.

And what a difference! Hyatt Centric costs just under 20,000 points and Hyatt Place Park City less than 9,000 points. Compare that to 30,000 and 15,000 WOH points respectively, and you’ve got a winner. In this case, using the portal makes a lot more sense.

pasted image 0 19

One caveat – portal bookings are treated as third party bookings and usually don’t earn elite qualifying nights. And if you have  elite status, it might not be honored. For me personally, saving money, or in this case points, beats elite status perks.

It’s easy to find examples of lower category hotels that usually cost in the $100-$150 range most of the year but shoot up in price during special events, such as big tournaments, college football games, graduation or festivals.

These category 2-4 properties can be booked with just 8,000-15,000 points, so using Hyatt points and booking directly would make the most sense. As you can see, it’s always important to compare prices.  

Other examples of these “sweet spots” include the Maldives, Hyatt’s all inclusive properties in Mexico and the Caribbean and lower category hotels near the theme parks.  

pasted image 0 18

Park Hyatt Maldives | Photo Courtesy of Hyatt.com


Should You Use Chase Pay Yourself Back Option to Book a Hyatt Stay

A few months ago Chase announced a new way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points to offset certain purchases at a very favorable rate. This feature maximizes the value of Ultimate Rewards points by 25% to 50%.

With Pay Yourself Back, cardholders receive 25% or 50% more value on eligible point redemptions at an increased value of 1.25 cents per point or 1.50 cents per point, depending on the card. Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business and Freedom card holders receive 25% more value on certain redemptions, while Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive 50% more value on select purchases.

Right now there’s no option to pay yourself back for travel purchases, such as hotel bookings.

However, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can pay yourself back for groceries, home improvement store purchases and dining.

Other cards, such as the Chase Ink Preferred and the Chase Freedom Flex have other categories eligible for the Pay Yourself Back feature. You can then use the money you saved on groceries or dining to book a cash rate for your Hyatt stay.

To use Pay Yourself Back, log into your Ultimate Rewards account and click on Pay Yourself Back.

pasted image 0 20

From there you’ll be able to see eligible charges and redeem your Ultimate Rewards for all or some of the charges.

This is a great way to “cash out” your points, or turn them into cash and use them to book Hyatt properties.

Let’s look again at Hyatt Centric hotel for our ski trip during the President’s Day weekend, assuming we have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and each point is worth 1.5 cents.

The cash rate is $899/ night, so 89,900 cents divided by 1.5 = 59,333 points. As you can see, when the cash rate is that high, it clearly makes sense to transfer points to Hyatt and book an award stay.

But when the cash rate is $299/night, you’ll need just 19,333 Ultimate Rewards points, or the same amount of points as if you were booking through the portal.

In that case, paying yourself back and booking a cash rate directly with Hyatt will be the best way to go.

Why? Because when you are using this method to pay for your stay, you’ll be earning points and elite qualifying nights. And if you have an elite status, you can enjoy your elite perks.

So how many points would you earn on the paid stay? If you pay with the World of Hyatt card, you’ll earn 9X on hotel stays, so in our example, you’ll earn 2,691 WOH points. If you don’t have a Hyatt credit card and want to pay with your Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll earn 3X or 897 Ultimate Rewards points. This is cheaper than booking through the travel portal or transferring the Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt.

It’s always important to compare different avenues, deploy a little math and compare the price in cash and points.


Room Upgrades on Paid Stays

Another great way to use Hyatt points is to use them to upgrade a paid stay. If you’d like a larger room, or need a bigger room to accommodate more people, this option could be particularly valuable, especially if there’s a big price difference between the cash rates for a standard room and a standard suite. The number of points you’d need for the upgrade is relatively small.

pasted image 0 23

Note that at all Hyatt brands with rooms that are upgrade eligible, you must book the Standard Rate and at Hyatt resorts you must book at least a Deluxe room. However, the difference in price between a deluxe room and a suite can be hundreds of dollars, so this is a great way to extend the value of your points.

To be eligible for an upgrade, you’ll have to book the Standard Rate at all Hyatt brands and at Hyatt resort properties, you must book at least a Deluxe room. But even when booking a slightly more expensive rate, the price difference between deluxe rooms and suites can be hundreds of dollars, so this is a great way to stretch your points.


Guest of Honor Awards

Guest of Honor bookings are a great way to enjoy all the perks of the top tier Globalist status without having to earn it yourself. Unlike other loyalty programs, Hyatt allows its top tier elite members to extend the perks to their friends and family. As a Guest of Honor, you’ll enjoy all the Globalist perks such as free breakfast and space-available upgrades at check-in.

Hyatt lets its members transfer points to each other for free every 30 days. So if a friend or a family member is a Globalist, you can transfer the points required for your stay and they can book you the coveted Guest of Honor reservation.


Final Thoughts

Hyatt points are fairly easy to earn thanks to a number of Ultimate Rewards earning cards and a World of Hyatt credit card. These cards come with generous welcome bonuses and great bonus earning categories making it easy to accumulate a good number of points quickly.

Hyatt points could be extremely valuable for booking award stays when the cash prices are very high. At other times, it might make more sense to book them through the portal or by using the recently introduced Pay Yourself Back feature. Always compare how many points you’ll need by using each of these methods to get the best value out of your points.

Travel well,

Anna  

Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 spend in 3 months

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months and 2x points earned on dining and travel spend, this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

Learn More

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.