Hyatt Gold Passport Points: Get More For Your Redemptions

Hyatt Gold Passport Points: Get More For Your Redemptions Story

Hyatt has an excellent loyalty program: It offers high rewards value and easy-to-decipher rewards pricing. If you frequent Hyatt hotels, which offer both affordable and upscale rooms, becoming a member could save you plenty on your next getaway.

Hyatt Gold Passport Points: The Basics

The value of Hyatt points depends on how you redeem them. NerdWallet values these points redeemed for hotel stays at 2.2 cents each, a relatively high value. However, you have fewer hotels to choose from when traveling. Hyatt offers about 600 locations in 50 countries, making it smaller than chains like InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Hilton and Starwood.

If you frequently travel to cities with Hyatt locations, though, joining the hotel’s membership program could help you earn free stays more quickly. Here’s how you can earn points at each of Hyatt’s membership levels:

Hyatt Gold Passport Membership – free to join

  • Earn five Hyatt Gold Passport Points per eligible dollar spent at Hyatt (excludes certain discounted offers).

Platinum Membership – requires 5 qualifying stays or 15 eligible nights (meaning stays and nights booked through Hyatt’s website)

  • Earn a 15% point bonus on your Gold Passport miles and get other benefits.

Diamond Membership – requires 25 qualifying stays or 50 eligible nights

  • Earn a 30% point bonus on your Gold Passport miles and get other benefits.

How to Get More Hyatt Gold Passport Points

Generally, there are a few ways you can get more Hyatt points:

  • Book stays or meetings at Hyatt frequently and earn points through the membership program.
  • Buy points.

Because of Hyatt’s flexible redemption options, you don’t always need a boatload of points to get a free stay. If you’re a few points shy, the Points + Cash system, which lets you pay half in cash, half in points, offers outstanding value. You can get extra points for as little as 1.2 cents each this way, depending on which hotel category you’re making a reservation for.

You can also generally purchase points for 2.4 cents each online. Unless there’s a sale on points, though, Points + Cash is usually the cheaper option.

Other earning options. Hyatt lets you set your preference to earning airline miles for every stay, rather than points, but it’s generally a low-value deal. Say you spend $1,000 on a stay and opt to earn United miles. You’d only get 500 miles, worth about $8 according to NerdWallet’s valuation. With the free Hyatt membership, you’d earn 5,000 points, worth about $19. If you want miles, consider a different loyalty program.

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How to redeem Hyatt Gold Passport Points

Good redemption options

Redeeming Hyatt points for hotel stays is, by far, the highest-value option. NerdWallet values points redeemed for Hyatt hotel stays at 2.2 cents each, far surpassing the value of points from competitors such as IHG and Hilton. With some creative booking, though, you can get upward of 3 cents per point.

Rooms cost a flat number of rewards depending on their hotel category, which is usually determined by factors like location and services offered. Therefore, you get more for your rewards if the room has a relatively high cash cost for its category. One Category 4 hotel surveyed, for example, charged $506 for one weeknight stay, while other hotels in the same category tended to charge around $300. Because it cost 15,000 points to reserve, it fetched a value of about 3.4 cents per point.

If you want to find the best deals by category, visit this directory of hotels, sorted by hotel categories.

Bad redemption options

If you want to get the most out of your Hyatt points, stay away from the spa. Using rewards for miscellaneous hotel costs, such as hotel restaurants, mani-pedis or in-room movies, can whittle your points down to a sliver of their potential value. For 2,000 points, for example, you’d only get $10 of value, a paltry 0.5 cent per point.

You can also purchase miles, but this offers little value. Here’s what 5,000 Hyatt points can get, for instance:

  • 4,000 Aeromexico/LAN Airlines S.A. kilometers
  • 3,200 Air China kilometers
  • 3,200 China Eastern Airlines points
  • 2,400 Qantas Airways points
  • 2,400 Southwest Airlines points
  • 3,000 Virgin Atlantic Airways miles

For reference, NerdWallet values Southwest points at 1.1 cents each. Trading 5,000 Hyatt points in for 2,400 Southwest points, then, is like trading in $95 for $26.40.

Fine print

  • Your points will expire if an account is left inactive for 24 consecutive months.
  • Unless you have automatic elite status, you have to requalify for elite status each year.

Methodology

The calculated value of these points is based on an estimated redemption rate, not a credit card rewards earn rate. Therefore, you may notice that these numbers don’t match the rewards rates on our credit card finder tool. Read on for how we estimated these points values.

We determined the value of a Hyatt point redeemed for hotel stays by sampling costs from a composite list of popular travel destinations, based on data from Orbitz, Expedia and Euromonitor International. We looked at these five domestic locations and five international locations, from hotel categories 1 through 7:

  • Los Angeles
  • Orlando, Florida
  • New York City
  • Dallas
  • Las Vegas
  • Toronto
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • London
  • Paris
  • Tokyo

For each location, we calculated the value by dividing the dollar price of a room by the number of points it cost. Overall, the average value of a point was 2.2 cents.

Last updated September 18, 2015.

Claire Tsosie is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: claire@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7.