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Hyatt Gold Passport Rewards in-depth – Your questions answered

by on Thu May 26, 2016 • 8 Comments
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Hyatt Gold Passport is arguably one of the most rewarding hotel loyalty programs currently available. Whether you earn most of your points via hotel stays, or you have Chase Ultimate Rewards you’d like to transfer into Hyatt points for award nights, this guide will help you understand exactly how you can use your points, and where you can get some of the best value.

What hotels can you book with Hyatt points?

Hyatt has 11 brands total where you can earn points and redeem points, representing over 600 hotels world wide, which makes it one of the smaller of the global hotel chains. The easiest way to understand each of these brands is to categorize them:

  • Luxury: Park Hyatt
  • Premium: Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt
  • Lifestyle: ANdAZ, Hyatt Centric, The Unbound Collection
  • Limited Service: Hyatt Place, Hyatt House
  • All-Inclusive: Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva

Another brand that falls under the Hyatt umbrella is the Hyatt Residence Club. Hyatt also has a partnership with M Life properties located in Las Vegas like the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, and Bellagio, which let you use points for stays and offer reciprocal elite status.

How many points does a free night cost?

What Hyatt lacks in total number of properties, they more than make up for in the value of their points. Hyatt has 7 categories of hotels that range from 5,000 points per night to 30,000 points per night. In addition to this most of the hotels are very reasonable with their category assignment, there are a total of only 7 properties that fall in category 7. Category 6 meanwhile has only about 30 properties, which means that you will not have to pay an arm and a leg for staying on all points.

Hyatt Gold Passport Points needed per room per night.

Hotel Category1234567
Standard Room:5,0008,00012,00015,00020,00025,00030,000
Regency/Grand Club:7,00012,00017,00021,00027,00033,00039,000

The best thing about the Hyatt Gold Passport program is that as long as a standard room is available you should be able to book using all points, though hotels occasionally play games by turning pretty standard rooms into non-standard rooms by saying mid-level floors are considered ‘premium’ high floors, making standard space more scarce.

One downside to staying on an all points rate is that you are unable to apply a Diamond Suite Upgrade (more on this later).

If you find yourself short on points then you might want to look into Points & Cash options. Unfortunately these rates are capacity controlled so even if a standard room is available, you may be out of luck in finding a Points & Cash rate. The three best things about booking a Points and Cash rate are:

  1. You can get an incredibly good value on upper tier properties. Take for example the Park Hyatt Vienna. On a random weekend in April the current room rate is $559 (using current exchange rates). Booking a Points and Cash award would cost you 12,500 Hyatt Gold Passport points and $150. Meaning that you are getting approximately 3.2 cents per point. Compare this to using all points and you would receive about 2.2 cents per point.
  2. You also earn points on the cash portion of the rate. If we use the example of above, you would receive 5 points per dollar on $150 which would give you 750 points (and this does not factor in if you have elite status). While this does not seem like a ton, it definitely helps to reduce the total points paid.
  3. Points and Cash rates are eligible for Diamond Suite Upgrades. These Diamond Suite Upgrades can be applied at the time of booking and are good for up to 7 nights. This is where the value can really grow exponentially because the cash price of a suite is much higher than that of a standard room.
Hotel Category1234567
Points Required for Standard Rooms:5,0008,00012,00015,00020,00025,00030,000
Points + Cash Required for Standard Rooms1:2,500
+
$50
USD
4,000
+
$55
USD
6,000
+
$75
USD
7,500
+
$100
USD
10,000
+
$125
USD
12,500
+
$150
USD
15,000
+
$300
USD

How much does an upgrade cost?

One of the most valuable aspects of the Hyatt Gold Passport program is the Diamond Suite Upgrade (DSU). Once becoming a Diamond member you receive 4 Diamond Suite Upgrades that are valid until March 1st of the following year. So if you earn Diamond status in May of 2016, you will receive Diamond Suite Upgrades that must be used by March 1st of 2017. If you re-qualify then your balance will be replenished with 4 new Diamond Suite Upgrades.

Diamond Suite Upgrades have a few caveats. First, a suite must be available. Each hotel has a specific suite that is set-aside for Diamond Suite Upgrades. For example: the Park Hyatt Washington D.C. has the Park Suite as their standard upgrade. If this is not available on every night of your stay then you will not be able to apply the DSU. There have been case-by-case reports that some locations (ex: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay) will allow you to use a DSU on a different suite than the one that they have assigned. This is not the norm and generally would require you to call and request the hotel to open DSU inventory.

You are also required to book a paid rate, which includes Points and Cash rates. If you are staying on all points then you will not be eligible. The final intricacy of the DSU is that you have to call in to apply it to your reservation; in other words it is not possible to apply it via the website.

Diamond Suite Upgrades are not available at the following properties: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Hyatt Regency Tulsa, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Hyatt Paris Madeleine, Hyatt Herald Squre, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt Manila City of Dreams, Hyatt Santa Barbara. You are also unable to use them at Hyatt Residence Clubs, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, or M Life Resorts.

What if you are not a Diamond member? You can still enjoy upgrades, but it is going to cost you a bit more. If you are booking an all-cash rate then you can upgrade to the Regency or Grand club for 3,000 additional points a night. Or (also still on an all-cash rate) you can redeem 6,000 additional points a night for a suite.

If you are not interested in spending any money at all then you can also book a suite for all-points based on the chart below. Before using all the points per night, double check to see if you are still getting as good of a value since suite prices in points are almost double regular room prices.

Hotel Category1234567
Suite8,00013,00020,00024,00032,00040,00048,000

Good deal redemptions

There are several great redemptions within the Hyatt system from beachfront resorts to mountainous ski lodges and everything in between!

Park Hyatt Maldives. One of the most iconic resorts known among points and miles enthusiasts is the Park Hyatt Maldives. The remote Park Hyatt Maldives is located in the northern Indian Ocean and is right next to the equator. It consists of a series of villas with the most notably being those that are over the ocean. This is rightfully a category 6 property that will set you back 25,000 points a night. A random check of a nightly rate is $550 USD, which would give you a value of over 2 cents per point. Rates can be much higher though, going as high as $900 a night. One thing that should be noted though is that the resort is extremely isolated and will require you to pay about $500 USD in order to arrange a private boat transfer to the island.
Park-Hyatt-Maldives

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. Interested in staying at an all-inclusive resort on points?

This resort is located in Jamaica and currently goes for 25,000 points a night for two people. The main draw to this hotel is the fact that you not only receive a free room, but you also receive food and drink as well. This hotel is perfect if you want a truly free vacation because everything is included in your rate. That means you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, adult beverages, some activities, and more. In order to book all-points or Cash and Points rates you will need to call Hyatt: 1-866-349-3607.
Hyatt-Zilara-Rose-Hall

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. Let’s look at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Colorado. This mountain lodge is located right next to superb ski slopes if that is more your fancy as opposed to the sunshine. Rates here can go for $550 USD during peak ski season and staying on points would cost you about 30,000 points or a value of 1.8 cents per point. If you happened to be going during the summer you would definitely do better paying the average rate of about $160 USD or else you would get a terrible valuation of less than half a cent per point.
Park-Hyatt-Beaver-Creek

Can you turn Hyatt points into airline miles?

Hyatt points can be turned into miles at the rate of 1 mile per 2.5 Hyatt Gold Passport points (10,000 points = 4,000 miles) with a few exceptions. One exception is Southwest where you can receive 4,800 Southwest Rapid Rewards points if you transfer 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points. This can be useful because these points count towards Companion Pass qualification.

Participating airline mile partners include:

  • Aeromexico: 10,000 points = 8,000 kilometers
  • Air China: 10,000 points = 6,400 kilometers
  • Air France / KLM
  • ANA
  • American Airlines
  • Asia Miles
  • Asiana
  • British Airways
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern: 10,000 points = 6,400 kilometers
  • Delta
  • Emirate
  • Etihad
  • Hawaiian
  • Japan Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • Korean
  • LAN
  • Lufthansa
  • Qantas: 10,000 points = 4,800 miles
  • Qatar
  • Royal Brunei
  • Singapore
  • Southwest: 10,000 points = 4,800 points
  • Thai
  • United
  • Virgin Atlantic: 10,000 points = 6,000 miles

It is almost never advisable to transfer Hyatt points into airline miles because of the poor ratio that you receive. If you need to top off an account for a redemption or to reach the Companion Pass on Southwest then it may be justifiable, otherwise you will lose a lot of value.

What are Hyatt points worth?

We think Hyatt points are worth about 1.8 cents each – which is about the median value observed by searchers using the Hotel Hustle search tool, which lets you search for hotels by award price and availability compared to the actual cash rate.

For example, a typical summer weekend at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco will cost 20,000 points, or $299 if you book in cash, getting you about 1.5 cents in value. But you can get the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco for 15,000 points a night, versus a cash rate of $290, netting you almost 2 cents a point in value. It’s possible to get much more or much less in value per point depending on the cash price of rooms and number of points you need.

Since Gold Passport charges the same number of points for a room no matter how much it costs in cash, you get the most out of your points when cash prices are high.

Can you share points?

Hyatt is generous in the fact that it will allow you to combine points with ANY other Hyatt Gold Passport Member if you are booking an award. You must fill out an Award Request Form that you can send back in. You are not able to prematurely combine points; it must be for the purpose of booking an award immediately. You may give or receive points once every 30 days.

How do you earn points?

You are able to earn points on applicable room rates, dining, and spa reservations with Hyatt. Hyatt Gold Passport members will earn 5 points per dollar spent. If you happen to be a Platinum member then you will receive an extra 15% bonus on top of those points. If you are a Diamond member then you will receive an extra 30% bonus on top of those points plus be able to receive a Diamond welcome points or amenity which could give you 500 points per stay at limited service properties and 1,000 points per stay at full-service properties.

Hyatt also has various promotions that occur throughout the year. These promotions will generally give extra bonus points after staying a certain number of nights and may or may not be targeted.

What stays qualify to earn points?

Almost all rates that are booked through Hyatt.com receive stay and points credit. If you decide to book through a third party travel site such as Hotels.com, Orbitz.com, etc. then you will not receive any points or stay credit towards your room rate. There have been scattered reports that you may still receive points on eligible dining charges that are posted to your room. Overall Hyatt does a relatively good job of recognizing those with Diamond status that book through a third party by still granting club access and free breakfast.

Hyatt does have a Best Rate Guarantee program that will match a better rate found on third party websites. They will also take an additional 20% off the rate which means it can be very favorable if you are able to find a lower rate elsewhere.

What is the cancellation policy?

The cancellation policy of award nights is dependent on the hotel. Some hotels will only require 24 hour advance notice, while others may be more stringent. You should usually see the points deposited back into your account within minutes in most case.

Do Hyatt points expire?

Hyatt points expire if there is no activity after 24 months. In order to remain active you should stay at least one night in a hotel to show activity within your account.

You could also eat at a restaurant that earns Hyatt Gold Passport points (for example, Polaris at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, just make sure to record your Hyatt Gold Passport number for the waiter). You could also earn points by renting a car and earning Hyatt points as your earning method. Or an even easier way to make sure your points do not expire is to have the Hyatt Credit Card from Chase.

What cards earn Gold Passport points?

You can also earn points through the Hyatt Credit Card from Chase. This card usually has a sign-up bonus of 2 free nights at any Hyatt worldwide after $1,000 spent in the first 3 months. This is an amazing deal and could be especially great if you have a spouse or significant other that also applies for the card since you could book a 4 night vacation just from this alone.

The Hyatt credit card gives you 3 points per dollar spent on Hyatt properties. You also receive 2 points per dollar on restaurants, car rental, and airfare. And 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

In addition to this lucrative earning structure you also receive a free night certificate that is good for a category 1 through 4 properties on your account anniversary.

Holding the Hyatt credit card automatically gives you Platinum status, which can be valuable due to the benefits listed below. The annual fee is also waived for the first year and is $75 afterwards. This is a great deal because a category 4 hotel can go for upwards of $200 a night which means that the free night pays for itself.

Hyatt is also a transfer partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. You can transfer points from a premium card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Plus.

These points transfer to Hyatt on a 1:1 basis.

The points you earn through the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited can also be transferred to Hyatt if you hold one of the premium cards above. This means that you can funnel all your spending through these cards and effectively be earning at least 1.5 Hyatt points per purchases and often much more.

How can you earn Platinum status?

Platinum status can easily be earned by applying for the Hyatt Credit Card by Chase. If you want to earn it the old-fashioned way then you will have to stay in a Hyatt for 15 qualifying nights or 5 stays. Platinum members receive several key benefits:

  • 15% bonus on points earned
  • Complimentary internet access
  • 72-hour room guarantee
  • Guaranteed 2PM late checkout
  • A preferred room on a higher floor

The main benefit for those holding Platinum status is the 2PM checkout and the 15% bonus points.

How can you earn Diamond status?

Diamond status can be earned by staying for 50 qualifying nights or by having 25 stays. Some of the key benefits of Diamond status are:

  • 30% bonus on points earned
  • 48-hour room guarantee
  • 4 Diamond Suite Upgrades
  • Access to Grand or Regency clubs; receive complimentary breakfast in the restaurant if the hotel does not have a club
  • Complimentary upgrades if space permits
  • 4PM late checkout

The biggest benefits to being a Diamond member are the 4 guaranteed Diamond Suite Upgrades and the complimentary breakfast in the club or restaurant if the club is not available. Diamond members frequently receive upgrades even if they do not use one of their guaranteed Diamond Suite Upgrades.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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8 thoughts on Hyatt Gold Passport Rewards in-depth – Your questions answered

  1. YM

    Would I be able to get a room upgrade on free anniversary night at a Tier 1-4 property using cash or points (say standard room to suite)? Or is it possible to upgrade the free anniversary night to a higher tier property using cash and/points ?

    Reply

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