Jul142011

Hyatt Gold Passport buy up to 40,000 points option

Hyatt Gold Passport has set a price value on its points in 2011 and it is a high price. Hyatt added the option to buy or gift up to 40,000 points in a calendar year through Points.com at the rate of $24 per 1,000 points. Prior to 2011, points could only be purchased when needing points for an immediate reward redemption and I think it was limited to 10% of the reward cost.

In April I stated on Loyalty Traveler blog the $24 price was a fair market value.

While the price is probably fair, I can’t really say it is a good value to purchase points at $24/1,000 points unless you have an immediate redemption in mind where the redemption value will exceed $24/1,000 points.

Here is a Hyatt Gold Passport hotel reward category chart and buy points equivalent room rate including tax as a guide.

  • Category 1 hotels = 5,000 points = $120
  • Category 2 hotels = 8,000 points – $192
  • Category 3 hotels = 12,000 points = $288
  • Category 4 hotels = 15,000 points = $360
  • Category 5 hotels = 18,000 points = $432
  • Category 6 hotels = 22,000 points = $528

When the room rate + tax exceeds the rate shown above for the hotel reward category, then buying points might be a good option. Keep in mind though that a reward night on points does not earn points and miles or promotion credit.

When I look at this chart I only see real value in Category 1 hotels where there is a reasonable probability that the room rates at a Category 1 Hyatt Place may exceed $120 per night making the ability to buy 5,000 points for $120 a potential savings. I have stayed at category 2 hotels on reward nights when the rate was over $200 per night after tax.

Actually finding hotels in category 3 to 6 where the rate is higher than the cost to buy points is not a situation I think you will find too frequently.

The ability to buy up to 40,000 points per year is primarily an opportunity for buying a few thousand points to reach a reward level when you are short.

I see three situations where buying Hyatt Gold Passport points at $24 per 1,000 points could be a good value:

  1. Hyatt Gold Passport adds a Cash & Points feature for rewards similar to Starwood Preferred Guest, Hilton HHonors and IHG Priority Club.
  2. Hyatt Gold Passport adds an extended stay discount like Marriott Rewards and SPG with 5th night free and Hilton HHonors with extended stay VIP rewards or American Express AXON rewards.
  3. Hyatt Gold Passport runs a promotion for buying points with additional bonus points (similar to airlines 50% bonus miles purchases or Choice Privileges recent 10% bonus) or discounts the rate to buy points like SPG’s periodic 20% discount from $35/1,000 points to $28/1,000 points.

For this Loyalty Traveler, the option to buy points is something I will keep in mind when checking category 1 hotel rates and the Hyatt Gold Passport hotel stay promotions are not so lucrative.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. There is one property where buying your points can save you as much as 50%, and that would be a stay at the Park Hyatt Vendome, Paris. Current cheapest room, with tax, will set you back over $1000 a night easy.

  2. The suite upgrade awards are very good value on this basis, for those hotels where the best rate you can get is close to Best Flex anyway. I have used these awards in Asia to great effect.

  3. Another option to consider is to buy Stay Certificates (and to a lesser extent, Weekend Certificates). Not all hotels participate but it may be a better option than burning points, especially at the highter levels.

    Classic Level (US $109 per night)
    Choice Level (US $145 per night)
    Premier Level (US $185 per night)
    Elite Level (US $249 per night)
    Inspire Level (US $319 per night)

    Unfortunately, Paris PH Vendome does not participate.

  4. Hyatt needs to bring back FFN: the sooner the better. The promos have been very lackluster this year with the elimination of the GX bonus offers.

  5. @Maureen – Hyatt points are worth buying if you have a reservation planned and the points will save money.

    12,000 points for $240 is a good deal for some hotel rewards.

    48,000 points vs. 40,000 points for $960 is certainly a better deal. You should definitely have a plan for using the points before buying points. The 20% bonus is still not a great purchase deal.

    Keep in mind there is a limit of 40,000 points per calendar year. You could buy 48,000 points now and 40,000 points again in January for 88,000 total points.

    88,000 points is four nights at a Hyatt Category 6 hotel like Paris or Maldives. These hotels could be well over $2,000 for a four-night stay.

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