In 2021, Zuzu & I decided that NOW was the time to travel and not wait until we’re retired. Learning how to earn & redeem Hyatt points has been a critical part of our strategy.
In this short time, we’ve used over 2 million Hyatt points to get ~$100,000 of free Hyatt stays.
Here’s everything that I wish we knew about Hyatt points years ago.
Hyatt Points Guide
There are 2 main things you need to learn about how to use Hyatt Points:
- Earning Points
- Redeeming Points
Both how to earn & how to redeem Hyatt points have their own nuances and can make a big difference in your bottom line results.
How To Earn Hyatt Points
If you want to earn Hyatt points, you need to 1st join the World of Hyatt (WoH) program. It’s simple and free to join the WoH program on the Hyatt website.
Once you’re a member, there are 3 main ways to earn points:
- Pay for stays at Hyatt properties
- Get a credit card that earns Hyatt points for all charges
- Get a credit card that earns points which can be transferred to Hyatt points
Earn Points on Stays at Hyatt Properties
If you pay for your stay at a Hyatt property, you’ll earn at least 5 points for each $1 of eligible spend. So oversimplified, a $100 stay will earn 500 Hyatt points.
Business travel is a great opportunity to earn points on paid stays.
While we usually use our points to stay for free at Hyatt resorts, we’ve traveled to places like Miami, Dallas and Denver on business. My company reimburses my expenses and I earn the points!
Earn Points with Hyatt Promotions
Hyatt frequently has one or more promotions for you to earn bonus points.
Most years, there has been a Hyatt Bonus Journeys promotion that runs for a few months. They typically offer either extra elite nights (which count toward Globalist status) or some extra points for stays.
Another regular promo is for extra Hyatt points at new properties. In the past, you could earn 500 points per night for stays at certain new Hyatt hotels.
Get a Hyatt credit card
If you have a Hyatt credit card, you’ll earn 1 or 2 points per $1 for most things that you charge on the card. The big exception is that you earn 4 extra points when you pay for Hyatt stays and experiences.
When you combine these 4 points with the 5 points you already get as a WoH member, that’s at least 9 Hyatt points for every $1 spent at a Hyatt.
Earn Points that Transfer to Hyatt
The 3rd way that most people earn Hyatt points is through credit cards that earn transferrable points. And then you can transfer points to Hyatt from that credit card.
The most significant of these are the Chase credit cards which earn Chase Unlimited Rewards (UR) points. Once you earn Chase UR points, you can transfer Chase points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. Points move almost instantly from your Chase account into your WoH account.
To transfer Chase points to Hyatt, you must have one of these 3 Chase credit cards:
While you must have one of these 3 Chase cards to transfer Chase points to Hyatt, you can earn Chase UR points with several other Chase cards. But these are three of the best credit cards for anyone who wants to earn alot of free travel.
Simply consolidate your Chase UR points under one of the 3 cards and then transfer those points to your World of Hyatt account.
How We Earn Hyatt Points
For Zuzu & me, we’ve earned most of our Hyatt points with Chase points and then transferred those points to Hyatt. We think that’s the best way to use Chase points.
Most of our stays at Hyatt properties are free on points but when we do pay for a stay, we actually earn 10.5 points per $1.
All WoH members earn 9 points when they pay for stays with a Hyatt credit card. As you reach higher elite levels, WoH members earn extra points.
We’re top tier Globalists so we earn an extra 1.5 points in addition to the 9 points that all members earn when paying for a stay with a Hyatt credit card.
Other Ways to Earn Hyatt Points
You can also buy Hyatt points but we’ve never done that.
Hyatt also gives out points through relationships with partner companies. We’ve earned only a small amount of points this way.
How to Redeem Hyatt Points
Once you’ve earned Hyatt points, you can redeem them for free stays at the 1,000+ Hyatt properties around the world. A free night at a Hyatt property can cost as little as 3500 points and as much as 137,000 points.
Most Hyatt rooms fall between 5k and 25k points per night.
Unlike some hotel loyalty programs which tie their points price to the cash price of a room (referred to as dynamic pricing), Hyatt has award charts with set point prices for different categories of hotels.
Hyatt does have their own version of dynamic pricing but it’s a relatively small change in the points price on peak and off-peak nights.
Most Hyatt hotels fall under the Category 1-8 award chart. They have a separate award chart for Hyatt All Inclusive resorts and their ultra high end Miraval resorts.
In general, the lower priced, least expensive and least desirable properties are closer to Category 1 and cost fewer points. Nicer, more expensive properties are in the higher categories and cost more points.
As you might expect, there are exceptions where a low category hotel is a fantastic hidden gem and a high category hotel is lousy. There are also exceptions within each category.
For example, we think the Hyatt Place Panama City Beach is the best Category 4 Hyatt. Not only is it on a fantastic beach, the building was brand new in 2022!
In general, the lowest priced properties are Category 1 hotels & standard rooms are usually 5k points per night. Category 2-4 hotels are usually decent but not great. Standard rooms at a Category 4 are usually 15k points per night.
In my experience, Category 5-8 is where you should expect a pretty good experience. These nicer properties usually start around 20k per night (for a Category 5 standard room) and go up to 40k per night (for a standard room at a Category 8).
Maximizing Hyatt Point Value
Most travel bloggers will tell you that Hyatt points are worth 1.5-2 cents per point.
In reality, it’s super difficult to come up with a number that applies to all situations for everyone.
When I run the math, the average Hyatt points value for Zuzu & me has been nearly 4 cents per point. However, we’ve had stays below that average we loved (like at the Grayson Hotel in NYC). And we’ve had stays far above that average that were unmemorable (looking at YOU, Hyatt Regency Birmingham).
Main Factors that Impact Value
However, there are 3 main factors that seem to make a difference for how much value we get out of points.
Better Value at Nicer Hyatts
In general, we get more value per Hyatt point when we stay at nicer, more expensive hotels and resorts.
Since we love to stay at luxury resorts for free, our average is skewed higher than someone who is using these points to stay at basic, bare-bones hotels.
Better Points Value during High Demand
The second factor that can really drive the value of a Hyatt point up is demand.
Since the cash price of a room can skyrocket during peak times, free nights on points become an even better deal when prices are high.
For us, the biggest example of this was when we got a room at the Hyatt Place Knoxville for only 9500 points. The cash rate is normally around $200 but was jacked up to $585 since we were in town for graduation with 10,000 other families!
Upgrades Give More Value per Point
And finally, the third factor that impacts our Hyatt point value would be free upgrades.
As a Globalist, we usually get some free upgrade vs the standard room which we booked. It’s impossible to know whether we’re getting the upgrade only because we’re Globalists or not. So I calculate our points value based on what we actually received.
Will your next free stay on points be at a value higher than or lower than our average of nearly 4 cents per point?
We Mostly Don’t Care about Value of Hyatt Points
While some people kind of obsess over getting a favorable value for their Hyatt points, we don’t care too much about that.
If we can avoid paying cash but only get 1.5 cents per point, we’ll usually do that. We’d much rather save our cash for other things.
OTOH, if we’re getting under 1 cent per point, I may very well pay cash instead of using points. Part of that consideration is that I earn 10.5 points per $1 when I pay cash for a Hyatt room.
Hyatt Points FAQ
Yes, they expire if you’ve had no activity in your World of Hyatt account in the past 24 months.
You must have a Chase Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred or an Ink Business Preferred card. In your Chase Ultimate Rewards dashboard, select “Transfer to Travel Partners.” Then enter your World of Hyatt membership number to link the accounts. Once linked, you can instantly transfer Chase points to Hyatt in increments of 1000.
Most travel blogs and financial website say Hyatt points are worth 1.5 to 2 cents per point. Based on my personal redemptions, Hyatt points are worth 3.8 cents each to me.
The least expensive rooms at basic Hyatt hotels are 3500 points. On the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive luxury suites at the ultra high end Miraval resorts are 137,000 points for double occupancy. On average, we use 19k Hyatt points for a free night.
Read about our Hyatt Adventures
After earning & redeeming over 2 million Hyatt points for ~$100,000 of free stays, we’ve made alot of memories since we started traveling in 2021. Get some inspiration of what you can do from our favorite blog posts!