Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Every year, Hyatt announces category changes. This is Hyatt’s way of informing members which hotels will require different amounts of points going forward. This time around, the hotel giant is increasing the number of points you’ll need for a night at some 214 hotels, including TPG reader favorites.
Regardless, Hyatt is still one of the best hotel loyalty programs out there if you know how to use it. This is largely because of its great elite status program and the fact that it’s sticking to an award chart for the time being. So even though some award stays may be more expensive once the most recent category changes are implemented, all hotels are priced predictably.
This guide will explain everything you should know about redeeming Hyatt points. We’ll go through many of the best ways to redeem Hyatt points and arm you with the knowledge you need to make informed redemptions and maximize your World of Hyatt points.
Redeem Hyatt points for free nights
Using Hyatt points for free nights is pretty straightforward — the higher the hotel category, the more points you’ll need for a free night redemption.
The more upscale brands (like Park Hyatt and Andaz) are usually in higher categories. You’ll find lower redemption rates at chains like Hyatt House and Hyatt Place and in cities where you can book luxury hotels at budget prices. Once you start looking for Hyatt hotels outside of the U.S. and Canada, you might find higher-end brands in lower categories. For example, the Park Hyatt Chennai in India is a Category 1 hotel.
Check the “Use Points” box when searching for a hotel to use Hyatt points for a free night.
After clicking the “Find Hotels” button, you’ll see a list of the available hotels for your dates. Once you find a hotel, select “View Rates.” You’ll see rates at the hotel you’ve selected using points. You can also click to see the “Points Calendar” from this screen.
Unfortunately, Hyatt’s points calendar doesn’t show real-time availability. It merely indicates which nights would be off-peak, standard and peak.
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You can also use your Hyatt points for the club level, standard suites and premium suites.
While top-tier Globalist status provides a plethora of perks to improve your stay, every World of Hyatt member enjoys waived resort, destination and facility fees when using points. Be sure to keep this in mind when comparing cash and award prices.
That’s why I like to use my Hyatt points to dodge unwelcome fees. For example, one night at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa in December totals $596.98 after resort fees, county and state taxes. Alternatively, you could use 20,000 points for the same night, giving you a redemption rate of 3 cents per World of Hyatt point.
That’s almost double TPG’s valuation of Hyatt points.
Another exceptional use of Hyatt points, especially if you don’t have many points in your account, is the Grand Hyatt Bali. After taxes and fees, a night between Christmas and New Year’s comes to $326.70. By using 6,500 points instead of paying cash, you’d get over 5 cents per point. That’s roughly triple TPG’s valuation of Hyatt points.
Unfortunately, this is one of the Hyatt hotels going up in categories. After March 28, you’ll need to use 9,500 points to book this room as a Category 2 peak night.
Related: Your guide to maximizing Hyatt redemptions
Hyatt award charts
With Marriott’s dynamic pricing model, World of Hyatt is one of the last major hotel loyalty programs to use award charts. Compared to programs that use dynamic pricing, Hyatt’s award categories make planning for a specific redemption easier.
Hyatt uses an off-peak, standard and peak award chart. So the number of points you’ll need for a night at a Hyatt hotel depends on whether the night is off-peak, standard or peak.
Hyatt has also added lots of all-inclusive resorts to its portfolio recently. The all-inclusive properties use a Category A through F system. Pricing for Category A to E all-inclusive properties aligns with pricing for Category 4 to 8 properties.
Category F for all-inclusive properties is higher than Category 8 and is the highest we’ve seen for any Hyatt award. Standard rates clock in at 50,000 points per night and peak nights top out at a monumental 58,000 points per night.
Related: Your guide to World of Hyatt award charts
Hyatt reward night certificates
While Hyatt’s free night certificates are separate from World of Hyatt points, they should be on your radar. There are four ways that you can earn World of Hyatt Category 1 through 4 free-night certificates:
- After each cardmember anniversary with the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
- Spend $15,000 during a calendar year on your World of Hyatt Credit Card.
- Stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points yearly at Hyatt properties.
- As a Brand Explorer perk for every five unique Hyatt brands you stay at.
You can use these certificates at any Category 1 through 4 hotel, even on peak nights. You can book exceptional hotels like the Hyatt Regency Seattle and Grand Hyatt Washington using Category 1 through 4 free night certificates. With this year’s category changes, many hotels are moving from Category 4 to 5, devaluing these certificates. For example, The Eliza Jane in New Orleans, Andaz San Diego, and Thompson Madrid are amongst the hotels moving from Category 4 to 5 on March 28.
You can also earn a Hyatt Category 1 through 7 free night certificate as a Milestone Reward after 60 qualifying nights in a year.
Related: The best Hyatt Category 4 hotels for family vacations
Cover part of your stay with Hyatt points
If you don’t have enough Hyatt points to completely cover your stay — and don’t want to buy Hyatt points or transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards or Bilt Rewards — you can use Pay My Way or book a Points + Cash rate.
Pay My Way
Pay My Way can be a lucrative option. First, log in to your Hyatt account. But don’t tick the “Use Points” box when starting your search. Instead, under the cash prices for the room you’d like to book, click “Use Pay My Way.”
You can select how to pay for each night on the next screen. Pay My Way can be great for using your points on nights when the cash rate increases.
Points + Cash
While you should generally avoid this option if you have enough points, you can also book the Points + Cash rate.
To see the Points + Cash rate, check the “Use Points” box when beginning your search. If the rate is available, you’ll see it listed.
Let’s look at how much value you’d get from booking a Points + Cash rate at the Hyatt Place London City East.
At this hotel, we’ll compare three different options for booking a room:
- Standard rate: 279 pounds (about $325).
- Points + Cash: 7,500 points plus 140 pounds (about $165).
- Points: 15,000 points.
The Points + Cash rate is a middle ground between using cash and points. But by booking the Points + Cash rate, you’ll need to pay the additional 140 pounds. So if you have the 15,000 points in your account, I recommend booking the hotel on points — you’ll get a value of 2.16 cents per point.
You’ll only earn World of Hyatt points on the cash part of Points + Cash bookings.
Related: The most award-friendly hotel program: Everything you need to know about World of Hyatt
Redeem Hyatt points to upgrade your room on paid stays
You can also use points to upgrade paid stays either online or by calling Hyatt:
|Room upgrade award||Points per night|
Regardless of the individual property’s award category, the upgrade point requirements remain the same.
Occasionally, you can find tremendous value in upgrading Hyatt stays with points.
But generally, it’s not a great deal. For example, consider an off-peak night at the Category 1 Grand Hyatt Bali. For this night, you can book a club room for just 2,000 points more than a standard room. A standard and premium suite are 3,000 and 3,500 points more than a standard room, respectively.
In this situation, spending 9,000 points to upgrade a cash rate to a premium suite you could book outright for 7,000 points wouldn’t make sense. But, it could make sense at higher-category hotels where booking an upgraded room with points would cost much more. Again, the Grand Hyatt Bali is one of the hotels moving to Category 2 on March 28.
Related: 6 tips to get the hotel room upgrades you deserve
Redeem Hyatt points for rental cars
You can redeem World of Hyatt points for Avis intermediate car rentals by calling World of Hyatt directly. If there’s availability, it will cost 6,000 points per day.
However, we recommend avoiding this option, as it usually gives a low cent-per-point value. You’ll usually be much better off swiping a credit card that offers primary car rental coverage (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve) to pay for the rental.
Related: The top 3 easiest ways to save on rental cars
Redeem Hyatt points for dining, spa or meeting credits
You also can redeem points for dining, spa or meeting credits at Hyatt properties, but it’s not the best bang for your buck.
Depending on how many points you redeem, you can get between 1 and 1.54 cents per point — less than TPG’s 1.7 cent valuation and not a particularly good redemption option. Meeting credits start at 15,000 World of Hyatt points for a $200 credit, or 1.3 cents per point in value, which is still far less than TPG’s valuation.
Related: 9 of the most amazing spas worth traveling for
Redeem Hyatt points for Lindblad Expeditions
Thanks to Hyatt’s partnership with Lindblad Expeditions, you can earn and redeem Hyatt points for most Lindblad Expeditions sailings. While the Hyatt redemption page says that sailings start at 174,000 points per person, you must call 1-866-537-5099 for real-time availability.
Historically, you’ll get a fixed-rate redemption of 1.6 cents per point using Hyatt points this way. This redemption rate is slightly below TPG’s valuation of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents apiece.
For more information, visit this page.
Related: Is this the ultimate Antarctica cruise ship? Our take on Lindblad’s new vessel
Redeem Hyatt points for Find Experiences
You can also use Hyatt points for Find Experiences here. These are local-inspired tours that operate in many cities that have Hyatt hotels.
Paying cash for a Find Experience will earn 10 base points per qualifying dollar spent. World of Hyatt cardholders earn an additional 4 bonus points per dollar, making for 14 points per qualifying dollar spent — or, put differently, a 23.8% return in Hyatt points.
A half-day highlights private San Francisco tour costs $434 or 31,000 points. You get a fixed redemption of 1.4 cents per point by using points.
Related: Which Hyatt Milestone Reward should you choose?
Convert Hyatt points to airline miles
You can convert Hyatt points to airline miles, but it’s generally not a good deal.
With at least 5,000 Hyatt points, you can usually convert 2.5 Hyatt points to 1 airline mile (although there are a few exceptions). When you transfer 50,000 or more Hyatt points, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus miles.
You can convert Hyatt points to the following airline programs:
Related: ‘One of the most valuable hotel cards’: A review of the World of Hyatt Credit Card
How to earn more Hyatt points
Now that you know how to redeem Hyatt points, you may be wondering how to earn more Hyatt points.
Luckily, it’s relatively easy to earn Hyatt points. All World of Hyatt members earn 5 base points per eligible dollar spent at Hyatt hotels and resorts, and elite members get elite tier bonuses on top of these base points.
Hyatt also offers two cobranded credit cards that let you earn Hyatt points on purchases you make with your card. Here are the current sign-up bonuses on these cards:
- World of Hyatt Credit Card ($95 annual fee): Earn up to 60,000 bonus points. Specifically, you can earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. Plus, you can earn up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning 2 bonus points total per dollar spent in the first six months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 bonus point per dollar spent (on up to $15,000 spent).
- World of Hyatt Business Credit Card ($199 annual fee): Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card at a 1:1 ratio.
Related: Here’s how to quickly stock up on Hyatt points for your next vacation
The World of Hyatt program offers some best redemptions in the points world, but we’re not feeling the love from the program with this year’s category changes. Still, if you avoid poor redemptions like booking rental cars, meeting credits and transfers to airline miles, you should get value from your Hyatt points.
Additional reporting by Victoria Walker, Andrew Kunesh and Ryan Patterson.