Sometimes it makes more sense to pay for a flight or hotel. Sometimes it makes more sense to buy the miles or points and just book it as an award. This is especially true for hotels, most of which do not have blackout dates but instead promise that you can book an award as long as a standard room is for sale.
Hyatt Gold Passport is currently offering a 30% bonus on purchased Gold Passport points when you buy before November 30, 2015. That means if you buy 10,000 points you’ll actually get 13,000 but still pay the same price. It brings the cost per point down to 1.85 cents each.
I personally value my points at 1.4 cents each, so this seems like a bad deal at first, but it’s all a matter of perspective. Some Hyatt properties have low rates and high award costs; you shouldn’t be booking awards there anyway. Others have high rates, low award costs, and still have great award availability. Those should be your focus.
Here are some examples of properties for which buying points may be a better deal than the daily rate. These rates don’t include tax, which is waived on award nights and makes them an even better deal. In addition, while some discounted rates are available if you pre-pay, award nights often benefit from flexible cancellation policies.
|Hotel||Daily Rate||Award Night||Cost of Points|
|Grand Hyatt Kauai||$519||25,000 points||$463|
|Park Hyatt Siem Reap||$305||15,000 points||$278|
|Andaz 5th Avenue||$525||25,000 points||$463|
|Park Hyatt Paris||$862||30,000 points||$555|
The deal gets better if you can find a Points+Cash award, since you only need half as many points and pay cash for the rest. The cash portion is fixed, and essentially you are buying the other half of the points. For Category 2-6 properties, you’ll actually pay less than 1.85 cents per point. For Category 1 and 7 hotels, like the Park Hyatt Paris, a standard free night award is a better deal.
Use this promotion to buy half the points, and then use Points+Cash to buy the rest. (Just know that Points+Cash awards have even more limited inventory. At some hotels they are impossible to find.)
|Hotel||Daily Rate||Points + Cash Award||Cost of Points + Cash|
|Grand Hyatt Kauai||$519||12,500 points + $150||$381|
|Park Hyatt Siem Reap||$305||7,500 points + $100||$239|
|Andaz 5th Avenue||$525||12,500 points + $150||$381|
|Park Hyatt Paris||$862||15,000 points + $300||$578|
The maximum number of points you can buy at once is 55,000, and with the 30% bonus that works out to 71,500 points for $1,320. You can also transfer points between accounts for the purpose of booking an award, so it’s entirely possible for your spouse or domestic partner to buy more points if that isn’t enough.