How best to book Hyatt luxury suites

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World of Hyatt stands alone among hotel loyalty programs in offering standard all-points award rates for both standard and premium suites.  Hyatt also offers multiple other ways to use rewards to book suites: Use points for a suite upgrade, or book a points + cash rate.  If you have Hyatt points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which transfer 1 to 1 to Hyatt), then you can book Hyatt suites with any of the options I just mentioned.  Additionally, after you’ve earned 50 qualifying nights (through stays or other means) within a year you can earn Suite Upgrade Milestone Awards.

It’s awesome that Hyatt offers so many ways to book suites, but it can be overwhelming trying to decide which option to use.  Which suite booking option is best?

Park Hyatt Zanzibar Royal Residence.  This premium suite can be booked with 30K points per night or as a 9K per night upgrade!

Hyatt Suite Booking Options

Here’s an overview of your options for booking Hyatt suites:

Standard Suite Premium Suite Best When
Cash Booking Pay the best rate you can find for a standard suite Pay the best rate you can find for a premium suite Best when suite prices are low.
Free Night Award
(Points Only)
Pay ~60% more points than standard room Pay twice as many points as standard room Best when cash rates for standard rooms are high.
Points + Cash Pay ~half the standard suite rate in both points and cash. Pay ~half the standard premium suite rate in both points and cash. Rarely best option.
Suite Upgrade on Paid Nights Pay standard rate for a standard room (or for a deluxe room at resorts) + 6,000 points per night Pay standard rate for a standard room (or for a deluxe room at resorts) + 9,000 points per night Best when standard rooms or deluxe rooms (at resorts) are cheap, and when suites are expensive.
Suite Upgrade Award
(Usually earned as a  Milestone Award.)
Pay for standard room w/ any paid rate or with points, and upgrade up to 7 nights with a Suite Upgrade Award certificate N/A Best when spending multiple nights (up to 7) at same hotel.

 

Example: Ambassador Chicago

Not all Hyatt hotels offer premium suites for award stays, so I picked one that does in order to illustrate how complicated it can be to decide how to book a suite.  Here are the options I found at the Ambassador Chicago for a 1 night stay checking in October 16, 2021.  The listed cash rates include taxes:

Standard Suite
(One Bedroom Suite)
Premium Suite
(One Bedroom Deluxe Suite)
Cash Booking $490.81 (AAA Rate) $631.69 (AAA Rate)
Free Night Award
(Points Only)
20,000 Points 24,000 Points
Points + Cash 10,000 Points + $257.69 12,000 Points + $328.13
Suite Upgrade on Paid Nights $327.54 + 6,000 Points $327.54 + 9,000 Points
Suite Upgrade Award
(Usually earned as a  Milestone Award.)
12,000 Points or $302.97, plus Suite Upgrade Award certificate N/A

As you can see above, there are a lot of options and it’s not easy to figure out which is best.  It kind of makes my head hurt.  So, I created a simple tool to help…

Cash or Points for Suites? Decision Tool

Click here to open a read-only copy of the Hyatt Suite decision tool.  Then within Google Sheets, click File… Make a Copy.  You can now edit your copy in order to decide how best to book your suite…

About You

The first section asks you two questions: 1) How much do you value Hyatt points? And 2) How many points per dollar will you earn with your credit card?  I purposely over-simplified this.  For example, if you don’t plan to use a Hyatt credit card, the points earned with your card may be more or less valuable to you than Hyatt points.  However, I figured that the difference will rarely be significant enough to make a difference in how best to book suites. So, we’ll assume for this purpose that credit card points are worth the same as Hyatt points.

Since I have a World of Hyatt credit card (which earns 4 points per dollar at Hyatt properties), I entered “4” for the credit card question, above.

About Your Stay

Once you look up the cost of your stay in on Hyatt.com, you can fill out the next section.  Only the blue cells should be edited:

Above, I entered the values that I found for premium suites in the Ambassador Chicago example.  Important: For each cash rate you find, click through to Hyatt’s check-out screen (without completing checkout) to find the full cash rate after taxes.  Enter the after-tax amounts in the spreadsheet.

In the “Final Result” row, the spreadsheet shows the estimated total cost of the stay for each suite booking option.  When you use points, the spreadsheet uses your Hyatt point value to estimate the cost to you of using those points.  As you can see above, all options that include using points are better (cheaper) than a cash-only stay.  The best option, given my 1.5 cents per point value for Hyatt points, is a Points Only stay.  In other words, this spreadsheet tells me to simply book the premium suite for 24,000 points.

If you wanted to compare multiple scenarios (maybe you want to consider a regular suite as well, for example), you can duplicate this tab of the spreadsheet so that you’ll have multiple tabs with which to work.  If you do so, I recommend renaming each tab with info about your scenario.

Conclusion

The good news is that Hyatt offers many ways to use rewards to book both standard and premium suites.  The bad news is that deciding which option to use can be very difficult.  So, I made a simple spreadsheet tool.  I hope it helps!

P.S. The new suite decision tool is in the same spreadsheet as my previously published tool for deciding between cash or points stays.  Unlike the previous tool (which factored in every detail I could think of), I made this one as simple as possible.  The detailed factors (elite status, portal rebates, etc.) are rarely significant enough to make a difference in decisions like these.  So I left them out.  And so, if you’re looking at booking a regular room, you can opt to use the new tab as well… to keep things simple.  Just leave the “Cash + Point Upgrade” column blank.

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