Hyatt cash or points? Which should you book? Now with video instructions.

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Hyatt is currently offering incredible promotions for points stays and for cash stays. To help you figure out which to book, we built FM’s Hyatt Cash or Points Tool.  And now, we’ve added a video showing how to use it.

Hyatt Cash Or Points

Should you book with cash or points? I’ve written separately about how pumped I am about Hyatt’s latest promotions and how best to take advantage of them (see: Rocking Hyatt’s overlapping promos: How to claim 2 years of top tier status.).  Some of the promotions offer great rewards for paid stays and others offer great rewards for points stays.

Via Hyatt’s Bonus Journeys promo, you’ll earn triple or quadruple points on paid stays.  Via the Free Nights on Sale promo, you’ll earn either 15% or 25% points back based on the points price and whether or not you have a Hyatt credit card.  These battling promos make staying at Hyatt rewarding, but it makes deciding whether to pay with cash or points very hard.

The Solution: FM’s Hyatt Cash or Points Tool

The tool is setup to let you figure out how much a points stay or a cash stay will cost you after accounting for all of the rewards & rebates earned from your stay.  To use the tool, do the following:

  1. Open the tool by clicking here: FM’s Hyatt Cash or Points Tool
  2. Copy the sheet so that you can make changes. Within Google Docs, go to the File menu and click File.. Make a Copy
  3. In your copy of the sheet, edit all of the cells in blue (column C under “Your Answer”)
  4. The spreadsheet will automatically show you the results at the bottom.

How to use our tool

The next sections walk you through the basics of how to use the tool.  Alternatively, you can watch this video:

About You

The first part of the spreadsheet asks questions about you.  How much do you value different kinds of points?  What elite status, if any, will you have during the stay?  Do you have a Hyatt card?

This display shows the “About You” section of the spreadsheet, but it is not editable:

About Your Potential Cash Stay

The next section asks you questions about the paid stay (if you choose to pay cash instead of points).  How much will it cost?  What kinds of rebates are you eligible for?  Etc.

This display shows the “About Your Potential Cash Stay” section of the spreadsheet, but it is not editable:

About Your Potential Award Stay

The next section asks you questions about the award stay (if you choose to pay with points instead of cash).  How many points will it cost?  Do you need to transfer points from Ultimate Rewards? Etc.

This display shows the “About Your Potential Award Stay” section of the spreadsheet, but it is not editable:

Results: Which is best?

Finally, as you scroll down, you’ll see the results.  This summarizes the net cost of each option (after rewards earned). Whichever is cheaper is deemed to be the better deal:

About your Potential Points+Cash Stay

Version 2 of this spreadsheet includes a section at the bottom to let you model the cost of a Points+Cash stay.  Most Hyatt stays don’t include a Points+Cash option, so this section is buried at the bottom after the initial points vs cash results:

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