Hyatt’s Mr & Mrs Smith now live (details broke my heart)

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When Hyatt announced their purchase of Mr & Mrs Smith, I was very excited. After all, Mr & Mrs Smith’s collection of independent hotels includes incredible properties and brands like the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur California; Virgin Limited Edition properties including the luxury safari properties Mahali Mzuri and Ulusaba; Six Senses Resorts; Aman Hotels & Resorts; Belmond Hotels; Rosewood Hotels; and many more. We hoped and expected Hyatt to cram these hotels into its existing award chart and that would have given us the opportunity to get incredible value with our points. Alas, it was not to be. Hyatt is dynamically pricing Mr & Mrs Smith award stays instead of relying on an award chart. Worse, it appears that most awards will get only around 1 to 1.4 cents per point value. That’s terrible compared to getting over 2 cents per point value on average Hyatt hotel stays. Taken together, this means that the highest priced hotels will cost absurd numbers of points.

Details

  • Roll out
    • Over 700 Mr & Mrs Smith properties available now
    • On May 15th, more than 60 SLH hotels that were previously bookable with Hyatt points will rejoin Hyatt through Mr & Mrs Smith. If you had previously booked one of these hotels through Hyatt for a stay taking place on May 15th or later, Hyatt has confirmed that you will earn elite qualifying nights for your stay.
    • Some Mr & Mrs Smith hotels may never become bookable through Hyatt due to brand conflicts. For example, since IHG owns Six Senses, I don’t expect to see those properties available through Hyatt
  • Booking with points
    • All rooms & room types are expected to be available to book with points (at the time of this writing, though, we only see base rooms available)
    • Point price: Varies. Hyatt is dynamically pricing these awards instead of relying on an award chart. We have seen per point values ranging from 0.96 to 1.4 cents per point. That’s awful for Hyatt points which are usually worth much more towards Hyatt stays.
    • Waived resort fees when booking with points
  • Booking with free night awards: Nope
    • Free night awards cannot be used to book Mr & Mrs Smith hotels.
  • Hyatt members who book Mr & Mrs Smith properties through Hyatt will qualify for the following benefits:
    • Earn 5 base points per dollar on paid stays (same as regular Hyatt stays)
    • Earn elite bonus points (same as regular Hyatt stays)
    • Earn elite qualifying nights
    • Mr & Mrs Smith counts as a brand towards Hyatt’s Brand Explorer
    • World of Hyatt credit card members will not earn 4 points per dollar on Mr & Mrs Smith paid stays.
  • Other stay benefits: None. When Hyatt previously partnered with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), every Hyatt member who booked through Hyatt qualified for free breakfast, a complementary room upgrade (if available), and more. Similar benefits are not promised with Mr & Mrs Smith bookings.
  • Elite benefits
    • Earn bonus points on paid stays (same as with regular Hyatt stays)
    • Room upgrades for Globalists upon check-in (based on availability)
  • More info from Hyatt here:

Dynamic award pricing: 0.96 to 1.4 cents per point

Unlike the rest of Hyatt’s properties, Mr & Mrs Smith awards are not priced according to an award chart. We looked at a number of properties to see the point price vs. the cash rate and we were careful to compare point rates to after-tax refundable cash rates whenever point rates were refundable (which was usually the case, but not always). Through this process we found a range of 0.96 to 1.4 cents per point value. Fortunately, 1.4 cents per point was the most common result.

For the properties where we explored further, we found that cash rates when booking through Hyatt matched the rates when booking through Mr & Mrs Smith. In some cases, but not all, we found that its possible to get a lower rate by booking direct or through member rates with sites like Expedia.

Does this mean that Hyatt will ditch award charts for all of their hotels in the future?

One of my top fears with Hyatt’s Mr & Mrs Smith solution is that they’ll deem it a success and spread dynamic pricing to all of their properties. Hyatt assures me that this is not the case. They say “This is not a move towards dynamic pricing and hotels in the Hyatt portfolio will continue to fall in either the standard or all-inclusive award charts.” Let’s hope that’s true!

Hyatt further told us “we think about the redemption values of newer Hyatt offerings like Mr & Mr Smith, the FIND Experiences Platform and Homes & Hideaways by World of Hyatt differently from the 1300+ hotels in the Hyatt Timeless, Boundless, Independent and Inclusive Collections.” That’s a good point. They already moved Homes & Hideaways to a similarly poor dynamic pricing model (as we reported here). And FIND Experiences are pegged at 1.4 cents per point.

Don’t book with points, unless…

Unless you find much better point value opportunities than we have found so far, we recommend against using your Hyatt points to book Mr & Mrs Smith hotels. When Hyatt points are used for Hyatt stays at properties that fit within Hyatt’s award charts, we’ve previously found that it’s easy to get 2.1 cents per point value or better. Similarly, AwardWallet has found that its users have averaged 2.19 cents per point value.

One possible exception to this advice: Some resorts have incredibly high resort fees. Since Mr & Mrs Smith properties booked with points do not incur resort fees, it’s possible that booking with points will actually be a good deal in those cases. I recommend calculating the full cash rate after resort fees and comparing to the point rate in order to figure out the exact value you’ll get for a particular stay.

Consider booking through Hyatt for paid stays

If you’re planning to pay for a stay at a Mr & Mrs Smith property anyway, and if you highly value earning Hyatt points and elite qualifying nights, it may make sense to book through Hyatt. It’s very important, though, to compare Hyatt’s rates vs those found elsewhere. It doesn’t make sense to pay significantly more just to earn Hyatt points and stay credits. I think it especially makes sense to check out the hotel’s own website where you may find deals like 3rd night free (or whatever) that aren’t available elsewhere.

What about Mr & Mrs Smith gift cards?

Regular readers may remember that for a few months it was possible to earn Hyatt points and elite qualifying nights by buying Mr & Mrs Smith gift cards. We had hoped that once integration was complete it would be possible to double-dip and redeem gift cards for stays booked through Hyatt so that we’d earn elite credits twice. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case. As was the case before, these gift cards can only be used to pay for a room reservation at the time of booking with Mr and Mrs Smith through https://www.mrandmrssmith.com. Since we won’t be able to go through Hyatt’s own website to use these, it won’t be possible to double-dip.

Other options for booking luxury independent hotels with points

If you’re as discouraged by Hyatt’s approach to Mr & Mrs Smith as I am, you can at least take solace in a number of other options in which its possible to get good value with your points when booking high end independent hotels:

  • Independent hotel brands within major chains: Most major hotel chains, including Hyatt, now offer independent hotels within their portfolio. With Hyatt, this includes The Unbound Collection, Destination by Hyatt, and JdV by Hyatt. These properties are bound by Hyatt’s award chart and therefore often deliver great value with points.
  • Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH): Book with Hilton points (coming soon). Fortunately, with these hotels, award prices will be capped and we will be able to use Hilton’s 5th Night Free awards and free night certificates. Details here.
  • Preferred Hotels & Resorts: Many of these hotels are bookable with Choice Privileges points. Details can be found here: How to book Preferred Hotels online with Choice points. Also see: Great value Preferred Hotels bookable with Choice points.
  • Leading Hotels of the World (LHW): Many of these properties are bookable with Leaders Club points which you can get by transferring 1,000 to 200 from Citi (as long as you have the Citi Premier or Prestige card). Read about my experience with this option here: Sampling Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) thanks to Citi ThankYou Rewards.
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts & The Hotel Collection: While these hotel collections don’t offer good value when booking with Amex Membership Rewards points, I included them here because those with consumer Amex Platinum cards can get a $200 rebate each year.
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[…] When you get Hyatt fan boys mad you know this was bad: Frequent Miler: Hyatt’s Mr & Mrs Smith now live (details broke my heart). […]

Hammer

I’m in a couple Facebook travel groups with hundreds of thousands of people and it would appear almost everyone that has a world of Hyatt card is closing their cards since the redemption values are so terrible.

They really messed up here. There’s really no need to be a Hyatt loyalty member if you get less than what your own bank’s hotel booking portal gives you.

The whole purpose of having loyalty points is to get better value in exchange for you to favor their products. The fact they went the other way is going to hurt Hyatt pretty bad.

No joke 70k pts a night for some $500/night rooms in Santorini.

Jacob

“70k pts a night for some $500/night rooms in Santorini.” Why in the world would this surprise anyone? The hotels don’t want to gut their profits by giving away rooms and profits by allowing people to book rooms using points that many got for almost free through SUB.

Jacob

Greg, the Aman NY just has 83 suites and starts at $1,500 a night, AmanGiri with only 36 suites starts at $4,000 a night. Surely you don’t expect them to be willing to give you a suite for 45,000 or even 90,000 Hyatt points?

They cater to the rich and are not interested in normal people like you and me staying at their hotel using points. They already have a very strong and loyal client base. Have you heard of the term Amanjunkies before? It’s what their loyal fanbase call themselves. Google it if you aren’t already familiar with this group.

Of course not all members of MMS are of Aman caliber, and not all of them start at $1,500/night or higher – it’s just that I don’t blame MMS members not for wanting to dilute their exclusivity by accepting normal Hyatt rates. Makes complete sense to me.

Daniel A

Example to illustrate the terribleness of this. I had been dreaming about using my stash of Chase UR to book a MMS property in the South Pacific via Hyatt points. MMS has 6 properties in Fiji and 2 in French Polynesia. 3 of the Fiji properties are showing up now in Hyatt but not yet bookable (with cash or points) and neither of the FP are listed, so it appears that’ll be Hyatt’s footprint in the South Pacific. And at 1.4 cents per point (I can’t confirm this as it isn’t bookable yet) they’ll be non-starters. Previously, with SLH Hyatt had one property in Fiji (and one in the Cook Islands), the beautiful Nanuku Resort at 25K points for rooms that ran around $800 (over 3 cents per point!). Marriott and Hilton (excl SLH) already have multiple hotels in Fiji and FP. This includes the luxurious St Regis Bora Bora that for a random date prices out at 118K points or $2020 (1.7 cents per point). Never thought Marriott would make more sense than Hyatt as a destination for my Chase UR but in this situation it is (and that’s not even considering the 5th night free option). Beyond the epic fail of Hyatt making their points worth less than Marriott points, I’m really confused why more MMS properties aren’t listed. Hyatt is offering zero benefits for booking MMS and dynamic pricing, given those unfavorable terms for Hyatt’s customers and presumably really favorable terms for MMS properties, how did Hyatt fail to get more properties to participate?

Last edited 1 month ago by Daniel A
Saundra Fried

From some other articles I’ve read, more MMS properties will come online with Hyatt on a quarterly basis…but yes, it makes no sense how these hotels are getting integrated. The only time a MMS property will ever make sense is if there are zero footprint options with any other hotel chain. I have status with IHG and Hilton as well as being a Globalist. If I can stay at an IHG or Hilton for the same or similar number of points, I’m not going to be loyal to the Hyatt/MMS option.And if that means I am not going to requalify for Globalist for 2025 (through February 2026), so be it. I can get a suite upgrade certificate and a guest of honor at 40 nights without requalifying, so who really needs Globalist anymore with the anemic footprint Hyatt has. In fact, I’ve stayed at most of the Park Hyatts in the US, Canada and Europe and have zero desire to go back…so where would I use these Globalist perks at anyway….? (Full disclosure, I only travel within North America and Europe….others who travel to Asia probably have differing views to mine on this!)

Sea Pea

I saw a MMS property that was $1300 a night but the
Hyatt points price was 116,000 per night. That seems super ultra dynamic…..

Lauren

Why should we book MMS through Hyatt? For the 5 Hyatt points + EQNs?

Can’t we book the same MMS hotel through a Chase travel portal and earn 5 Chase points (CSP). Or even 10 Chase points with the CSR. Then transfer those to Hyatt? This assumes the pricing is the same on MMS. Sure you’re missing out on EQNs

FNT Delta Diamond

Weirdly, some properties I checked were CHEAPER through Hyatt.

Lauren

MMS resort fees: I believe they are NOT waived. Rather the number of points needed already account for the resort fee (and taxes) being charged. If this is true, then you may not see a higher point redemption value of ~1.4 cents.

Joe

Any details on being able to use any sort of FNC on these stays?

David C

I know it may be futile, but would there be any benefit in hounding Hyatt customer service about this integration? This is a significant devaluation to the Hyatt brand and with their purchase of MMS it seems like with a little backend work something they can convert to the award chart if enough people expressed their displeasure.

Matt

Just FYI, I have gotten pretty good deals on nice local places (e.g., for our purposes, better than the local Hyatt) using the Chase Travel Portal and CSP.

Points and Miles Doc

Kinda glad I bought all those gift cards ahead of time! Cash in on 10x points and elite nights now, and then use the cards later since points aren’t a good deal.

Shaun G

foreshadowing in real time here! 800-lb gorilla in the room. Lets enjoy ourselves while it last !!

Lee

The big question that the article poses is whether dynamic pricing becomes the norm for all of Hyatt. And, if that mother-of-all devaluations does occur, what does that portend for Chase? I don’t have the answer but I don’t think it’s pretty.

Brent

It might be a big blow to UR, but could be good for Hyatt. Most of the other programs make you have a co-branded credit card to get any real value. For example, getting a base 10x at a Hilton property is basically a non-starter for me. You have to have a Hilton card to make it all worth it. It seems clear that Hilton wants it that way. Same is true of IHG and (to a lesser extent) Marriott.

Comparatively speaking, Hyatt is the only major brand that offers only marginal co-branded card value compared to the Chase cards. It frustrates me MMS doesn’t count because the WOH card is still better (and why don’t they want to encourage co-branded card spend?), but for the CSR/CIP (if you own those), you can get close. For me, the MMS thing doesn’t do much more than booking direct with LHW (with a Citi Premier) or GHA Discovery. Yeah, you can get Hyatt points, but not the full bonus on cash spend that gives you the extra nudge to say somewhat brand loyal (or at least look there first).

However, to make dynamic pricing competitive at the MMS point valuations, Hyatt would have to bump their earn rates closer to those offered by Wyndham. That would require full card relaunches. Maybe those are coming. But the all inclusive chart, the Homes and Hideaways program, and now the MMS integration are all trending toward valuations around 1.3-1.6 cpp much of the time. That’s a lot of smoke indicating that these points are going to devalue. Nobody knows for sure…but there’s beginning to be a lot of evidence all pointing in a particular direction.

FNT Delta Diamond

I went to book a Mr. and Mrs. Smith Hyatt-participating property. It appears on the booking page:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Stays at Mr & Mrs Smith properties do not count as purchases at Hyatt hotels and resorts for purposes of the World of Hyatt Credit Card or the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card. World of Hyatt credit card members will earn 1 Bonus Point per $1 USD spent using their World of Hyatt Credit Card or the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card.

At least with Marriott’s Design and Tribute brands, which are the Marriott equivalent of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you get more elite status benefits and credit card spend bonuses. I imagine this also means you may not get Hyatt points on any incidental spending at a Mr. and Mrs. Smith property.

I looked at several of the Mr and Mr Smith properties in the United Kingdom, where they have some attractive country inns and local hotels in quaint towns and villages a little off the U.S. tourist trail. Some of the cash rates are under US$180 a night. Here’s an example for early June. The George Hotel in Rye, England. For a standard room, US$117 per night directly through the hotel, $98.11 through Mr and Mrs Smith, or US$98.15 or 11,250 points through Hyatt.com.

I think this is the only “good” thing about Mr and Mrs Smith. You can find some interesting hotels in markets that otherwise don’t have a chain hotel. And you get a Hyatt night out of it. $98.15 for a quaint 3 1/2 or 4 star in a small English town is a pretty good deal with or without breakfast benefits. It’s certainly better than spending $5,000 on the Hyatt-Chase Visa credit card to get elite credit for 2 nights.

Lee

Take that $5000 in spending and stay 50 nights at one of those properties and you’re almost to Globalist.

Saundra Fried

Agreed….this is the only benefit: where there are no other hotels in the area. And MMs is good for that. But, that doesn’t engender any brand loyalty. In fact, it encourages me to check all hotels in the area to see if there is an alternative to MMS (and thus Hyatt). Between this and being able to get a guest of honor (that I could use later for my own booking) and a suite upgrade certificate at 40 nights, I no longer feel compelled to get to 60 nights to requalify for Globalist. I will happily work toward 40 nights and book a Hyatt somewhere for 7 nights and another place for 7 nights using GoH and stay at other chains for the remainder of my travel, sprinkling in some HP and HH stays to get up to 40 nights. Bottom line, Hyatt blew it.

Bob

Another example of why it’s good never to buy into the hype of anyone speculatively pumping program changes.

It also now shows the blogosphere should have mourned the loss of SLH far more than it did. The swap out of SLH for M&MS has amounted to a fairly substantial devaluation of the Hyatt program.

James

MMS = both Million Mile Secrets and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Neither one offers much value. Coincidence?