Justifying the Hyatt Globalist mattress run: is it worth using points for a “cash” stay?

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The year 2020 has finally pushed me to the absolute brink of sanity, as clearly evidenced by the fact that I’ve booked a 30-night Hyatt Globalist mattress run. I used Greg’s handy spreadsheet and determined that it made more sense to use cash than points to book the stay. The only problem? There was no way my wife was going to let me take two grand in cash out of the bank for a mattress run, so I really needed to use points. I decided to combine forces for the best of both worlds by using points to cover the stay — and here’s how I sold my wife on letting me do it.

Hyatt Globalist mattress run
Globalist status scored me this awesome suite at the Park Hyatt New York a couple of years ago, so the prospect of getting that status again is attractive.

First up: check Greg’s spreadsheet

Greg has written pretty extensively about this Hyatt Globalist mattress run opportunity and we’ve discussed it on Frequent Miler on the Air. For those who have missed previous discussion and are unfamiliar, a mattress run is when you book a hotel that you don’t really need for the sole purpose of earning points / elite credit / some promotional outcome that is worth more to you than the cost of the room. We don’t often see promotions so good to make it worth throwing money away on a hotel stay you don’t need, but it happens from time to time. Because of overlapping promos, there is currently the chance to earn 2 years of Hyatt Globalist status with a mattress run (See: Rocking Hyatt’s overlapping promos: How to claim 2 years of top tier status.)

In this case, if you’re interested in pursuing status through a Hyatt Globalist mattress run, you’ll want to consider whether to use cash, Hyatt points, or cash & points. Greg has analyzed this and created a spreadsheet where you can determine which makes the most sense for you, so check out that spreadsheet. The sheet told me that paying cash came out to be “cheaper” than using points because of my valuations of the points involved. But it was a lot of cash, so I spent some time considering how to make it work with less sticker shock.

Using points to cover the “cash” stay

As noted above, I booked a 30-night stay that spans from December 2020 into January 2021, which should get me double elite night credits in 2021. In other words, I should earn 60 elite nights (and therefore Globalist status and all of the 2021 Milestone Rewards that come with it) in 2021. The cash cost in total for my stay will be $2,081 and some change (I’ll stick with the whole-dollar figure for this post). While much less than what it would typically cost to get 60 elite qualifying nights and Globalist status, that’s not a small amount of money. I knew it was an amount that wouldn’t go over well on the home front when I tried to explain the need for us to book a hotel stay that we mostly didn’t need.

However, when my wife and I initially talked about this short-term opportunity (before Greg had published his spreadsheet), we discussed the possibility of using points and thus had entertained the idea of transferring 150K Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt to book a 30-night stay at a Category 1 hotel. Despite the fact that I have argued that we should all be redeeming Ultimate Rewards points at the grocery store right now, I hadn’t personally done so specifically because I value the ability to get far out-sized value from points and the associated “Joy of Free” in redeeming them for luxury travel.

And so it seemed silly to redeem 150K points for something I could buy for even less than the “grocery value” of those points. Since we have a Chase Sapphire Reserve in my household, we could redeem 150K points for $2,250 in grocery purchases. It didn’t make sense to redeem so much value in points for a hotel stay that would only cost $2,081. And Greg’s spreadsheet confirmed the same: all things considered, including potential earnings from the paid stay and more, paying for the cash stay made more sense.

And that’s when it hit me that I could kind of have my cake and eat it, too.

I realized that I needed $2,081 and I had points that could be redeemed for a cent and a half each at the grocery store. In other words, 139K points would buy me $2,081 in groceries. I could simply redeem points for my grocery purchases and put the money that I would have spent on groceries into a separate savings pile to use on the Hyatt stay. Alternatively, I could pick up some gift cards at the grocery store and use manufactured spending techniques to turn those into money. Considering my total cost in activation fees and liquidation, I would really need to redeem 141K Ultimate Rewards points at a value of 1.5c each in order to generate a net $2,081 in cash after those fees.

That was 9K fewer points than booking my Hyatt Globalist mattress run as an award stay — and in this case, I’d earn points. That seemed like it could be a significantly better deal. Stephen has noted in a previous post that taxes may not apply to a long-term stay and my booking is one where I expect that situation will apply. In other words, I expect to earn Hyatt points based on the $2,081 rate. Given the triple points promotion combined with 1 extra point per dollar for being an Explorist currently, I expect to earn 33,296 points for the paid stay. Assuming I value Hyatt points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points equally, that’s a net cost of about 108K points (141K – 33K = 108K). To be clear, we shouldn’t value Hyatt points and Chase points equally since flexible points are always worth more than a fixed currency (Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be turned into cash or transferred to miles in many different programs, whereas Hyatt points can practically only be used for Hyatt stays). At the same time, I know I transfer more than 33K points to Hyatt every year that isn’t 2020, so I’ll keep 33K Ultimate Rewards points down the line that I’d have otherwise transferred to Hyatt. In other words, I know they logically aren’t equal, but they feel “equal enough” to me to consider my net cost in points to be 108K.

Is Hyatt Globalist status worth 108K? How I figured that was how I’d sell my wife on doing this if I was going to be successful in that realm.

Is Hyatt Globalist status worth 108K points?

Some will read the question above and say “Absolutely!”. Others won’t be sure. I came to my answer my valuing the things I would get for 108K points.

First of all, as Greg has noted, Hyatt awards milestone benefits beginning with 20 nights stayed. Here are the Milestone benefits and what value I assigned for each (my rationale for valuations will follow):

  • 20 nights = 2 club lounge access awards.
  • 30 nights = 1 Category 1-4 free night award and 2 club lounge access awards.
  • 40 nights = 5K points or $100 Hyatt gift card or 10K off a FIND experience
  • 50 nights = 2 suite upgrade awards
  • 60 nights = Category 1-7 free night award, 2 suite upgrade awards, access to a Hyatt concierge

I don’t value the club lounge access awards at all since I’ll have Globalist status and therefore automatic club lounge access, so those awards will go unused. For me, the value of Hyatt Globalist really boiled down to valuing these Milestone Rewards:

  • Cat 1-4 free night certificate
  • Cat 1-7 free night certificate
  • 5K points (40-night milestone)
  • 4 suite upgrade awards

Greg has previously done the math and determined that he’d rather have the $100 Hyatt certificate than 5K points, but I’ll take the points here to defray my net cost further. Remember that I said above my costs would be:

  • 141K points – 33K points earned for stay = 108K net points
  • 108K – 5K (Milestone Reward) = 103K net points

With my net cost down to 103K points, how much do I value the free night certificates and suite upgrades? The free night certificates were easier for me to value, but I wanted to remain conservative. The Category 1-4 certificate could buy a night worth up to 15K points and the Category 1-7 certificate could buy a night worth up to 30K points, but in neither case would I pay 15K points or 30K points for a certificate that expires in a year without knowing when and where I’ll use that certificate.

I thus wanted to estimate the value of those certificates somewhat conservatively. I decided that I would be willing to pay 8K points for a Cat 1-4 certificate. Sure, the certificate expires in a year, but I’d come out ahead if I used it at any Category 3 (normally 12K points per night) or Category 4 (normally 15K points per night) property. I figured that at worst I’d use that certificate at a Category 2 property that would ordinarily cost 8K points per night and “break even”. Valuing that cert at 8K points, I could look at my “net” cost (now the word net needs to be in quotes since I’m figuring net cost not by actual net number of points spent but with an imaginary value for a free night certificate) is:

  • 103K – 8K (value of Cat 1-4 cert) = 95K

Next, I decided to value the Cat 1-7 certificate at 20K points. This one was a bit harder to determine than the Cat 1-4 certificate because on the surface there feels like a slimmer chance that I’ll find a good use for a 30K cert. That said, I have a trip booked to Hawaii next year (fingers crossed) and in ordinary times I spend a few nights a year in New York City and would be happy to stay at the Park Hyatt (and I usually stay at the Andaz 5th Ave for a weekend in December every year). For any of those uses, I would ordinarily use either 25K or 30K Hyatt points per night. I’d come out ahead of what I’ll otherwise spend if I could buy a Category 1-7 certificate for 20K points. It would be somewhat of a gamble since I don’t know whether the trip to Hawaii will really happen nor whether I’ll want to spend a night in New York City next year, but I’m hopeful that by the end of 2021 I’ll have had a chance for a fancy Hyatt night. I wouldn’t pay 30K points for a certificate with a 1-year expiration that can only save me a max of 30K points, but I’d be willing to spend 20K on the gamble that it will most likely save me 5K-10K Hyatt points, so I valued this certificate at 20K points. My new “net” cost:

  • 95K – 20K (value of Cat 1-7 cert) = 75K

One thing I left out so far in my calculations is the fact that I will pay the cash rate for my Hyatt stay ($2,081) on a credit card. Since I’ll be looking to replace some Ultimate Rewards points, let’s assume I paid for the stay on our Chase Sapphire Reserve card for 3x (a World of Hyatt credit card would earn 4x Hyatt points, but I don’t have the card and I’m happy to keep my estimates on the conservative end with 3x earnings). That means that I’ll earn more than 6K points by paying for the stay on the CSR. My new “net” cost:

  • 75K – 6K (earned from CC for paid stay) = 69K

So assuming that all of the above is true for me (and I think that I truly would spend the number of points noted on those free night certs, etc), my net cost for 4 suite upgrades (and all of the other benefits of Globalist status) is 69K points. Are four suite upgrades worth 69K points?

Dividing this out, each suite upgrade award is costing me 17,250 points.

  • 69K / 4 = 17,250 points per suite upgrade award

Would I pay 17,250 points for a Hyatt Suite Upgrade award?

In the past, I probably wouldn’t have. However, now that I have two kids (one young toddler who is almost 3 years old and one newborn who just recently turned a month old), I value the extra space of a suite infinitely more than I once did.

Hyatt suite night awards can be applied to a stay of up to 7 nights. The chance to confirm a suite in advance for four stays of up to 7 nights each is huge to me. I rarely stay in a hotel for 7 nights, but even if I only assume that I’ll use each of those suite upgrades on 3-night stays, that’s like paying less than 6K points per night for an upgrade to a suite. At a Category 4 or higher property, that’s a great deal. If I’m able to use a couple of those for stays of 4 or 5 nights, my net cost per night drops. The chance to confirm a suite in advance four times over the next couple of years is definitely worth 69K points. And that’s to say nothing of my value of other Hyatt Globalist benefits like guaranteed 4pm checkout at most properties, free breakfast / lounge access, no resort fees on paid or award stays, free parking on award stays and the ability to hook up others with Guest of Honor bookings.

For those questioning my valuations of the certificates and suite upgrades given the current travel environment, keep in mind that status is good for the rest of the year in which it is earned plus the entire following year until the end of February the year after that. In other words, if I earn Globalist status any time in 2021, my status will be good for the rest of 2021, all of 2022, and the first couple of months of 2023. The suite upgrades expire on the same time frame. I’m not sure what 2021 travel will look like, but I have to expect that 2022 and early 2023 will be more normal than 2020. I feel good about my prospects to maximize status at least at the tail end of that window.

In the end, I realized that the chance to run at Hyatt Globalist status for what will be an initial layout of 141K of my Ultimate Rewards points is well worth it to me. While my wife was hesitant as soon as she heard two thousand dollars, she agreed that it made sense all things considered.

But Stephen thinks my Hyatt Globalist mattress run plan is nuts

Excited about this way of thinking about it, I shared the thoughts above with Greg and Stephen. Stephen poured cold water on my enthusiasm by reminding me that I can already get most benefits of Hyatt Globalist status any time by transferring my Hyatt points to a Globalist and having them book me a Guest of Honor stay. He notes that in the short term, my chances for a free upgrade at check-in may be higher due to fewer business travelers (who would be more likely to have status and compete for upgrades), further diminishing the value of the suite upgrades. However, I disagree with him on that point: even if there’s a good chance that I’d get upgraded to a suite at check-in, I value the chance to confirm that upgrade at the time of bookinglot more. I value a suite with a separate room where a baby can sleep more soundly (and therefore everyone sleeps more soundly) quite highly these days. Particularly on a long stay, I’d love to lock that in when I make my travel plans rather than hope for the best at check-in.

Hyatt Globalist mattress run
I got an awesome suite at the Grand Hyatt Kauai on a Guest of Honor stay last year, but confirming an upgrade like this in advance would be very valuable to me.

Still, Stephen points out that my cashout plans above aren’t really that much better a deal than what I could potentially get with a 30-night Category 1 award stay given the right circumstances. Hyatt credit card holders will receive 25% rebate on the points used for award stays consumed by January 4th. I don’t have that credit card, but if I knew a friendly Globalist who was also a credit card holder who would be willing to pass that rebate back to me, my net cost for an award stay would be almost the same:

  • 150K points for 30 nights at Category 1 – 37,500 points (25% rebate) = 112.5K net points for 30 nights at Category 1

Taking my previous valuations into consideration:

  • 112.5K – 20K (Cat 1-7 cert) – 8K (cat 1-4 cert) – 5K (Milestone Reward) = 79.5K “net” cost for Globalist + 4 suite upgrades

Update: As noted in the comments, it is possible that a Guest of Honor stay may not count for any points rebate. The terms aren’t explicitly clear, but I think this wouldn’t work out.

The net result is almost the same. If I were spending any time at my Category 1 mattress run hotel and it was at a Hyatt where breakfast and/or parking isn’t free, I would have to consider whether that award stay angle made more sense.

Still, Stephen’s point about being able to get most of the benefits of Globalist status without being a Globalist member stands. That’s why my analysis above boils down to just the suite upgrade awards: I could already get free breakfast / lounge access, 4pm checkout, and free parking on award stays through the Guest of Honor program as long as I know a Globalist willing to help me book. In the past, I’ve gotten some amazing free suite upgrades during Guest of Honor bookings, so it’s possible that I could get all of the Globalist benefits and even a great suite without having Globalist status myself.

However, again, I value the chance to guarantee those suite upgrades. Globalist members are not technically able to attach one of those upgrades to a Guest of Honor stay, so the only way for me to confirm suite upgrades is with Globalist status myself. A nice side benefit is that I will then also be able to help friends of mine when they need a Guest of Honor stay, and I do value the ability to do someone a meaningful favor in the right circumtances.

Other currencies offer similar opportunities

Keep in mind that in my case I’m really just using points at their cash value to pay for my stay and as such, cardholders in other programs can achieve a similar result to mine by cashing out points to pay for this Hyatt Globalist mattress run:

  • US Bank Altitude Reserve cardholders can use points for travel at a value of 1.5c per point. By paying for and redeeming for the Hyatt stay using Real Time Mobile Rewards, the net result for an Altitude Reserve cardholder would be the same (and given the fact that US Bank has no transfer partners, I’d be more likely to cash out these points than Chase points if I had them)
  • Schwab Platinum cardholders: Cash out Amex Membership Rewards points at a value of 1.25c per point. Since there wouldn’t be any need to cash out MS costs here since you can straight trade the points for cash, the $2,081 stay would require 166,480 Membership Rewards points.
  • Capital One Venture cardholders: Since Capital One cardholders can redeem their Capital One miles at a value of 1c each to pay for travel they book for themselves, it would require 208,100 Capital One “miles” to pay for the $2,081 Hyatt stay.

Of course, it’s also worth noting that my booked stay isn’t the cheapest Hyatt in the world for a mattress run. I picked the property I did because I will pass the property at least one time when I’ll need a room for a night and perhaps twice in the span of my stay, so it will likely save me some points / cash for those couple of nights (something I left out of the analysis above though it is relevant that I’ll probably save 10K points that I’d have otherwise used on booking those two one-night stays). I decided to opt for a property where I could actually use a couple of nights over the absolute cheapest property I could reach.

Hyatt Globalist Mattress Run: Bottom line

I know this is a crazy endeavor and that I could otherwise use the associated cash in a multitude of ways. Still, this game has gotten me into chasing crazy opportunities now and then and the truth is that I doubt I’ll ever hit 60 Hyatt nights in a calendar year otherwise, so this seemed like the year to get crazy. The truth is that while 2020 and 2021 aren’t shaping up to resemble “normal” travel years for me, I’m willing to get a little crazy banking on 2022 looking more normal and I imagine that if I am not able to take big advantage of Globalist status next year I will more than make up for it in 2022. Maybe that’s a bit too far of a stretch, but it’s a gamble I’m willing to wager on given what I expect to be the one-time nature of this opportunity. What do you think — is it worth the Hyatt Globalist mattress run?

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[…] easy path to Hyatt top-tier Globalist status that’s happening right now, many of us have been Justifying the Hyatt Globalist mattress run. Many of us are chomping at the bit to become newly-minted Globalist members. Elite nights […]

Keith

Now that Hyatt is giving double nights credit thru Feb 28, and only need 30 nights credit for Globalist, it’s a no-brainer. Easy as pie to stay 15 nights with checkout anywhere from Jan 1 to Feb 28

Ron

Has the strategy changed with Hyatt’s updated promotion and halving the Globalist requirement for next year? You can get double nights between January and February 28 with 4x the points as well without booking between Dec 20- Jan 21.

With a Hyatt CC already giving you 5 nights, you could get Globalist status next year by booking 12-13 nights if you didn’t earn any nights that carry over between October-December. 12-13 nights for globalist status could be ~$8-900 for globalist status, and you can earn the other milestone awards organically when you travel. Of course if you want the points, free stay, and suite upgrades immediately, then the current strategy would still work.

It seems odd to not be able to use the Hyatt Lounge perk but I guess you can get a restaurant certificate while they’re closed until COVID is over.

MFUNG

I have booked long stay rate from Dec 4 thru Jan 3. The lowest in Bay Area, CA – $70/ night. I know I am not going to sleep there. Thinking of telling the hotel manager for my intention.

Ren

Does this have to be continuous ? For example if I stay 5 days Dec 1st week in one hotel, Stay 20 in another place and then last 5 in another hotel, will this work ?

Greg The Frequent Miler

Yes it has to be continuous. No that won’t work

[…] run (see: Rocking Hyatt’s overlapping promos: How to claim 2 years of top tier status. and Justifying the big Hyatt mattress run: is it worth using points for a “cash” stay?), this could shorten your […]

[…] you’re planning an end of year Hyatt mattress run, or just planning a regular stay at a Marriott in the next couple of months, there’s a new […]

Bethany

Excellent post, You guys are awesome… Of course now I’m more confused about my upcoming plans because you forced me to really think. thanks 😉

Krishna

Very detailed article Nick. I am getting motivated to do the same. Quick question: I was able to register for Hyatt status match challenge through my corporate email. It requires 20 nights for globalist run. Just wondering if the double night promo would stack with it and I can get away with just 10 nights. It is pretty good either way so I am not complaining. I am just trying to get dp on status match and double night stacking.

Stephen

Is Hyatt still offering 250 points per night that you waive housekeeping? Could drop the cost another ~7k points if they do.

Faheem

Do prive nights count towards this promotion??

[…] Justifying the Hyatt Globalist mattress run: is it worth using points for a “cash”… […]

Shane C.

Hey Greg/Nick/Stephen,

Thanks to your blog, I’m planning on getting the WOH card with the 10 elite night credits, and doing a mattress run running into January 21′.
I’ve been seeing rates on Hyatt’s site for some hotels near me that say, “Stay 2 Nights, 3rd Night Free”, which have the lowest total rates, but show as 2 days of paid rates, followed with a “0” rate, every third day.
I know the Prive free nights don’t get the elite night credit for the 3rd free night, what about this? Any DP’s?

Thanks

Shane C.

Details
Stay 2 Nights, get the 3rd Night Free. . . . Full Pre-Pay at Booking. Non-“Refundable.”

Oliver

Earlier this year WOH card offered 10 elite nights. Unfortunately, the offer now is back down to 5 elite nights plus 2 elite nights/$5k spend.

Dom

Thanks so much for the great article Nick. I’m looking forward to the podcast tomorrow already!

I don’t have any cheap Hyatt’s near me, but I will be traveling out of state on November 29th and could check into a category 1 hyatt there, and stay with points for 33 nights. I have a good points haul, so I feel I this is justifiable.

I will be able to check in, but not physically stay any nights there. Do you have any advice on what and how to talk to the hotel manager about this? Should I just be transparent and tell them I’m not planning on staying there at all, and that I am just doing it for the status?

Thanks again for this great info!

Joeygirl

Thanks so much for this and all of the previous articles. I now have my strategy as my business has totally shut down flying and no way will I qualify next year. I have Globalist status so am just going to do a 16 night point mattress run at 5,000 points a night. With my credit card nights and already planned point stays in 2021, that is all I will need. 80,000 points minus the 25% back of 20,000 points = 60,000 points. So worth it for me as we take all the grandkids down to Coconut Point and the confirmed suites are a necessity. They have already started talking about next year’s trip. With our 3 suites the week of spring break going for $900 night plus tax, I figure our cost would be $21,000. No way could I afford that. So 60,000 points are well worth it to me. I think that each person needs to evaluate their own needs and decide if the value isn’t there for them. Thankfully you all have given us the tools to figure that out.

Michael

Nick, do you know if there are any stipulations on the types of cash rates that qualify for the promotion? When I search, I am seeing a “Standard Rate for Extended Stays”, just want to make sure this qualifies.

Kathy

Would be interested to hear what they say if you do double check! I’m also looking at options where the “Long Term Stay” rate is the best option.

ReconScott

Nick, you and Greg have stated numerous times about inconsistency of CSR answers — essentially, the reps make stuff up when they don’t know the answer. So how sure are you that the 30 nights will parlay into 60 nights all credited to 2021? Is this on an official Hyatt Site, or was this info obtained from a Hyatt CSR? Note that question 23 here https://world.hyatt.com/content/gp/en/offers/bonus-journeys-triple-points/success.html specifically asks “How will my nights count if I check in during 2020 and check out in 2021?” My interpretation of the answer is that Dec nights count towards 2020 and 2021 and only the Jan nights double count in 2021.

docntx

Nick,
Thank you for this (as usual) excellent and thought provoking post.
Have been poring over it all day.
Why the “Straddling” of the 30 stays between 2020 and 2021?
I have 10 nights at the moment, trying to figure out what I need to do…

Andy

so all of the days count in 2021 – the year you check out from your stay

docntx

@ Andy
Thank you!

JoVo

Hi Nick, I am a Globalist and am disappointed with the inconsistencies of the Hyatt brand, at least in the US, especially when it comes to club lounges. Some Grand Hyatts or Regencys have clubs, some don’t. Ones that have clubs vary so much. One may have drinks on the honor system, another has drinks for a fee brought by a server, while another has an open bar. And then when you find a hotel that DOES have a club lounge, they very rarely even have a suite with TWO beds. I have gotten Presidential suites a few times and while I appreciate the spaciousness, the dining area, the kitchen, the living room, two bathrooms, etc. what I really need is TWO beds. I usually end up with a regular room when I do need two queens and have never used any of my suite upgrades. I wish you better luck.

Phil

If you think you’re crazy for doing 30, how crazy am I for doing 60?(Although I’m not doing all 60 consecutively) That means I get two of every milestone award. Hoping to apply the two cat 1-7 night certs with a suite upgrade at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

“Of course, it’s also worth noting that my booked stay isn’t the cheapest Hyatt in the world for a mattress run.”

I actually think I might be at the cheapest Hyatt in the world currently…

JoVo

Hi Phil,
I have never received more than one milestone award in a year after exceeding the top award of category 7 free night. Maybe the rules are relaxed for this year (or for this overlapping promotion) but I have been referred to the program guideline of “there is a limit of one per Calendar Year for each type of Milestone Reward.”

Phil

Technically, I will receive the milestone awards for 2020 when I reach 60 by Dec 31, and then again for 2021 when I reach 60 again. What Nick is doing will only get him the awards for 2021, because his 30 nights will count as 60 for 2021. At least that’s how I understand it.

Oliver

If you are at 30 nights, earning milestones for both 2021 and 2022 is interesting.

Aloha808

Amen , for points and miles enthusiasts with families (especially children) , hotel elite status can be quite valuable and in my humble opinion is the most valuable elite benefit somebody in that position can obtain. You can only fit one butt in a seat*, but lots in a suite!

*except lap infants of course

Last edited 1 year ago by Aloha808
Scott Schorn

Please elaborate on “Stephen has noted in a previous post that taxes may not apply to a long-term stay and my booking is one where I expect that situation will apply”. How can you tell for sure if taxes will be waived for a 30 day stay?

Stephen Pepper

Here’s the post I wrote about my experience: https://frequentmiler.com/staying-30-nights-in-a-hotel-you-might-not-have-to-pay-the-taxes/

Someone commented on that post leaving this helpful link about the different rules by state: https://www.avalara.com/mylodgetax/en/resources/state-lodging-tax-requirements.html

I’d check with the hotel ahead of time though just in case a state’s rules have changed and the post with those rules hasn’t been updated

Buzz

I love this kind of stuff but I can’t see myself staying at a lot of Hyatts in 2021 due to an accumulation of timeshare points I was unable to use in 2020.

FreeFreeFree

This is a great discussion – hyatt is really putting together some nice offers that are certainly tempting. I think your 30 day mattress run here is somewhat insane, but could be super valuable given the right use of the suite upgrades. Hmm.

I do think it’s a little misleading to say you are using just ‘points’ on this one, because there is a true opportunity cost at 1.5 cents/point for restaurants/groceries until at least next spring. You could use use your points on groceries and NOT spend $2100 on a hyatt stay.

So IMO, you are simply just paying $2100 cold hard cash for:
6.3k UR points
38k Hyatt points
(1) Cat7 cert night
(1) Cat4 cert night
(4) suite upgrade awards
All other globalist benefits

ReconScott

I have been intrigued by this post, so much so that I have booked a Dec 4 – Jan 3 stay at a Dallas Hyatt for $55/night = $1650 (no taxes on 30 day stay). Although I’m fortunate enough to be able to find a Hyatt which is $450 less than the one Nick has booked, and although I’m fortunate enough to have 110K Chase UR points needed to convert to $1650 cash, I’m still feeling queasy about spending that much $ for the benefits that FreeFreeFree has listed.

I have come to believe that although UR and Hyatt points are monopoly money worth about the same, UR points are special since they are easily converted to cash — so it REALLY is $1650.

Here’s the better play:

  1. Have a family member or friend refer you for the Hyatt card
  2. +5K Hyatt Referral points
  3. -$95 for annual fee
  4. Book 22 nights at a Cat 1 Hyatt using points (Dec 12 – Jan 3)
  5. -82,500 Hyatt points (22 x 3,750)*
  6. +44 Hyatt Night Credit for 2021
  7. +1 Cat 1-4 cert (30 night bonus)
  8. +5,000 Hyatt Points (40 night bonus)
  9. In early Jan, purchase 15@$1K VGCs from Simon
  10. +10 Hyatt Nights Credit from Hyatt Card
  11. +6 Hyatt Nights Credit for $15K spend
  12. +50,000 Hyatt Points SUB
  13. +15,000 Hyatt Points for spend
  14. +5,000 Hyatt Points (40 night Bonus)
  15. +1 cat 1-4 certs ($15K spend bonus)
  16. +4 suite stay upgrades (50 & 60 night bonus)
  17. +1 cat 1-7 cert (60 night bonus)
  18. Globalist Benefits until Feb 2023
  19. -$60 (VGC Activation fees)

Total Costs = $155 + 2,500 Hyatt Points + 1 Chase 5/24 slot
Total Benefits = same as Nick’s + 1 additional cat 1-4 cert for $15K spend
Additional Benefit = I can sell $155 + 2500 Hyatt Points for this crazy scheme to my wife A LOT easier than $1650!
* This supposes that you already have a healthy balance of Hyatt Points to play with. If that is not the case, then you’ll need to accelerate spend in order to get points quicker, or, as last resort, transfer Chase UR to Hyatt.

veeRob

Are you located _IN_ Dallas and that’s why you picked that property? I only ask because I saw that Hyatt House as an option but if I was traveling for even part of the stay, I’d be more inclined to spend $4 more per night to stay in the middle of downtown Austin.

ReconScott

correct — I’m in the DFW area. But with my new strategy of paying with Hyatt points instead of cash, I’m free to select one of about 6 Hyatt House Cat 1 hotels in the DFW area instead of the rock bottom $55/night Hyatt House in NE Dal.

veeRob

I’d love to chat with you privately to compare strategies. Can you message me on your favorite social media channel? @veeRob on Twitter or @dontcallrob on IG

Andy

This might be a dumb question but I have seen conflicting info. If you earn the status in early 2021 for all of 2021 and 2022, do you get all of the perks like the suite upgrades also in 2022, just not the milestone awards?

Andy

Thanks, Nick. Great article – keep them coming. While not super useful, I am thinking of going for it in December/January to get on the Explorist – MGM merry-go-round as I have 9 more organic nights in Q4 which will get me on the path for 2021.

Oliver

I think basing the decision on the tangible benefits (free nights, milestone awards) is the only way to evaluate it. Status is cheap this year. Hilton Aspire gives you top tier status. The Amex Brilliant and possibly the Amex business give you platinum status.

Oliver

Having 60 nights at the beginning of 2021 means getting 10k points per 10 nights until you reach the 100 night cap on milestones.

WR2

Why bother mattress running the full 60 nights when surely you will have some organic nights in early 2021, and can use club passes until you hit globalist. I’m thinking of doing a mattress run, but only to maybe get to 30 nights, and get the remaining 30 organically.

Last edited 1 year ago by WR2
DiscoPapa

Great article! I’m in the same boat as you with the kids (congrats on #2!), so a suite sounds 1,000% better than a typical room. My biggest concern with actually doing this needing to fully utilize the benefits (namely suite upgrade awards) in order to hit the ROI for the mattress run. I’m thinking about doing it – ultimately, I probably won’t do it, but it does sound fun…

Parts Unknown

We could do this for about the same price & it is sort of tempting but there’s just too many variables for an 140k point expenditure. From whether the promo & points posting will work as advertised, to the state of travel over the next couple of years (not good in my opinion, others may feel differently) to how much use we would actually get out of globalist status. Hope it works out for those that take the plunge.

Lukas

Do elite nights from 2020 carry over to 2021? So if I have 17 nights already, all I need are 43 nights? With WoH CC that would be 38 nights, so just 19 nights with double promotion? This wasn’t clearly mentioned even in the linked post. Thank you.

SteveH

It’s only for elite nights earned October 1 – January 4. You earn one elite night in the year you checkout and one in 2021.

Lukas

Hmmm, found a hotel for 28 nights for $1,874 (I have a WoH CC). So tempting…

little g

I booked a 30-night stay that spans from December 2020 into January 2021, which should get me double elite night credits in 2021. In other words, I should earn 60 elite nights (and therefore Globalist status and all of the 2021 Milestone Rewards that come with it) in 2021.

Emphasis mine. I’ve been watching this opportunity with great interest, but are we 100% sure that the nights will get credited this way? The only thing keeping me from booking a run is the possibility of being one of many disappointed runners come January.

Hank

There are some HP properties for ~32-40 dollars/night in Mexico. If anyone happens to be in the area in mid December. 30|60 nights will only cost ~$1200-$1400.

veeRob

Watch out on this. Some of these properties have buy 2 get 1 free night promos for their lowest price, and from my understanding you don’t earn elite nights on the free nights.

Jay

I booked the HP in Los Cabos for $53/night for 24 nights. I decided to use Cash even though I have the Hyatt card for 25% off award nights.

Dave Hanson

Nice piece Nick!

Having committed to this Mattress Run / Globalist pursuit, the Hyatt CC would obviously benefit you substantially going forward. I assume you aren’t getting it because you’re > 5/24?

If so, have you considered asking Ms. Nick to get the card, and pursuing status in her name (assuming she’s < 5/24)?

Brands

Exactly. Just with the card and earning the sign up bonus, you would earn 7 nights right there, so that reduces your actual nights needed by 3, and the 25% points rebate makes it much cheaper for you…

Paul

This article was incredibly helpful — my situation is a bit more complicated.

I have 54 nights for 2020 currently, and so it’s somewhat of a no-brainer to book 6 nights at 5k/night before EOY to get my Cat 1-7 cert, 2 SNAs, and reach globalist.

For next year, I will have those 6 nights, plus 5 more from the credit card, and I will spend the 15k on the card regardless for the Cat 1-4 cert, plus the 6 elite nights, bringing me to 17. I have a 4 night stay that has probably a 50/50 chance of happening in May as well. So I was going to book a 18 night stay Dec-Jan to get me to 53 nights in 2021 (plus those 4 in May, maybe), and then get the remaining through organic stays (hopefully) or booking a Cat 1 w points if that doesn’t work out.

Nick, I’d love your thoughts on this strategy.

Steve S

I just had to chuckle while reading this. Especially the rational behind evaluating the value of free night certificates earned with milestone. In actuality these mattress run go/nogo and if go, how to go decisions are always so dependent on the point of view. Your points are good and from your angle it makes sense about confirming ahead a suite. I notice you mentioned Stephens reaction to your plans but omitted Gregs. While reading, couldn’t help but think – “I smell a potential Post Roast here, or a least a fantastic debate on the merits of this plan come Saturday FM on the Air.” Also, this reminds me of the shenanigans that ensued during 40K to Far Away.
I’m definitely going to book a stay through 1/4 but not 30 days. This promo definitely has us all thinking and strategizing.
Here’s an idea for a post
Great Hyatt Category 1 hotels around the country. or Cat 1 Hotels in great locations for fall winter travel or something like that. Stephen did a top 10 Cat 1/2 at one point but it included all the brands

T. Jones

Yup. Had the same “post roast” thought – ripe for the picking.

Franz

How often are you gonna show up to this property, if any at all? I’m gonna go out of my way to check-in on mine but don’t want to show up again

Jacinto

You mentioned you don’t have Chase WoH card, but for those of us that do, wouldnt spend on that card earn 9x at a Cat 1 hotel (18,000 Hyatt points) ?4x from cc and 5x for being a WoH member.

Lukas

No, it’s 5 points TOTAL if you have WoH CC.

Treesha

Actually, Jacinto is correct. You earn 5x points for being a WoH member PLUS 4x points for paying with a WoH cc. In addition, with the Bonus Journeys promo, you get an additional 10x points on the base rate PLUS any bonus from your WoH elite status.

My most recent stay yielded 19.9x points from the Bonus Journeys promo (incl my Discoverist status, which all WoH cardholders are automatically).

Lukas

I stand corrected. Thank you for the clarification.

Johnny G

Checked with my concierge- 7 year Globalist – this is absolutely not true and IF it happened was an error and nothing more

Kathy (will run for miles)

I’m doing a 16 night stay on points. I figure the 32 nights, plus the 5 I’ll get from the WOH credit card, will put me in a good place for requalifying with stays during 2021 (I’m already a Globalist). I can’t find any hotels cheap enough locally to justify using cash for the stay – so I’m using points (80K less 25% = 60K).

aptsguy

Yep! I am doing the same 30 night cat 1 award booking.

Christopher MacLean

Is anyone posting about the best Hyatt for a cash stay mattress run in December (checking out 1-4 Jan?) Obviously, with points you want to find a Category 1.

veeRob

I posted my findings a few weeks ago.

Christopher MacLean

Sorry if I missed something, but where did you post that? Thanks,

veeRob

Great question, I can’t find the blog post I commented on, but I can recreate my notes from memory:

The best properties I came up with look to be:

Hyatt Place Austin – not the cheapest, but I live in Austin and Texas waives taxes for 30 day stays, so ~$1777 from memory

Hyatt Place Dallas/Garland/Richardson – looks to be the cheapest property in the US I could find, ~$1650 from memory
Hyatt Place Los Cabos – I believe they raised their price and it’s not as good anymore, but I was considering this property as I wouldn’t mind spending a month near the beach. ~$2200 from memory after they raised prices. 🙁
Hyatt Place Ciudad Del Carmen – Looks to be the cheapest option in North America at ~$1420.
Hyatt Place Aguascalientes/Bonaterra – Second cheapest option at ~ $1535, but not sure the town has anything to offer or would be easy to get to to check in
Hyatt Regency Villahermosa – I thought this was the cheapest option at $1368.80 but every 3rd night is free so I think the elite night credits wouldn’t post.

jivinhoney

Do it. The chase is always fun. My problem is I have to convince my hubby to let me get crazy like this.

Morgan M.

Hi Nick, do you have any data points about GoH stays actually receiving the points rebate? I’m a globalist who recently booked a GoH stay for a friend who has the CC (I don’t)- so we figured we’d at least get 15% back since I’m registered for the promo (if not 25% since he has the card). When neither of us received points back for the stay, Hyatt customer service said that the points rebate isn’t applicable for GoH stays.

Morgan M.

Yep. We assumed that we’d get *some* amount back, just wasn’t sure if it’d be 15% or 25%. When neither of us received anything, Hyatt customer service pointed us to this clause. It’s pretty strange wording and doesn’t mention GoH specifically, so I’m considering pestering them more about it: “10. Can I gift/transfer points to another member and will they receive 15% or 25% back?
No, transferred awards are not eligible for this promotion. If an award is transferred, neither the transferring member nor the recipient of the award will receive the 15% or 25% back on the redemption.”

Nicholas Reynolds

Nick, I feel like you may have missed his point—NEITHER the Globalist nor the GoH got the points rebate.

Nathan

I’ve booked a couple of recent GoH reservations for friends, and have gotten back the full 25% points for these within a week of the stay. This is different than previous years when I got nada. I’ve seen similar experiences from other globalists in FB groups for this promo.