On my mind: Hyatt’s awesome promo

a river with rocks and trees in front of a building
Grand Hyatt Vail, Colorado

A couple of days ago Hyatt announced an excellent new promo offering up to 25% back on awards, free parking, and triple points for Hyatt dining.  The 25% rebate, in particular, has me intrigued.  It applies not just to free night awards, but also other awards such as Hyatt’s Dining, Spa, and More awards; FIND experiences; Lindblad Expeditions; etc.

This deal has me thinking about lots of things:

  • Are any of the awards other than free nights worth considering given the rebate?
  • Is it worth signing up now for the Hyatt card if you don’t already have it?
  • For those seeking elite status, is it worth doing mattress runs?
  • Does this promo make the previously over-expensive Miraval resorts worth booking?
  • Given the limits to practical and safe travel during COVID-19 times, will I really be able to take advantage of this deal at all?

Hyatt Promo Details

The following applies to awards completed by October 8, 2020:

  • Points Rebate
    • All members – get 15% of your redeemed points back as bonus points.
    • Hyatt & World of Hyatt credit cardholders – get 25% of your redeemed points back as bonus points.
  • Free Parking
    • Get free parking on award stays where it can be charged to your room.
  • Dining Bonus
    • Earn triple base points per dollar spent on dining at Hyatt properties.
  • Direct link to registration.

Full details can be found here.

Which awards are worth pursuing?

Hyatt’s free night awards typically offer an average of 1.5 cents per point value.  A typical award, for example, might be 20,000 points for a night that would have cost $300.  In practice, it’s possible to get far better or far worse value.  Still, we can look at this mid-point to estimate how much better value you may get after a 15% or 25% rebate.

Other types of awards are easier to evaluate since they are fixed compared to cash prices.  The following table shows a few award types and how point values change with the promo:

As you can see above (but only if you view this post online), those with a Hyatt credit card can get around 2 cents per point value with either free night awards or “Dining, Spa & More” awards.  Find Experiences, which usually offer 1.4 cents per point value, now offer up to 1.87 cents per point value.

I haven’t had much luck finding desirable Find experiences.  So, personally, I’m most interested in the other two options.

“Dining, Spa & More” awards are where you use points for things other than free nights at participating properties.  You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to use points in this way. To get top value for your points, though, you have to offset $1,000 in charges with points all at once.  I can’t imagine a scenario where I’ll spend that much money at a Hyatt between now and October 8th.

All three of the above award types offer the potential for solid value from your points.  In my case, though, only free night awards are relevant.

World of Hyatt Card

Hyatt’s FAQ says that those who signup for the card during the promo can qualify for the 25% rebate (but make sure not to register for the promo until after you have the card):

12. If I become a World of Hyatt Credit Cardmember during the promotion, am I eligible for the additional 10% Bonus Points?

New World of Hyatt Credit Cardmembers are able to take advantage of this promotion as long as they sign up and are approved for the World of Hyatt Credit Card, and then register for the promotion by September 30, 2020. The additional 10% Bonus Points will only be applied for redemptions when the cardmember’s redemption stay is completed between July 8 and October 8, 2020.

Whether or not this promo tips the scale on signing up for the World of Hyatt credit card depends on how many points you are likely to redeem during the promo period.  If you think you’ll only redeem 15,000 points then you’ll get back only an additional 1,500 points as a credit card holder.  However, if you think you’ll redeem hundreds of thousands of points, the extra 10% rebate for Hyatt credit card holders will quickly become significant.

Pursuing Elite Status

Hyatt’s top-tier Globalist status is awesome, but it requires earning 60 elite nights each year to earn and maintain that status.  Fortunately, along the way, they offer Milestone Awards which reward you for reaching every 10 elite nights starting with 20.  In a previous post, I conservatively estimated the value of these Milestone Awards from the perspective of how much one might be willing to pay for them (see this post for details):

a screenshot of a gift card

With the combination of the new Hyatt promo and a Hyatt credit card, it’s now possible to book category 1 Hyatt award nights for as few as 3,750 points per night (after the 25% rebate).  If you have a category 1 Hyatt nearby, is it worth booking just for the elite nights?

Assuming you believe my “what I’d pay for Milestone Awards” chart, above, it’s possible to calculate the value per point for various scenarios.  Given that an award night will cost you 3,750 points, we know that 10 nights will cost you 37,500 points.  With that, you can calculate the point value for earning Milestone Awards.  For example, going from 50 to 60 nights will result in $500 worth of Milestone Awards.  And, $500 / 37,500 = 1.33 cents per point value.  That’s OK, but hardly a win.  However, if you were only 5 nights away from 60 nights, you could book 5 nights for 18,750 points and get $500 / 18,750 = 2.7 cents per point value.  That’s very good.

Overall, the answer to whether or not it’s worth booking category 1 awards just for the elite nights depends completely on your individual scenario.  I think that you need to be close to 60 nights (or expect to be close by the end of the year) for it to make sense to do this to fill the gap.

Miraval Resorts

Hyatt’s Miraval properties are spa resorts which include healthy meals, and health & wellness activities.  Currently, Miraval resorts are in only three locations: Arizona, north of Tucson; Austin, Texas; and Berkshires, Massachusetts (opening July 15).

Miraval properties tend to be extremely expensive whether you pay cash or points.  The points rate is 65,000 points per night for 2 people.  The points rate includes meals, activities, and $175 per person resort credit.  You get a lot for those 65,000 points per night, but still that’s very expensive for a Hyatt, especially when you consider that most of their top properties cost only 25,000 or 30,000 points per night.  Also consider that if you were to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards and if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, then you could have used the same number of points and booked a resort costing $975 per night through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

The new promo makes Miraval awards less offensively expensive.  After the 15% rebate, you’ll pay 55,250 per night for 2 people.  After the 25% rebate, you’ll pay 48,750 per night for 2 people.  That’s still pricey, but not as pricey as usual.

Given the discount, is it time to give Miraval a try?  I’ve been tempted to try to book the new Berkshires property, but ultimately decided not to.  Last summer Hyatt offered a 50% rebate on Miraval award stays.  The new promo doesn’t even come close to that.  If we’re lucky, maybe Hyatt will run a sale on Miraval awards which overlaps with this promo.  Then, it might just be time to give Miraval a try.

My Promo Plans

a map of the united states

Given the limits to practical and safe travel during COVID-19 times, will I really be able to take advantage of this deal at all?  I do have an award reservation at the awesome Ventana Big Sur (which is now all-inclusive).  And even though I booked my stay before the latest promo started, I believe I’ll still get a points rebate (see Stephen’s logic in his post about the promo).  That’s awesome because the Ventana is so highly sought out that it has become nearly impossible to find award nights there.

I considered expanding my travel plans to include other Hyatt hotels.  Unfortunately, as you can see from the map above, there aren’t any Hyatt resorts anywhere near where I live (Ann Arbor, Michigan).  And none of the ones within a day’s drive (other than the Miraval) seem appealing enough to be worth it to me.  Those who live in areas with more ready access to Hyatt resorts may reasonably reach a completely different conclusion.  See these posts for ideas:

Bottom Line

Hyatt’s new promotion is very good, but it’s probably not good enough to incentivize many of us to travel if we weren’t already planning to do so.  For those of us with qualifying Hyatt travel plans already, it’s of course a nice win (I’ll take it!).  And, for some, it may be worth changing from other plans to Hyatt if you have the points available.

Hyatt Award Chart

Standard award chart

Award chart after 15% rebate

Award chart after 25% rebate

Hyatt’s Dining, Spa & More Awards

Standard Dining, Spa & More award chart

Dining, Spa & More award chart after 15% rebate

Dining, Spa & More award chart after 25% rebate

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