What are Hyatt points worth?

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In the past year or so, hotel prices have soared.  Meanwhile, Hyatt has continued to maintain their fixed award charts.  This means that Hyatt points have become more valuable.  Thanks to Hyatt’s award charts, when cash rates go up, Hyatt point prices stay the same, within the bounds of off-peak to peak pricing.  Given this, it was past time for me to update our Hyatt point value estimate.  As you’ll see below, the value has increased, as expected.  That’s not the whole story, though.  I’ve also updated our calculations to fully account for point earnings on paid stays, hotel taxes, and resort fees.  A part of the increase in our point value estimates can be attributed to this new and more thorough accounting.

a stack of brown objects on a porch

Background

When collecting points and miles, it’s always a good idea to have a general idea of what points are worth.  Let’s say, for example, that you have the opportunity to either earn 1,000 Hyatt points or 2,000 Hilton points.  Which should you go for?  If you don’t know what the points are worth, you’d likely go for the Hilton points.  But, in my analyses I’ve found Hyatt points to be worth about four times as much as Hilton points.  Therefore, on average, 1,000 Hyatt points are worth considerable more than 2,000 Hilton points.  In this post, you’ll find my best current estimate of the value of Hyatt points.  To see our estimates across many programs, see this post: Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs).

Methodology

In order to determine the value of Hyatt points, I collected real-world cash prices and point prices.  As I’ve done previously, I examined a number of major hotel markets in the U.S.: Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, Orlando, and Seattle. Within each market, I identified the first three search results with a guest rating of 4 or better, and I recorded both cash and award prices for three dates each: a weekday, a weekend, and a holiday weekend.

  • Why U.S. only? U.S. consumers are known to spend most of their points and miles on domestic travel.  Since the majority of this blog’s audience resides in the U.S. we opted for a U.S. centric view of point values.
  • Why Guest Ratings? The goal wasn’t to find the 3 best Hyatt hotels in each market. Instead, the goal was to find the 3 Hyatt bookable hotels that are very popular.  Which ones are people really likely to book?  By using a combination of Hyatt’s default sorting and by picking only highly rated hotels, I think it’s reasonable to assume that many members would pick these hotels.
  • Which paid rates were selected?  I always picked the best refundable paid rate shown on Hyatt’s website, but without applying any discounts like AAA, military, government, etc.  In most cases, I selected Hyatt’s Member Rate.
  • Which specific dates did I use?  
    • Weekday: Wednesday April 12, 2023
    • Weekend Day: Friday April 14, 2023
    • Holiday Weekend Day: Saturday April 8, 2023 (Easter Weekend)

New Calculation Approach

Starting 12/5/2022, I began calculating Cents Per Point (CPP) using new formula.  In all past hotel CPP calculations, I didn’t account for taxes and fees or points earned on paid stays. I figured that those things basically cancelled each other out.  Going forward, I am including these factors, as well as resort fees, in the CPP calculation.  The calculation is based on the following terms:

  • Base Cash Rate: This is the hotel room rate before taxes and fees.
  • Total Cash Rate: This is the total amount, including taxes and fees, that would be paid if booking a hotel’s cash rate.
  • Resort Fee: This is a fee that is imposed by many hotels above and beyond any required taxes.  This goes by different names at different hotels: Resort fee, Destination charge, Founders fee, etc.
  • Points Per Dollar Earned: The number of points per dollar earned by non-elite members on paid stays.  For example, Hyatt members earn 5 points per dollar, Marriott members earn 10 points per dollar (at most hotels), etc.
  • Points Earned on Cash Rate:  This is the number of points you would earn if you paid the cash rate.  The calculation for this is: (Base Cash Rate) x (Points Per Dollar Earned).  For this calculation, our default approach is to assume that the traveler does not have elite status (elite members earn more points per dollar).
  • Point Price: The number of points required to book a night at the hotel
  • Cents Per Point (CPP): This is the value you get per point when using your points instead of cash to pay for a stay.

Hotel Programs that Waive Resort Fees on Award Stays

Hilton, Hyatt, and Wyndham waive resort fees when you book stays using points or free night certificates.  For these chains, the resort fee does not have to be considered separately from the Total Cash Rate (which includes the resort fee).  So, the CPP calculation is as follows:

CPP = Total Cash Rate ÷ [Point Price + Points Earned on Cash Rate]

Hotel Programs that Charge Resort Fees on Award Stays

IHG, Marriott, and many other hotel programs impose resort fees on award stays.  For these chains, the resort fee must be specifically taken into account in the CPP calculation. We do that by subtracting it out of the Total Cash Rate. The CPP calculation is as follows:

CPP = [Total Cash Rate – Resort Fee] ÷ [Point Price + Points Earned on Cash Rate]

Results

Point Value

Analysis Date: 12/5/22 2/23/22 5/4/21
Point Value (Median) 2.1 cents 1.6 1.6
Point Value (Mean) 2.3 cents 1.9 1.8
Cash Price (Median) $398 $248 $228
Cash Price (Mean) $469 $304 $261
Award Price (Median) 17,000 15,000 15,000
Award Price (Mean) 18,442 16,757 15,286
Minimum Point Value 1.3 0.9 0.9
Maximum Point Value 4.9 3.9 3.4

* Analyses prior to 12/5/22 relied on pre-tax numbers and didn’t account for points earned on paid stays. For this reason, I grayed out the numbers that can’t be fairly compared to the most recent numbers.

The median observed point value was 2.1 cents per point.  This means that half of the observed results offered equal or better point value and half offered equal or worse value.  Another way to think about it is that without trying to cherry pick good awards, you have a 50/50 chance of getting 2.1 cents or better value from your Hyatt points when booking free night awards.

Not all of the increased value of Hyatt points can be attributed to hotel price inflation.  I used the same dataset to see what the point value would have been if we had continued to use the old formula.  With the old formula, the median came to 1.9 cents per point.  This means that slightly more than half of the increase point value is due to the change in methodology rather than hotel price inflation.

Pick your own point value

Analysis Date: 12/5/22 2/23/22 5/4/21
50th Percentile (Median) 2.1 1.6 1.6
60th Percentile 2.2 1.8 1.8
70th Percentile 2.3 2.1 2.0
80th Percentile 2.6 2.4 2.2
90th Percentile 3.2 3.0 2.3

* Analyses prior to 12/5/22 relied on pre-tax numbers and didn’t account for points earned on paid stays. For this reason, I grayed out the numbers that can’t be fairly compared to the most recent numbers.

When we publish Reasonable Redemption Values of points (RRVs), we conservatively pick the middle value, or the 50th percentile.  The idea is that just by randomly picking hotels to use your points, you have a 50/50 chance of getting this value or better.  But what if you cherry-pick awards?  Many people prefer to hold onto their points until they find good value uses for them.  If that’s you, then you may want to use the table above to pick your own point value.  For example, if you think that you’ll hold out for the best 10% value awards, then pick the 90th percentile.  If you cherry-pick a bit, but not that much, you might want to use the 70th percentile (for example).  I’m guessing that most cherry-pickers will land around the 80th percentile: 2.6 cents per point.

To me, this analysis shows that those who cherry-pick good value awards can count on getting around 2.6 cents per point value, or better.

Points are worth less for elite members

With most hotel programs, elite members earn more points per dollar on paid stays than do non-elite members.  As a result, the relative value of an award stay compared to a paid stay decreases.  The following table shows the median point values with various levels of elite status.

Elite Level Point Bonus on Paid Stays Median Cents Per Point
None None 2.1
Discoverist 10% 2.1
Explorist 20% 2.1
Globalist 30% 2.0

As you can see above, points are worth a tiny bit less for Globalist members, but the small elite bonuses for lower level members don’t move the needle.  And keep in mind that Globalist members get free parking on award stays so if that was factored in, Globalists would actually get better point value than others.

Reasonable Redemption Value: 2.1 CPP

Our Reasonable Redemption Value (RRV) for Hyatt points was previously set to 1.6 cents per point but it has now jumped to 2.1.  RRV’s are intended to be the point at which it is reasonable to get that much value or better for your points.  Therefore, I believe that the median observed value for is a good choice for our RRV…

  • Reasonable Redemption Value for Hyatt: 2.1 cents per point
  • Reasonable Redemption Value for those who cherry pick awards: 2.6 cents per point

Overvaluing vs. Undervaluing Points

There is no perfect way to estimate the value of points.  Decisions we made here in some ways overvalue points and in some ways undervalue points.  The hope is that these things roughly offset each other…

Factors that cause us to undervalue points

  • With hotel programs that offer 4th Night Free Awards (IHG, with some credit cards), or 5th Night Free Awards (Hilton & Marriott), or award discounts (Wyndham), we do not consider the point savings in our analyses.
  • With hotel programs that offer free parking on award stays to top-tier elites (Hyatt), we do not factor this in.

Factors that cause us to overvalue points

  • We do not use discount rates (other than member rates) in our analyses.  In real-life, many people book hotels cheaper (and sometimes far cheaper) by using AAA rates, government & military rates, senior rates, etc.
  • We do not use hotel promotional rates.  Often, individual hotels have deals such as “Stay 2 Nights, Get 1 Night Free” which can greatly reduce the cost of a stay.
  • We do not use prepaid rates in our analyses.  Sometimes these rates are significantly lower than refundable rates.
  • We do not factor in rebates which can be earned from booking hotels through shopping portals.
  • We do not factor in extra points earned on paid stays for those with elite status.
  • We do not factor in rewards earned from credit card spend at hotels.
  • We do not factor in hotel loyalty program promotions: Most promotions, but not all, only offer incentives for paid stays.  We often see promos offering bonus points, double or triple points, free night awards, etc.
  • With hotel programs that waive resort fees for top tier elites on paid stays (e.g. Hyatt), we do not factor this in.

How can Hyatt points be worth more than Ultimate Rewards?

At the time of this writing, our Reasonable Redemption Value (RRV) for Chase Ultimate Rewards points is 1.5 cents per point.  Meanwhile, our RRV for Hyatt is 2.1 cents per point.  But… given that Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to Hyatt and many other programs 1 to 1, shouldn’t Chase points be valued equal to or higher than Hyatt points?  And if given the choice to earn the same number of Hyatt or Chase points, wouldn’t I pick the Chase points?

Yes and yes.  I would rather have Chase points than Hyatt points (as long as I also have a card like the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred which makes it possible to transfer to Hyatt and other programs) and so, yes, Chase points are “worth” at least as much as Hyatt points.

This is why we avoid the word “worth” in our Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs).  Our RRVs are point estimates showing that it is reasonable to get that much value or more.  With Hyatt, you’re most likely to use your Hyatt points for Hyatt stays and so, as our analysis showed, it’s reasonable to expect to get 2.1 cents per point value or more.  With Chase points, though, it’s totally reasonable to use them in other ways.  If you have the Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll get 1.5 cents per point value by booking travel through the Chase portal or by redeeming points to Pay Yourself Back for eligible categories of spend.  Both of those options are reasonable choices.  Similarly, it’s reasonable to transfer points to airline partners like United, Air Canada, Air France, etc.  With those programs, you might get more than 1.5 cents per point value, but you might not get as much as with Hyatt unless you cherry-pick the most valuable awards.

So, the final answer here is that Chase points are worth at least as much as Hyatt points… when transferred to Hyatt or to an equally valuable transfer partner.  But, it’s also reasonable for our Reasonable Redemption Value of Chase points to be lower than Hyatt points because it’s absolutely reasonable to get 1.5 cents per point value from those Chase points.

Conclusion

Based on the latest analysis, the Hyatt Reasonable Redemption Value (RRV) has jumped to 2.1 cents per point (from 1.6 previously).  That’s a huge jump.  The jump is partially due to the new formula used for our calculations (using the same data with the old calcs results in a median of 1.9).  The rest of the jump is probably due to inflation which has outpaced rising award prices.

The idea behind using the median for our RRVs is that you have a 50/50 chance of getting that much value or more from your award stays and so it is reasonable to expect to get that much value or better.  For those more advanced, this post’s percentile results show that it’s reasonable to expect to get 2.6 cents per point or better if you cherry-pick good-value awards.

For a complete list of Reasonable Redemption Values (and links to posts like this one), see: Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs).

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Greg

The points are worth, in my opinion, the rate the Hyatt charges you to purchase them. This amounts to 1.6 or 1.7 cents per point depending on their rotating sales promotion. I know I can get better redemption than this but I also know that if I want to stay at say, HR Waikiki on points, the redemption value will be right around the purchase price of 1.7. Hyatt mostly has this figured out. Are there pockets of sweet spot redemptions? Sure, but they are few and far between these days.

[…] Miler (who has one of my favorite travel hacking podcasts) says most people should expect to get about 2.1 cents from each Hyatt Point. I really like Frequent Miler’s methodology. It does a good job of explaining how Globalists […]

iahphx

Good analysis. My non-fancy gut opinion as a Hyatt Globalist with tons of redemptions is that Hyatt points are worth 2 cents each. Not that I’d be a buyer at that price, given how it’s relatively easy to gin them up. Also, I’d note that I generally wouldn’t PAY for most of these properties at 2 cents/point — kind of like airline first class redemption values.

Last edited 1 year ago by iahphx
Sean

TBH you could also do a Stookey centric view as well. (Maybe a good April Fools post hehe)

Jane

Great article. The only thing I do differently to determine points value is to calculate for not just the Hyatt hotel but also other similar hotels in that city. I happen to get very good rates with Marriott so that changes my valuation.

DCS

“Let’s say, for example, that you have the opportunity to either earn 1,000 Hyatt points or 2,000 Hilton points. Which should you go for? If you don’t know what the points are worth, you’d likely go for the Hilton points. But, in my analyses I’ve found Hyatt points to be worth about four times as much as Hilton points.”

Greg The Frequent Miler

One would go for 1,000 Hyatt points instead of 2,000 Hilton point, not because the Hyatt points are “worth” more, but because it would cost a lot more to earn 1,000 Hyatt points than it would to earn 2,000 Hilton points.

A Hyatt Globalist with the Chase World of Hyatt (WoH) visa would earn 10.5 points/$ on a revenue stay.

A Hilton Diamond with the AMEX Hilton Honors (HH) Surpass card would earn 32 points/$ on a revenue stay.

That means that

to earn 1000 WoH points, a Globalist would have to spend 1,000points/(10.5points/$) = $95.24to earn 2,000 HH points a Hilton Diamond would have to spend 2,000points/(32points/$) = $62.50As I said, it would cost more to earn 1,000 WoH points that it would cost to earn 2,000 HH points

For the amount of money it would take for a Globalist to earn 1,000 WoH points, i.e. $95.24, a Hilton Diamond would earn 32 points/$ * $95.25 = 3,048 points.

That means that in order for the hypothetical offer in the scenario to be fair and equitable, it would have to offer the Hyatt member (globalist) 1,000 WoH points and the Hilton member (Diamond) 3,048 HH points, because only then would the monetary values be the same (apples and apples):

Hyatt Globalist: 1000points/10.5points/$ = $95.24
Hilton Diamond: 3,048points/32points/$ = $95.24

That should not be too hard to understand. For the same spend, a Hilton Diamond earns 3x more Hilton Honors points that a Hyatt Globalist earns World of Hyatt points.

It also means that a 40K Hyatt points/night award costs exactly the same as a 120K Hilton points/night award.

It means that 1.6cents/Hyatt point are “wroth” exactly the same as

1.6cents/Hyatt point * (10.5 Hyatt points/32 Hilton points) = 0.525cent/Hilton point.

In short,

1.6cents/Hyatt point = 0.524cents/Hilton point,

so that

(1.6cents/Hyatt point)/(0.524cents/Hilton point) = 1 [number ONE] not ~3 or 4 or 5!

Simple dimensional analysis shows that 1.6cents/Hyatt point buy you exactly the same thing or are “worth” exactly the same as 0.525cent/Hilton point.

The notion that a Hyatt point is worth 4x more than a Hilton point is simply nonsensical. The implication,therefore, is that pretty much everything in this post is wrong. There is no economic or financial model that would lead to Hyatt’s loyalty program yielding 4x more “value” that any other program.

Bottom line:
Loyalty points currencies have no redemption values until after the points have been redeemed for an actual award according to highly subjective or individual considerations or preferences. On the other hand, points currencies also have “nominal” or “face” values, which are assigned by each program and are, thus, objective and fixed. What everyone does is to lump those two concepts. The result is gobbledygook and general confusion…

Last edited 1 year ago by DCS
JustSaying

I’m staying at Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris next week for 6 nights and getting 4.3 cents per point so I’m pretty happy about that redemption.

LarryInNYC

I will chip in with my pet peeve objection — you should calculate the cents per point using the not the rack rate of the Park Hyatt but the rate you would pay for a substantially similar accommodation if you weren’t staying at the Hyatt. I would guess that would be well under half whatever the PH is getting.

JustSaying

Actually that is the rate I would be paying. But YMMV.

Frank

Unfortunately I don’t think there is a Cat-1 hotel within 1000 miles of where I live (Not Hawaii). Unfortunately posts like this one is asking for Hyatt to devalue.

Paul Weiss

The site and DoC are exponentially better than anything else out there. Thank you for always posting insightful, helpful, thorough and accurate info. The slobbish misery spawner ‘thought leader’ could learn a lesson

Neil

As a general rule if the hotel isn’t the destination, I am an avid purveyor of CAT 1 or 2 Hyatt properties. I find that usually they have good locations near highways, some extra space (Hyatt Place/Hyatt House), parking and free breakfast which is money as I have three little kids and almost only travel stateside. Over the last year it would be more apt to say you’d have to cherry pick low-end Hyatt’s that don’t get you at least 2.0ccp!!! Good luck finding a hotel for less than $100. And more importantly these are hotels I would pay actual $$$.

Even though I get 4x at grocery/restaurant with Amex Gold, I almost exclusively use Sapphire preferred at grocery (Kroger Pay) and restaurants for 3x b/c those points are just more valuable.

Valuation is relative to what the value is to you and considering I only travel domesticlly in economy and stay at affordable hotels then that makes Chase/Hyatt points king.

NonRevGuy

Greg and team, I always appreciate your efforts here. Thanks for doing all the research! Would you now say that point-based milestone awards night now be more valuable than tier suite upgrade or cash-equivalent choices? Thank you, and enjoy the holiday season.

Mark

I’m curious to know the RRV as a Globalist, since you didn’t consider status.

Anthony

You can do a similar analysis for Hilton and Marriott (I know their charts aren’t as fixed); all hotel points values have gone up the past two years due to hotel room inflation. Marriott may change in January when it goes more dynamic, but I would guess the points stil end upl worth more than they were pre-Covid.

Brutus

Better hurry. Suggesting that Hyatt points are worth 5x more than Hilton points is sure to draw in the blogosphere’s most notorious Hilton troll.

Jeremy

I don’t think he harasses Greg the way he does Ben.

Christian

The only thing I would change would be the inclusion of taxes and resort fees since those are known for the price comparison. Maybe even including a base earning rate since one would have to be a member to redeem points. The things that would be variable depending on status level I can understand not including. It is impossible to provide a specific answer to each individuals situation. The beauty is a basic excel worksheet can allow anyone to establish their own method and valuation. Thanks for sharing the work you did on behalf of your many readers.

DKGeorge

Hi Greg:
I appreciate and value your reasoned and transparent analysis. It is difficult to not gain at least a useful prospective if not directly actionable information from your writing.
Of course reading this article led me to follow your link to “Reasonable Redemption Values”. There have been any number of changes, to say nothing of the passage of time, since you last updated it. Perhaps you would consider adding this to one of your thousand to do list sticky notes.
Thanks again,
DK