Which 40 Night Hyatt Milestone Reward should I pick?

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Update: I decided to repost this because I recently received my 2022 40 Night Milestone choice and I was surprised to see the Find Experiences were still listed as an option despite being discontinued due to Covid.  Find Experiences weren’t a good option before (due to 6 month expiry) and are obviously worse now.  This year I chose 5,000 Hyatt points rather than the $100 Hyatt gift card so that I’d have one less thing to remember to deal with.

Many hotel loyalty programs offer extra perks when you reach different thresholds of elite status.  Hyatt does too, but they also reward members with perks all along the way.  Once you’ve spent 20 nights in Hyatt or partner hotels in a calendar year, you earn your first World of Hyatt Milestone Reward (2 club lounge access awards).  Then, every 10 nights after that — up to 100 nights, you earn a new milestone reward.  A full list of Milestone Rewards is shown at the bottom of this post.  This post, though, is about the reward earned at 40 nights.  At 40 nights, you get your choice of:

  • 5,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points
  • $100 Hyatt Gift Card
  • 10,000 point savings on a FIND experience

I recently achieved 40 nights and was sent an email telling me to pick one of the above rewards.  Which should I pick?

What are 5,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points worth?

I value Hyatt points at about 1.5 1.6 cents each.  That’s the value at which I find it is easy to get that much value or more from my points when booking free nights.  So, 5,000 points are worth $80 or more towards Hyatt stays.  That said, I wouldn’t buy Hyatt points for 1.6 cents each unless I needed them for a specific award and I didn’t have enough Chase Ultimate Rewards or Bilt points to transfer over.  If the points were available for sale, I’d pay at most 1.3 cents each.  That means that I’d be willing to pay up to $65 for 5,000 points.

  • Acquisition Value (Amount I’d be willing to pay): $65
  • Redemption Value: $80+ (it is easy to get $80 or more value from 5,000 points)

FYI: Hyatt points never expire as long as you have account activity at least once every 24 months.

What is a $100 Hyatt Gift Card worth?

This may seem like a ridiculous question.  Obviously it’s worth $100, right?  Well, yes and no.  Yes, it can be used to offset $100 worth of Hyatt charges.  No, I wouldn’t pay face value for this gift card.  For one, it is limited to Hyatt hotels & resorts within the Americas.  Additionally, Hyatt gift cards are sometimes available for sale at a good discount.  If the $100 gift card was available for sale, I’d be willing to pay up to $80.

  • Acquisition Value: $80
  • Redemption Value: $100

FYI: Hyatt Gift Cards never expire.

What is a 10,000 point savings on a FIND experience worth?

FIND experiences include things like chef-led cooking lessons, food tastings, surfing, falconry, etc.  If you book these things through Hyatt, you can either earn Hyatt points for the purchase or redeem points at 1.4 cents value towards the experience.  For example, a $140 experience would cost 10,000 points.  So, this 10,000 point discount is worth $140 in experiences.  If this discount was available for sale, though, I’d pay way less.  For one, I don’t know if the FIND prices are any good.  Two: they don’t have a big selection of options and so I don’t know that I’ll have the opportunity to use the discount.  Three: the discount voucher expires 6 months from issuance!  So, if I was given the option to buy one of these, I would likely pass altogether.  However, if I thought there was a fair chance of my using the certificate I might be willing to pay $25.  But if I absolutely knew that I’d use the certificate, I’d pay more.  The most I’d be willing to pay would be $100, but that would only be if I was 100% sure that I had a great immediate use for the certificate.

  • Acquisition Value: $0, $25, or $100 (see above)
  • Redemption Value: $140

FYI: FIND Experience savings expire 6 months from issuance!

UPDATE 4/29/22: At this time Find Experiences are unavailable so do NOT select this option!

Which Hyatt Milestone Reward should I pick?

As you can see above, the FIND Experience discount offers the greatest potential redemption value, but it also happens to be the one I’d pay least for if it was for sale.

Out of the other two options, the $100 Hyatt gift card is the winner… based on the math.  That said, there is a mental cost to remembering to use that $100 certificate and a potential real cost if you forget about it altogether.  For that reason, while I’ve selected the $100 gift card in the past, I chose 5K points in 2022.

Bottom Line

Both the 5,000 points and $100 gift card are perfectly good options for most people.

World of Hyatt Milestone Rewards

For reference, below is the World of Hyatt Milestone Rewards chart.  More details can be found here.

Completely separate from elite status, Milestone Rewards are available to everyone and are based on the number of nights you stay in a calendar year. Club Lounge Access Awards and Suite Upgrade Awards are valid for the rest of the current calendar year and 14 months beyond. Free night awards are valid for 180 days from the date issued. FIND Experience discount must be used within 6 months of issuance.
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Ethan

The real frustration here, is unlike Marriott Gift Card which is global, Hyatt GC can only be used in North America, which greatly limits its usefulness and convenience.
With Marriott GC you can participate in numerous sale like AMEX Offer, put the save on future stay, meal in Maldives etc.
Outside US during the pandemic, the only viable option is the points.

Frank

Don’t forget the difficulty in using the $100 gift card, unless Hyatt has fixed that.
I had to wait around for ages many times while at the checkout desk as the Hyatt employee tried to figure out how to do it. To me, I would say that $100 gift card is worth about $12 and the frustration $88.

Brendan

40 night by the end of April. Wow! Out of curiosity how many base points did you rack up? Zero?

Dan

Speaking of Hyatt Carmel properties, based on a recommendation FM had a few years ago, I stayed at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn over a long weekend and loved it. The ocean views were spectacular. I’ve been intrigued by your reviews of Carmel Valley Ranch and Carmel Big Sur. Best of the three in your view? Now that I have Globalist and a lot of points from the WOH SUB, I’m looking to take another trip to the area soon.

Dan

Thanks! I appreciate the insight! You’re right, that state park is awesome. I spent almost a whole day there when I visited, and it’s only a short drive from the hotel.

iahphx

Thanks to the various Hyatt promos, I’m also going to hit 40 nights soon, too. I was also going to pick the $100 gift certificate because I’ll use it for dining at one of their resorts. I usually stay on points from my Chase card, and (unless there’s a promo going on), a $100 dining credit costs 8000 points. I’m somewhat reluctant to use these points for good-but-overpriced dining, so I only do it a few times a year (usually when there’s a promo). So this will be a fun treat for us. If I take the 5000 points, I won’t even notice them in my Hyatt account.

Frank

I’m actually going to hit at least 100 nights this year (between double nights, a new Hyatt card, spend, etc.), which means I’ll be receiving options for the higher tiers – with a choice between 10K points and suite upgrades.

Given that I’m not sure whether or not I will need that many upgrades (nice problem to have), is it possible to delay my choice of reward? In other words, what happens if I hit one of those higher tiers (70 nights or higher) in November, 2021 – can I delay responding with my choice of reward until January, 2022 in order to get an extra year to use the suite upgrades? (They expire 14 months after the end of the calendar year). If so, anyone know how long I can delay responding?

Thanks.

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank
Oliver

I have 2 suite upgrade rewards expiring 2/22 and 2 suite upgrade rewards expiring 2/23. I will be earning milestone awards for 70, 80, 90, 100. I am facing the 10k points vs upgrade award decision. It is difficult to give up 10k points/$150 for a SUA that I might never use.

PS There will be a lot of globalists. On the other hand, I am not sure how many globalists will be in SE Asia.

James

Seems pretty simple. Ask the hotel you are staying at about gift cards, choose giftcard as the reward choice, redeem right away. After you choose it you get the giftcard in the email in less than a minute. Pretty sure it won’t get “hacked” by then.
There is almost no way 5,000 points is worth more than $100.
I’d also venture to say most people who get this choice have plenty of points (I guess not the mattress runners).

Nick Reyes

“There is almost no way 5,000 points is worth more than $100”.

I’m surprised to hear someone who earns 40 elite nights at Hyatt make that statement. I’ve often used 5,000 points for a Category 1 property that was north of $100 per night and likewise I’ve often redeemed for Category 2-4 properties where the points were worth 2c each (just minutes ago I booked a property for 8K points per night that was otherwise $245/nt plus tax for the advance purchase/nonrefundable rate).

At the high end of the spectrum, when I stay at a property that is 25K or 30K points per night (which in enough cases with Hyatt can be a hotel that would otherwise cost six or seven hundred bucks a night or more), I guess it’s less realistic to value the points at 2c each because I wouldn’t have actually spent $500 or $600 even if that would be a “deal” for that particular property, but I enjoy having points for those types of stays, too. And while I have plenty of Ultimate Rewards points to use, they’re worth more to me as flexible Ultimate Rewards points, so picking up 5K Hyatt points helps keep my UR points flexible.

I think a heavy influence here is the fact that I rarely pay cash for Hyatt stays. I would if rates were cheap enough of course, but it’s rare in my travel patterns that paying the cash rate makes more sense (not unheard of, just rare). I could definitely see why someone would choose the $100 gift card — and I’m not rushing my choice, so maybe I’ll end up picking it, too — but I can see why some would take the points and it was my assumption that I would probably do that myself (again, we’ll see).

Theresa

I took the 5000 points last year because they are easier to use, but because the daily rates are so low right now, I took the $100. gift card this year and already used it. It covered the cost of a hotel night that would have been 15,000 points. Even so, at check out, the desk person told me it would take her awhile to figure out how to enter the gift card and I didn’t need to wait; she would email me the receipt, which she did. That is the problem I have had in the past; a lot of the employees don’t know how to enter the gift cards.

docntx

Took the 5K points. I have recently lucked with good value, and, I am still skittish after losing money on Hyatt gift cards in the past.

Bob

Interesting that ppl are having issues using the gift cards. I’ve done selected this for the last 3-4 years including just the other day when I went over 40 nights, and I’ve never had an issue using it. I just present the email on the phone at checkout and the agents are able to apply it to my bill, so for me this is like cash and worth $100, especially when I use it on a work trip that I’m expensing. I wonder if the issue is happening at lower tier properties or international ones instead of frequent business traveler properties.

Shay

I read this last year and picked the gift card- it took 3 different hotels, discusions with a manager AND my hyatt concierge’s intervention to finally redeem it successfully.

TL;DR- this year I took the points without hesitation.

Joseph N.

Everybody’s redemptions are different, but for me, the $100 worked best. When I went to choose this offer I had assumed 5000 points was worth more than $100, but after crunching the numbers I realized the 5000 points is worth more that $100 only at a few hotels. The $100 is a lot more flexible, and it does not expire IIRC.

Mike

“Few” has not been my experience at all. I average 3.6 cents per point meaning I routinely get above 2 cents a point.

Joseph N.

3.6¢ huh. Sure. That is greater than $180/night rate at a lowly Category 1 Hyatt, or $288/night at a Cat 2 Hyatt. Yup, as a guy who spends 100 nights a year in Hyatts, I am willing to say there are “few” Cat 1s still charging over $180, and “few” Cat 2s still charging over $288.

Yusuf Hakim

Hey Greg,

The find experience isn’t a choice right now. My concierge informed me that they aren’t giving that as an option as it’s not possible to redeem for find experience for the next 6 months.

Frank

Can anyone use the gift card?

[…] Which Hyatt Milestone Reward should I pick? […]

Dina

If you use the hyatt gift card you also earn points on that $100. So with no status you still earn 500 point on that $100. You’d earn the same paying cash, but you don’t earn points when you use points so its a small benefit.

dina lapoint

I always include taxes and fees when calculating point redemptions. Like anything it depends on the location for how much of a benefit it is

NK3

With the Bonus Journeys promo, the $100 gift card could actually yield 1500 points. I would definitely take the gift card over the points.

Steve

Points may be worth more than appears because points redemptions may save on taxes and resort fees as well as parking.

I’ve also had countless difficulties with the one Hyatt gift card I did have where they couldn’t figure out how to redeem it.

JustSaying

Hyatt has done such a fabulous job in designing their rewards program and they have magnificent Park Hyatts. Plus the additional luxury properties they have added suit me perfectly. They are a wonderful customer service organization also!

Frank

Perhaps Hyatt has changed, but I had enormous difficulty using Hyatt gift cards a few years ago. Firstly they were hacked and the cards used by someone else. Hyatt replaced them after much effort on my part. Then I found it impossible to use them in Hawaii – where at checkout they couldn’t find the right department to approve them by phone! Then in Costa Rica they also could not get them okayed by the head office. If anyone has had better experiences in the last 2 years please let me know.

I am about to have this 40-night choice soon and I am wondering whether it’s worth the hassle, or just take the 5,000 points.

Stephen Pepper

The cards that used to get hacked didn’t have PINs from what I’m aware, whereas the new gift cards do have a PIN which adds a layer of much-needed security.

I’ve used Hyatt gift cards several times in the last 2.5 years at hotels in the US and haven’t had any issues. The only time there was a slight issue was when they’d already charged our credit card despite advising we wanted to pay with a gift card, but we were able to get it resolved when checking out.

Bogan

I would be tempted to go for the 5000 points. It obviously has less value than the $100 gift card, but I am rarely spending much cash at Hyatt properties, and points are just easy to use. I can book with points on the website. To use a gift card I have to find a desk agent that knows how to redeem it.

Hadley V. Baxendale

Greg – Any expiration date on the gift card? That could influence me.

Hadley V. Baxendale

Then, that’s the one!! Thanx for the answer!

My wife, like you, just surpassed 41 nights with the bonus nights and will likewise select this choice.

When the rest of her elite nights from credit card spend post in a couple of days she will have 61 nights and Globalist.

This will also ensure her having the Category 1 -7 Certificate with an expiration date of some time in December, which will mean that it will automatically be extended by Hyatt to 12/31/21.

D’Elle

.

Last edited 1 year ago by D’Elle
Mike

Fairly certain it will not get extended. Its earned in 2021 not earned in 2020 with a 2021 expiration

Joe Schmo

Good post, Greg. Have you guys thought to create a Resource listing all Hyatt hotels that have club access award relevance? I can’t seem to find one.

(I’m a Discoverist wondering whether it makes sense to go for Explorist and not seeing the value in the Club Access Awards.)

Mark P

This would be great, it’s very difficult to find info on where I can use these club access awards.

Lawrence

would love a post on Hyatt Club Access and Globalist friendly hotels