The Cheapest Way to Book Hyatt Club Rooms on Points

Hyatt Regency SF Club Lounge Appetizers

Hyatt Regency SF Club Lounge Appetizers

For those wondering what the makes them so great, Club Level Rooms have several advantages over standard rooms. Often, these rooms are on higher floors and offer better amenities. More importantly, they offer access to the hotel’s club lounge, where guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, snacks/appetizers, drinks, and wifi throughout the day. This can be a great value if you can manage to get a club level room on points. So what is the best way to do it via manufactured spending?

In most cases, hotels will upgrade Diamond members at check-in free of charge. This is preferable to the other alternative – having to provide them with complimentary breakfast at the hotel restaurant. However, if you’re not a Diamond member and you want to ensure you get a Club Room, there are a few options:

1. Book with cash and upgrade with points. Sometimes you stumble upon a cheap standard rate, depending on the day of the week and other factors. It might make sense to use 3,000 points per night for a Club Room upgrade. Again, this depends on the rate you’re paying as well as the category hotel you’re booking – it may be more prudent to just book the Club Room on points entirely, but this will vary.

If you are considering a 3,000 point nightly upgrade, do take into consideration the nightly cash rate, how much manufactured spending is needed to off-set it, and compare that to the point redemption rate for a Club Room in that particular category.

2. Book a Club Room on cash. Sometimes (either online or at the time of check-in), you may be offered a Club Room upgrade for a heavily discounted rate. I’ve received offers as low as $40 extra per night. In these cases, it makes more sense to pay the cash rate with your Arrival Plus card and redeem a travel statement credit (since you are earning those at double the rate of other currencies) than to utilize a 3,000 point nightly upgrade. So long as the upgrade cost is under $66 (after tax), you are better off using Arrival Miles earned with the Arrival Plus card.

3. Redeem points for a Club Room. Club rooms can be booked for about 40% more points than a standard room. Club Room redemptions range from 7,000 – 39,000 points per night, depending on the hotel category. Sometimes, the difference between a suite and a club room is just 1,000 points – it goes without saying that in this scenario, booking a suite is a better value. In any case, you should always weigh the cost of a club room on points against the cash rate, factoring in the rate of point accumulation to decide which option is best.

Below, I’ve outlined the amount of spending required for each redemption type, as well as when it makes sense to pay the cash rate and redeem Arrival Plus miles vs. using the Ultimate Rewards portal to book the stay. This part is important because if you’re able to find a paid club room rate at or below these rates, it’s better to charge the entire stay to your Arrival Plus card and redeem Arrival miles for it. The amount of manufactured spending required at those levels may be less for the Arrival card than the Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards (barring category bonuses).

Note: Scroll right to see calculations past Category 6

 Category 1Category 2Category 3Category 4Category 5Category 6Category 7
Club Room Point Redemption7,000 points12,000 points17,000 points21,000 points27,000 points33,000 points39,000 points
Spending on Hyatt/ Sapphire/ Freedom/ Ink Card$7,000$12,000$17,000$21,000$27,000$33,000$39,000
Cash Rate
When to book through Ultimate RewardsCash rate is $84 or lessCash rate is $144 or lessCash rate is $204 or lessCash rate is $252 or lessCash rate is $324 or lessCash rate is $396 or lessCash rate is $468 or less
When to Redeem Arrival Plus MilesCash rate is $155 or lessCash rate is $266 or lessCash rate is $377 or lessCash rate is $466 or lessCash rate is $600 or lessCash rate is $733 or lessCash rate is $866 or less
Upgrade3,000 points per night3,000 points per night3,000 points per night3,000 points per night3,000 points per night3,000 points per night3,000 points per night
Spending on Hyatt/ Sapphire/ Freedom/ Ink
Card
$3,000$3,000$3,000$3,000$3,000$3,000$3,000

Someone asked me in an earlier post why I don’t factor category bonuses into these calculations. Many of the Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards offer category bonuses of 2-5 points per $1 spent. To keep things simple, I’m basing my calculations on earnings of 1 point per $1 and the assumption that these miles will be generated at non-bonus category merchants like Simon Malls and via American Express gift cards (breaking even on the Amex gift card purchases).

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