- The Cheapest Way to Earn Free Hyatt Nights
- The Cheapest Way to Book Hyatt Suites on Points
- The Cheapest Way to Book Hyatt Club Rooms on Points
A few weeks ago I concluded that the cheapest way to earn Hyatt stays via manufactured spending, is by combining Hyatt’s Points + Cash award option with miles earned from the Barclay Arrival Plus card. That post applied to standard hotel redemptions only. What about if you’re redeeming points for a suite?
Hyatt has a few options if you’re looking to book a suite on points:
1. Redeem points for a suite. Suites can be booked for roughly 50% more points than a standard room. For example, a suite at a Category 1 Hyatt hotel requires 8,000 points per night (3,000 more than a standard room), while a Category 7 hotel like the Park Hyatt Sydney requires 48,000 points per night (18,000 more points than a standard room).
2. Book with cash and upgrade with points. Sometimes cash rates are cheap during low season, on certain days of the week, or during a special promotion. The advantage of these lower rates is that they make it reasonable to redeem 6,000 points per night for a suite upgrade if you’re redeeming them at a Category 2 hotel or higher. Hyatt used to require just 6,000 points per 4-night stay, but those days are long gone.
There are some rate restrictions around this option. Upgrading a resort stay requires that you book a certain rate and room types, which may make this option less desirable due to the higher cash rates that must be booked. At non-resort properties, you must book a minimum of the Hyatt Daily Rate in order to qualify for a point upgrade.
3. Book with cash and upgrade with a Diamond suite upgrade. Similar to the above scenario, if you’re a Hyatt Diamond member, you can use one of your four annual Diamond Suite upgrades to bump your paid stay to a suite for up to 7 nights. There are properties where Diamond suite upgrades cannot be applied, including the Park Hyatt Sydney, Park Hyatt Maldives, Hyatt Regency Beaver Creek, to name a few.
4. Book with Points + Cash and upgrade with a Diamond suite upgrade. The advantage of Hyatt’s Point + Cash redemption is that these stays count towards elite status and can be upgraded with a Diamond suite upgrade, which isn’t the case for awards booked fully on points.
So which of these options requires the least amount of manufactured spending? I broke it down in the table below. Keep in mind that the calculations involving Arrival Miles factor in the 10% point discount cardholders get on travel redemptions, while the Ultimate Rewards booking option includes the 20% bonus offered for direct bookings.
Note: Scroll right to see calculations past Category 6
Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5 Category 6 Category 7
Suite Redemption 8,000 points 13,000 points 20,000 points 24,000 points 32,000 points 40,000 points 48,000 points
Spending on Hyatt/ Sapphire/ Freedom/ Ink Card $8,000 $13,000 $20,000 $24,000 $32,000 $40,000 $48,000
Points + Cash with a Diamond suite upgrade 2,500 + $50 4,000 + $55 6,000 + $75 7,500 + $100 10,000 + $125 12,500 + $150 15,000 + $300
Spending on Hyatt/ Sapphire/ Freedom/ Ink Card + Arrival Plus Card $2,500
+ $2,250 Arrival Miles
+ $2,475 Arrival Miles
+ $3,375 Arrival Miles
+ $4,500 Arrival Miles
+ $5,625 Arrival Miles
+ $6,750 Arrival Miles
Cash Rate When to book through Ultimate Rewards Cash rate is $96 or less Cash rate is $156 or less Cash rate is $240 or less Cash rate is $288 or less Cash rate is $384 or less Cash rate is $480 or less Cash rate is $576 or less
When to Redeem Arrival Plus Miles Cash rate is $177 or less Cash rate is $288 or less Cash rate is $444 or less Cash rate is $533 or less Cash rate is $711 or less Cash rate is $888 or less Cash rate is $1066 or less
If you’re a Hyatt Diamond member, Hyatt’s Points + Cash option using the Arrival Plus card wins out. You will have to forego one of your four annual Diamond suite night upgrades, but that is what they’re for. Before you book, always compare the cost of a paid suite booking with the Points + Cash option. If, through some promotion, you are able to book suites at the low rates outlined in the table, save your points and go for the cash booking. It’s worth noting that Ultimate Rewards will be doing away with the “pay yourself back” option, so I have revised the table to only include the Ultimate Rewards direct travel booking.
Category bonuses may also factor into which option is cheaper, but I’ve done the above calculation based on regular spend as well as American Express gift card purchases earned at either a profit or enough cash back from a portal to off-set the fees. If you’re going to factor in category bonuses, you’ll also need to account for card fees, at which point the chart above will change depending on the type of gift cards you’re churning.
For those who do not have Diamond status, the only option is to either book a suite on points alone or book with cash and use 6,000 points per night for an upgrade. There are a few factors to consider here. Upgrading a cash stay with 6,000 points per night won’t make sense if the cash rate is low. Always take into account how much manufactured spending you’ll have to do for an outright point redemption for a suite vs. a cash stay with a 6,000 point nightly upgrade. That’s when the above chart will hopefully come in handy as a reference.