No matter how many miles you’re generating in manufactured spending each month, parting with them is never easy. One way to combat this is by making sure you are getting good value out of your point redemptions. That’s how I can feel good about dumping hard-earned miles and points – knowing I saved a decent amount of cash by doing so.
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- Cheapest Way to Book Hyatt Suites on Points
It takes three months to generate $30,000 of manufactured spend via American Express gift cards and too many unpleasant trips to the grocery store, Target, and/or Walmart to unload them all. All that hard work and the only thing you’re getting is a single free night at the Park Hyatt Sydney? It almost seems like a waste of time. Of course, you can also opt to redeem those points for 6 nights at a Category 1 hotel, but the best way to deal with separation anxiety is to maximize your redemption value while also minimizing the amount of manufactured spending you need to do in order to meet your travel goals.
So what is the most effective way to manufacture spend your way to free Hyatt stays? I’ve put together a chart below that outlines the amount of points and Points + Cash required for a Hyatt hotel stay. Below that, you’ll find a comparison of how much manufactured spending is required to earn those points on the co-branded Hyatt, Barclay Arrival Plus, and Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. Since Chase recently announced it would discontinue the 7% dividend on the Sapphire Preferred card in 2015, I’m leaving out that 7% bonus to (and to keep this post evergreen). In addition, the “pay yourself back” option will be eliminated so I have adjusted the table to reflect that. The portion referencing Ultimate Rewards bookings takes into account the 20% bonus for direct Ultimate Rewards travel bookings.
All of the cards earn category bonuses. However, for the sake of simplicity I’ve calculated the manufactured spending requirements based on non-bonus spend. That’s 1 point per $1 for all cards except for the Barclay Arrival Plus card, which earns 2 miles per $1. Additionally, there’s a 10% rebate when miles are used for travel redemptions (which is factored in).
Note: Scroll right to see calculations past Category 6
|Category 1||Category 2||Category 3||Category 4||Category 5||Category 6||Category 7|
|Points Per Night||5,000 points||8,000 points||12,000 points||15,000 points||20,000 points||25,000 points||30,000 points|
|Spending on Hyatt/ Sapphire/ Freedom/ Ink Card||$5,000||$8,000||$12,000||$15,000||$20,000||$25,000||$30,000|
|Points + Cash||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
|When to book through Ultimate Rewards||Cash rate is $60 or less||Cash rate is $96 or less||Cash rate is $144 or less||Cash rate is $180 or less||Cash rate is $240 or less||Cash rate is $300 or less||Cash rate is $360 or less|
|When to Redeem Arrival Plus Miles||Cash rate is $111 or less||Cash rate is $177 or less||Cash rate is $266 or less||Cash rate is $333 or less||Cash rate is $444 or less||Cash rate is $555 or less||Cash rate is $666 or less|
Barring category bonuses, the Hyatt Points + Cash redemption using the Barclay Arrival Plus card requires the least amount of manufactured spending for free nights. The most drastic savings is a total of $5,750 in manufactured spending on Category 6 hotels. When the cash rate offered is less than the ones listed in the table, then booking cash is the best option.