The World of Hyatt loyalty program has been making considerable noise the last couple of years. With the introduction of The World of Hyatt Credit Card and the addition of numerous luxury hotels and resorts, Hyatt is working adamantly to expand its global footprint. With a portfolio of over 1,100 hotels across 18 different brands and dozens of countries, there are plenty of options to spend your hard-earned points on free hotel stays.
Even better? The program makes it relatively simple to book directly into premium rooms for your next trip, and today we’ll show you how to do exactly that the next time you redeem your World of Hyatt points.
Let’s start with an overview of how to do this. For starters, there are three different types of upgraded rooms that you can book with your Hyatt points:
- Regency/Grand Club rooms
- Standard suites
- Premium suites
The exact room options depend on the individual property, though as you’ll see shortly, there’s an easy way to identify these online.
You also have three options to pay for these rooms:
- Book a paid stay and upgrade using points
- Redeem points for the entire room
- Book a Points + Cash award (doesn’t apply to Club rooms)
Unfortunately, the majority of these rooms and booking options aren’t available online, so you’ll need to call to reserve them. That being said, the phone booking process is generally painless and should only take a few minutes — though there’s some research you can do ahead of time to streamline the call.
The first upgraded room type for which you can redeem Hyatt points is for properties that have a club lounge — generally Hyatt Regency and Grand Hyatt locations. Booking directly into these rooms would give you access to the Regency Club or Grand Club, which typically includes continental breakfast as well as evening hors d’oeuvres and an honor bar. Finding rooms is simple; just look for one that denotes club access, like these at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando:
Booking Club Rooms
As noted above, there are two ways to lock in these rooms (since Points + Cash awards don’t apply to club-level rooms). The first is by booking a paid stay and then upgrading to a club room using points, which will set you back 3,000 points per night. While this a flat amount and isn’t dependent on the property’s award category, you must pay an eligible rate, and this depends on the property. Here’s how the terms and conditions of the World of Hyatt program define these rate restrictions:
“In order to redeem a Club Upgrade Award at a Hyatt resort, a Member must pay the Standard Rate for a minimum of a deluxe room (such as partial ocean view, ocean view, slope view, etc.). In order to redeem a Club Upgrade Award at a Hyatt hotel (that is not a resort), a Member must pay a minimum of the Standard Rate for a minimum of a standard room.”
As you can see, you can only upgrade rooms booked under the “Standard Rate” designation, and at a resort, you must book at least the property’s deluxe accommodations to be eligible. Unfortunately, this excludes most discounted rates like AAA, Government/Military and conference rates. However, if the base rate for the eligible room type is low, this could be a good award option.
The second booking option is to redeem points to cover the entire stay. Unlike the first option, the exact number of points here does vary depending on the award category of the property you’re booking. Generally this will be at least 30% higher than a standard award. Here’s a break-down of what a full award will set you back in a club room, including the premium over a regular award night:
|Award Category||Standard Nightly Award Rate||Club Room Nightly Award Rate||Premium|
|Category 1||5,000 points||7,000 points||40%|
|Category 2||8,000 points||12,000 points||50%|
|Category 3||12,000 points||17,000 points||41.67%|
|Category 4||15,000 points||21,000 points||40%|
|Category 5||20,000 points||27,000 points||35%|
|Category 6||25,000 points||33,000 points||32%|
|Category 7||30,000 points||39,000 points||30%|
Editor’s note: Since there are no Hyatt-branded properties in the program’s top-tier Category 8, we’ve excluded it from this analysis.
Fortunately, these club rooms are often available online using points, though sadly it isn’t universal across all Hyatt properties. For example, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress above has both of these options online:
However, the Hyatt Regency Orlando — just a few miles away — only has the option to upgrade a paid stay online.
If you’ve found a property with a club room available for cash but not one (or both) of the award options above, your best bet is to call World of Hyatt customer service at 1-800-544-9288.
The process for booking directly into suites, on the other hand, is a but more complicated. While Hilton makes it extremely easy to find and book suites on its website, Hyatt is a bit more antiquated, as you generally must call to book these upgraded rooms with points. Nevertheless, you can (and should) still use the online search functionality to find rooms that should be available using points.
Let’s take a look at an example — the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, a property which TPG has reviewed. This is a Category 7 hotel (more on this in a moment), and the base rate for the dates I searched was 30,000 Hyatt points/night or $769/night after taxes for a standard room.
TPG’s latest valuations peg World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents per point, so 30,000 points are worth $510, making this a great value for your points.
However, what if you are wanting something a bit nicer? Searching online for this property won’t show any upgraded accommodations using points, and it doesn’t have a club at all, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Here’s how to find the premium rooms.
When you are looking at the search results, you can toggle back and forth between points rates and cash rates.
Once you hit “View Rates” to see all rooms available using cash, you’ll be met with a selection of different booking options, including short descriptions of each room. This is where you’re looking for two key phrases — standard suite and premium suite — to identify the types of upgraded rooms available using points and to ultimately determine the number of points you’d need to redeem.
Just note that the exact rooms classified into these two categories are defined by each individual hotel. The program’s terms and conditions also provide additional exclusions:
“No Suite Free Night Award is valid at Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Hyatt Paris Madeleine, Hyatt Herald Square New York, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt City of Dreams Manila, Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami, Spirit Ridge at NK’MIP Resort, Hyatt Rosemont, Hyatt Regency Suites Atlanta Northwest, Hyatt Regency Lisle near Naperville, Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport Newport Beach, Thompson Seattle, or Hyatt Place hotels.”
Booking suites using points
There are three options for using points to lock in a suite. The first is to book a paid stay and upgrade using points. Like booking club rooms in this fashion, the points you’d need to redeem are fixed and don’t vary based on the hotel’s category:
- Standard suite: 6,000 points per night
- Premium suite: 9,000 points per night
The exact same restrictions apply. For non-resort properties, you must book the standard rate for a standard room, while resort properties require a deluxe room at the standard rate (with the exact room type determined by the individual hotel). A phone agent should be able to tell you the specific rate you’d need to pay at your desired property to utilize this upgrade with points option.
If the paid rates for a standard or deluxe room are too rich for your blood and you’d rather simply use points for the upgraded accommodations, you’re in luck, as the World of Hyatt program uses a separate award chart for booking suites. These rates do vary based on the category of the hotel, so here’s the award chart (including the premium over a standard room award):
|Hotel Category||Standard Award||Standard Suite Award (Premium)||Premium Suite Award
|Category 1||5,000 points||8,000 points (60%)||10,000 points|
|Category 2||8,000 points||13,000 points (62.5%)||16,000 points|
|Category 3||12,000 points||20,000 points (66.67%)||24,000 points|
|Category 4||15,000 points||24,000 points (60%)||30,000 points|
|Category 5||20,000 points||32,000 points (60%)||40,000 points|
|Category 6||25,000 points||40,000 points (60%)||50,000 points|
|Category 7||30,000 points||48,000 points (60%)||60,000 points|
As you can see, standard suites at eligible properties require roughly 60% more points than a standard room, while premium suites are — across the board — double the standard award rates. At the top end of the spectrum, 60,000 Hyatt points are worth $1,020 based on TPG’s valuations, so that’s a lot of points to redeem. Nevertheless, if you can book a spectacular suite for a special occasion in this fashion, it could be worth it.
The third way to book standard and premium suites is using Hyatt’s Points + Cash awards. This is simply half of the above points above plus 50% of the standard, paid rate for the selected room. Given that cash rates for these suites are often quite high, you’ll likely get a better deal by simply redeeming points for the room outright. However, if you’re short on the required amount of points, this could be a good backup option.
Regardless of the method you use to pay for the room, the booking process is the same: you must call World of Hyatt customer service at 1-800-544-9288. Be sure to have your World of Hyatt account number handy along with the specific room(s) you want to book. Many properties offer multiple standard and premium suites, so you want to be sure the agent books the correct one. And if one room isn’t available, you can work down your list.
When to Redeem Points for Suites
So is this award option worth it? Generally speaking, you may not get the best value for your points when you redeem them for upgraded accommodations. However, if you are short on points and looking for the suite experience, this is a great route to go. Here are a few instances where you might want to go this route:
- Special occasions: Nothing says “Happy Anniversary” or “Happy Birthday” to a loved one like a massive suite, so if you’re looking to splurge on an upcoming special occasion, this can be a great way to confirm an upgraded room.
- Traveling with the family: Redeeming points for larger families can be a bit challenging, since standard rooms typically have maximum occupancy restrictions. Using them for a suite (or even a room with club access and the food & drinks it’ll confer) could provide solid value.
- Significant price differences: In some cases, there will be a massive price difference between a standard room and one or more upgraded rooms. This would be a great time to pay for a standard room and use a small number of points to upgrade.
Finally, bear in mind that you may be eligible for complimentary upgrades to these rooms thanks to your World of Hyatt elite status or the program’s milestone bonuses. You can earn club and suite upgrade certificates for reaching certain night thresholds during a calendar year, and these allow you to confirm directly into an upgraded room at the time of booking (each is valid on stays of up to seven nights). Alternatively, you could roll the dice and hope for a space-available upgrade at check-in, as top-tier Globalists are eligible for club-level and standard suites, while Explorists and Discoverists could be placed into preferred or enhanced rooms.
Earning Hyatt Points
Of course, to even consider booking these upgraded accommodations using Hyatt points, you need to actually earn them. Fortunately, aside from staying in Hyatt hotels, there are many ways to boost your World of Hyatt account balance. One of the easiest is by signing up for The World of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase, which is currently offering a sign-up bonus of up to 50,000 points. You’ll earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and an additional 25,000 points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first six months of account opening. The card also awards 4 points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels and 2 points per dollar spent on commuting, dining and airline tickets purchased directly with the airline.
Another terrific option is to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio, allowing you to convert points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card into Hyatt points.
Finally, the program frequently runs bonuses on purchased points, with prices dropping as low as 1.71 cents per point. Under the right circumstances, it could make sense to top up your account (or flat-out purchase all of the points needed) for a suite redemption.
World of Hyatt points are very valuable and should always be used strategically, just like any other loyalty program currency. Fortunately, the program gives you a variety of ways to use them for both standard and upgraded accommodations. If you want to ensure you have a luxurious hotel room when needed, Hyatt points may just be the best way to make that happen.
Featured photo by Daniel Hank / The Points Guy