If you ask most travel bloggers which hotel chain they love the most, you’ll hear a lot of them say Hyatt.  Maybe even a disproportionate amount. You might think they’re all brainwashed or on the company payroll, but neither apply here, though over-caffeinated is definitely true. 

Hyatt has many top-notch hotels around the world that you can redeem your points at, which is a reason why the hotel chain has earned so many fans, including with families

So why Hyatt? World of Hyatt points are more valuable than most hotel points for two primary reasons.  First, unlike competitor juggernauts like Marriott and Hilton, Hyatt has nowhere near as many total hotels.  However, they punch way above their weight with an arguably high percentage of really great hotels, especially when you consider their partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World.  That partnership alone has hundreds of boutique hotels in far away countries. 

The other reason Hyatt points can be so valuable is that the best properties at Marriott and Hilton can cost 100,000 points per night, and sometimes more.  At Hyatt, however, only a handful of top properties will set you back more than 30,000 points per night, and the vast majority are far less.  

So, how do you amass a boatload of Hyatt points?  You’re about to find out…

Hotel Stays 

Paid hotel stays at Hyatt hotels is one of the easiest ways to build up your balance quickly.  Even as a basic member of the World of Hyatt program, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on pretty much all your spending. 

Elite members can earn up to a 30% bonus on top of that depending on your level of elite status.  A top-tier Globalist member would earn 1,300 points on a $200 hotel stay (five points per dollar x $200, plus 30% bonus of 300 points).  A road warrior can really rack points up quickly with paid hotel stays throughout the year. 


On top of the base points, Hyatt usually runs two or three systemwide promotions each year that can really help you maximize paid stays. Think: double, or even triple points on all stays, and more.


And on top of that, you can really pile on the points if you hold a Hyatt credit card.  But, we’ll get into that a bit later.

Andaz Maui, a Hyatt hotel.

Other Hotel Partners

While Hyatt has been growing quickly over the past five years, they’re still smaller than the big boys like IHG, Hilton and Marriott. 

To combat this, they’ve added some strategic partnerships that fill in the gaps nicely on your dream travel list.  The first addition was a partnership with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas.  Not only can World of Hyatt elite members enjoy some lovely benefits at MGM properties in Vegas, they can also earn Hyatt points on paid stays.  A nice plus here is that you can earn Hyatt points whether you book through Hyatt or MGM directly.


Hyatt also has a splendid partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World.  These hotels are absolutely mint, if you’re into calming, aromatic refresh-mint, in the form of hotels. Sorry, too easy.


Located in key international destinations, you won’t find 1,000 room dorms in the SLH collections. Instead, think about things like boutique hotels in Santorini, or more off the beaten path destinations, and other places that used to be difficult to redeem points.  All paid stays at SLH hotels earn that same five points per dollar as well as elite bonuses.

Finally, Hyatt has acquired a handful of boutique and luxury hotel brands, including Thompson, Joie de Vivre, Alila and Destination Hotels. You’ve probably heard of these, because they’re super nice. These are now all part of the World of Hyatt program for earning and redeeming points.

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Hyatt actually has two credit cards, but you can’t sign up for the original Hyatt credit card any longer, so for everyone who isn’t pedantic, let’s just call it one. 

The World of Hyatt credit card is a solid, middle-of-the-road credit card for your wallet.  The annual fee won’t kill you ($95), and you’ll earn an additional four points per dollar on pretty much all your charges at Hyatt properties, including the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas and participating Small Luxury Hotels of the World when you book those stays through Hyatt.


The World of Hyatt Credit Card is one of the only cards we know of that gives you bonus points for fitness club and gym memberships. 


Those charges will earn you two points per dollar, along with airline tickets (booked directly with an airline), restaurants and local transit charges (think Uber or trains). 

Double points on gym memberships is nice, but you can find better bonuses on restaurant spending and airline tickets elsewhere.  Still, with only a $95 annual fee, it’s easy to earn enough Hyatt points to make this card a winner.

American Airlines Partnership

Many hotel/airline partnerships have come and gone, but the partnership between Hyatt and American Airlines has consistently delivered value since it was announced.  Knowing it exists, and using it certainly helps with that.


All elite members of the World of Hyatt program are eligible to earn 1 Hyatt point for every dollar spent on American AIrlines airfare.  The cool part?  This isn’t instead of earning AAdvantage miles for your flight purchases. You still get the normal miles you’d earn.


You get Hyatt points as a “double dip” (sorry, Hilton, we’re borrowing that term). This won’t amount to tons of points on a yearly basis, but they’re free points for the taking if you have American Airlines flights in your future.

The program is reciprocal, which means AAdvantage members can also earn 1 mile per every dollar spent at Hyatt hotels. Since this is open to all elite members, it makes the World Of Hyatt Credit Card even more compelling, since it includes complimentary status with Hyatt.

Meetings

Maybe you feel unlucky that your boss is making you plan the quarterly sales meeting.  The silver lining may be a pot of gold, or Hyatt points. 


Meeting planners can earn one bonus point per dollar spent on meetings, up to 50,000 points per meeting. Who doesn’t love getting together over coffee?


The points can be split up between multiple planners, but hopefully you can keep them all for yourself.  And, if you’re in the position to book a bunch of meetings every year, you can even earn top-tier elite status that way.

Avis

We hesitate to mention this option, but it is a reliable way to earn Hyatt points.  You can earn 500 World of Hyatt points for each qualifying Avis rental. 


To get the World Of Hyatt Points from Avis rentals, you’ll need to use a special code (K817700) which is also supposed to get you up to a 25% discount on your rate. 


The thing is, these sorts of codes usually don’t offer the absolute best price for a car rental, so make sure to check the price with a different discount, like AAA, to make sure you’re not overpaying for your rental car to pocket a few miles. With that said, 500 Hyatt points can really sweeten the deal, so just do the math.

Experiences

Are you up for a private QB camp with a Super Bowl champion?  Or, maybe you want to learn how to make sushi from a renowned chef?  You can do that and a lot more through the FIND program.  Yes, you can use points for these experiences, but you can also pay for these experiences and earn 10 Hyatt points per dollar spent, too. 


For wellness people, you can also earn 10 points per dollar for fitness classes and spa services at Exhale Spas in the US and abroad. Good to know, right? That could translate to a free night, or more, just from getting massages.


And, if you want to go full-on baller status, you should check out the partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.  Whether it’s Galapagos or Antarctica you’re seeking, Lindblad can probably take you there.  These are top-flight expeditions, and they definitely don’t come cheap, but you can earn 5 Hyatt points for every dollar you spend on a Lindblad Expedition. 


And, you can earn credit towards elite status for nights on certain Lindblad Expeditions.  Hyatt members also receive a $250 onboard credit.


The one caveat here is to check the pricing for a Lindblad Expedition through a standard travel agent before you book. To earn these benefits with Hyatt, you’re booking through Hyatt.  Another travel agency might save you enough money to make up for the points you missed out on.

Purchasing Points

We added this option more as a cautionary tale than anything else.  If you subscribe to any airline or hotel newsletters, you’ve almost certainly received an e-mail offering wonderful bonuses when you purchase points or miles from a program.  Hyatt sells points just like pretty much all the other travel loyalty programs out there.  Purchasing points is an option, but it’s one you should typically avoid.  


Hyatt will let you purchase up to 55,000 points per year, unless there’s some sort of special promotion that waives the annual cap. 


The only time you should consider buying points is if you’re trying to top off your account for an incredible hotel stay and you don’t quite have the balance you need.  Even then, just run the math on what it costs you to buy the points versus the cash rates you’d face without them, and do whichever makes more sense.  Once you buy points there’s no changing your mind.  You own them, and the cash is but a fond memory.

The Wrap

Hyatt points can take you to some fabulous places around the world.  It can be difficult to build up a huge balance of Hyatt points.  But, since the amount required for an epic hotel stay isn’t nearly as high as it would be with other major chains, you just need a good strategy to boost that balance.  Road warriors will find it easy to bulk up their account with frequent paid hotel stays. 

The rest of us mere mortals will need to consider alternatives, such as tucking the World of Hyatt Credit Card into our wallets.  Don’t forget to consider Points & Cash rates when you’re booking your next stay.  That’s the best way to stretch those hard-earned points.

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2 Comments

  1. “All members of the World of Hyatt program are eligible to earn 1 Hyatt point for every dollar spent on American AIrlines airfare. ”

    I believe this is incorrect. According to Hyatt, you must have at least Discoverist status to earn points from American flights.

  2. Besides spending on the credit card and staying at Hyatt hotels (the same goes for almost all hotels with credit card links) these additional things are pretty weak. Usually good only for perhaps keeping points alive or rounding up to next 1,000 points.

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