By: Travis Cormier
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Travelers of all types love the World of Hyatt loyalty program. Hyatt award nights start at 5,000 points per night for Category 1 hotels while Category 7 hotels cost 30,000 points per night. Whether you’re just looking for a nice bed for the night or a luxury experience, Hyatt has you covered.
Historically, the Chase Hyatt credit card had a bonus of 2 free nights. Recently, this bonus was changed to 40,000 Hyatt points. While the bonus of 2 free nights was famous for the ability to book hotels such as the Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt Paris – Vendome, for many people the 40,000 points is going to be a better option.
New Hyatt Bonus Practically The Same
Many people, myself included, consider the 2 free nights to be worth at most 50,000 Hyatt points. Of the 667 Hyatt properties, 13 are a Category 7. Since it is unlikely you’ll use free nights at one of these few properties, the most value you will typically get is 2 nights at a category 6 hotel, worth 50,000 points total.
You probably think I’m crazy saying 40,000 points is nearly the same value as 50,000, but it is true! Calling the bonus only 40,000 points is misleading. When you add in the 2,000 points you’ll get from meeting the spending requirement, you have 42,000 points.
Additionally, if you add an authorized user, Chase will give you an extra 5,000 points after they make their first purchase. In total this brings the bonus to 47,000 points. While it still isn’t quite 50,000, it isn’t that far off from the maximum value you can get from two free nights.
Keep in mind that if you redeem your two free nights for anything below a category 6, the 40,000 point bonus is a better value!
How 40,000 Hyatt Points Can Be Better
The World of Hyatt award program breaks hotels into 7 categories. The lowest category, category 1, costs 5,000 points per night for a free night. Category 7, the highest, costs 30,000 points per night. The others fall in between.
If you were booking a Category 6 (25,000 points per night), or category 7 hotel, you would get more value from two free nights. But very few hotels fall into these tiers. Only 48 of the 667 Hyatt properties worldwide are category 6 or 7.
Although Hyatt has some amazing hotels in these categories, more likely than not there won’t be a category 6 or 7 where you are going. Your 40,000 points from the sign-up bonus will get you at least two nights at over 90% of Hyatt’s properties worldwide. If it is a Category 1-4, you can get 3 or more free nights. If you’re booking a Category 1-4, this is definitely a better value than the previous bonus.
If you still wanted to stay at a category 6 or 7 hotel, 40,000 points can go even farther if you’re willing to pay a little cash. Hyatt has a Points + Cash option. For a category 6, you will use 12,500 points and pay $150. For a category 7, you can use 15,000 points and pay $300 per night.
You could combine this with a card such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and use your Arrival Plus to erase the purchase to get more than 2 nights at a category 6 or 7. With the new bonus, you can get 3 nights at a category 6 for 37,500 points and only pay $450. At locations like the Park Hyatt Maldives, this is a phenomenal deal!
Hyatt Redemptions: My Favorite Ways To Use The Sign-Up Bonus
Now that you know you can get at least the same number of nights with the new bonus, let’s look at some places where you can really stretch your points for some amazing redemptions!
Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati recently completed a major $32 million dollar renovation! 10xTravel’s own Julie Szpira recently stayed here and called it “the best 8,000 Hyatt points I’ve ever used.”
The standard rate during the summer starts at $250 per night. If you redeemed all of your 40,000 points you could have 5 nights to explore the city, catch a Reds or Bengals game, and check out one of the nation’s largest food festivals, Taste of Cincinnati.
This would land you a value of 3.125 cents per point, which is a great value for Hyatt points!
This redemption has many wonderful features: a great and updated hotel, over multiple nights, in a great city. All from one sign on bonus.
Hyatt Place Downtown Austin
The Hyatt Place Downtown Austin saved me during my fiancée’s graduation when another hotel we reserved had not even been built yet! But that’s not the only reason I love this hotel – it is in the heart of downtown Austin. You are a 3 block walk to the infamous Sixth Street, or from the Congress Street Bridge where you can get a glimpse of the millions of local bat residents.
If you are visiting for one of the big music festivals, SXSW or ACL, this can be a great value. If you’ve ever tried to get a hotel during the festivals, you know most downtown hotels run $500+ per night, and the Hyatt Place is no exception.
As a Category 4, free nights cost 15,000 points per night. If you take advantage of the authorized user bonus, you will have enough points for three full nights.
But if you’re coming into town for SXSW, you may want to stay the entire week. Utilizing Hyatt’s Ponts + Cash option, you can get 6 nights for 45,000 points and $500. With the typical SXSW prices, you’re basically paying for 1 night, and getting the other 5 for free using this deal, which can save you over $2,500 to be in the heart of downtown during the event.
Park Hyatt Mendoza
Hyatt’s luxury line of hotels is the Park Hyatt, and there are some that fall into lower categories. If you’re a wine fan, then Mendoza Argentina must be on your travel list. In March of 2018, nights currently cost as much as $320 per night.
Yet this 19th century colonial mansion turned upscale hotel is a rare Hyatt gem – a Category 2! That means free nights are only 8,000 points each. That’s a 4 cent per point value. You can save your money for a few bottles of Malbec by booking 5 nights with the current bonus.
Hyatt Place Managua
If you are one of our insiders, you know one of my favorite off the beaten path places to recommend is Nicaragua. Managua is the capital of Nicaragua, and a great hub. You can make day trips to San Juan del Sur, Granada, and Laguna de Apoyo from Managua.
If you wanted to venture here, you could stay at the Hyatt Place Managua, a Category 1 Hyatt property costing 5,000 points per night.
During Nicaragua’s high season in early March, rooms start at $250 per night. You can visit one of my favorite countries for 9 nights with the sign up and authorized user bonuses. All while getting an astounding 5 cents per point value.
Over 90% of Hyatt’s hotels cost 20,000 points per night or less, so for most people 40,000 points is a better deal than two free nights. 40,000 points can get you more than two nights in many cities like Managua, Mendoza, Cincinnati, or Austin during SXSW.
If you still want to stay at a Category 6 or Category 7 hotel, you can get a great deal by using Hyatt’s Points + Cash option to save a tremendous amount of money.
You can get 5-9 nights free at great hotels with the new Chase Hyatt credit card sign on bonus. Compared to the old bonus of two free nights, it is easy to see why 40,000 Hyatt points could be a great option for you.