Hyatt Cash & Points Awards And Upgrades Now Bookable Online

Hyatt Gold Passport

Towards the beginning of 2014 Hyatt Gold Passport (Hyatt’s loyalty program) introduced a series of changes to the system, one of which was the introduction of a Cash & Points option for award redemptions. And, up until today, these cash & points awards were not available to book online – you had to call in to check availability and to book.

For anyone unsure of how cash & points redemptions work, it’s really quite simple: Instead of paying for one or more award nights purely with points, guests can choose to pay for the night(s) with a combination of cash and points. The number of points and cash you need to make such a reservation increases with the category of hotel that’s being booked.

Hyatt Cash & Points

Taking an example from the table above:

On my recent 3-night trip to New York, should I have wished to pay for the Andaz 5th Avenue (a Category 6 hotel) with cash & points, I would have had to hand over 12,500 points and $150 for each night that I stayed – a total of 37,500 points and $450 cash.

Effectively, for every night at the Andaz,  I would have been buying 12,500 points from Hyatt at a cost of $150 – which comes to $0.012 per point.

As it happens, Category 6 hotels are the sweet-spot for Hyatt Gold Passport cash & point redemptions because, for Category 6 hotels, guests are paying the lowest rate for the points they are effectively buying.

As you can see from the table above, the Category 1 and Category 7 hotels are clearly the worst value for money when it comes to cash and point redemptions (at a cost of $0.02/point) while the other properties are reasonably similar in cost ($0.012 – $0.014/point).

So how do you book online?

  • Enter your search request into the Hyatt.com reservation page as normal

hyatt-cash-and-points

  • Select the hotel you’re interested in from the search results
  • On the “Room & Rates” page make sure you check the “show Hyatt Gold Passport Points & Awards” box under the first image.

Hyatt Cash & Points

  • This will bring up the awards options

Hyatt Cash and Points

  • Select the tab that shows the cash & points option (circled above)

Hyatt Cash and Points

  • Proceed with your booking as normal.

Cash & points awards come with a few more benefits than regular awards do and that’s what is so enticing for a lot of people:

  • Cash & points awards will earn guests Hyatt Gold Passport points on the cash portion of their stay
  • Cash & points awards are eligible for elite night credit and elite stay credit
  • Cash & point award nights count towards any promotions that Hyatt may be running (e.g. “stay X nights, earn Y Hyatt points).
  • Diamond suite upgrades (a Hyatt top-tier perk) can be applied to cash & points awards.

As with most things related to miles & points, the value of the Hyatt cash & points awards will vary from person to person and will hinge on what value the guest assigns to Hyatt points.

I, for example, don’t value Hyatt points nearly as highly as a a lot of bloggers seem to (possibly because I don’t hold status with Hyatt) but, at $0.012/point, I think the Category 6 redemptions can be great value.

Upgrades available online (not suites)

As well as adding the functionality for redeeming cash & points awards, Hyatt has also upgraded its systems to allow guests to upgrade stays to a Regency Club room or a Grand Club room.

Upgrades cost 3,000 points are only available if you pay the “Hyatt Daily Rate”. If you booked any kind of advance purchase rate and then decided you’d like to upgrade, the upgrade won’t be available to you also pay the difference in rate.

The booking process for the upgrades is almost identical to that for cash & point reservations excerpt that, when you reach the award options page, you need to select the “club upgrade with points” tab. If you don’t see this tab then the hotel isn’t offering the upgrades for your date(s) of travel.

Hyatt upgrade online

In the screenshot above you can see that the upgrade costs 3,000 points and the $329 refers to the Hyatt Daily Rate that has to be booked in order for the upgrade to be available.

Overall

It’s nice to see Hyatt finally add these options to their website as having to call in to check availability was a huge annoyance, especially if you ended up on hold – this isn’t a tricky booking so there shouldn’t be any reason for it to take any time at all. Let’s hope the next step will be to see suite upgrades appear online….but I’m not holding my breath on that one! 🙂

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