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One of the primary reasons I love Chase Ultimate Rewards Points is because they convert over to the World of Hyatt program in a ratio of 1:1 and Hyatt has an abundance of great properties at which these points can be redeemed. But transferring points to Hyatt isn’t the only way to use Ultimate Rewards points to book Hyatt stays, and the second way is definitely one to bear in mind before you move any points across to Hyatt.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is probably best known for offering 3 points/dollar on all travel spending and on worldwide dining, but an equally great benefit offered by the card is the ability to use the points it earns to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Specifically, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can use each Ultimate Rewards Point they have to deduct 1.5 cents from the cost of a booking made through the Chase portal. Sometimes, this can be a more economical way to book a Hyatt stay than transferring points across to the World of Hyatt.
Here’s an example of this in action:
A 2-night award stay at the recently opened Great Scotland Yard Hotel in London costs 25,000 points per night when booked through the World of Hyatt:
To make this booking, a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder has the option of transferring 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points across to the World of Hyatt and making the booking that way, or the cardholder can choose to use Ultimate Rewards Points directly through the Chase portal to pay for the stay.
The Chase portal is charging $708.08 for the same 2-night booking in December so, by using Ultimate Rewards Points at a rate of 1.5 cents/point, this booking can be made with just 47,205 Ultimate Rewards Points.
Booking directly with Hyatt requires the transfer of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points while the same booking made through the Chase portal costs 47,205 Ultimate Rewards Points – a saving of 2,795 points which I value at ~$42.
Before I go any further I should point out that what I have just described is a booking process that’s best used by those who don’t hold World of Hyatt status because bookings made through the Chase portal will not earn guests elite night credits in the World of Hyatt program, nor will guests making such bookings have any of their elite status benefits honored by the property.
If you have Hyatt elite status you’ll have to decide what you value more – your points or your elite night benefits.
It’s important to realize that this booking technique doesn’t always work. The Andaz Liverpool Street, for example, costs just 40,000 points for a 2-night stay when booked through Hyatt…
…but the same 2-night stay can set you back over 47,000 points when booked through the Chase portal.
But this doesn’t mean that using Ultimate Rewards Points to book a room at the Andaz on these dates is a bad idea…it’s only a bad idea for that particular room type.
The Andaz Liverpool Street is a Hyatt Category 5 property which means that a standard suite costs 32,000 points per night or 64,000 points for a 2-night stay.
Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, the same suite can be booked for just 61,366 points:
This works out to a saving of 2,634 points which I value at approximately $40.
It can be easy to say that the points differences I have been discussing aren’t particularly significant and to dismiss them out of hand and, if you have World of Hyatt status, you would have a point – I probably wouldn’t give up good elite status benefits for ~2,700 points – but everyone else shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss these savings.
Think about it this way: To earn 2,634 Ultimate Rewards Points you would have to spend a minimum of $878 on travel and/or dining using your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and, if not all of your spending on the card is in one of the two bonus categories, that total gets higher. That’s not an immaterial amount of spending, so should you really be dismissing the savings on offer quite so quickly?
Before you decide to transfer Ultimate Rewards Points over to the World of Hyatt to make an award booking you should first check to see how many points the same booking will cost you through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If you have World of Hyatt status the chances are that the savings on offer (if any) will not outweigh the elite benefits you would have to forgo by booking through Chase but, for everyone else, the savings could be very worthwhile.