Hyatt Offering Many Members Opportunity to Buy Points With 40% Bonus

Hyatt Gold Passport is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased points through August 18.

The bonus is targeted. Emails are going out to Diamond members and to Platinum members, “As a [Status level] member, you can enjoy an exclusive bonus when you purchase points:”

I do not know if all members with status are getting this or not, or if anyone without status in the Gold Passport program is receiving it.

But the system they’re using to verify eligibility looks exactly like the one US Airways uses:

Here’s the offer:

With a 40% bonus Hyatt is selling you points at 1.71 cents apiece. I personally value them at not more than 1.5 cents apiece so this doesn’t make me a buyer (points would have to be priced at less than 1.5 cents for that).

You can sometimes get more than 2 cents apiece out of your points so if you were going to pay cash for a room anyway buying points can be used to get a room discount. This is a very limiting case.

And topping off an account could make sense if you were close to an award (in my experience though Hyatt will allow Diamonds to make award bookings without sufficient points in their account, you just have to have the points some days prior to arrival or convert to a paid reservation).

40% is the Best I’ve Seen for a Hyatt Buy Points Bonus

The standard bonus offer from Hyatt for purchasing points in the past has been 30%.

In May and June the offer was 20%.

Even before the devaluation at the beginning of the year (which was heavily concentrated on a handful of hotels and otherwise modest overall), I was skeptical of the 30% bonus. I feel the same way now about 40% that I felt about 30% then.

Leveraging Buy Points With Cash and Points

Once place where it’s a little better is with the new cash and points awards which are effectively discounted paid room rates (which count towards elite status and promotions, and can be upgraded to suites with Diamond confirmed suite upgrades).

That’s because if you need to top off an account to have enough points to make a cash and points award, then buying these points acts as a further ticket to buy points at an even greater discount — category 2 through 6 cash and points awards let you buy points at 1.2 – 1.3 cents apiece.

(Category 1 and 7 cash and points awards price the points you’re buying back at 2 cents apiece… but cash and points awards are still better than buying points at 2 cents because cash and points awards are themselves points/promotion/status-earning.)

So average the total cost of your points purchase with the cost of points when making that award and it brings down the total cost still… not to a price where I’d speculatively buy points, but to a place where you may be getting a good discount on a room you’d otherwise pay full price for.

The frequency with which Hyatt bonuses the sale of points strikes me as odd. They’ve been the most aggressive at selling points when they’ve taken the stance that their program is meant to put heads in beds and engender loyal business. Their credit card, even, was about extending the Hyatt relationship into the wallet and across more transactions… and supposedly not about monetizing the points currency by selling in bulk to a bank. And yet here we are regularly aggressively selling points at a discount. Go figure.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary, how does this price point compare to the Summer/AMEX promo (forgot the name) which sold out in less than a minute…

  2. Gary – how do you determine that “Hyatt points are worth 1.5 cents apiece”? How do you make that determination with airline miles and other hotel points? How should I use that information? I have all my miles with US Airways. When considering an award ticket I empirically value each mile at 1.5 cents, no science just gut. I multiply the award miles required for the trip, multiply by 1.5 cents and if that number is greater than the actual cost of the ticket I buy the ticket and don’t spend the miles. I think US Air sells miles on average for about 3 cents/mile. Do you have a site/tutorial on what you think the cost basis should be for each airlines miles/hotels points? So what does JA (above) mean “got 8 cents/point on a redemption…” How does he/she figure that?

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