Hyatt’s New Cash and Points Awards are Eligible for Confirmed Suite Upgrades and Promotional Points-Earning

Hyatt Gold Passport just announced three new changes: Discounted room rates for elites, 24 month expiration of points, and cash and points awards.

Cash and points is the biggest news of the bunch. For category 2 through 6 hotels you’re “buying back” points at between 1.2 and 1.38 cents apiece, which is a good deal.

And what’s more, it was announced that cash and points awards count towards elite status qualification.

But it’s even better than that. Yesterday Hyatt clarified that since cash and points rates count towards elite status, they also count if you’re trying to earn status on an accelerated basis with a ‘Diamond trial’ (where you match your current hotel status with another chain and Hyatt gives you their Diamond status short-term and then has reduced requirements to keep the status).

However, it gets better than that too. Hyatt apparently mistakenly indicated that cash and points awards could not be upgraded using Diamond confirmed suite upgrade certificates (Hyatt Diamond members receive 4 upgrades each year, valid for up to 7 nights each that can be used on any paid rate bookable through Hyatt channels). Award nights can’t have suite upgrades applied, but paid upgrades can.

I got an update from Hyatt yesterday that cash and points rates could be upgraded to suites with these confirmed upgrade instruments. I asked them to be 100% sure since earlier in the day Gold Passport had posted to frequent flyer forums that they could not be. And they came back to me 100% sure.

What’s more, when Hyatt runs promotions for bonus points cash and points rates will be treated as paid rates — staying on a cash and points rate will even count for promotional earning!

Since these are effectively paid rates, you’ll pay hotel taxes based on the cash portion of the rate and resort fees do apply where applicable.

  • Since Points + Cash are qualifying nights/stays, will they count towards promotion earning? Yes
  • Do Points + Cash stays count toward a Platinum/Diamond challenge? Yes, Points + Cash will count toward Platinum and Diamond challenges.
  • Since Points + Cash are elite qualifying and more like paid nights, can Diamond confirmed suite upgrades be used on P+C nights? Yes
  • Will P+C reservations include taxes and resort fees? The member will be responsible for all charges/fess the hotel has on normal rates for points and cash rates. Resort fees, service charges, taxes all have to be paid by the member.

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. Can I book a room for another person using my account and let them use one of my Diamond Suite upgrade Cert?

  2. @HyattNewbie – under the rules, no. In practice if you book a room under your own name and add them as a second guest on the reservation then most find it works.

  3. That’s a bit of a game changer. It makes me skeptical about whether cash and points availability will be very good.

  4. Gary. Can you share proof of upgrades on C&P? Only asking because you’re the only place I’m seeing it and as you state in your blog post, HGP posted on both MP and FT they do not count.

  5. It’s still not clear to me how taxes and service charge are levied. Are they the same as SPG, which charges the customer the same tax rate on the cash portion of the booking (e.g., 75 x tax and service charge rate for a category 3 booking)? Alternatively, do they charge the same tax amount that is levied on daily rate booking? Thanks in advance for clarifying.

  6. @avidtraveler – the room rate is the cash portion of cash and points so hotel taxes which are calculated as a % of the room rate would a percentage of the cash you actually pay not a percentage of the then-applicable daily rate or the rack rate. It’s the only number that it can be based off of — the cash amount you pay at checkout to the hotel.

  7. Of course these rates will be offered during low occupancy periods. The rooms will likely be available on sale through some other channel, perhaps even for less than the cash portion of cash and points. So it’s not like you will be getting an amazing deal using C&P, hence the need to sweeten the pot. Which is OK – sometimes getting your elite benefits trumps the need to get an awesome deal.

  8. Gary, what about suite upgrades for paid stays earned by Platinum members when they opened a Hyatt credit card (before the T&Cs changed)? Can those also be used for points and cash stays?

  9. Can a cash and points stay be combined with the 3,000 point per night upgrade to Regency Club for those of us who are not Diamond members?

  10. @Paul – points upgrades have to be booked from Daily Rate (or slightly higher for resorts) so I can answer that one without checking, that no, since cash and points are discounted rates.

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