Obviously I know about Hyatt’s amazingly generous points upgrade policy. I wrote about it just over a week ago. And yet I realized I don’t put my own advice into full practice. Because using points to confirm suites at booking on paid stays is just such an amazing value with Gold Passport.
I just used my last Gold Passport Diamond Confirmed Suite Upgrade from 2012. Hyatt’s top tier elites receive (4) confirmed at booking suite upgrades each year, valid for up to seven nights (on a single stay) each.
I’ve requalified or 2013 status, but my new suite upgrade certificates won’t be available in my account for another seven weeks or so. And I was ready to make a booking at a hotel in Asia where I wanted a suite. I was going to wait for those upgrades to post and of course hope that suites were still available to confirm at the property at that time.
And then it occurred to me: I had just posted about how great a value suites with points are though Gold Passport so I might as well use points. So I did. But in the process I started wondering, since suites are so darned cheap through Gold Passport, why am I ever staying in a regular room (on stays longer than say a night, at properties where suites aren’t fully booked up at the time I’m making the reservation)?
- Bedroom in Suite at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
Bathroom in Suite at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
Even though I only just wrote about Hyatt’s suite redemptions, the discussion was buried at the bottom of a larger post, and since I hadn’t even internalized it fully myself I thought it warranted being pulled out into a separate discussion.
And although Hyatt also has the most generous policy for redeeming points for free nights in suites (it’s 50% more points than a standard room, compared to double points at Starwood), the point of this post is about upgrading paid stays.
How to Upgrade to Suites with Hyatt Gold Passport Points
You have to pay the ‘Hyatt Daily Rate’ rather than a discounted rate to be eligible to upgrade. And at resorts you have to pay for a deluxe (eg partial ocean view) room as well.
But the following points prices will upgrade you for up to four nights. These are not upgrade prices per night.
As I wrote a week or so back, while a hotel like the Westin Tokyo will cost an extra 20,000 Starpoints per night for a suite, confirmed only five nights in advance, Hyatt Gold Passport will let you confirm an upgrade at the much nicer Park Hyatt Tokyo for just 6000 points. Total. For four nights. At time of booking. Crazy.
The category 6 Westin Times Square would cost 80,000 Starpoints to upgrade for four nights. The Andaz 5th Avenue costs 6,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for those four nights. And the Andaz upgrade is confirmable at time of reservation. And I generally consider Starwood to offer the second best program for upgraeds.
- Living room of suite at the Andaz 5th Avenue
Shower of suite at the Andaz 5th Avenue
You cannot book suite upgrades online, it has to be done through Hyatt’s customer service center.
When Is This Worthwhile?
It’s true, I can’t always do this and it doesn’t make sense to always do this.
- It’s probably not worth 6000 points on a one night stay (although it might be).
- It’s almost certainly not worth 6000 points on a one night stay where I’m traveling alone.
- Suites at some properties are only incrementally more expensive than regular rooms, I’ve been to some hotels in the U.S. where a suite is about $50 higher so on a one-night stay paying is better than spending points (and for two nights I’d consider it a wash).
- Suites may well be booked up and thus not confirmable when you’re making a reservation.
But for a good number of my stays I really don’t need to horde those Diamond confirmed suite upgrades. I’ll save those for when I’m staying on a more deeply discounted rate than points upgrades can be used on. And when staying at the Hyatt Daily Rate I’ll use points.
- Living room of suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
How to Get Points for Suites
An elite member of Hyatt Gold Passport will earn points quickly enough — with the 1000 point per stay checkin amenity (I pretty much always choose the points, and unlike Starwood Preferred Guest don’t have to give up the points to be eligible for breakfast), with points for stays, and with bonuses — in order to secure suites quite regularly.
But these awards are open to anyone, not just elites.
And the best way to earn Hyatt points isn’t actually the Hyatt Visa (for the most part), but actually the Chase Sapphire Preferred card which earns double points on all travel and dining spend, and earns points through the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal for online purchases you’ll make anyway.
Sapphire Preferred has a 40,000 point singup bonus after $3000 spend within 3 months. So that’s quite a few nights in suites.
Similarly, the Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus small business cards offer double points on hotel spend (and quintuple points on telecommunications and office supplies) and also has a 50,000 point signup bonus after $5000 spend within 3 months.
As regular readers know I do receive referral credit for most of the credit cards I link to, including these. Of course, they’re also the best available offers for the cards — and the best way to earn large numbers of very flexible points quickly.