20% Bonus on Purchased Hyatt Points is Not a Good Deal Except…

Hyatt Gold Passport is offering up to a 20% bonus on purchased points through June 1.

It’s a bit ironic, I think, for the promotion’s tagline to be that free nights are closer than you think… when you’re paying for the points you use to redeem for the night.

(“Discounted room nights are closer than you think” might be better perhaps.)

Here’s the offer:

  • Purchase 1,000 to 19,000 points and receive a 10% bonus
  • Purchase 20,000 to 29,000 points and receive a 15% bonus
  • Purchase 30,000 to 40,000 points and receive a 20% bonus
  • With a 20% bonus Hyatt is selling you points at 2 cents apiece. I personally value them at not more than 1.5 cents apiece so this generally makes me not a buyer, although 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.

    20% Isn’t Historically Great — Bring Back 30%.. Or More!

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

    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 situations in which a 30% bonus made sense.

    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.

    That’s about the only situation where I think it cold make sense, which is likely a really narrow group of travelers.

    For most, I’d give this a pass. I’m definitely not buying points under this promotion.

    (HT: Deals We Like)

    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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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