Hyatt Gold Passport is offering a 30% bonus on purchased points of 5000 or more through December 10.
With a 30% bonus Hyatt is selling you points at 1.85 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).
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.
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.
Note that a cash and points award sells you points for less than this offer does.
(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.
(HT: One Mile at a Time)
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