How To Book Hyatt Award Stays With Chase Ultimate Rewards

World of Hyatt is a great hotel loyalty program.  In fact, it might be my new favorite program post-SPG/Marriott merger.  While the portfolio is not as extensive as SPG/Marriott, Hyatt has some great redemption opportunities.

american airlines aadvantage off-peak to paris

In Paris, you can stay at the Park Hyatt-Vendome, a very fancy hotel that usually goes for more than $800 per night, for only 30,000 points per night.

You do not have to collect World of Hyatt points to book free stays!

Actually, you do not even need to have Hyatt’s co-branded credit card.  If you have a Chase Sapphire card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can use those points to book free stays at Hyatt properties.

Chase gives many options for redeeming Ultimate Rewards points.  The two options that I use most are:

  1. Book travel through the redemption portal.  This is basically using your points as cash.
  2. Transfer Ultimate Rewards to hotel and airline partners at a 1:1 ratio.  There are 9 airline programs and 4 hotel programs to which you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  World of Hyatt is one of these programs.

If you want a free Hyatt stay, your Ultimate Rewards points are probably going to be more valuable by transferring to Hyatt than by using the redemption portal.  This means you will transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to World of Hyatt and then you will use World of Hyatt to book your stay.

World of Hyatt’s award chart usually results in using less Ultimate Rewards points than if you were to use your Ultimate Rewards points to book your stay through the redemption portal.  I will show you how to check both options so you can make sure you are getting the best value.

Here is Hyatt’s award chart.  The amount of Ultimate Rewards required depends on the category of the property you want to book.  These are the prices per night no matter what the paid rate of the stay is.  For example, a room at a World of Hyatt category 5 hotel costs 20,000 points whether the rate for your dates is $600 per night or $1,000 per night.  On the other hand, the amount of points required when using the redemption portal is higher when rates are higher.

world of Hyatt award chart 2018

Do not transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt (or any transfer partner) until you have confirmed availability!

Once you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to partner airlines or hotels, you cannot get them back

When you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to a partner airline or hotel, your Ultimate Rewards points become the currency of the airline or hotel program.  For example, if you transfer 20,000 Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt, you now have 20,000 Hyatt points.  Those points are subject to the award chart and policies of World of Hyatt.

You cannot transfer those points back to Chase Ultimate Rewards.  For that reason, it is best to wait until you are certain your dates are available before transferring any points.

How to determine availability for a Hyatt stay on points

Before you transfer Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt to book a free stay, you will need to make sure your property and dates are available to book with World of Hyatt points.  I will use the Andaz Costa Rica as an example. Click here for more info about our recent trip to Costa Rica.

1. Go directly to the property’s website (Click here for Andaz Costa Rica)

Or go to Hyatt.com and type in the location or name of the property you want to check

Andaz Costa Rica on points, Hyatt with ultimate rewards points

2. Type in your dates and the number of people that will be in your room.  

If you need more than one room on points, you will need to call to make sure more than one room is available on points as you can only book one at a time online with points.

The cash rates will show up on the next screen.

Andaz Costa Rica on points, Hyatt with ultimate Rewards points

3. Click “View Points”

Andaz Costa Rica on points

If a room is available on points, you will see a tab that says “World of Hyatt Free Night”

Hyatt also has an option called points and cash.  You can redeem a stay for half the amount of points plus a co-pay.  If you are short on points, this could be a great option.  But just like free nights, Points + Cash are subject to availability.  If a cash and points room is available, you will see another tab that says “Points + Cash”

andaz Costa Rica on points

4. Now that you’ve confirmed availability, you will need to transfer the appropriate amount Ultimate Rewards points to your World of Hyatt account.  

But don’t do it quite yet.  If you really want to make sure you are getting the best value, you should check the price in the Ultimate Rewards redemption portal.

Before you transfer, check the Ultimate Rewards redemption portal price against the Hyatt award chart price

Even if you find availability with World of Hyatt, I suggest checking prices in the Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption portal before you transfer.  To do this, log in to your Ultimate Rewards account.  Select “Travel” to the right of “Transfer to Travel Partners”.  Enter your dates and hotel location and a list of available hotels will show.

Note that lots of hotel options are going to show up.  Also, not all hotels will be available on any given date in the portal.  The inventory comes from Expedia.  So whatever Expedia has available is what you can book with the Ultimate Rewards redemption portal.  You may not find the Hyatt property on the portal for your dates if Expedia has sold out.  But it doesn’t hurt to check.

How much are Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth when booking Hyatt stays through the redemption portal?

If you use the redemption portal, they’re worth a fixed value.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred®: 1.25 cents per point
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred: 1.25 cents per point
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: 1.50 cents per point

Using the Ultimate Rewards booking portal is like using your points as cash to book travel.  You’re going to have more options for hotels and you are not limited to Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.  But like cash back credit cards, the redemption rate is a fixed value, so a higher rate is going to cost more points.

Tip: Marriott, another Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, is usually a better value when booked via the portal.  You can read more about that here

Option 1: Transfer Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt

The Andaz Costa Rica is a World of Hyatt category 4 property which is 15,000 points per night.  Since Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio, you can book it for 15,000 Ultimate Rewards per night.

If the room costs over $600 per night after taxes and fees, that is a value of at least 4 cents per point (600/15,000=.04)

Option 2: Use the Ultimate Rewards booking portal

To book the Andaz Papagayo through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you would need way more than 15,000 points if the rate is $600.

Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Business Preferred:

  • $600/1.25= 480
  • 480 X 100= 48,000 Ultimate Rewards points

Chase Sapphire Reserve is slightly better:

I realize this isn’t quite $600 but it’s close enough, and it will be well over $600 after taxes and fees

andaz Costa Rica on points

  • $600/1.50= 400
  • 400 X 100= 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points
So here are your totals:
  1. Transfer to Hyatt  (15,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night)
  2. Booking portal
    • with CSP (48,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night)
    • with CSR (40,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night)

In this case, it definitely makes sense to go ahead and transfer points to World of Hyatt to book.

andaz Costa Rica on points

Book the Andaz Costa Rica for only 15,000 points per night!

How to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt and other partners 

If you do not already have a World of Hyatt account, you will need to sign up for free. No credit card required.

1. Once you have a World of Hyatt Member number, log in to your Ultimate Rewards account

2. Click the “Earn/Use” menu and select “Transfer to Travel Partners”.

3. You will need to link your World of Hyatt account to your Ultimate Rewards account. Scroll until you see World of Hyatt.


4.  Click “Transfer Points” to the right of World of Hyatt

5. Click “Select Recipient” and your name and your designated authorized user/household member will show up if there are any.  Select the recipient and then type in your World of Hyatt member ID.  Then click continue.

6. Enter the number of Ultimate Rewards you want to transfer.  Transfers must be made in increments of 1,000. Then click continue.

how to link ultimate rewards to world of Hyatt

7. Confirm your details then click Confirm & submit.

Sometimes your previously used hotel and airline accounts will be saved and you won’t have to do step 5.

Now you are ready to book with the World of Hyatt program.

How to book Hyatt stays with World of Hyatt points

Transfers from Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt should be immediate, but sometimes you will need to log out of your Hyatt account and log back in.  Once you see that your points have posted, you are ready to book!

1. Go to Hyatt.com and repeat the steps you took to search for availability, but when you get to this screen, choose your room then go ahead and click “Select”

andaz Costa Rica on points

2. The next page will confirm your contact details such as your phone number and it will ask for a credit card.

They just need a credit card to hold the room in case of cancellation, but you will not be charged as long as you show up (or cancel according to the policy).  Of course if you’re booking with cash and points, your card will be charged for the cash portion.

World of Hyatt cancellation policy

Read the cancellation policy because it differs from property to property.  The cancellation policy at the Andaz Costa Rica seems to be 72 hours prior to check in to avoid a one-night penalty. If you cancel prior to 72 hours, you get the points back. If you cancel within 72 hours, you could be charged for one night, but you should still get your points back.  Again, read the policy prior to booking because this could change, especially if you’re booking peak dates.  Remember that any points you get back from a refund are Hyatt points.  You cannot transfer them back to Chase Ultimate Rewards.

3. After confirming your contact details, credit card info, and acknowledging the terms, click “Book my stay”
4. You will receive a confirmation number and an email confirmation.  That’s it!

I know that seems like a lot of steps, but once you do it the first time it gets easier.  Plus you will love the rush you get when you book your first stay for free!!  It’s addicting.

Summary

Most likely, transferring Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt is going to result in a lower cost that using points to book in the Ultimate Rewards portal. But check the cost of both options before you do anything!

If you decide you want to transfer Ultimate Rewards to World of Hyatt, the process can be summed up in 3 steps:

  • Check for availability with World of Hyatt
  • If there is availability, transfer the appropriate amount of Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt
  • Use your World of Hyatt account to complete the booking

Ready to start earning a free Hyatt stay? The sign up bonus of one of my favorite credit cards is 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, and the annual fee is waived for the first year:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Bonus: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points
  • Minimum spend for bonus: $4,000 in 3 Months
  • Annual Fee: $95, but waived the first year
  • Bonus Categories: 2 points per dollar on travel and dining

 

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