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Hola from South America! We had some great Hyatt stays in Argentina. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau in Buenos Aires and the Park Hyatt Mendoza. I’ll be posting more details soon, but I wanted to get this post published while I have a little time. We’re currently at the airport heading to our next destination! You can follow along on Instagram @themilesgenie if you aren’t already.
World of Hyatt is probably my favorite hotel loyalty program in a post-Marriott/SPG merger era. World of Hyatt points are easy to earn and can be very valuable when redeeming.
You do not have to accumulate World of Hyatt points to book free Hyatt stays
In fact, you do not even need 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.
Transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the currency earned from certain Chase cards:
Even if a Hyatt stay is your goal, I suggest opening one of these cards before opening the World of Hyatt credit card due to the flexible redemption options you will have with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Also, I suggest using a card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points for everyday spending. While the World of Hyatt credit card from Chase is great for benefits, if you use only a World of Hyatt card, you earn Hyatt points. Your redemption options are limited to those of the World of Hyatt program. But if you use a card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you have multiple redemption options.
Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a welcome bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Current offer: Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The annual fee is $95, but the welcome offer alone is worth a lot more than that. You can find 25 great ways to redeem some of the bonus points here.
Important: Cards such as the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but they aren’t the same as transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. They are basically cash-back cards. Points earned from these cards cannot be transferred unless you also have a CSP, CSR, or CIBP. With that said, pairing the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited with a CSP, CSR, or CIBP is a great way to boost the amount of Ultimate Rewards points you earn on everyday spending. Click here for more information.
There are many redemption options with Ultimate Rewards points. The two options that I use most are:
- Book travel through the redemption portal. This is basically using your points as cash.
- Transfer Ultimate Rewards to hotel and airline partners at a 1:1 ratio. There are 10 airline programs and 3 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 (option 2) than by using the redemption portal (option 1). This means you will transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to World of Hyatt and then you will use World of Hyatt to book your stay.
I will show you how to check both redemption options so you can make sure you are getting the best value.
Hyatt’s award chart is favorable to Ultimate Rewards point transfers
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.
The Ultimate Rewards hotel transfer partners are World of Hyatt, IHG Premier Club, and Marriott Bonvoy.
I generally try to reserve my Chase Ultimate Rewards points for redemptions that give me 2 cents or more per point. Many hotel loyalty programs have inflated award charts. Looking at you, Marriott and IHG. Inflated award charts means that points are going to be less valuable. You will not find many hotel currencies that get 2 cents per point in value when redeeming. Hyatt, on the other hand, has some potential.
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 free standard room at a World of Hyatt category 5 hotel requires 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 Ultimate Rewards redemption portal is higher when rates are higher. More on the Ultimate Rewards portal vs. transferring Ultimate Rewards points in a moment.
Free World of Hyatt night redemptions are subject to availability
Just like many airlines do with award seats, hotels limit the amount of rooms that you can book on points. Hyatt is usually pretty good about having rooms available. Generally, if a standard room is available to book as a paid stay, it should be available to book on Hyatt points. But the amount of standard rooms varies from property to property. My advice is to book as early as possible.
Once you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt (or other partner airlines or hotels), you cannot get them back
Do not transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt (or any transfer partner) until you have confirmed availability.
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 World of 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 World of 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 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
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.
3. Click “View Points”
If a room is available on points, you will see a tab that says “Redeem Points” as pictured above.
Hyatt also has an option called points and cash. You can redeem a stay for half the amount of points plus a co-pay. The co-pay is half of the standard paid rate ($695 for this date). This can be a good option in some cases, especially if you are short on points. But just like free nights, Points + Cash are subject to availability. If a points and cash room is available, you will see another tab that says “Points + Cash”
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 hotel 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 5 property which is 20,000 points per night. Since Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio, you can book it for 20,000 Ultimate Rewards per night.
If the room costs over $600 per night after taxes and fees, that is a value of at least 3 cents per point (600/20,000=.03)
Option 2: Use the Ultimate Rewards booking portal
To book the Andaz Papagayo through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you would need way more than 20,000 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.
- $600/1.50= 400
- 400 X 100= 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points
So here are your totals:
- Transfer to Hyatt (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night)
- Booking portal
- with CSP or CIBP (48,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night)
- with CSR (40,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night)
In this case, it definitely makes sense to transfer points to World of Hyatt to book rather than booking in the redemption portal.
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.
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”
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 for the dates I searched is 7 days prior to check in to avoid a one-night penalty. If you cancel prior to 7 days (or whatever the designated timeframe is) you get the points back. If you cancel within 7 days, you may 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!
Some of our best hotel redemptions have been at Hyatt properties. It’s easy to earn a free Hyatt stay with credit card points. The World of Hyatt credit card is great for a welcome bonus and for the benefits. I definitely suggest opening it, but only after you have opened a transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card such as a Chase Sapphire Preferred.
There are two ways to redeem transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points for free Hyatt stays. You can either book via the Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption portal or you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt. Most likely, transferring Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt is going to result in a lower cost than 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
Earn your first 80,000 points!
No matter what your travel goals are, transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards earned on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card can help. The welcome bonus is worth at least $1000 in travel, the annual fee is reasonable, and the rewards are easy to earn and redeem. Click here for 25 ways to redeem some of the bonus points.
Current offer: Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
Earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The annual fee is $95, but the welcome offer alone is worth a lot more than that.
If you already have a card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards, opening a World of Hyatt credit card is a great way to earn up to 50,000 World of Hyatt points. This card has a few benefits that make the card worth keeping year after year.
World of Hyatt credit card from Chase
There is only 1 Hyatt co-branded credit card. Even though the World of Hyatt credit card is the only Hyatt-co-branded credit card, it isn’t the only credit card that can help with a free Hyatt stay. This is because Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Hyatt. More on that in a moment.
Welcome bonus: The welcome offer on the World of Hyatt credit card from Chase is tiered with a total potential of 50,000 World of Hyatt points. After spending $3,000 in 3 months, you earn 25,000 Hyatt points. After spending $6,000 total in 6 months, you earn an additional 25,000 points. 50,000 World of Hyatt points is enough for 2 nights at a category 6 property.
Earn rate: The earn rate is 4 World of Hyatt points per dollar at Hyatt, 2 points per dollar at restaurants, 2 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly from airlines, 2 points per dollar on local transit, and 2 points per dollar on gym memberships.
Other benefits: There is a great benefit that may make this card worth keeping year after year. At your first cardmember anniversary and each anniversary thereafter, you will receive an annual free night certificate which is good for any Hyatt property that is category 1-4.
This card also comes with Discoverist status, which is mid-tier at best, but Discoverist status will get you free premium internet and late checkout. in our experience, Hyatt is also generous with room upgrades, even for lower status!
The annual fee is $95, but there are so many properties for which you can use the annual free night with rates significantly higher than $95. This is a 5/24 card, so it’s a card you will want to open before opening cards from other banks. Click here for the top cards for beginners.
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