The Complete Guide to World of Hyatt Rewards

Last Updated: 02/07/2020


Rating

GigaTake:

Hyatt has a smaller footprint than other hotel companies, but its loyalty program delivers high value—especially when it comes to luxury travel. It offers solid earning opportunities and some exceptional redemption values.

What Is World of Hyatt?

World of Hyatt is the loyalty program for Hyatt Hotels Corp., which has more than 875 properties in 60 countries, ranging from budget brands like Hyatt Place and Hyatt House up to luxury spots like Park Hyatt and Thompson Hotels. Miraval wellness resorts and Exhale Spa, a chain of day-spa-slash-fitness-studios, also fall under the Hyatt umbrella.

The World of Hyatt program has five tiers of membership. Discoverist, the first step up from entry level, takes 10 nights or about $5,000 in Hyatt spending to earn; it’s also an automatic benefit of the World of Hyatt Credit Card. With each jump in membership comes more perks, including room upgrades, points bonuses, late checkout, and free fitness classes.

How to Earn World of Hyatt Points

There are many ways to earn Hyatt points—most obviously by spending money at a Hyatt hotel, which gets you at least 5 points per dollar (more for elite membership tiers). Wellness mavens can earn 10 points per dollar at an Exhale Spa. Frequent Hyatt guests can get a lot of bang out of the World of Hyatt Credit Card; it earns an additional 4 points for every dollar spent at Hyatt, on top of the 5 base points.

Then there are Hyatt’s partner brands, including car-rental company Avis, casino operator MGM Resorts, hotel network Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and adventure cruise line Lindblad Expeditions. Cruises earn 5 points per dollar, which can really add up given their cost. 

You can also link your American Airline account to earn Hyatt Rewards and American miles on participating flights. Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. And Hyatt partners with 25 other airlines, allowing you to transfer points between programs—though not at very favorable rates.

Hyatt points have no blackout dates and don’t expire, as long as there’s some activity in your account every two years. 

What Cards Earn Hyatt Rewards

How to Use Hyatt Rewards

World of Hyatt points may not be as flexible as Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards. But Hyatt has made its points more versatile than many other hotel programs by adding compelling partners and letting members redeem points for dining, spa treatments and other amenities at its hotels.

  • Free nights. Standard Hyatt rooms start at 5,000 points per night. Points are also good at MGM Resorts and Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
  • Room upgrades. These start at 3,000 points for a Regency Club or Grand Club upgrade. 
  • Hotel amenities. Spa treatments, movies, and dining start at 1,000 points for $10.
  • Cruises. Book through Hyatt to use points with Lindblad Expeditions. 
  • Wellness. Points can be redeemed  for classes and spa treatments at Exhale. 
  • Experiences. FIND Experiences include tandem hang-gliding expeditions, bike tours, and more. 
  • Meetings and events. Book with points at Hyatt properties. 
  • Transfer to airlines. Hyatt has more than 25 partners. 2.5 Hyatt points = 1 airline mile.
  • Rental cars. Rates start at 6,000 points per day with Avis..
  • Share points.  Transfer points to any World of Hyatt member. 

Hotel Stays and Upgrades

You’ll generally get the most value from your World of Hyatt points by using them for free hotel nights. Compared to other hotel companies, Hyatt makes it a breeze to navigate the redemption process: An awards chart shows exactly how many points you need for a night at different categories of Hyatt hotels, all-inclusives, and Miraval Resorts. You can also use Hyatt’s interactive map to see, for instance, every Category 3 property with a pool in the United States.

Prices start at 5,000 point a night for a standard room in a Category 1 hotel, like the Hyatt Place in Topeka, Kansas, and go up to 60,000 points per night for a premium suite at a Category 7 hotel.

Luxury properties are where you’ll usually get the most value for your points. For instance, rooms at the Topeka Hyatt Place start at $89 a night. If you book that room with points, you’ll be getting 1.8 cents a mile. Pretty good. But we saw a standard room at the Category 7 Park Hyatt Beaver Creek for $1,145 a night or 30,000 miles. That works out to a whopping 3.8 cents per point. 

Hyatt’s all-inclusive properties have a slightly different redemption system: the base rates are for up to two people, and each additional person costs more points. The same goes for Miraval, where the base rate is for one person—additional guests cost 20,000 points per night. Plus, you can only book with points over the phone. It’s harder to get extreme value with these properties, but we’ve yielded 2 cents per point without much effort.   

If you prefer unique inns, resorts and hotels, you can also use Hyatt points to book with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a network of independent-minded boutique properties. Hyatt uses its category system with SLH and also provides a handy interactive map. You can’t redeem points for SLH properties through Hyatt’s main search engine—you have to click into the World of Hyatt portal, then look under Redeem.

Love Vegas? You can use Hyatt points to book nights at MGM’s 13 casino resorts, starting at 12,000 points a night. But since the rooms are so often discounted, you’re usually better off paying cash.

Finally, Hyatt offers a Points + Cash option for booking hotel stays. Once again, the program is straightforward: You’ll pay half the cash and half the points you otherwise would. For instance, on a recent weekend, a room at the Hyatt Regency Chicago cost about $160, including taxes and fees. For 12,000 Hyatt points, you could get that night free—a value of 1.3 cents per point. Or, you could spend $80 and 6,000 points. It’s a nice way of making hotel nights accessible for members who haven’t accumulated a lot of points. 

Room Upgrades

You can use Hyatt points to upgrade from a standard to a club room or even up to a premium suite for 3,000 to 9,000 points. But the process is a little cumbersome. First, upgrades are only available on paid hotel stays. Second, they’re not available at all properties. And third, you can only book points upgrades over the phone.

The best approach is to look for a good deal—a hotel where the difference in room price gives you sufficient value for your points—then call Hyatt to make sure an upgrade is available and book your reservation and upgrade simultaneously. 

Hotel Amenities and Services

Unlike other hotel brands, Hyatt lets members pay for everything from spa treatments to room service with points. It’s generally not the best use of your hard-earned rewards, but it’s still not bad.

You redeem any number of points you like at payment time, up to a value of $1,000. There is a range of rates depending on how many points you redeem: $10 costs 1,000 points (or 1 cent a point) and $1,000 costs 65,000 points (or 1.5 cents a point). An 80-minute massage at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa runs about $230, or roughly 20,000 points. 

Experiences

Hyatt’s FIND program includes more than 200 hikes, tours, dinners, classes, and other activities in over 50 destinations around the world. There are culinary carriage rides through Vienna, bonsai classes in New York, rice-paddy treks in Indonesia. Some can be booked with cash or points, others only with points.

The experiences that can be booked either way offer a value of about 1.4 cents per point. We’ve dug into some of the experiences that don’t have retail prices listed, and found that they offer less value—like the Viennese carriage ride, which is about 1 cent per point. FIND is better used for inspiration and for booking activities with cash than getting a big bang out of your points. 

Cruises

Hyatt teamed up with Lindblad Expeditions in 2019, giving World of Hyatt members the chance to earn and spend points on the company’s high-end (and high-priced) cruises. Many of Lindblad’s trips go to places that only scientists used to visit—including Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands—and focus on nature and wildlife. They’re also a decent way to use massive amounts of points, if you have them: A 14-day cruise through the Drake Passage to Antarctica costs  $14,680 to $36,550. In Hyatt currency, it’s 917,500 to 2,284,375 points, for a value of about 1.6 cents. 

Fitness

In 2017, Hyatt bought the day spa and fitness chain Exhale, which has locations in 11 U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, and New York. World of Hyatt members can use 2,000 points to book a barre, cardio or yoga class—just okay value at about 1.2 cents per point, but a healthy way to blow a few points. Or indulge in any 60-minute massage or facial for 12,000 points, a value of up to 1.4 cents a point. 

Transfer to Airline Partners

Hyatt has more than 25 airline partners, including Aeromexico, British Airways, Singapore and Southwest. But it costs 5,000 points to buy 2,000 frequent flyer miles—which means it’s only worth it if you’re short a few miles for an award ticket. 

Rental Cars

An intermediate-size rental car from Avis costs 6,000 points per day, which is almost never a good option. We looked at rental rates in London, San Diego and New York, and found that Hyatt points were worth as little as .4 cents each, and never got above 1.1 cents. 

Meetings and Events

Though it’s also not an amazing value, using Hyatt points can ease some of the sticker shock of a wedding or conference. You’ll get a flat 1.3 cents per point when you use them for meetings and events, whether you’re paying 15,000 points for a $200 credit or 75,000 points for a $1,000 credit. 

Transfer to Friends and Family

Sharing points  is easy and free as long as the person you are transferring to is also a World of Hyatt member. 

Summary

It’s definitely worth signing up for World of Hyatt, especially if you are a regular guest, patronize any of their travel partners, or are looking to use awards for a dream cruise or destination spa trip. But since Hyatt has fewer locations than its competitors, it may not be the one to commit to for a few nights free here and there.