People tend to easily fall in love with brands. Whether it is food, clothes, or shoes, the average person will gravitate towards a brand they trust. Travel hacking works the same way. You fall in love with certain brands as they offer up the best deals and help to maximize the value on your spending/rewards.
In the hotel industry, the brand I have “fallen in love” with is Hyatt. The Hyatt rewards combined with the value of their points offers up a tremendous deal to maximize travel hacking. Hyatt properties range from the above average hotel room to all-inclusive resorts around the world. While Hyatt is not the most well-known hotel chain, they are certainly growing and offering up more options for all types of travelers.
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How to earn free nights with Hyatt
In my first post on traveling hacking, (Beginner’s Guide to Travel Hacking), I insisted on starting out with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to begin your travel hacking journey. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the most flexible travel credit cards. It is a flexible card option because their points can be transferred to several major hotel and airline brands. When signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you will get 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 during your first three months of your account being open. Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to Hyatt World points at a 1-to-1 ratio, meaning you can transfer 60,000 Chase points to 60,000 Hyatt points. To earn a free night at Hyatt’s lowest category of hotel, you only need to use 3,500-6,500 points a night depending on the day of the week and the month. This means that it is possible to stay 12 nights at Hyatt Hotels using your 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Hyatt All-Inclusive Resorts
World of Hyatt has dipped into the All-Inclusive game which has added to the value of their points program. For as little as 12,000 points you can stay a free night (2 people included) at one of the many All-Inclusive Resorts that Hyatt has to offer. Each resort is put into a category A – F with A costing the least amount of points, while F category can cost 42,000-58,000 points a night. The point amount is determined by the month and days of the week that you are staying. I am currently planning a trip to one of the Hyatt resorts in the Caribbean, and I will be paying the entire 5 night stay with Hyatt reward points. I will explain later on how I gained even more points to cover the cost of my upcoming trip.
Hyatt vs. Marriott
I am sure many people have Marriott on the top of their list when it comes to hotel stays. I was the same way before I began travel hacking. This is when I learned that the value of Marriott points is very low. Since Chase points are easily transferrable at 1-to-1 ratio to both Hyatt and Marriott, lets take a look at the cost of a free night for each.
As mentioned earlier, you can get a free night at Hyatt at their lowest category for 3,500-6,500 points. What is the cheapest amount of points that grants you a free night at Marriott? As of March 29, Marriott has gone away from categories of free night stays and gone to dynamic pricing. This means that the rates vary based on interest. I tried searching for a hotel during the middle of the week in Orlando, Florida and the cheapest rate was $136 a night (not bad). To my surprise, the points for this same room were 35,000 points per night (ouch)! Looking back at our Chase points and being able to transfer them at a 1-to-1 ratio, the Hyatt points are worth way more. Nerd Wallet values Hyatt points at 1.9 cents per dollar, while Marriott is worth just 0.7 cents per dollar. Yes, Marriott has the bigger name, more locations, and some locations have nicer amenities. When travel hacking, though, the name of the game is VALUE.
*BONUS – Hyatt does not charge resort fees when booking with points. Marriott does make you pay the resort fee in addition to using more of your points.
Hyatt Credit Card
My upcoming trip to an All-Inclusive resort is being covered with points. This is because I have taken advantage of the signup bonus from the Hyatt credit card. The World of Hyatt Card will get me 60,000 bonus points when I spend $3,000 over the next three months and $15,000 over the next six months. The bonus offer is two parts: 30,000 points for spending $3,000 over the next three months and another 30,000 points by earning 2x points on all purchases up to $15,000 during the first six months of the card being open.
The resorts I am looking at are in the 20,000-25,000 point range (per night). The combination of my Chase points I have earned and the Hyatt points I will earn through this offer will lead me to a free five-night stay at an All-Inclusive Resort. The card does charge a $95 annual fee, but that also comes with a free night certificate at any category 1-4 hotel.
In order to succeed at something you have to unlearn what you already know. That is what I had to do when it came to deciding on a hotel brand. I was pro-Marriott for the last several years and after doing the research and finding out for myself there was more value out there, I switched to Hyatt. It has been the best decision and will allow my family and I to enjoy even more free travel. Come join me on my travel hacking journey and find your way to an All-Inclusive resort for free. It is easy to do by taking advantage of signup bonuses and maximizing your daily spending habits!
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