At the beginning of 2014, Hyatt introduced Hyatt Points & Cash rates where you could combine money with points for an award reservation. Even if I don’t always use Points & Cash when booking Hyatt stays, I love having the option.
Plus, what’s not to love? –
The Cash & Points award rate earns Gold Passport points on the “cash” portion, Diamond members can use their Suite Upgrades to confirm a suite, and stays count toward elite status.
Here’s Hyatt’s Cash & Points chart as a refresher –
For me, I typically won’t use Cash & Points if the regular cash rate is low enough so that it doesn’t make sense to use points. I also don’t usually use it at most properties in Categories 1 and 7, because the outlay of 2.0 cents per point is too high for my taste. That being said, one of my favorite Hyatt properties can easily go for $1000 per night for a basic room. Can you guess which one?
If you said the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, you’re correct!
It’s a luxurious property where just a simple (yet delicious) burger will set you back $45.
Paying the Cash & Points rate at this property is smart option if not wanting to pay $1,000 or redeem 30,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night.
Instead, you’d just pay $300 per night, plus 15,000 Gold passport points. You still earn points on the Cash & Points rate plus the stay counts towards elite status. Nights count towards promotions, and another great bonus is that Diamond Suite Upgrades can be used with Cash & Points awards.
The only downfall to this is that it is difficult to tell when Cash & Points awards are available. Hyatt properties are also not required to offer Cash & Points, though most do. Since the availability isn’t online it is not easy to see which hotels don’t offer Cash & Points at all. In order to find out if your specific dates are available, you have to phone in to Gold Passport to have them check.
They’re perfectly helpful and kind, but it makes it much tougher to plan out a trip. If I could check availability online for say, three hotels in an area for a range of dates I could then weigh my options before booking. It’s more time consuming and laborious a process when the information isn’t immediately available online, and I don’t really like having to make the agents check several different dates or multiple properties and then call back to try something different. Also, if I have my eye on a particular property there is no way to tell if suddenly a day or two has suddenly become available without calling in frequently or just getting lucky with the dates.
This is one area where Starwood is currently better than Hyatt.
Take the Westin Europa & Regina in Venice for example.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay there, and if I wanted to go back on a Cash & Points rate the website offers me an overview via calendar. I can see that if I want to spend Valentine’s weekend at that hotel the Cash & Points rate is not available but the weekend afterwards is.
Pizza in Motion reported some great news, though. He was able to ask Jeff Zidell, Senior VP of Hyatt Gold Passport a very smart question that many travelers have been wondering – about the ability to see Cash & Points availability online. Jeff’s response was positive, indicating that this is something coming to their website within the next 6 months. Click here for more details on the specifics.
Wonderful news, and I look forward to utilizing this new feature when it comes!