In most cases, purchasing points for all but a small top-off needed to acquire an award is a bad deal, for two reasons:
- It’s usually cheaper to just pay for the room than to buy enough points to pay for it.
- Award stays (using just points) do not count towards receiving points, or receiving stay credit for obtaining or maintaining higher status levels like Platinum or Diamond.
However, the current bonus does a lot to make purchasing points for a stay feasible, and the Points + Cash option at Hyatt hotels seals the deal.
Started just this year, Points + Cash rates allow you to use points to receive a deeply discounted room rate (the exact amount of points and cash required varies depending on the Award Category Level of the hotel). Because it is a paid rate, you also receive points for the stay, and a stay credit. And, like a regular rewards stay, it is a fully refundable rate.
The best part about Points + Cash rate is that it is a flat rate, regardless of time of year it is used. So the more high demand/high cost time period it is, the more potential value you can receive from this offer.
Let’s look at how Points + Cash stacks up against the Tokyo Hyatt hotels. I will choose a three night stay for two adults, during an arbitrary high demand period: March 27-30, 2015.
First, the Hyatt Regency Tokyo. This hotel is Award Category 3, so according to the Points + Cash chart, the rate requires $75 USD and 6,000 points per night. For our three night stay, that is $225 and 18,000 points.
With the 30% discount, we can purchase 18,200 points for $336. Adding to our $225 gives us a total of $561. Dividing that by three nights gives us a Discount Purchased Points + Cash (I’ll call it “DPP+C”) rate of $187/night.
As of today, the lowest Hyatt Regency Tokyo refundable rate for those nights is $212.
DPP+C gives us a little over 10% savings…and shows that we shouldn’t even bother with this if we must purchase points at the regular price.
Next is the Andaz Tokyo. This hotel is Award Category 6, doubling the nightly P+C cost to $150 USD and 12,000 points a night, or $450 + 36,000 points for all three nights.
With the 30% discount, we can purchase 36,400 points for $672. Adding to our $450 gives us a total of $1122. Dividing that by three nights gives us a DPP+C rate of $374/night.
This just barely beats out the best Andaz Tokyo refundable rate of $397, and if you’re willing to accept a prepaid, no-refundable rate, is worse than the Advance Purchase rate price of $338.
Grand Hyatt Tokyo is also an Award Category 6 hotel, so the DPP+C rate is also $374/night. Here we do much better than the Hyatt Daily Rate of $432…an over 15% savings! It even beats out the inferior Advance Purchase rate.
Sadly, I’m not even going to look up Park Hyatt Tokyo. First of all, the P+C rate can only be used for base room, for which none are currently available for March 27th-30th. Second, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is an Award Category 7 hotel, which requires 15,000 points and a whopping $300 USD/night. Buying enough points to cover the 45,000 required for three nights will cost $840, which adds to $900 cash fee for a grand total of $1740, giving us a per night rate of $580. And if you have to settle for $580/night for a base room at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, then you’re just not trying hard enough.
But, outside of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, I think that I have shown that purchasing discounted points for a Points + Cash rate at a Tokyo Hyatt hotel can be beneficial. And, in the case of the Hyatt Regency Tokyo and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, the DPP+C rate can be significantly beneficial.
Unfortunately, the Points + Cash rate cannot be booked online; you must call Hyatt Gold Passport to book it. And, unlike a straight points reservation, inventory may not be available for a Points + Cash reservation even if it is available for the Hyatt Daily Rate. But, if you’re willing to put in a few minutes of time on the phone, the resulting savings may be well worth your effort.
Bonus Content: Like the Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Andaz Tokyo, the Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa is also an Award Category 6 hotel, so DDP+C rate remains $374/night. And like the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, DDP+C would give you a savings of over %15 off the Hyatt Daily Rate.