Generally Hyatt top-tier redemptions are very aspirational, and I don’t disagree with that. If redeemed properly, it’s very possible to afford rooms/hotels that would be out of a normal person’s price point.
For example the Park Hyatt Paris is $830 USD or 22,000 points:
But sometime you have to learn to live without Hyatt Points. For example, I am heading to Sydney soon, and the obvious choice would be Park Hyatt Sydney. But unfortunately I don’t have Hyatt points, and even if I did buy them at 1.85 cents it would still be close to $400 for one night.
So if you don’t have certain types of points, I think it’s important to look at all your options. In this instance, I am probably staying at another hotel given that the rate at $900+ is exorbitant.
The Shangri-La has a going rate of 235 AUD (~$215) for some nights.
However, it is part of the Virtuoso/AMEX FHR program, which means you also get breakfast, room upgrade (subject to availability), late check-out, and everything that elite status would have to offer. On top of that, you get an amenity, which in this case is a $100 Food and Beverage credit:
I haven’t looked in detail at the program, so I was quite surprised to the return that it gave (and it also seems to be one program where hotel nights are priced at extraordinarily high point levels and are worth less than other awards).
You earn one point per dollar, which is doubled for a 1-3 night stay. Stacked with the 500 point new member promotion for their first stay, that means you earn just under 1,000 points (and probably more if you charge some incidentals) on your first stay. This gets you another $100 USD F&B/Spa Award which you can use for at nearly any Shangri-La hotel in the future.
That means for a $250 USD spend, you get $200 in credits, which is pretty amazing, not to mention that you are staying at the Shangri-La Sydney, with $100 usable anytime in the future. (Free night awards for the lowest categories start at 2,000 points but I’m not too interested in heading to those cities in the near future).
It’s hard to work out in numbers, given that it’s hard to quantify how much subjectively the Park Hyatt is “worth more” than the Shangri-La, but I actually think that in this case it would not be worth spending 22,000 points for the Park Hyatt (unless you have a huge amount of Hyatt points) given that a comparable (perhaps a little less luxurious – but just a little I’m guessing) property is only ~$215, which means if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards or even any other type of flexible fixed-return travel points it would only cost 21,500 points.
So is it worth giving up $200 in credits for the Park Hyatt? I guess that is the question…
But the important idea I want to get across is first, that the price of points is first of all only worth the lower of the price you are willing to pay and the lowest price that the redemption costs. That means while the Park Hyatt is going at $919 USD for the dates you want, if you’re only willing to pay $660 for the dates, then your Hyatt points are only worth 3.0 cents per point. But given that you can buy Hyatt points for 1.85 cents during a sale directly from Hyatt , your redemption value in my opinion maxes out at 1.85 cents, since the value that you are getting is $407 dollars if you used 0 points and just bought the points during the sale.Furthermore, I think that your redemption value is only worth the price of other properties. If other similar properties are priced at $220 versus your $910 rate, that doesn’t mean you get 4.1 cents from your Hyatt points, even if you tack on “$200” for the prestige of the Park Hyatt.
In many cases, stacking Virtuoso/AMEX FHR rates along with lucrative promotions (such as the SPG Targeted Promos) are by itself a very good value, and in some cases it’s definitely worth reconsidering plunking down valuable points for the redemption. To read more about Virtuoso and AMEX FHR hotel rates, I’ve written this post here.
I hope you found this post useful. 🙂