First Experience Booking Hyatt Cash + Points Award With Suite Upgrade

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This morning I excitedly picked up the phone and called Hyatt Gold Passport to take my first stab at booking a new cash and points award, and I want to share the results.  The Hyatt award chart devaluation has hit, but the upside of the changes is the introduction of cash and points awards that can be a really good value, especially in certain categories.

Before I get into the results of my first experience trying to book a cash and points award at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, here is a quick reminder on how cash and points awards work.  Cash and points reservations must be booked over the phone at 1-800-228-3360.  Unlike with traditional Hyatt award bookings, you will earn elite status credit and credit toward promotions from cash and points stays.  You will also earn points on the cash portion of the award.  You will have to pay taxes and resort fees on cash and points awards, as opposed to award stays where you do not pay those fees.

Hyatt Cash and Points mommy points

The new cash and points option strikes me as especially interesting in categories 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 where the cash component essentially amounts to 1.2 – 1.3 cents per point.  Categories 1 and 7 represent 2 cents per point for the cash component of the chart which obviously isn’t as good of a value.

My Experience Booking a Cash and Points Award:

So all of this sounded pretty good in theory, but since cash and points awards aren’t subject to the same rules as standard awards where you should be able to use points if a standard room is available for sell, we didn’t know how useful this would be until it kicked in today.  I called this morning to book the very popular Grand Hyatt Kauai for four nights in the summer.  Within seconds the agent was able to tell me that cash and points awards were available for my dates.  She was also able to tell me that a suite upgrade using a Diamond confirmed upgrade was also available (which has historically always required a call to the property) and could be used with the cash and points reservation.

She locked in the four nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai on cash and points (after cancelling my award reservation there), utilized the suite upgrade I wanted to apply (you get four annually as a Hyatt Diamond elite member), and told me that I would be charged a two night deposit of the cash portion that was refundable until 72 hours before all within about 3-4 minutes.

Hyatt Cash and Points Reservation Mommy PointsThe process couldn’t have been easier and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.  I am in the process of running a few more experiments to get a better feel for availability, but being able to get my summer dates at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and secure a suite for my family with only $150 + taxes/fees per night cash outlay was a big win.  The big test will be if availability stays this good as time goes on, but Day 1 seems to be going well.

Have you booked any cash and points reservations today?  What was your experience like?

Comments

  1. I was thinking about doing this today too but, for my situation, I think sticking with the old rates is better. Andaz Maui at 22K points a night will trump paying $150 + taxes/fees to save 9,500 points.

    Going forward though, I’m thinking this will become a better option.

  2. Valerie, you will be subject to taxes and resort fees on cash and points.
    Mike, I agree at hotels where you currently have an old award chart 22k rez it likely doesn’t make sense to switch unless you want to apply a suite upgrade…which was my situation.

  3. Summer, did you have the points in your account to make the reservation, or did you use the points refunded from your existing reservation. I’ve got five award nights booked at the Hyatt Place Waikiki, and I’d like to switch them to a cash + points reservation to take advantage of the current promotion. I don’t have enough points in my account to make a separate booking though.

  4. Any luck with UA award seats ? Can’t find the cheap ones for August to maui, I usually get them 20,000 miles each way, now they want 40,000.

  5. Candice, good question. I was actually a tad shy even with refunded points, but they let at least Diamond members make bookings even without all the points in the account so that is what I did. If you have award reservations to cancel so you can reuse the points they can help you do that on the phone at the same time you do your c&p rez.
    Karenc, we were able to get UA award seats to Kauai in August though we booked business class at the low level. More on that soon.

  6. Can the cash and points bookings be made now and diamond suite upgrades applied later or do they have to be applied at booking?

  7. I think my only interest here is that you can use suite upgrades on cash & points awards where (unlike SPG) you can’t do that on awards only stays.

    While I think this is great, I do wish they’d let you book these online, which I presume they’ll get around to allowing at some point.

    @far north trader – I presume you can do the Suite upgrades later just like you can now. You just need to get the reservation into the system first. But I assume MP will correct me.

  8. What do you think of this. I will be staying with my parents at the Andaz Maui (it let me book 3 people into one room) on points for 4 nights this spring. I booked each night separately over the last few months (as I accrued points). Do you think I would be able to cancel the first night, rebook it as a cash and points, apply my diamond suite upgrade to that night, and then have it count for the remaining award nights? I know this is convuluted, but I would love it to work.

    I only think cash & points is a good deal at the non resort fee places. I can only imagine what the fees are like at PH Maldives etc.

  9. Glenn, I wish/hope for that too. My second call to HGP today isn’t near as cheery as the first. In fact, the agent is def not happy to be working on this today. Will be best for everyone to have this bookable online at some point. I like c&p both for suite upgrades as well as for the night/stay counting for elite status.
    Heather, it will totally depend on availability at the hotel as well as how generous the hotel feels. Certainly not something you can count on, but I’m sure it will sometimes work out in your favor.
    Pixie Points, no problem and good luck with your bookings!

  10. Not available at Park Hyatt Canberra. My Elite rates also were higher than the other options. Not a fan of the changes so far …

    • Wanted to add a few more data points…cash and points availability was there when I checked PH Maldives and Andaz Fifth. Repriced many reservations to My Elite Rate with success to save money including Grand Hyatt DC, several Hyatt Place properties, Andaz Fifth, Hyatt Times Square, and more. Obviously not going to work at every property for every stay, but I’m having good luck so far.

  11. Just booked Park Hyatt Paris…Place Vendome…..my favorite hotel in the world….for Cash and Points…..with confirmed suite upgrade….considering the standard rooms are going for about $650 euros, and I got a suite for $300 per night plus 15,000 points, I think this is a great redemption! Process was very simple. Vive le France!!!

  12. Switched my hotel du louvre bookings over to points and cash, two rooms for two nights each. $575/night room for $125/night. 10,000 points saves me $450/night/room, so 4.5 cents a point. Will look to do a diamond trial closer to our arrival date and see if I can upgrade them to suites. Would bump my redemption value to 5.7 cents a point or more. More importantly, visiting London and Paris for my wife’s birthday makes for a very happy wife!

  13. MP- I also booked the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Both the GH Kauai and Andaz Maui were avaliable over Memorial weekend. While my agent was very nice she did have to keep checking to make sure it was done correctly. It took about 45 mins to book on cash and points and apply the suite upgrade. I call very early in the morning and she admitted that this was her first cash and points booking. She also was unsure about applying the suite upgrade to cash and points but I asked her to check which resulted in a long hold. All was confirmed in the end and she appologied for the delay. It was just a learning curve. I guess I should have waited until after you called 🙂

    • Ashley, I had three calls yesterday. The first was great (the one I wrote about). The second was okay. Job got done, but agent was audibly wiped out. The third call my husband actually did and it got %#@@$ up to the point we actually lost a confirmed suite upgrade on at another hotel. That’s what I get for having him do the call! Sorry yours took a while, but congrats on getting it done!

  14. I was unable to book a cash and points award at the Grand Hyatt Kauai for my April stay. Glad I made the reservations ahead with just points.

    • Sue, if that is a spring break week occupancy levels are probably pretty high. Still worth it to check again later and good job locking in at 22k!

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