Hyatt Gold Passport, the Complete Dummy’s Guide: Points, cash, or both?

By the way, this is basically a “Gold Passport for Dummies” post, as I’m no means an expert – actually, to be honest I’m not that much than a dummy at this anyway. Points hoarders may know more about Hyatt Gold Passport – I guess I’m trying to entertain you guys by reposting most of the knowledge some of you already know.


One hotel chain I’m itching to try (and will try very soon) is Hyatt. While I’ve done SPG countless times (coincidentally, as I’m not really a points hoarder living in hotels 90% of the time) and have done Marriott and Accor once or twice as well (I’ve actually reviewed an SPG and a Marriott hotel already and a review of an Accor hotel, the Sofitel London Heathrow, will appear in early August), I haven’t done the other three major hotel chains, IHG, Hilton (though Jason has and will be reviewing it mid-August) and Hyatt (though, again, that’s about to change).

I do know quite a bit about Hyatt though, and can sum the payment methods up (in terms of Cash, Cash+Points and Gold Passport Points), and use a few hotels as example (I’m just going to pinch the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills and Park Hyatt Chennai, as these were the four hotels from each major chain – assuming that those like Hyatt House are minor chains – that popped up directly in my head).

Gold Passport Points

Gold Passport Points have a value quite in the “middle of the pack”. They’re less valuable than Starwood, for example, but much more valuable than HHonors™ points, Club Carlson points and IHG Priority Club™ points, say. I’m inclined to agree with Lucky that they should be valued at roughly 12 cents per point (in Hong Kong Dollars – that’s about 1.5 US cents per point).

They can be used to redeem points at pretty much all Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Andaz and Park Hyatt properties. Unlike Hilton (where Waldorf is in a completely different league with whopping point prices), all hotels part of any of the mini chains (the mini chains are Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Andaz, Park Hyatt, Hyatt House, Hyatt Place, Hyatt Zilara/Ziva, Hyat Residences Club) fit into the same chart. You can find which category your hotel is in through these links, which list all the hotels of each category.

Category 1
Category 2
Category 3
Category 4
Category 5
Category 6
Category 7

The January Hyatt Gold Passport™ Devaluation – and the new chart

In January, Hyatt announced a grand canyon devaluation in their Gold Passport™ program. It was pretty much a huge devaluation – a new category, Category 7, was added, and almost every category upped in points (that said, they are still a great value right now, just not so much). I’ll spare you the old chart, but here is the new chart (due to it probably being relevant to more):

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 6.06.10 PM

As I said above, I value the points at 12 cents each, so my August stay at the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka in a Club Room would be valued at 17,000 points, or HK$2040. (Compared to the revenue rate at $3350, this is a steal, but I’ll get to that later.) Yes, even in hotel booking, you have to use a calculator – I prefer Casio do maths.

For those need more pictures/clarification…

Category 1 property costs: Standard 5,000 Club 7,000 Suite 8,000

regency_dongguan_05

Hyatt Regency Dongguan – yes, the #1 hotel in Dongguan is a Category 1 property

Category 2 property costs: Standard 8,000 Club 12,000 Suite 13,000

Park Hyatt-Mendoza-Argentina

Park Hyatt Mendoza – the cheapest Park Hyatt around, yet up to standards of most others

Category 3 property costs: Standard 12,000 Club 17,000 Suite 20,000

photos_6650_472383

Grand Hyatt Fukuoka – Japanese flair and Western comfort for the equivalent of HK$2040

Category 4 property costs: Standard 15,000 Club 21,000 Suite 24,000

grand-hyatt-kuala-lumpur

Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur – luxury suite and “destination” bathroom for only 24,000 points

Category 5 property costs: Standard 20,000 Club 27,000 Suite 32,000

park-hyatt-changbaishan

Park Hyatt Changbaishan – Always a nice place to relax

Category 6 property costs: Standard 25,000 Club 33,000 Suite 40,000

filename-park-hyatt-maldives

Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives – Pricey but worth the points!

Category 7 property costs: Standard 30,000 Club 39,000 Suite 48,000 (This category was only introduced in January, much to the dismay of lovers of the six bumped up hotels)

park-hyatt-tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo – having such good service is worth it no matter what the cost!

Paying with cash or points?

Now this is the fun of booking hotels if you’re part of their loyalty program – choosing whether to make a cash or points booking. You always want to book with the better value.

Ignoring the Points + Cash feature (I’ll get to that later), I’ll show you how to find the better cash/points value for the four example hotels I mentioned above. (I’ll find the better value of a Club room for each of the hotels above for the dates October 4 to October 5.)

Grand Hyatt Fukuoka

The revenue rate for the dates 4/10 to 5/10 for a Club King in the hotel is 38,000 JPY, or HK$2896 (US$373) – excluding 3,040 JPY (HK$230/US$30) taxes, since you need to pay those taxes should you be paying with points as well.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.45.00 PM

As the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka is a Category 3 property, the rate on points is 17,000 Hyatt Gold Passport™ points. Given that one Hyatt Gold Passport™ point is worth 12 cents, the rate that way is worth HK$2040 (excluding taxes).

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.47.21 PM

By using points you save HK$856, so obviously points is the way to go. (However for those that know I’ll be staying there soon, I don’t own Gold Passport™ points, so I had to stick to the painful revenue rate.)

Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui

The revenue rate for the dates for a Club King is HK$3550 (US$458). There is a HK$355 tax, but I’ll exclude that as well (due to the fact that paying with points also needs the tax as well).

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.56.03 PM

The rate on points is 21,000 points as a Category 4 property, which is the equivalent of HK$2520 (US$325).

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.52.16 PM

At HK$1030 cheaper, using points is an absolute steal, so unless you don’t have any points (like me) or there’s a large promotion don’t hesitate to use points at this hotel.

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills

(I’ll use an Andaz Suite in place of a Club King – since they don’t have Club Kings. I know they have other rooms, but using a Suite and going with the Suite rate is easier.)

The revenue rate for an Andaz Suite is HK$15620 (US$2015), which is quite over the top but I guess that’s what you expect for a suite at a Japanese suite at a Category 6 property.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 12.08.31 AM

Meanwhile, the rate with points is 40,000 points, or HK$4800 (US$620), surprisingly.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 12.07.23 AM

Yet again, the points rate is a massive steal, though I guess that’s what you expect for a Category 6 suite. However the fact that the revenue rate is 3 times as costly as the rate from points is a little ghastly, though. (It’s entirely coincidental that points is the better rate, by the way – I guess that’s what I get for picking Japanese and Hong Kong hotels.)

Park Hyatt Chennai

(I’ll use a Standard room this time, as only a few Park Hyatts – only the Park Hyatt Melbourne actually I think – have a club.)

The revenue rate is HK$778 (US$100). That’s surprisingly cheap, but expected for a secondary – while exciting – Indian city.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 12.15.45 AM

The points rate, as a Category 3 property, is 12,000 points, HK$1440 or US$180.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 12.18.05 AM

So, while I have to say that using points here is ridiculously cheap, using cash is definitely the better option, at least for a standard room, at the Park Hyatt Chennai.

Using Points + Cash – on some occasions

In January Hyatt started the Points + Cash program, following Hyatt and SPG. The rates are really nice, and as I said, I’m not an expert, so I’ll just leave you some recommended reading.

However only standard rooms have this feature, though you could still add a Diamond Suite Upgrade onto the bill if you’re a Hyatt Gold Passport™ Diamond member. So if you’re one that swears by having a hotel club at all times (trust me, I don’t) and don’t have free suite upgrades at your side, Points + Cash is not for you.

Bottom line on “Hyatt Gold Passport™ Booking for Dummies

The Hyatt Gold Passport™ program is actually one of the better loyalty programs out there, and after researching – actually explicitly – for this post, I can’t say I disagree. Now I hope I get some time to sign up for this in the near future, maybe during my August stay.

If you need extra help you could always get some:

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