Hacking Hyatt

28

Buy Hyatt points for 1.59 cents each and get top tier Diamond status in return!

Hyatt’s Q1 Promo and Diamond Challenge

You’ve probably already heard about the upcoming Hyatt promotion in which you can earn up to 55,000 bonus points for staying 16 nights at Hyatt properties between Feb 1 and April 30 2012.  In order to get the full number of points, you need to have the Chase Visa credit card.  I won’t go into the full details, but you can read more about it here and here.  On its own, I don’t find this promo that exciting because I don’t expect to be able to stay at a Hyatt for that many nights.  However, when combined with a Diamond Challenge, it suddenly becomes interesting!

I’ve been eyeing Hyatt’s Diamond status ever since I learned about its incredible benefits: four confirmed suite upgrades per year, free breakfast or club lounge access, late checkouts, and more.  I even contacted Hyatt to see about getting a Diamond Challenge in order to fast track to Diamond.  I received the following response:

Regarding your inquiry, currently a Diamond Trial Offer is available. You will receive trial Diamond membership for 60 days with proof of top tier status with one of our competitors program.  However, you must complete 12 nights in 60 days to maintain Diamond tier through February of 2013.  You will also receive 1000 bonus points on your first six eligible nights within 60 days, up to a maximum of 6000 bonus points.

I haven’t acted on this information yet, though, because I haven’t seen a time in the near future in which I could meet the terms of the challenge.  I don’t want to take the challenge if I can’t meet it!  I could, of course, “mattress run” by booking Hyatt rooms for no reason other than to meet this challenge, but that seems like much too big of an expense in exchange for status that I may or may not make much use of.

Analysis

The latest promotion makes me wonder if a mattress run makes sense after all.  What if I sign up for the Diamond challenge (to get instant Diamond status), then sign up for the Hyatt Visa credit card, and then use the credit card to pay for 16 nights at a local Hyatt?  Is it worth it?   I found a (somewhat) local Hyatt that I can get for $65 per night ($71 after taxes).  What if I book this hotel for 16 nights?  Let’s run the numbers:

  • Cost = 16 X $71 = $1,136
  • Hyatt Promo points earned = 55,000
  • Diamond Challenge bonus points = 6,000
  • Base points earned + 30% for Diamond Elites = 16 X $65 X 5 X 1.3 = 6,760
  • Credit card points (3X) = 16 X $71 X 3 = 3,408
  • Welcome point bonus = 500 (If I made 16 separate bookings I would get 500 X 16 = 8000 points, but I’m not going to do that)
  • Total Points earned = 71,668
  • Cost per point = $1,136 / 71,668 = 1.59 cents

Compared to the Fair Trading Price of 1.31 cents, paying 1.59 cents per point is a bit high, but it’s not outrageous since Hyatt points can be easily redeemed for much more than that.  Top tier Hyatt hotel rooms can be reserved for only 22,000 points per night so a room that would normally cost, say $600, would give your points a value of 2.7 cents each. 

Other benefits to this scheme come from the credit card itself.  Diamond members who sign up for the card receive two free nights in a suite at any Hyatt hotel!  So, when all is said and done, if I did this, I would end up with enough points for three nights at any Hyatt in the world and two nights in suites and four confirmed suite upgrades for paid stays and free breakfasts, etc.

I don’t know if I’ll really do this, but it is very tempting!  The main argument against it is that I’ve been applying for a lot of Chase credit cards lately and I was planning to take a break for a while.  Plus, I don’t yet have the new Ink Bold or the Freedom, both of which are extremely useful for gift card churning.  Hmmm. 

How about you: are you thinking of doing this?  Or, do you have a better scheme?  Let me know!

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