Which Hyatt Milestone Reward should I pick?

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Many hotel loyalty programs offer extra perks when you reach different thresholds of elite status.  Hyatt does too, but they also reward members with perks all along the way.  Once you’ve spent 20 nights in Hyatt or partner hotels in a calendar year, you earn your first World of Hyatt Milestone Reward (2 club lounge access awards).  Then, every 10 nights after that — up to 100 nights, you earn a new milestone reward.  A full list of Milestone Rewards is shown at the bottom of this post.  This post, though, is about the reward earned at 40 nights.  At 40 nights, you get your choice of:

  • 5,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points
  • $100 Hyatt Gift Card
  • 10,000 point savings on a FIND experience

I recently achieved 40 nights (much of it thanks to credit card spend) and was sent an email telling me to pick one of the above rewards.  Which should I pick?

What are 5,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points worth?

I value Hyatt points at about 1.5 cents each.  That’s the value at which I find it is easy to get that much value or more from my points when booking free nights.  So, 5,000 points are worth $75 or more towards Hyatt stays.  That said, I wouldn’t buy Hyatt points for 1.5 cents each unless I needed them for a specific award and I didn’t have enough Chase Ultimate Rewards points to transfer over.  If the points were available for sale, I’d pay at most 1.2 cents each.  That means that I’d be willing to pay up to $60 for 5,000 points.

  • Acquisition Value (Amount I’d be willing to pay): $60
  • Redemption Value: $75

What is a $100 Hyatt Gift Card worth?

This may seem like a ridiculous question.  Obviously it’s worth $100, right?  Well, yes and no.  Yes, it can be used to offset $100 worth of Hyatt charges.  No, I wouldn’t pay face value for this gift card.  For one, it is limited to Hyatt hotels & resorts within the Americas.  Additionally, Hyatt gift cards are sometimes available for sale at a good discount.  If the $100 gift card was available for sale, I’d be willing to pay up to $80.

  • Acquisition Value: $80
  • Redemption Value: $100

What is a 10,000 point savings on a FIND experience worth?

FIND experiences include things like chef-led cooking lessons, food tastings, surfing, falconry, etc.  If you book these things through Hyatt, you can either earn Hyatt points for the purchase or redeem points at 1.4 cents value towards the experience.  For example, a $140 experience would cost 10,000 points.  So, this 10,000 point discount is worth $140 in experiences.  If this discount was available for sale, though, I’d pay way less.  For one, I don’t know if the FIND prices are any good.  Two: they don’t have a big selection of options and so I don’t know that I’ll have the opportunity to use the discount.  Three: the discount voucher expires 6 months from issuance!  So, if I was given the option to buy one of these, I would likely pass altogether.  However, if I thought there was a fair chance of my using the certificate I might be willing to pay $25.  But if I absolutely knew that I’d use the certificate, I’d pay more.  The most I’d be willing to pay would be $100, but that would only be if I was 100% sure that I had a great immediate use for the certificate.

  • Acquisition Value: $0, $25, or $100 (see above)
  • Redemption Value: $140

Which Hyatt Milestone Reward should I pick?

As you can see above, the FIND Experience discount offers the greatest potential redemption value, but it also happens to be the one I’d pay least for if it was for sale.  One exception: if I hadn’t already done the Falconry experience shown above and if I knew I was headed to Ventana Big Sur, I would see much more value in the certificate.  We did Falconry with the same guy, but at Carmel Valley Ranch, and it was a blast.

Out of the other two options, the $100 Hyatt gift card is the winner… for me.  I’m sure that I’ll stay at Hyatt hotels & resorts in the US quite a bit in the next few years so I have no doubt that I’ll use up the gift card in no time.  As to the 5,000 points, I have plenty of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, so I can always transfer some over to Hyatt if I need extra Hyatt points.

World of Hyatt Milestone Rewards

For reference, here is the World of Hyatt Milestone Rewards chart:

Completely separate from elite status, Milestone Rewards are available to everyone and are based on the number of nights you stay in a calendar year. Club Lounge Access Awards and Suite Upgrade Awards are valid for the rest of the current calendar year and 14 months beyond. Free night awards are valid for 180 days from the date issued. FIND Experience discount must be used within 6 months of issuance.
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