One of the most exciting positive changes was the introduction of Points + Cash, which couldn’t have been executed better, in my opinion. Instead of exclusively redeeming points for a free night redemption, you can now redeem part cash and part points, as the name suggests (to be clear, though, this wasn’t innovation on the part of Hyatt — Hilton, SPG, etc., already offered it). The catch is that Points + Cash bookings are capacity controlled, while free night redemptions aren’t (as long as there’s a standard room available, you can redeem points for it).
The first great thing about Points + Cash is that you can basically save points at the rate of 1.2-2.0 cents per point compared to the cost of a free night redemption. I value Gold Passport points at roughly 1.5 cents each, so you can’t beat redeeming 12,500 points plus $150 in lieu of 25,000 points, in my opinion. I’ll spend $150 to save 12,500 Gold Passport points any day of the week!
But really the most exciting aspect of Points + Cash is that they count as “paid” stays, and therefore:
- Are eligible for elite night/stay accrual
- Are eligible for points accrual
- Diamond Suite Night Upgrade Awards can be applied to these reservations
One question I’m often asked is whether you can use Gold Passport points to upgrade a Points + Cash booking to a suite or club room. The answer to that, unfortunately, is no. Diamond members can use Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards to upgrade to a suite on a Points + Cash booking, but no one can use points to upgrade such a booking.
Suite at Park Hyatt Saadiyat Island using Diamond Suite Upgrade Award
I’ve been told by reservations agents that it’s apparently partly because of how their systems are coded. For whatever reason the system allows the upgrade awards to be applied, but won’t allow points to be applied. For that matter I also suspect it’s intentional on the part of Hyatt, as the ability for Diamonds to upgrade using a certificate is probably an extra perk.
Anyway, since I get asked this question at least a handful of times per week, figured I might as well make a post about it so it’s clarified once and for all. 🙂