Can You Upgrade Hyatt Points + Cash Bookings With Points?

Earlier in the year Hyatt Gold Passport made some changes to their program, both good and bad.

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:

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. 🙂


  1. If you book at Hyatt with a free award standard night certificate, can you upgrade that to a suite using points?

  2. Because of what I learned here Lucky, I recently booked a stay at the new Park Hyatt Vienna with Points and Cash, plus used the Diamond Upgrade to a suite. One night of my stay was not available on Points and Cash, so the booking agent booked me a standard room then upgraded me with points.

    But different agents, different results. The first agent I spoke to said there were no nights available with Points and Cash for my dates. I tried to ask if that was for EVERY day of the stay , she said yes, I hung up and called back. Now suddenly 5 out of 6 nights were available! It never hurts to call again, another tip from you!! All in all, I get a $1300 a night suite for $150 bucks a night and points!

  3. A slightly unrelated question. I’ve booked a Category 3 property, the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka (as I mentioned several times in here before). A club room is 15000 Gold Passport points, or US$434. Obviously points is the better option (~US$225), but I don’t own Hyatt Gold Passport. I can’t do anything about the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka (the rate’s confirmed and non-refundable), but is PointsPros actually the solution to that? Actually I live in HK (hence a HK based site), so would you people at PointsPros be able to help me next time I get into a similar mishap?

  4. Ben,

    Is there any override system at Hyatt? I’m trying to book something and I can book two rooms for 24k/night. But, I can’t book a two bedroom suite* at any points price. Despite the fact that, at cash prices, the two regular rooms are $100 more combined than the two bedroom suite.

    I’d gladly pay $100/night +20k but they won’t take my money.

    * they are available

  5. @ Todd — Unfortunately not. You can try contacting the hotel directly and seeing if you can arrange a “buy up” or some other arrangement, but through Gold Passport there’s not really anything that can be done.

  6. @ Alvin — I would suggest just buying points when there’s a promotion. Unfortunately there’s nothing we could do to help with that if they’re not offering a promotion. Simply monitoring the blog for these kinds of promotions is your best bet.

  7. Lucky,

    In your opinion, would it be better to redeem free nights from chase at PH Toyko or Andaz Tokyo?


  8. @ Fan — While I haven’t done the Andaz, the Park Hyatt is iconic and an amazing hotel, so I’d definitely go with it if you haven’t done either yet.

  9. It doesn’t look like you can redeem Diamond Suite upgrades on Points+Cash stays anymore?

    Just tried to book and was told it must be a paid stay. A one off, or is this new?

  10. @ Donna — You absolutely can. Keep in mind that Points + Cash bookings only have access to a sub-set of suite inventory, so maybe that was the issue?

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