Hyatt is offering between 10% and 20% bonus points when you purchase up to 40,000 Gold Passport points by June 1. The 20% bonus kicks in when you buy 30,000 or more. With 36,000 points in exchange for $720, you’ll pay an effective rate of 2 cents per point after the discount. I normally value Gold Passport points at about 1.4-1.5 cents each, but you don’t need to rely on my opinion to see why this is still a bad deal for most people.
Ironically, it’s because Hyatt significantly improved the Gold Passport program this year with the introduction of Points + Cash rates. These allow you to redeem half as many points and provide a cash co-pay. It means you are effectively buying the second half of the points you would need for a standard award night each time you make a reservation. When you “purchase” points for a Points + Cash award you will pay anywhere from 1.2 to 2 cents per point, depending on the award category.
In other words, this limited-time offer to buy points is only as good as the most expensive Points + Cash award rate.
I prefer to use Points + Cash rates for Category 5 and 6 properties, many of which may be $300-600 per night. I am “buying” points at between 1.2 and 1.25 cents each even though I value them closer to 1.4 to 1.5 cents. The points I save can be used for free night awards at Category 7 properties.
It might still make sense to use Points + Cash awards at Category 7 and other hotels because these rates are eligible to earn elite status and also to apply a Diamond suite upgrade — unlike free night awards. It also might make sense to buy points if you don’t have any to begin with, but you could also transfer some Ultimate Rewards points that you earn cheaply with an Ink Bold or Ink Plus business card at an office supply store.
Wait… I’m starting to get personal again and consider unique situations. The cost of “buying” points in the form of Points + Cash awards is pretty objective. Bottom line: if you can buy points more cheaply through Points + Cash awards, you probably shouldn’t buy them through this promotion.