FROM THE COMMENTS BELOW, Gary brings up the point that I don’t actually have to use a Hyatt Visa to get the 20% bonus, which changes a bunch of the math. After reviewing the T&C, it doesn’t actually state any requirement to pay with the Hyatt Visa card. In fact, the regular T&C don’t even mention the Hyatt Visa at all. Under a separate T&C specifically just for credit card holders, the issue is addressed as follows:
HYATT CREDIT CARD BONUS: During the Promotion Period, registered Hyatt Gold Passport members with a valid Hyatt Credit Card will receive an additional 600 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after every three (3) Eligible Nights, up to 45 Eligible Nights. The maximum earning during the Promotion Period for Hyatt Credit Card holders is 54,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points (45,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points from the current Hyatt Gold Passport Promotion plus 9,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points from this additional promotion for being a Hyatt Credit Card member).
Based on this, I’ve adjusted my math accordingly below.
Maximizing your earning is a big part of the points and miles game. I preach it constantly. And yet, I’m openly contemplating violating this creed during Hyatt’s upcoming promotion. Am I doing the right thing?
Let’s look at the choices.
I could pay with my Hyatt Visa card. I would earn 3 Hyatt Gold Passport points per dollar spent. Plus, because of the promotion, I would earn an extra 20% bonus, or 3.6 GP points per dollar spent.
View From the Wing detailed a strategy last year where you can earn 5% cash back at Hyatts. It involves an American Express Business Gold or Platinum card. I don’t have this card, and don’t actually carry any cards that currently earn Membership Rewards points from AMEX. I love my Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX, but haven’t had a “regular” AMEX in over a decade. So, not really an option for me, but definitely an option for others.
UPDATE: Reader Amol was nice enough to remind me that the SPG Business AMEX also earns OPEN benefits.
But, I’m actually leaning towards using my Ink Bold card. Why? Based on my recent spending and redemptions, I’ve ended up with a much bigger balance of Hyatt Gold Passport points than Ultimate Rewards points (the currency you earn using Ink Bold). The Ultimate Rewards points are very flexible. I can transfer them to United Airlines, British Airways, Ritz-Carlton (and Hyatt) just to name a few. Diversity is also a key in the frequent travel game, and it’s something that carries more weight right now based on my account balances.
I generally value Hyatt points at slightly less than 2 cents (call it 1.7 or 1.8 cents per point). I value United miles at roughly 2 cents and Ultimate Rewards points at slightly higher than that based on the flexibility. Everyone has their own relative values and I feel pretty comfortable with mine.
The argument against the Ink Bold are just the gap between 2 Ink Bold points and 3 Hyatt GP points. Even if you say the GP points are worth 10% less than United miles, that still means I’m earning the equivalent of roughly 2.7 GP points per dollar spent (adjusted for the difference in currency).
What are your thoughts? Go for the greatest value or continue to diversify?
Bottom line, how much value would you give up to make sure you were diversified?