Planning the Trip of a Lifetime on a Small Budget: Booking Luxury Hyatt Hotels on Points


We have all heard the saying “you get what you pay for” implying the less you pay, the less value you get out of it. In most situations, I totally agree with that statement, however with traveling on points & miles this is not the case AT ALL. 

Today, I am going to talk about the logistics behind booking luxury hotels using points instead of real money and the two different ways that lead me to three free nights at a luxury hotel in Paris! 

As stated in my previous blog post, James and I stayed three nights at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme during our honeymoon and it was magnificent! We loved the level of service we received, the location of the hotel and the overall feel & look of our room and the hotel surroundings. We saved thousands of dollars by booking our stay with points (see my previous post for a breakdown of the savings) and today I will explain how we did it exactly.

First off, when planning a trip I almost always look to see if there is a Hyatt we can stay at. Not only because their hotels are almost always clean & beautiful, but because their hotel points give you SO much more value as opposed to programs like Hilton or Marriott.
I have always wanted to stay at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme. Park Hyatt is Hyatt’s luxury brand of hotels and when something is free, why not go for top shelf?

The front of the Park Hyatt Paris
Here are the steps I took to stay here for free:

Step 1: I applied for the Chase Hyatt Card.


This card is the freaking best for getting the largest value on a Hyatt hotel. Once you get approved for the card and spend $1,000 in 3 months you will get a certificate for 2 free nights at ANY Hyatt location in the world. This is HUGE savings if you use it at the right property. 

The free night certificates are only valid one year from the date they are issued, so you will need to plan your trip within that one year time-frame or hold off from applying for the card until you know when you will go on your trip.

In addition to the two free nights, you receive 5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user to your account. It’s super easy to do and I recommended adding the additional user during the application so you don’t have to call Chase later on. This step isn't required, but 100% recommended. 

A breakdown of the card:
  • 2 free nights at any Hyatt after spending $1,000 in the first three months of opening the card
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user (& that user making one purchase…could be a pack of gum for $1.00)
  • Automatic upgrade to Hyatt Gold Platinum membership which includes free internet, late checkouts and many other benefits. 
  • No annual fee for the first year ($75 after)
  • 1 free night on your card membership anniversary for any category 1-4 property
PRO TIP: I HIGHLY recommend you not use these two free nights at just any Hyatt hotel. Meaning, use it on the expensive hotels, not the cheap ones! You want the BEST value for these certificates as you can only get these once every 24 months (per the Chase website). Stays at the Park Hyatt Sydney, Park Hyatt Tokyo, or Park Hyatt Maldives Hadhaa for example, will all give you an enormous value as these hotels are normally very expensive. If you wanted to stay at an average priced Hyatt, I would recommended using Hyatt points and saving the "certificate option" for a time you want to stay at a luxury property.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadhaa



Park Hyatt Tokyo

After I spent $1,000 on my card, I received the free night certificates via email the next billing cycle. BOOM: two free nights down, one to go...

Step 2: Transfer 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my Hyatt Gold Passport account

To stay at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, it costs 30,000 Hyatt points per night. Since I had just got the Hyatt credit card, it seemed that there was no way I would be able to earn enough Hyatt points for another free night, right? WRONG. This is where I introduce you to the holy grail of the points & miles world: Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.  

There are many ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) Points, but the easiest way is to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card or the Chase Ink credit card. After approval and spending the minimum amount required you will receive a large bonus (right now it’s 50,000 points). This is the easiest and quickest way to earn a bunch of UR points at once. 

Once you have the UR points, you can transfer them to other hotel and airline programs at a 1:1 transfer ratio (which means you don’t lose any points during the transfer). What is one of my favorite programs to transfer Chase UR points to? You guessed it! The Hyatt Gold Passport program

Here is how to transfer the points:

Go to https://ultimaterewardspoints.chase.com and sign in using your normal Chase login.
Sign in to the Ultimate Rewards website and hover over the "Use Points" drop down. Select "Transfer to Travel Partners"


If you don't already have a Hyatt Passport Member ID, sign up for one here.

FYI points can only be transferred in increments of 1,000

After this page, it will let you review & verify that everything is correct before you submit. After you submit, VOILA! The points will automatically be added to your Hyatt account and ready for you to book your room on the Hyatt.com website. It's that simple. 

There you have it! Three free nights at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme. Let me know your travel plans in the comments, I would love to hear them!

Next up: My full review of Paris, the hotel and everything we did there. Also, look forward to a detailed breakdown of how to book a free stopover flight.

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Apply for my FAVORITE credit card I have had for years and get 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (enough for a round trip ticket to Europe!) Apply here: Chase Ink Bold
 

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