Yesterday, we published a lengthy article analyzing pros and cons of whether we should go for top-tier Hyatt Globalist elite status in 2019. One of the concepts we touched on was the potential to “manufacture” elite night credits to get up to the hefty 60-night requirement for Globalist.
After we published the article, we thought a lot more about potential “manufactured elite night” options and what they might cost. We believe there are 3 options – one based on spend on the Chase World of Hyatt credit card and two other “mattress run”-type options. We’ve taken a closer look at each of these options, and we’ll present them here.
With that introduction, here is the sequel to “Going for Globalist in 2019?“: How to Manufacture Elite Nights with Hyatt – Options and Costs.
Options to Manufacture Elite Nights
We believe there are 3 options to manufacture elite nights with Hyatt:
- Spend on the Chase World of Hyatt card – earn 2 elite nights with each $5,000 in spend.
- Stay (mattress run) at cheap Hyatt properties on the lowest paid rate you can find.
- Stay (mattress run) at Category 1 Hyatt properties for 5,000 points per night.
In evaluating at the “stay” options, it’s important to note that now is a great time for this approach. The current Hyatt promotion awards 1,500 Hyatt points per night for stays at Hyatt House and Hyatt Place hotels (starting with your second stay), up to 50 nights. Award stays qualify for the promotion, so you can offset the 5,000-point cost by the 1,500-point bonus you’d get each night.
We’re going to evaluate the “stay” options as if the current promo applies. However, be sure to note that if you do this after the current promo ends on May 15, you’ll have to re-calculate based on whatever promotion (or none) is in effect at that time.
1. Spend on the Chase World of Hyatt Card
You can earn 2 elite nights with each $5,000 in spend on the Chase World of Hyatt card. So, if you hold or can be approved for this Hyatt credit card, this option is available to you. (Note that the Chase World of Hyatt card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 Rule, so if you’ve gotten 5 or more personal cards within the last 24 months, you won’t be approved for a new Hyatt card.) I was very fortunate to be approved for this card in October 2018, just a few days before the 5/24 Rule went into effect for it!
To evaluate how much this would “cost” to use this method, we’ll use the same methodology as in our recent article regarding Big-Spend Bonuses. We discuss it in more detail in that article if you’re interested. But in short, we assume that there’s a 2.5% “gross cost” to the spend (either actual cost of generating inorganic spend, or opportunity cost because you could use a different card), then we offset with what you’d earn on the spend, to arrive at a “net cost” figure.
For spending $5,000 on the Chase World of Hyatt card, the “net cost” calculation looks like this:
- Net cost for $5,000 in spend
- Gross cost = $5,000 * 2.5% = $125
- Earnings on spend = 1 Hyatt point/dollar * $5k = 5,000 Hyatt points, times our baseline value of 1.5 cents per point = $75
- NET COST = $50
Thus, it’ll “net cost” us about $50 to earn 2 additional Hyatt elite nights using this method. If we want to know how much the net cost will be for various numbers of elite nights we might need, we can just multiply it out:
- 10 elite nights = 5 * $50 = $250
- 20 elite nights = 10 * $50 = $500
- 30 elite nights = 15 * $50 = $750
- 40 elite nights = 20 * 50 = $1,000
The next question would be whether this is truly available to you. There aren’t a lot of people who can organically spend the $100,000 needed to earn 40 elite nights on the Chase World of Hyatt card. So, do you have an inorganic spend method that would work?
For us, personally, this is somewhat challenging. Our “best” method of inorganic spend would probably be Plastiq. (We don’t do classic Visa gift card-to-money order inorganic spend and don’t have any desire to do so.) But even with Plastiq, we face some limitations that would make it tough – one of them being the limitations that Plastiq imposes on Chase personal Visa cards. There’s also the issue of the tracking and bank deposits that would be required.
Your own situation may vary in terms of the amount of organic spend available to you and whether and to what extent you participate in inorganic spend. In any event, this is certainly not a slam dunk, even if you think Hyatt elite benefits are worth the additional net cost of generating elite night credits. Thus, we wanted to also explore stay/mattress run options.
2. Stay/Mattress Run at Cheap Hyatt Properties at the Lowest Rate You Can Find
If you have a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House that has low rates and is near enough to you to make this work, you can mattress run for Hyatt elite nights at a pretty low net cost. This is especially true during the current Hyatt promotion where you’ll receive 1,500 Hyatt bonus points per night, starting with your second stay.
In addition, if you hold a Citi Prestige, you can set up these stays to take advantage of the 4th-night-free benefit. Using this and booking 4-night stays, you’ll receive statement credit for one-fourth of your total room rate. This can bring the per-night net cost for a mattress run down substantially.
If you don’t hold the Citi Prestige, then use your card with the best earning at Hyatt hotels. The best-in-class card is the Chase World of Hyatt card, which earns 4x Hyatt points. Next best would be a Chase Sapphire Reserve or US Bank Altitude Reserve, earning 3x points in the travel bonus category.
– Our Local Example
In our location in the northern part of the Dallas area, the best nightly rate we could find was a $67/night room rate at the Hyatt House Dallas/Richardson. We haven’t visited this hotel, but its location is actually fine, in the tech-heavy Richardson Telecom Corridor. The location is within 10 miles of our house, roughly a 20-minute drive.
After you add taxes of $36.85, the total all-in cost for this 4-night stay becomes $304.85. We don’t think this rate is a fluke; the hotel is available for the same price the following week and we’ve previously noticed it being a low-cost option among local Hyatt properties. Note that this is a corporate rate that is available to us, but the Hyatt Member Rate and AAA rate were only $5 more per night at $72.
If you hold a Citi Prestige card, you can book this through the Citi Aspire Concierge to use the 4th-night-free benefit. In this example, the 4th-night-free benefit would result in a statement credit of $67. This would bring your all-in out-of-pocket cost down to $237.85 ($59.46 per night).
In addition, during the current Hyatt promo, you would earn:
- Hyatt promo bonus points = 1,500/night * 4 nights = 6,000 Hyatt points * 1.5 cents per Hyatt point = $90 points rebate
- Hyatt regular points earning (using the Explorist earning rate) = $268 * 6 Hyatt points per dollar = 1,608 Hyatt points * 1.5 cents per Hyatt point = $24.12 points rebate
- ThankYou Points (TYPs) from Citi Prestige = $237.85 * 3 TYPs/$ = 713 TYPs * 1.25 cents per TYP = $8.91 points rebate
- TOTAL VALUE OF POINTS REBATES = $123.03
The points you earn from this stay bring your effective “net cost” for this 4-night mattress run down to $114.82 total, or $28.71 per night.
If you don’t have 4th-night-free but paid with the Chase World of Hyatt card, you’d earn 1,219 Hyatt points from the credit card spend ($304.85 * 4 Hyatt points per dollar). Total Hyatt points earning would be 6,000 from the promo + 1,608 from regular earning + 1,219 points from the card, for a total of 8,827 Hyatt points. At 1.5 cents per Hyatt point, the points rebate would be $132.40. Your effective “net cost'” would be $172.45, or $43.11 per night.
In addition, if you don’t use the 4th-night-free benefit, this gives you much more flexibility to book however many nights you may need, in a way that’s most convenient for you. For example, if you want 20 nights, you might simply book a single 20-night block rather than making 5 separate 4th-night-free reservations.
And finally, if you can actually use the hotel nights, all the better. If the hotel is close to where you live, you could at least stop by for free breakfast each morning!
3. Stay/Mattress Run Using Points at a Category 1 Hyatt Place or Hyatt House
Our next potential strategy is similar in that it involves a mattress-run stay, but you’d pay for your reservations using Hyatt points rather than a paid rate. This method has the very helpful benefit of having no out-of-pocket costs!
The downside to this approach is that you’ll have to have a sufficient stash of points to begin with (either Hyatt points themselves, or Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points that you could transfer to Hyatt for this purpose). The other downside is that it turns out to be a little more “expensive” in terms of net cost, at least if you value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents per point.
Again, during the current Hyatt promotion, you earn 1,500 Hyatt bonus points per night (starting with your second stay), including on award stays. This would bring the net cost down to 3,500 Hyatt points per night. At 1.5 cents per Hyatt point, that’s a net cost of $52.50 per night.
That’s a little more “expensive” than our paid-rate options, although of course your own mileage may vary depending on what Hyatt options are available near you. But note that it may be worth the extra “cost” in order to keep from spending any money out-of-pocket, plus convenience factors may come into play (they definitely would for us).
– Our Local Example
We’re very fortunate to have many Hyatt Category 1 hotels located within a few miles of us. All of these hotels are bookable for 5,000 Hyatt points per night, and award availability is wide open. There are actually perhaps twice as many as are shown in our screenshot here, but this gives you a sampling:
From these (and other) local Category 1 hotels, the Hyatt Place Dallas/Plano (bottom hotel in the screenshot above) is incredibly convenient for us. It’s literally 5 minutes from our house. It’s definitely in a good area of town. It’s convenient to several good restaurants, and it’s very accessible to shopping at the nice Willow Bend Mall located almost directly across the Dallas North Tollway.
What if we wanted a 20-night mattress run stay on points at the Hyatt Place Dallas/Plano? It looks to be no problem, by booking a single stay:
Under the current Hyatt promo, as long as you make sure that this is your second stay or greater during the promo period, you’d earn 1,500 Hyatt bonus points per night. For 20 nights, this would be a total of 30,000 Hyatt points. Subtract those from your 100,000 point outlay, and your “net cost” is 70,000 Hyatt points. At 1.5 cents each, that would be $1,050, which as we noted above comes to $52.50 per night.
Are Any of These Methods Worth It?
That’s a question that you’ll have to answer for yourself, given your own individual situation. Taking the “points mattress run” scenario we just examined: If 20 manufactured nights would get you to Globalist, which you could then use for week-long guaranteed suite upgrades at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and the Park Hyatt Syndey (and perhaps 2 other places), then I’d say it’s an easy choice to do the mattress run. In other situations, maybe not so much.
For purposes of this article, the important thing is that we’ve identified the various methods you might use to manufacture elite nights with Hyatt and gained an understanding of how much each method would cost. We hope this helps you think through the choices and ultimately, helps you live your travel dreams!
What do you think? Would you mattress run at Hyatt or use inorganic spend to reach Globalist? Please let us know in the Comments!
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