Massive Middle Age Miles hat tip to very astute reader Boris, who sent a comment over the weekend suggesting the strategy discussed in this article.
Introduction and Background
Sometimes in our efforts to get creative, we over-complicate things.
Last week, after a fair bit of creative thought and experimentation, we published a very popular article outlining a multi-step strategy to generate Hyatt elite night credits at minimal cost:
- Middle Age Miles: How to Manufacture Hyatt Elite Night Credits for Minimal Cost – Without Leaving Your Couch!* (August 28, 2019)
The strategy we suggested in that article is effective, but it’s somewhat complicated. You can read the details in the prior article. In short, it involves online gift card purchases using the Chase World of Hyatt credit card and Ebates/Rakuten shopping portal, then the Bravo “Tip or Pay” app to liquidate the gift cards online. Assuming that you use our baseline value of 1.5 cents per point for both Amex Membership Rewards (MR) points and Hyatt points, the net cost of this strategy ended up being $31.92 for 2 elite night credits, less than $16 per elite night.
Boris’ Astute Insight
After studying our article, reader Boris provided an astute insight, which basically boils down to – Why are you messing with gift cards for this? Can’t you just make payments directly on Bravo to a “friendly” account using the World of Hyatt card and get the same result?
For full context, here is Boris’ complete comment:
Hi, I have a quick question: why not just using bravo to send 5000$ to your receipt account (using hyatt credit card), which will cost you 5000*0.02=100$ (do this in 10 days) and you can earn 5000 hyatt points? Will this be much easier? Thanks!
This is brilliant. It’s simple and direct, and it will work. Frankly, we’re a little embarrassed that we didn’t come up with this strategy and suggest it from the start. (As an explanation – (1) We’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with GCs lately, and so we’ve had GCs on the mind; and (2) We originally thought that the acquisition costs for the GCs would be lower, and didn’t re-analyze the strategy sufficiently after we discovered the actual total costs of acquisition.)
The Modified Strategy
To implement the modified strategy, you’ll need only these tools:
(1) The Chase World of Hyatt card – You earn 2 Hyatt elite night credits for each $5,000 that you spend on the card.
- If you don’t already have the Chase World of Hyatt card, you can apply using our referral link here: Apply for the Chase World of Hyatt Card
- The current sign-up bonus is 50,000 Hyatt points – 25,000 after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening, and an additional 25,000 points after you spend a total of $6,000 within the first 6 months of account opening.
- Unfortunately, this card is subject to the Chase 5/24 Rule, so you can’t get it if you have 5 or more new personal card accounts opened within the past 24 months.
(2) The Bravo “Tip or Pay” app – The Bravo app should allow you to make person-to-person payments using a credit card as a funding method, for a 2% fee, just by using the app on your phone.
- Note that the initial set-up for Bravo usually requires you to enter a credit card and validate your identity.
- It may also be necessary for your Bravo account to be “seasoned” with a few credit card transactions and/or aged a bit before they allow you to change payment cards.
- With our Bravo account, we have been able to change payment cards with no problem, including with VGCs and MCGCs, although this won’t be necessary in this modified strategy
- Note that Bravo has volume limitations – If your payment is $500 or more, it incurs a higher fee (3.5%+ instead of 2%).
- And we’re not sure whether that payment limit is per person, per day, or something less restrictive. We haven’t pushed the limits on this, as Bravo is far too useful to us to risk being banned.
(3) Two Bravo accounts – One that you’ll use to send payments, and a second that you’ll use to receive the payments that will be directly deposited into a “friendly” bank account
- It will probably work best to have 2 separate people have these 2 Bravo accounts
- That said, it may be possible for a single person to have 2 Bravo accounts, particularly if you have 2 different phones and phone numbers you can use
Implementing the Strategy
This strategy is remarkably simple:
(1) Enter your World of Hyatt credit card as the payment method on your Bravo “payment” account. (Note – You can only have one payment method on Bravo at a time.)
(2) Send a payment of $490.19 from your Bravo “payment” account to your Bravo “receipt” account. Each payment will incur a fee of $9.81. The total charge for each payment will be exactly $500.00.
(3) Repeat this process 9 more times, with each payment on a separate day. This will give you 10 charges of $500 each on your World of Hyatt credit card, for a total of $5,000.00.
With that, you’ve spent exactly enough to earn 2 Hyatt elite night credits – without leaving your couch! Your 2 Hyatt elite night credits should post to your World of Hyatt account when your next credit card statement closes.
Accounting for This Strategy – How Much Does It Cost, and What Do You Earn?
Here’s a review of the finances for this strategy:
Fees – The fees here are 10 * $9.81 for total fees of $98.10.
Earnings – The Bravo transactions are unbonused spend on the World of Hyatt card, earning 1x Hyatt point for each dollar, resulting in a total of exactly 5,000 Hyatt points. At our baseline value of 1.5 cents per Hyatt point, these points are worth about $75.00.
Net Cost – Fees of $98.10 less points earned of $75.00 results in a net cost of $23.10 for earning the 2 Hyatt elite nights. That’s a mere $11.55 per elite night.
This is better than our original GC strategy, which resulted in a net cost of $15.96 per elite night – not to mention that it’s far less complicated!
Looking at it another way, you will have earned 5,000 Hyatt points at a total cost of $98.10, making your acquisition cost 1.96 cents per point. If you can make high-value Hyatt redemptions with these points, you might feel like this strategy isn’t really costing you anything at all.
In our previous article, we went through a back-of-the-envelope calculation to assess the value of an elite night credit with Hyatt to a person who is trying to reach 60 nights for Globalist status. We won’t repeat the analysis here, but we estimated that each Hyatt elite night we earn in order to achieve Globalist status is worth about $40. Using this number, the value of the 2 elite night credits we received from implementing this strategy would be $80 – comfortably greater than our net cost of $23.10. And at the margin, where you’re either reaching 60 nights for Globalist or your not, the value you assign to the last 2 nights that cause you to reach Globalist may be far higher than $80.
What do you think about this even-better strategy for generating Hyatt elite night credits? Any other ideas? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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