Middle Age Miles

An Even Better Way to Manufacture Hyatt Elite Night Credits Without Leaving Your Couch

hyatt elite night credits manufacture MS chase world of hyatt visa bravo tip or pay app
Grand Hyatt Kauai [featured image courtesy Hyatt]

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:

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.
Chase World of Hyatt Visa card

(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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8 thoughts on “An Even Better Way to Manufacture Hyatt Elite Night Credits Without Leaving Your Couch

  1. Stephen

    Every $5,000 spent can also potentially be worth a third elite night credit considering category 1 properties only cost 5,000 points. That obviously depends on if Hyatt has any category 1 properties where you want to travel, but we’ve gotten a lot of value from category 1 hotels over the last couple of years.

    The math also changes depending on how many elite nights you already have. For example, for one of the Milestone Rewards you can choose 5,000 points or a $100 Hyatt gift card, so either one of those is potentially worth another elite night if you manufacture to that level.

    Once you’ve reached 60 nights, every 10 nights above that you can choose another reward, one of which is 10,000 bonus points. Spending $25,000 on the World of Hyatt card at that stage can therefore earn you a total of 35,000 points if you’d prefer the points over another suite upgrade award.

    If you used those 35,000 points for seven nights in a category 1 property, you’d only need to manufacture another three nights (well, four given that you earn two at a time) before you’d get to choose another 10,000 bonus points. That means if you start at 60 nights and spend $35,000, you could earn 55,000 points if your points were used at category 1 properties.

    That won’t make sense for many people seeing as they’d already have Globalist status which is the whole purpose of what you’re focusing on, but it’s given me something to think about considering how frequently we stay in category 1 Hyatt Places and the fact that I’m already at 60+ nights this year.

    If I’m doing the math correctly, spending $35,000 would cost $686.71 in fees. If I got 11 nights of accommodation out of the points I earned along the way, that works out to be $62.43 per night. While that’s not a killer deal, if I came across Hyatt properties that only cost $62.43 per night including tax I’d jump on it, so it’s definitely worth considering.

    I’ll have to double check my math though – I was up super-late last night, so I could’ve made an egregious error in my calculations!

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hi Stephen – Thanks for the detailed and in-depth thoughts.

      It took me a few minutes to work my way through your analysis, but I think your math is on-point. I agree with you, 11 Cat 1 nights at $62.43 each isn’t a killer deal, but it’s very solid. And it can be even a little better than that if you can stack it with a promo like the current promo for 500 bonus points when you book through the Hyatt app.

      To pull back for a second from the focus on Cat 1 hotels and take a more general look at it – If you spend $25k to get 10 nights that will take you from 60 to 70: Total fees would be $490.50 ($9.81 * 50 transactions). You’d earn 35,000 points. At a 1.5 cpp valuation, those points are “worth” about $525 – so maybe you’re a little ahead, ballpark. Or put another way, you’re “buying” Hyatt points at 1.4 cents per point. That’s decent. But it takes 50 days’ worth of transactions to get there. And it would tie up your Bravo account that might be used for other more lucrative activities.

      Circling back to your specific “use case” for the points – The fact that this would result in a very solid deal for you underscores the point that this strategy would work for someone like you who knows they can use the Hyatt points effectively. It’s probably best for someone scoring high-value Hyatt redemptions at 2 cpp or better. ~Craig

  2. Adam

    The real question is: how high is the risk of chase shutting down an account for the number of transactions required to make on the Hyatt card for any real significant gain this way? I guess any MS method has a risk, but this one? My spidey senses are going off !

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hi Adam – Thanks for the comment, and good point. I don’t recall seeing any data points of Chase shutdowns based on transaction activity like you’d be doing in this strategy, aside from a “cycling limits”-type situation. That said, the charging activity would be unusual enough that I could see it triggering Chase’s attention at some point. It seems more likely that it could result in a fraud inquiry than anything else, and that could be cleared by a confirmation that the charges are legitimate.

      Whatever risk exists, it seems like it could be mitigated by spacing out the transactions a bit, rather than hitting it every day.

      If you or anyone else knows of any DPs of shutdown risk based on similar activity to this strategy, please let me know. Thanks! ~Craig

      1. KS

        hi…appreciate all the info from your series…may I know, if you don’t mind, what the bravo transaction codes as, in your chase statement/account…as in the category of the merchant…thanks…

        1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

          Hi KS – I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the articles! On my Chase online statement, Bravo just shows up in the “Personal” category. The merchant is “BT BRAVO TIP OR PAY” and it shows a Zip Code of 85037. I tried to look it up online in the Visa Supplier Locator, but I couldn’t find it.

          Happy Holidays! ~Craig

  3. HS

    Ever since I saw Boris’ comment, my head has been spinning because, yeah, if you really like (and use) Hyatt, becoming a Globalist makes the experience(s) really sing. And, if you are in that camp, getting 2 cents of real value off a Hyatt point is not hard. Stephen has well covered my first take on this — that once you factor in all the nice stuff that Hyatt gives you en route, it’s an even better deal. He has well-covered it from the standpoint of cashing in at category 1 properties). I’ll just add here that it makes a lot of sense at the other end, too, since at a category 7 the late checkouts, the breakfasts, and suite upgrades that come along with Globalist status can be of real value. (In fact, I would say the optimal mix of Hyatt usage is a combination of categories 1, 2 and 7, but that is veering away from the topic at hand…)

    Which is to ask Adam’s question: Can we really get away with this? And, if so, how much? I would know nothing of Bravo had I not read about here, but now having googled around, I’m wondering if this is like Sherlock Holmes’ dog that didn’t bark: Is the fact that it’s hard to find bad news about using Bravo for MS like this an indication that folks are doing it with no problem? See, for example, the comparatively thin discussion at Doctor of Credit: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bravo-app-review-pay-or-tip-people-standing-nearby-2-transaction-fee/ (I especially like the guy who is paying his wife to take care of the kids!)

    If I were a really good citizen, I’d be generating DPs, not speculating idly. Having already requalified as Globalist, however, I don’t dare rock the boat (derail the gravy train?) Next year this time, though….

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hi HS – Thanks for the good thoughts and your report on your legwork to research Bravo further. Hopefully this strategy will still work next year when you may need it! ~Craig

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