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Hyatt “Bonus Journeys” Worldwide Promo Starts Tomorrow (Feb 15) – Details, Analysis, and Should You Mattress Run a “First Stay”?

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Summary of the Promotion

Starting tomorrow (February 15), Hyatt’s Spring 2020 worldwide promotion gets underway. It has the same name as Hyatt’s Fall 2019 promotion – “Bonus Journeys.” With this promotion, you can earn double points at all Hyatt hotels (including SLH properties when booked through Hyatt, MGM/MLife hotels, and Lindblad Expeditions), beginning with your second eligible stay during the promo period. In addition, Chase World of Hyatt cardholders can earn an additional 1,500 bonus points for each stay, starting with the second, that includes a weekend night (Fri/Sat/Sun). The promotion runs from February 15 through May 15, 2020.

Relevant Link

You can register for Hyatt’s Spring 2020 “Bonus Journeys” promotion and see full terms & conditions and FAQs at the landing page for the promotion here:

Details of the “Bonus Journeys” Promotion

Here are key details of Hyatt’s Spring 2020 “Bonus Journeys” promo:

  • You must register by March 31, 2020, and before your first stay
    • Go ahead and do this now, at the landing page link above
  • Bonus points:
    • Beginning on your second eligible stay, earn double points on eligible spend at Hyatt hotels during the promo period
    • For Chase World of Hyatt credit card holders only – Beginning on your second eligible stay, earn 1,500 bonus points on eligible spend during the promo period, for each stay that includes a weekend night (Friday, Saturday or Sunday night)
  • Double points are earned on World of Hyatt base points only
    • Base points are 5x per qualifying dollar of spend
      • Elite bonuses and other bonus points are excluded from doubling
    • Thus, double points will earn you an extra 5x/dollar
  • There is a cap on the number of points that can be earned through this promotion
    • Maximum 100,000 bonus points from the double points portion of the promotion
    • Maximum 100,000 bonus points from the World of Hyatt credit card bonus portion of the promotion
    • Maximum 200,000 total bonus points
  • Award stays “count” for this promotion
    • Thus, your “first stay” that makes you eligible for bonus points on subsequent stays can be an award stay
    • It appears that your “first stay” does not have to include a weekend night in order to qualify for the World of Hyatt credit card 1,500-point bonus on your second stay
  • You can only earn bonus points on one room at a time (“only the room occupied by the Member will count toward this promotion”)
  • MGM/MLife stays qualify for this promotion
  • SLH stays booked through Hyatt qualify for this promotion
  • Lindblad Expeditions stays booked through Hyatt qualify for this promotion
  • The FAQs say that amounts paid with a Hyatt gift card do not qualify for this promotion (see FAQ #12) – we’re not sure whether this will actually be true in practice
  • If you have a stay that began before February 15 but your check-out is/was on or after February 15, this stay does qualify as the “first stay” of the promotion, as long as you have registered prior to check-out
  • You must check out by May 15 to qualify for the promotion
    • If you have a stay that begins before May 15, but check-out is after May 15, that stay will not be eligible for the promotion
  • This promotion should stack with other applicable Hyatt points promotions, such as Hyatt’s ongoing offer of 500 bonus points for staying at new Hyatt hotels
    • As of today, there are 29 Hyatt locations eligible for the “new hotel” promotion

Our Analysis of the Spring 2020 “Bonus Journeys” Promotion

We like this promotion a lot, except for the fact that bonus points begin only with your second stay during the promotional period. With the extra bonus, it can be especially valuable for Chase World of Hyatt cardholders on weekend stays.

We give Hyatt points a baseline value of 1.5 cents per point. Thus, when this promotion applies, here’s what you’ll be earning prior to any elite bonuses or credit card spend:

  • On all stays starting with your 2nd stay during the promotion period:
    • 5x base points per dollar
    • 5x bonus points per dollar
    • Total of 10x points per dollar (points rebate of about 15%)
      • Plus any other points you earn from your credit card, elite status and/or other applicable promotions
  • On stays that qualify for the World of Hyatt credit card bonus:
    • 5x base points per dollar
    • 5x bonus points per dollar
    • Additional 1,500 bonus points
    • Total of 10x points per dollar (points rebate of about 15%), plus 1,500 bonus points
      • Plus any other points you earn from your credit card, elite status and/or other applicable promotions
      • On a stay with $200 in spend, you’d earn 2,000 + 1,500 = 3,500 bonus points, which would be a points rebate of more than 26%!

Taking this analysis a step further, let’s look at a couple of specific examples for points earning – we’ll assume that the member is a Hyatt Explorist elite paying with a World of Hyatt credit card:

  • On a weeknight stay (2nd+ stay during the promotional period):
    • 5x base points per dollar
    • 5x bonus points per dollar
    • 1x bonus points Explorist elite 20% bonus
    • 4x points per dollar for paying with the World of Hyatt card
    • Total of 15x points per dollar (points rebate of about 22.5%)
  • On a stay that includes a weekend night (2nd+ stay):
    • 5x base points per dollar
    • 5x bonus points per dollar
    • 1x bonus points Explorist elite 20% bonus
    • 4x points per dollar for paying with the World of Hyatt credit card
    • 1,500 bonus points
    • Total of 15x points per dollar + 1,500 bonus points
      • Again, using a $200 stay as an example, the member would earn 3,000 + 1,500 = 4,500 bonus points (for a total points rebate of almost 34%!!!)

Those are fantastic points rebates, especially for Chase World of Hyatt cardholders on a stay that includes a weekend night. In addition, you may be able to push your earnings up even higher by stacking other available promotions such as the 500 bonus points for staying at a new Hyatt hotel.

Does It Make Sense to “Mattress Run” a “First Stay” Under This Promotion?

In one sense, the answer to this question is straightforward – it makes sense to mattress run a first stay if the bonus points you would earn from your second stay exceed the number of points you’d spend to mattress run a first night.

For example, if you have a Category 1 hotel that’s reasonably accessible to you, you can mattress run a first stay for 5,000 points. This would be worth it if your next stay is a paid stay and you would earn more than 5,000 bonus points on that stay (which would require eligible spend of at least $1,000).

To add a little more subtlety to this decision, consider that you’d also earn 1 elite night credit on your “mattress run” stay. If that elite night would be valuable to you in qualifying for Hyatt elite status (especially Globalist), you might be willing to take a bit of a loss on the points earning in order to get the extra elite night credit. Of course, this early in the year, it’s difficult to tell for sure whether 1 night credit would be a difference-maker.

If you’re using a paid rate for your mattress run, the decision process is similar, just a little trickier. In that situation, you’d need to assign a value to the extra points you’d earn (from the bonus on your next stay plus points-earning on the paid-rate mattress run stay) and see if that exceeds the all-in price of a paid night. In our thinking, the points-earning would have to exceed the paid amount by a nice margin for this to be worth it – perhaps as a rule of thumb, we’d want to be “purchasing” the bonus points for about 1.2 cents per point or less for this to be worth it. And again, the extra elite night credit may add some value to the mattress run stay.

In our personal case, it looks like we would benefit from a mattress run stay. Our first “normal” expected Hyatt stay during the promotion period would be during mid-March. We expect that the base rate will be around $1,000, plus we expect the stay to include a Sunday (weekend) night so we could get the extra 1,500 bonus points. In this situation, we’d earn an extra 6,500 bonus points through the promotion (5,000 from double points + 1,500 from the World of Hyatt credit card bonus). We have a Category 1 Hyatt nearby, so we can do a mattress run stay for 5,000 points. This would put us 1,500 points to the good, plus we’d pick up an elite night credit that might help us toward requalifying for Globalist status this year.

What are your thoughts on Hyatt’s Spring 2020 “Bonus Journeys” promotion? Will you be making a first-stay mattress run? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!


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2 thoughts on “Hyatt “Bonus Journeys” Worldwide Promo Starts Tomorrow (Feb 15) – Details, Analysis, and Should You Mattress Run a “First Stay”?

  1. Michael

    I’d say this 100% depends on your upcoming planned stays during the promotion really.

    But let’s take this a step further. Is it worth mattress running a more significant number of weekend award nights during this promo if it’s the difference between making globalist and not? 5 nights? 10? 15?

    3500 points per elite night credit is kinda compelling. Less if you happen to have a cat 1 that would qualify for a low season booking after whatever the date is in march (that would be 2000 per).

    Let’s just say you did 15 nights times 3500 a night or 52500 and that gets you from 45 to 60 on the year. Moving from 45 to 69 does all of the following:
    1) earns globalist
    2) earns 4 suite night awards
    3) earns a cat 1-7 free night cert.

    That seems like a pretty decent useable of 52.5k points to me.

    Less if you can snag any 2k off peak nights.

    Thoughts?

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hi Michael – Great comment and thoughts here. I like this kind of thinking. And I agree that in the situation you describe, this would be a reasonable long-term mattress run strategy. A lot would depend on how much of pain it is for you to check in and out that many times, since you’d be talking about a succession of 1-night stays, none of which could be back-to-back nights at the same hotel. But maybe the biggest challenge would be planning to that level of detail when it’s this early in the year and so many things can change between now and year-end. Thanks again for reading and for the case study strategy! ~Craig

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