Are Hyatt’s Improved Dining & Spa Awards Worth It?

Filed Under: Hotels, Hyatt
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In December 2019, some changes were announced to World of Hyatt, the most significant of which is the introduction of peak and off-peak award pricing as of March 2020.

Another change that was announced at the time was Hyatt’s improved value proposition for Dining & Spa awards. That change kicked in this week, so in this post I wanted to take a closer look at that.

Hyatt Dining & Spa Experience Awards

Generally, the best way to redeem World of Hyatt points is towards free night awards. However, you can also redeem World of Hyatt points towards the cost of dining and spa experiences.

Back in the day, this used to be an awful value, though, with the changes that kicked in as of January 29, 2020, this is a better value than ever before. Is this how you should redeem your points, though?

New Hyatt Dining & Spa award chart

Here’s a chart showing the various redemption opportunities available with these new awards:

Points RequiredU.S. Dollar CreditValue Per Point
1,000$101.0 Cents
2,500$251.0 Cents
5,000$501.0 Cents
7,500$751.0 Cents
8,000$1001.25 Cents
12,000$1501.25 Cents
20,000$2501.25 Cents
35,000$5001.43 Cents
65,000$1,0001.54 Cents

As you can see, you can redeem anywhere from 1,000 points for a $10 credit, to 65,000 points for a $1,000 credit. The value per point ranges anywhere from 1.0 cents per point, to 1.54 cents per point.

1.54 cents per World of Hyatt point sounds like a solid deal, as personally I value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each. Is there a catch, though?

What can Hyatt Dining & Spa awards be used towards?

The exact redemptions that are allowed vary by hotel, but generally you can expect that these awards can be used for food and beverage purchases, spa and salon services, and spa and salon retail items.

On top of that, when charged to a member’s guest room, the following charges may be eligible:

laundry, dry cleaning, telephone charges, pay-per-view movies, parking, gift/retail shop, service charges, taxes (not including room taxes) and gratuities

Meanwhile the following charges are expressly prohibited from being eligible:

room rates, room taxes, alcoholic beverages (in certain jurisdictions), catering or banquet charges, and casino charges

What hotels are eligible for Hyatt Dining & Spa awards?

Not all Hyatt hotels participate in this program. Miraval, Destination, and Hyatt Residence Club properties are not eligible.

Furthermore, redemption of these certificates is limited to registered guests at Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Place, and Hyatt House hotels and resorts.

To be positive, you can search participating properties at this page.

How do you actually redeem a Hyatt Dining & Spa award?

You don’t need to redeem for these certificates in advance, but rather the World of Hyatt member should just inform the Hyatt employee at the eligible outlet that they’d like to redeem points towards their purchase at the outset. You’ll need to have your membership information, and should then be asked how many points you want to redeem.

If you’re a registered guest at a hotel then you can apply one of these at check-out towards multiple purchases over the course of a stay. If you’re not a registered guest then you’ll have to settle your folio at the particular outlet you’re at.

Other Hyatt Dining & Spa award basics

There are a few other things to potentially be aware of:

  • You don’t earn World of Hyatt points for any purchase for which you’re redeeming a Dining & Spa award, including the amount in excess of what you’re redeeming for; this is puzzling, but that’s what the terms state — “any charges for which a Dining, Spa and More Award is redeemed (including charges in excess of the award amount) are ineligible to earn points in the program”
  • You can redeem at most one award per transaction, and the transaction amount can be above or below the award amount; if it’s above, you can pay the difference in cash, while if it’s below, you don’t get any refund
  • The member has to be present to redeem this, so you can’t use this as a gift for someone you’re not traveling with

Are Hyatt’s Dining & Spa awards a good deal?

On the surface, being able to redeem World of Hyatt points for up to ~1.54 cents towards the cost of a purchase is a solid deal. Is it exceptional? No. But as a way of essentially “cashing out” your points to offset cash costs I think it’s very good.

I do think it’s important to create a more realistic valuation of these redemptions, though. When you redeem these awards you’re forgoing the opportunity to earn points on these purchases:

As a Globalist member I earn 10.5x points per dollar spent, which I value at a return of ~16% (1.5 cents per point). That’s an opportunity cost that’s worth factoring in, so in reality, I’d adjust the maximum value from 1.54 cents to ~1.3 cents.

Personally, this isn’t how I’d redeem my World of Hyatt points, though I do think many people could find this to be worthwhile for a splurge:

  • If you’re on a special trip and want to have some awesome spa treatments or a really extravagant meal that you wouldn’t otherwise pay for in cash, this could be a great way to do so
  • If you’re a business traveler who earns more World of Hyatt points than you know what to do with, this could be a great way to enhance stays

Bottom line

Hyatt’s improved redemption rates on dining and spa experiences has the potential to represent a solid deal. Getting 1.54 cents per Hyatt point towards the cost of a purchase is a good redemption, though do just factor in the points you’re forgoing, which brings down the redemption value a bit.

While I wouldn’t say this is the best way to redeem Hyatt points, this could be worth it if you want to splurge on some experiences you’d rather just not pay for in cash.

What do you make of Hyatt’s Dining & Spa awards? Could you see yourself redeeming points for them?

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Comments
  1. The problem is that hotel services are very over-priced and so the values cited are lower than they appear. You can often find similar food and spa services outside a hotel for half the price.

    I rarely spend money at a hotel other than the base room rate.

  2. Hyatt gets so much love… However their global footprint is so small compared with Hilton, Marriott.
    Never bothered to be loyal to them for that reason

  3. Question: At a high-end property (say a Park Hyatt) where you’re staying a few nights, do you need to pay each time you eat dinner (for example), which would mean you get less value for your points, or do hotels like that give you the option to put it on a “tab” and pay for everything when you check out? The second option would make for a much better use of points because you could pay with $200 worth of points instead of paying $50 worth of points 4 times. Any ideas?

  4. I have the same question as dfw88 — I’ve read the rules and it isn’t clear to me if it something that can done on checkout or if you have to do it for each charge. For a non globalist this could be a way to enhance a stay at a Park Hyatt with breakfast , dinner and other services.

  5. The way it is written, it would appear the usage of points needed to be at the time of dining or spa service and not at check-out (after adding these services to your room/folio); is this correct?

  6. Use the points for a room. There’s no reason to redeem Hyatt points for anything else unless you’re allergic to fine hotel rooms.

    However, I wonder if peak pricing lowers award redemptions?

  7. Lucky, i’ve read your blog for years… this is the first time I’ve posted. Thank you for all your insight. I figured it was time for me to give back some insight.

    I was excited when I heard about this on another blog. I’ve stayed at the Andaz Mayakoba resort a couple times, and because of its isolated nature, you practically have to eat on property (or the neighboring resorts). The restaurants on-site are really quite good, though naturally a bit pricey for Mexico.

    I reached out to them, and they confirmed all dining charges apply, including their Open Kitchen All-Inclusive Plan fees, and it can be settled once at check-out. This is huge because it effectively allows one to use WOH points to turn a points stay into an All-Inclusive points stay at a reasonable rate. Depending on the rate for the package (varies by season), it can be a good value versus a la carte, especally if one liberally has three meals a day, and orders poolside / beachside snacks and drinks.

    Your opportunity cost point is well-taken. however isn’t there always an opportunity cost when you use points versus paying cash. If you redeem points for a room stay, you forego the points you would have earned paying a cash rate, right? How is is this any different?

  8. “Furthermore, redemption of these certificates is limited to registered guests at Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Place, and Hyatt House hotels and resorts.”

    How many Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels have restaurants or spas?

  9. Something you don’t address are taxes. Using points should result in not having to pay a meal tax- like how a points stay usually has little or no taxes (both meal tax and hotel tax is normally a % of the total cash bill).

    So in somewhere like DC with a 10% meal tax, if a menu item cost 10 bucks it would require 1000 points. But if you paid cash, this item would actually cost 11 dollars. Not a big deal but does change the final math a bit.

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