Booking a hotel with points may seem straightforward, but it can actually be quite challenging. The first step is finding a hotel with availability, but that’s not the only consideration. Hotels often restrict the number of rooms available to customers who pay with points, as they generate more revenue from paid stays than from those using credit card points.
Hotels have gotten good at hiding how they limit award inventory. Some will give special names to a room type so it’s no longer considered a standard room. Other hotels will make standard rooms only bookable with a package. There are hotels that only offer accessible rooms for award stays, which is a different level of trickery in my book.
After getting through all the obstacles, you finally find a hotel for the nights you need, at a reasonable price. For example, I needed a five-night stay and found an available room at a Hyatt property.
Five nights at 15,000 points a night would be 75,000 points. I didn’t have that many points in my World of Hyatt account but I could transfer either Bilt Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards to top off my account.
I clicked through the Select & Book button.
Everything looked fine until I clicked to book the room. I knew I didn’t have enough points but I wanted to double-check my math before transferring the points.
41973 + 45027 is 87,000 points, not 75,000. Where did the extra 12,000 points come from? When I went to the points calendar page, it turned out that only one of the five nights of our trip cost 15,000 points. The other four nights are at a peak pricing of 18,000 points.
That’s why the website says that rooms are available FROM 15,000 points. While that’s a true statement, it’s not very honest. Other hotel chains make it easier to see the breakdown of what each night will cost in points.
Here’s what you’ll find on the IHG website when booking an award stay. Since IHG offers awards with dynamic pricing, each day of your stay can cost a different price.
Is there a more straightforward way to see the total cost of a World of Hyatt award stay instead of going through the entire reservation process? With Hyatt’s new three-tier pricing system, just saying that rooms are available from a certain price is not enough, as this could be for only one night of a multi-night stay.
I’ll give World of Hyatt a pass and say that this is only an IT issue that will eventually get fixed. Otherwise, it means that Hyatt is purposely hiding the total cost of an award reservation.
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