Hyatt Gold Passport Earning Mystery

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On a recent stay at a Hyatt hotel, I discovered that Hyatt calculates the base earning on a stay differently from what was paid. Normally you earn 5 points per dollar “of eligible spend”. I guess I haven’t checked the amounts that closely because my statements don’t match what I spent. I normally do with Starwood, but I’m a newer entrant to Hyatt.

I’ll explain the booking: since I have the Hyatt credit card, I combined the one free anniversary night from that card with a cash & points fare, which resulted in a two night stay. The cash outlay for this category 4 hotel was $75. However, 620 base points were awarded and I did not pay $124 for the hotel (620/5).

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I hypothesize a couple theories:

  1. This could mean that the base amount was a function of the average value of a hotel night, which would be $124 (620/5). This is plausible as a hidden internal valuation since that is around the average rate for the hotel in the off-peak seasons. Cash prices were much higher for our stay dates, which made it a good candidate for using cash & points.
  2. The hotel has a hidden internal valuation of $620 per night, if they calculate base amounts for award night or cash & points stays at an inflated 1:1 amount for internal accounting purposes (perhaps to take liabilities off the books).
  3. There could be a higher base ratio for cash & points stays – 620/75 = around 8.2 (vs 5 for standard stays).

I don’t have my other Hyatt stay receipts easily accessible, so I’d like to ask my readers for additional data points. If theory #1 proves true, that could mean that people get more point value for cash and points stays (or that they receive a base calculation equivalent for their point portion). Hyatt of course would not release this kind of data – as it is akin to a company revealing the margins on its products.

Have you noticed unusual calculations when receiving points for a hotel stay?