The Value of Points

Earlier in the week I told you about our upcoming trip to Austin, TX. This trip is the perfect example of how you can leverage hotel points to avoid paying outrageous high rates at hotels.

I’ve already listed the reasons why we’ve chosen the Hyatt Place Austin Downton for our stay, so now let’s talk numbers. Currently a standard room at the Hyatt Place Austin Downtown is booking at $305/night for an advanced purchase rate (meaning you will be charged if you end up canceling for any reason). Plan a trip for 5 nights and you’re looking at…$1766.10.


Rest assured, we won’t be paying that amount come March. Instead, we will be redeeming 80,000 of our Hyatt Gold Passport points (15,000 per night) to stay in the same room — with no further out of pocket costs.

Last summer, Tony signed up for the Chase Ink Bold card which offered at the time (and currently still does) 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points (after spending $5K in the first 3 months*) as a sign-up bonus. I recently signed up for the Chase Freedom card which offered the equivalent of 20,000 points which we were then able to transfer to Tony’s Ultimate Rewards account.

The $5K minimum spend on the Chase Ink Bold card also offers 5 points/dollar spent at Office Supply stores (i.e. Staples, Office Max, etc.) cable companies, and utilities. By creatively purchasing gift cards and paying our utility bills with this card, we successfully earned an additional 25,000 ($5k x 5 points per dollar) on top of the 70,000 bonus points. Between those two cards, we netted $95,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

These Ultimate Rewards points can then be transfered at a 1:1 ratio at 11 different travel reward partners, including Hyatt Gold Passport.  Chase Ultimate Rewards instantly transfer to Hyatt Gold Passport and are immediatley available to use for booking stays at Hyatt properties.  The Hyatt Place Austin Downtown is a category 4 Hyatt property which requires 15,000 points per night.


Because we have these 80,000 points at our disposal we will be able to stay at this gorgeous, expensive hotel for a mere fraction of the +$1700 total that the room is currently booking. We’ll talk about how we’re handing the airfare for three to fly from PHX to AUS a little bit later.

*Coming in a future post, how to meet your spending minimum without really spending a dime…



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