From Hyatt: Gold Passport Points for Dining, Spa Services

Beginning this month, Hyatt will begin rolling out a new benefit for Gold Passport members: the ability to earn and redeem points at Hyatt restaurants and spas, even when you're not a registered hotel guest.

The new benefit should be in place throughout the Hyatt network by the end of August 2012.

Earning Points

Gold Passport members can earn five points per $1 spent on eligible charges for meals and spa services at participating Hyatts, as follows:

"Eligible charges vary on a hotel-by-hotel basis, but generally include spa and salon services, spa and salon retail items, and food and beverage expenditures (except at outlets not operated by the hotel). Points will not be awarded on tips, service charges, taxes, gratuities and alcoholic beverage purchases in certain jurisdictions. (Alcohol excluded where prohibited by law.)"

To earn points, program members must provide their Gold Passport numbers together with photo I.D. at the time of purchase.

Points earned at restaurants and spas are considered base points and therefore count toward earning elite status.

Redeeming Points

Gold Passport points may also be redeemed for a cash credit to offset restaurant or spa charges—including service charges, taxes, and gratuities—as follows:

  • 2,000 points = $10
  • 5,000 points = $25
  • 10,000 points = $50
  • 12,000 points = $75
  • 15,000 points = $100
  • 20,000 points = $150
  • 32,000 points = $250
  • 60,000 points = $500
  • 120,000 points = $1,000

The fine print, according to Hyatt's website:

"Eligible redemption charges vary on a hotel-by-hotel basis, but generally include spa and salon services, spa and salon retail items, and food and beverage expenditures at participating outlets, service charges, taxes and gratuities. Awards may not be redeemed on alcoholic beverage purchases in certain jurisdictions."

Bottom Line

The earning rate at restaurants and spas is the same as the earning rate for hotel stays. As it should be.

On the redemption side, the value of points used for dining or spa services ranges between .5 cents and .83 cents apiece. You're likely to get significantly better value redeeming Gold Passport points for free room nights. Given the differing economics of a dining discount versus a free room (that likely would have gone unsold anyway), that's to be expected as well.

While the new earning and redemption option isn't a game-changer, it's a welcome addition to Gold Passport.

In fact, it's the sort of program enhancement that leaves you wondering why it isn't a standard feature of all hotel programs. Among other major programs, only Starwood Preferred Guest members enjoy the same opportunity.

Reader Reality Check

How often do you foresee earning or using Gold Passport points at Hyatt restaurants or spas?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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