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How to Book Unique Experiences with Hyatt Points

Hyatt’s revamped loyalty program, World of Hyatt, hasn’t exactly wowed travelers. The latest addition to the program offers up swanky experiences, but the prices mean they aren’t likely to move the needle very much.

Through January 31, 2018, World of Hyatt members can earn or redeem points for personal IfOnly Experiences. Some examples:

  • A one-on-one personal training session with Jillian Michaels ($5,000 or 625,000 points)
  • Dinner in the kitchen of Chez Panisse ($1,000 per person or 250,000 points for 2 people)
  • Private photography session with a Pulitzer-winning photographer ($1,430 or 179,000 points)

Deal or No Deal

On the earning side, program members earn three points per $1 spent on IfOnly experiences. Since the points are icing on the cake, the question is whether the cake itself is reasonably priced. For instance, is dinner in the Chez Panisse kitchen worth $2,000 for two people?

And on the redemption side, Hyatt points redeemed for experiences are worth 0.8 cents apiece. That’s significantly less than points’ value when redeemed for hotel room nights.

This latest offer is in keeping with Hyatt’s “commitment to building genuine and trusted experiences.” Quite aside from the questionable financial value of these experiences, there’s the overarching question of their importance in a hotel loyalty program. Rather than fluff, Hyatt might do better to focus on the basics: free room nights, elite status, room upgrades, premium Wi-Fi, and late check-out. You know: the hotel experience.

Reader Reality Check

How interested are you in redeeming your hotel points for experiences?

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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