Hyatt’s 40 Night Benefit – Why Do So Many People Choose the Points?

If you are fortunate enough to stay 40 nights at World of Hyatt hotels during a calendar year (or earn 65,000 base points) , you will earn a Milestone Benefit. The benefit at 40 nights is your choice of:

  • 5,000 points
  • a $100 gift card
  • a 10,000 point discount on a FIND experience

The last option is of marginal interest to most World of Hyatt members. The main choice is between the $100 gift card and the 5,000 points.

For me, the choice is very clear. I would always choose the $100 gift card. Here’s why…

Buying Points During a Promo

At regular intervals, you can buy Hyatt points at a discount. Whenever the discount is 30% – click here for the most recent opportunity – you can buy Hyatt points for 1.68 US cents each.

If you spend $100.80 to buy Hyatt points during a similar promotion, you will receive 6,000 points.

Spending the $100 Gift Card

The $100 gift card is a payment method. If I book a $100 room rate in the United States and use the gift card to pay for it (paying the taxes separately), I would earn 500-650 Hyatt points. (and that assumes there is no double or triple point promotion at the time of the stay)

The Net Effect

As a result, if I take the $100 savings from the gift card and use it to buy Hyatt points, I would end up with 6,500-6,650 points.

This is clearly far more valuable than the 5,000 point 40-night Milestone Benefit alternative.

So, Why Do People Still Choose the 5,000 Points?

With a very clear financial benefit to choosing the $100 gift card, a very vocal minority still choose 5,000 points. But why?


Choosing 5,000 points simply requires a mouse click to make your selection. (and another few clicks to spend on an award stay)

Spending a gift card generally requires checking out in person at the front desk, where you must hope that the receptionist is competent enough to process the gift card correctly.

Travel Habits

For World of Hyatt members based outside of the United States, it can be difficult to spend a $100 gift card. If you attempt to use a Hyatt gift card outside the US – assuming that the foreign hotel even accepts them – the $100 will be converted to local currency at an atrocious rate. For those Hyatt members who rarely travel to the US, therefore, a $100 gift card is far less useful.

For those based in the United States, a $100 gift card still requires spending $100+ on a paid room rate. Some World of Hyatt members are simply so points-rich – probably from the Hyatt and/or Chase Sapphire credit cards – that booking a cash rate is a rare event.

Bad Math

Some people are very attached to “value per point” calculations, despite the fact that they are completely wrong. Nonetheless I have learned that these people are unwilling to listen to reason  – sound familiar? 😉

In any event, some people think “I can earn more than 2 cents per Hyatt point, so 5,000 points is worth more than $100”.

For some reason, the ability to buy 5,000 points for $84 is never considered…

Bottom Line

Even though the $100 gift card can be worth 30% more than 5,000 points, some people still choose the points. And that’s their choice – not everybody prefers the $ optimal option…

Any Hyatt members with 40+ nights reading this? What benefit do you choose? Let us know in the comments section…


  1. Randy C says

    I’m not choosing the points, but to play devil’s advocate…
    You can only buy 55,000 points per year (Sometimes more during a promotion, but there’s ALWAYS a limit)
    If you maxed out your points purchase, and are low on points, then it changes the math.
    Now the points are worth whatever you will redeem them for, because buying points with the $100 is not an option.
    If your redemption value is more than 2 cents per point, then points are better.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I suppose so. Although I’m sure that capped-out members could also find a family member or two to “gift” points to, before combining those points back into their main account later.

  2. andrew says

    i have a $100 certificate from 2020 and tried several times to use it to pay for incidentials when checking out. no one knew how to apply it, and these were at USA hyatt places, hyatt house,
    so for 2021 and 2022 i pick the poinst.
    Hyatt concierge says i should be able to pay for incidentals at check with the certificate, although no luck

    Are these $100 certificates strictly for room rates or should i be able to pay for incidentals like mini bar and hyatt restaurants?

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