Hyatt Gold Passport announced Points + Cash awards on November 18, 2013 (read more here), and they became available today by booking over the phone. You cannot book this award type online.
You can access Hyatt’s web page for this announcement here.
You can substitute half of the number of points by paying a cash component:
The price of a point varies from 1.2 cents at category 6 properties to 2 cents at category 7 properties:
Here’s what I like about Points + Cash Awards:
1. Eligible for stay and night credit
2. You pay the cash amount at the time of checking out
3. The rate type is eligible for points promotions as it is considered a paid rate
4. You can use Diamond or Chase suite upgrade certificates to upgrade this rate (depends on suite upgrade availability)
5. Availability is good for now
Things to note:
1. Hotels don’t have to offer Points + Cash awards or they can limit the availability
2. Not available at Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Zilara or Hyatt Residence Club Resorts
3. You must phone in to make Points + Cash booking
Here’s the relevant part of Hyatt Gold Passport terms and conditions (access here) that deals with this award type:
9. Points + Cash awards are subject to availability and reservations using these awards must be made in advance by calling a Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center. Member must pay the Points + Cash rate and redeem required point value to redeem award. Room rate is based on double occupancy and standard guestroom accommodations, unless otherwise noted. Limited number of rooms may be allocated for these awards, and availability may vary by hotel. Points + Cash awards are not valid at Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva or M life resorts. Promotional blackout periods may apply due to seasonal periods or special events.
It is interesting that Hyatt doesn’t offer stay or night credits on award stay, but Points + Cash stays are considered paid stays and eligible even for point promotions.
SPG used to have good Cash & Points program, which is so watered down at this point after category creep + change in number of points and cash components last year that it rarely makes sense.
It all boils down whether Hyatt can convince its properties to offer good availability for this rate type. I would imagine that the hotel gets to keep the cash component while Gold Passport just writes off the points.
I certainly can now consider using this award option as it is qualifying for points stay/night credits and promotions. It all depends if the hotel award category compared to paid rates makes sense.