Continuing with my post requests: My (loyal) reader Nancy has asked me to cover the best Category 1 Hyatt redemptions. I actually Googled this topic, and not surprisingly, there were quite a few posts on the subject. But I plan to add a different angle. What I want to do here is focus only on best “bang for your buck” redemptions within USA. I seriously doubt many of my readers are heading to Armenia (though, Kardashian clan apparently visited it!), or other off-the-beaten path places that happen to have a Category 1 Hyatt.
Being able to redeem 5,000 points for a hotel night at a decent property is a tremendous bargain. As much as I hate to use Ultimate Rewards for hotels (I usually save those for mileage transfers), it’s hard to argue with value in this particular case. If you happen to stay during major holidays, you’ll most likely make out like a bandit.
For the most part, Category 1 Hyatt property would be a decent place for an overnight airport stay before an early flight. That said, there are some hotels that could make a good base for an actual family vacation. I wanted to select popular tourist destinations, and only feature Hyatt properties that will fit at least 4 people in one room. My reader Clint has pointed out in the comments section that most Hyatt House and Hyatt Place properties will fit 6. Even better!
First, here is a complete list of Category 1 properties. Without further ado:
1.If you are heading to Illinois, specifically Chicago, you should consider transferring Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt program, for realz. Here are the properties:
Hyatt House Chicago/Naperville/Warrenville
Hyatt House Chicago/Schaumbur
Hyatt Place Chicago/Hoffman Estates
Hyatt Place Chicago/Itasca
Hyatt Place Chicago/Lombard/Oak Brook
Hyatt Place Chicago/Naperville/Warrenville
Hyatt Place Chicago/Schaumburg
Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, Chicago
As you probably have figured out, none of these hotels are located in downtown Chicago. Still, most of them will provide a good base to explore the area.
I absolutely love Colorado Springs, so I hope you at least consider taking a vacation there. The scenery is spectacular, and there is so much to do! Here is a photo:
That’s me and my friend who lives there. The photo was taken 10 years ago, BC (before kids). I am wearing my green coat that I brought from Belarus. I’m cheap and refused to take it to Goodwill in spite of everyone’s hints. Soviet fashion at its finest!
This place would make a good base to explore Niagara Falls as well as the surrounding area. You could even consider taking a day trip to Finger Lakes region.
Update: it’s now a category 2.
Obviously, if you are coming to Florida solely to see Mickey, you would do better staying closer to Disney parks. But if you are looking to visit Space center in Cape Canaveral and just want to go to Magic Kingdom for one day, it could make sense to set up camp in this hotel. It also would come in handy if you have a super early flight.
I honestly feel that this area of Florida is highly underrated. While this hotel isn’t located on the beach, it’s within a half hour drive from Sanibel island and Fort Myers beach. Sanibel and Captiva islands are probably my favorite places in the state, and I’m always looking for an excuse to come here. A popular magazine “Islands” just profiled Sanibel, so go and visit before the hordes of tourists arrive.
Hyatt in Fort Myers would also make a good base to visit Naples Zoo as well as Marco Island.
This is actually a place my reader Nancy mentioned in her comment. I looked it up and it sure does look nice! It’s located close to a beach, which is always a plus when you are traveling with kids. This property is brand new, and as all hotels in Hyatt Place brand, comes with full free breakfast each morning.
This property would make a good base to explore Louisiana, including the city of New Orleans. I highly recommend you visit this state. IMO it’s one for the most unique and authentic areas in America.
California tends to be fairly expensive when it comes to hotel rates, so this property is quite a bargain on points. You have an easy access to all kinds of tourist activities in the area: Hiking, boating, you name it. You can also attempt to do a day trip to San Francisco, though, it’s quite a distance.
Nancy has suggested adding these two properties to the list, since they could make a good base to visit Sea World.
Credit card bonuses to consider
You guessed it, Chase Sapphire Preferred. The card is a panacea for all of your ills and problems. Hobbyists love it, cats can’t get enough of it, little birds chirp when you pull it out of your wallet in the restaurant on the first Friday of the month. It’s sexy-looking and just plain awesome. Pays commission, too! #CSPforPresident How is that for a sales pitch?
You get 45,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months and adding an authorized user. First annual fee is waived. Ultimate Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Hyatt Gold Passport. If you have a legitimate business, you can consider signing up for Chase Ink Plus. The bonus is currently 50,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months. Be aware, now and again, it’s increased to 60,000 points, so you may want to hold off on applying.
I’ve mentioned quite a few times that Chase is very strict when it comes to their own branded offers. If you’ve applied for more than 5 new cards (from all issuers) within the last 24 months, don’t bother trying to get CSP or Ink Plus. If you happen to have CSP and want to refer your spouse or a friend, you can do so via this link. You will get 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points per approval.
Well, those are just a few places that stood out to me. Feel free to add more properties to that list. In general, I don’t think of Hyatt as a bargain brand when it comes to family vacations on a budget. Still, there are good deals to be had, especially if you are flush with Ultimate Rewards points.
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Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.