Like most of my miles and points loving compadres, I enjoy getting fantastic CPM (cents per mile) or CPP (cents per point) value on my redemptions. Let’s face it, we all spend a good chunk of our lives obsessing, err.. thinking about this stuff. It feels good to prove to yourself (or if you are a blogger, to others) that your efforts have paid off handsomely.
As great as cash is, you just don’t get the same feeling when you use points towards a statement credit. On the other hand, redeeming 5,000 IHG points per night on a room at an oceanfront hotel via PointBreaks program few years ago still brings a smile to my face.
But getting a great redemption (for your situation) involves more than just CPP. Let me give you an example. We have two hotels in question: Hyatt Place Orlando Airport (8,000 points per night) and Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport (12,000 points). My husband and I will need to stay near Orlando airport for one night in the summer before our morning flight to LAX. Here are current rates at both hotels:
Anyone in the hobby will tell you that 4,000 Hyatt points is worth a heck of a lot more than $15. What if I said that I was able to redeem just 5,000 points on Hyatt Place before it changed categories? Now it seems like a total no-brainer.
Hyatt Place includes free breakfast that is quite decent. We actually stayed at this property with kids last March and really enjoyed it. I do think that even at 8,000 points per night it’s still a solid deal, especially if you have a family of five or six. See offer details on Hyatt co-branded credit card here In addition, Hyatt Regency doesn’t have a club lounge, so certificates from my husband’s Hyatt Explorist status (obtained via MLife match) will do squat for us here.
And yet, I burned points on Hyatt Regency Orlando International airport and am seriously thinking about canceling my reservation at Hyatt Place. Here is why:
1) Hyatt Place is just a place (no pun intended) to sleep, while Hyatt Regency is an experience. My husband is an aviation geek. He has issues flying at high-altitude, but absolutely loves looking at planes. He even commented once that it would be neat to stay in that hotel, but things just never worked out. Until now.
2) We are flying as a couple, which is quite rare. If the kids were with us, we would probably opt for Hyatt Place because they would have separate beds, plus breakfast in the morning.
3) I heard some airplane noise while staying in Hyatt Place last year. Oddly enough, all reviews on TripAdvisor indicate that Hyatt Regency has no noise issues. Soundproof rooms, I guess? Either way, I want us to get as much rest as possible before embarking on our insane South Pacific adventure.
4) Due to Hyatt Explorist status, we are more likely to land a room with runway view. I’m not counting on it, of course, but since summer is a slow season in Florida, we may get lucky. Even if the upgrade doesn’t materialize, the hotel has a fancy-looking rooftop pool with runway views. It would be neat to watch the planes take off and land while relaxing in the water. Well, assuming it doesn’t rain, which is an issue in the summer.
5) I value Hyatt points at around 1 cent apiece. I realize it’s super low compared to most people, but that’s just how I roll. I rarely pay more than $150-$200 for any hotel, and most nice Hyatt properties run at 15,000-20,000 points per night. Though club lounge certificate (free breakfast and snacks in the evening) definitely skews the math in some cases, especially when it comes to resorts.
By that logic, the Hyatt Regency would cost me $120 all-in. If I saw that rate online, I would be seriously tempted to splurge. So, why not just use points?
6) We may be able to get free food from the airport lounge, courtesy of Hilton Amex Ascend (more info here). We both have this card, which translates to 20 passes total. We are unlikely to utilize them all during the trip, and don’t plan to fly again in 2018.
Either way, as I’ve said in my post on San Francisco properties, I don’t let free food determine where I stay. Obviously, it’s nice if the stars align and the hotel I actually like comes with elite perks. But if not, we’ll survive. In case of Hyatt Regency, there are tons of cafes nearby where we can grab a bite to eat even if my airport lounge plan doesn’t work out.
7) We can simply walk from our hotel to the gate. Enough said.
I think all of us, myself included, sometimes lose sight of what this hobby is all about. Isn’t the point to pay less, much less for things we actually want to do? While I would certainly have a hard time coughing up $220 on that Hyatt Regency, using 12,000 points which I value at $120 is way more palatable for my budget.
Yes, I will have to forego close to 4 CPP redemption on Hyatt Place. But so what? I think I’m going to start throwing another metric into the mix: HPP. Happiness per point.
Readers, what would you do?
Leana is the 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.