How many points will you rack up if you always stay with Hyatt and are loyal to that brand, as opposed to staying wherever you want and earning Bonwi points?
Let’s take a look at points earnings and payoffs with the two programs: World of Hyatt and Bonwi Rewards.
How World of Hyatt Works
Like most major brand hotel programs, the World of Hyatt one is purposely complicated. It’s not as bad as some on the earnings side since it’s dollar-based with few exceptions, but that amount varies depending on your elite status (or lack of). Then how many points you have to spend to get a free night also depends on the class of hotel, the city it’s in, and whether it’s busy that week.
On the earnings side, as a regular member you receive 5 points per dollar spent on your room and regular services in the hotel, such as dining or drinking. This also applies to partner hotels from Small Luxury Hotels of the World when you want something with more character. If you stay enough to move up the elite tiers, you earn more points per dollar. But as a regular member, $300 spent on your tab at checkout gets you 1,500 points. See the details here.
So if we pull up hotels in New York City, we find that you could earn points from Grand Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt Place, Hyatt Centric, The Beekman, and more. With rates on our random dates ranging from $231 to $895, you could earn between 1,155 to 4,160 points per night on the room charge.
Now let’s say you’ve racked up 50,000 points over many, many stays and want to spend them. What will that get you?
If we pull up a warm-weather vacation destination like Cancun, you can get… not much. It’s 25,000 per night to stay at either Andaz Mayakoba or Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen. If you head to Miami instead, it’s a little better: from 12,000 to 20,000 per night depending on the property level. So you could manage two or three nights there with your points.
How Bonwi Rewards Works
With Bonwi.com, there’s no set formula by brand on the earnings side and the points you earn are variable. You will often earn far more than 5 points per dollar. You could earn enough for a free stay after just two or three nights. See how it works here.
If we pull up New York City again for the same dates, you’ll see that you’d receive 6,231 per night for booking Hyatt’s Andaz Wall Street. So the same stay that would get you 311 X 5 from Hyatt’s program—1,555—gets you more than four times as many points from Bonwi.
This isn’t always the case. The super-expensive Park Hyatt New York is an exception because it would earn you 5 points for every dollar. But as we’ve shown with Marriott Bonvoy and IHG Rewards in the past, you usually have the opportunity to earn more points by picking the hotel of your choice than by being loyal to a certain brand. If you stayed at The Plaza in New York instead of the Park Hyatt, you’d pay about $100 less per night and would earn a whopping 13,673 points per night you could apply to any hotel stay or airline flight.
There’s also upside on the redemption part since you will often find redemption levels that are far more generous than with traditional branded loyalty programs. So it takes fewer stays to earn points, then fewer points for a free night.
If we pull up Cancun, for instance, where your only Hyatt choices were the two at 25,000 points per night before meals and drinks, here’s a taste of what you could get, it’s a different story for those same 50,000 points at Bonwi Rewards. You could choose from:
- 9 all-inclusive resorts for 22,500 points or less
- 6 beachfront all-inclusive hotels for 18,000 points or less
- 14 Playa del Carmen boutique hotels for 9,000 points or less
In Miami, it’s even better. For the same 12,000 to 20,000 points per night, you would have hundreds of hotels to choose from.
Other Redemption Options for World of Hyatt
What if you don’t need free hotel nights from Hyatt or they just plain don’t have any properties in your chosen vacation spot? Well you could exchange them for airline points, but at a huge loss. Here’s the best-case scenario from the World of Hyatt website:
Planning your next trip? You can turn your points into airline miles. Transfer as few as 5,000 points for 2,000 miles
“As few as?” Ouch. That’s quite a haircut.
You can also exchange them for dining or spa credit, but again at a terrible redemption rate. If you exchange 10,000 points you only get $50, which means Hyatt points are only worth half a cent each. It gets better with huge transfers, but still never gets up to a penny per point.
You cannot exchange them for gift cards, even at a bad rate. That option is not available.
Other Redemption Options for Bonwi Rewards
At Bonwi, your points are yours to do what you want with and if you don’t want to use them for a hotel stay, you have lots of other options, all at a level of a penny per point.
So if you have 10,000 points, that’s worth a $500 flight. No blackout dates, no specific airlines you have to use, no transfer formulas.
If you want to get a gift card instead for Best Buy or a restaurant chain, 10,000 points gets you $100. Simple and valuable.
Book your next hotel stay here and start earning more.
Story by Tim S. Leffel, editor of Hotel Scoop and Luxury Latin America, author of Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune.