What hotel loyalty schemes let you use your points to pay for food, drinks and spa?

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Hyatt is about to make a major change to its loyalty programme, which will suddenly make it good value to use your points to pay for food, drink and spa treatments whilst a guest.  What other chains allow this?  And do they make it worthwhile?

As a reminder, we recently looked at the upcoming January changes to the World of Hyatt programme.  The big upside is that Hyatt is massively increasing the value you get when you use your points at check-out to cover ‘on property’ charges such as restaurant, bar and spa bills.

Hyatt has clearly realised that no-one was using the option of redeeming points for hotel credit because it was such pathetic value.  This will change on 29th January, and it will easily be the most valuable ‘in hotel’ offer of all of the major chains.  Take a look here:

Hyatt in-hotel redemption pricing

At the bottom end of the scale, you can redeem 1,000 World of Hyatt points for a $10 credit.  This is 0.78p per point.

Given that I have a very conservative 1p valuation for a Hyatt point, this isn’t bad.

However, at the top end, you are getting $1,000 of credit for 65,000 points.  This is 1.20p per point.  You are getting 20% ABOVE my valuation!

This is very, very good, although – unless you hit the spa – it is rare that you will run up $1,000 of additional hotel charges outside of a resort property.

Using Hyatt points in the hotel

What other hotel programmes offer good value for ‘in hotel’ redemptions?

I thought it was worth looking at the other options available.  Unsurprisingly, none are as generous as Hyatt but some are better than you might expect.

Using IHG Rewards Club points in the hotel

IHG Rewards Club does not allow you to redeem points for in-hotel credit.  However, you CAN redeem your points for an IHG gift card.

Importantly, this gift card CAN be used to pay for your room charge, as well as for incidental food, drink and spa charges.

Look here and search for ‘IHG Mastercard’.  260,000 IHG Rewards Club points gets you a $1,000 prepaid debit Mastercard.

At the current exchange rate, you are getting £777 of value which means 0.3p per point.

My IHG valuation when redeeming is 0.4p per point.  However, you need to remember something – when you book a room and pay for it using your gift card, you are booking a cash stay.  You will earn points back as well as credit for promotions such as Accelerate.  This can make a difference.

The cards ship to the UK although it takes up to 2 months looking at reports on Flyertalk.  There are reports of some hotels being unable to accept them (due to debit Mastercard issues) but in general they seem to work OK and can also be used for prepaid bookings.

Using IHG points in the hotel

Using Marriott Bonvoy points in the hotel

Marriott Bonvoy offers ‘Instant Rewards’.  Details are on the Bonvoy site here.

Here is the chart, which runs from 250 points for $1 credit to 125,000 points for $500:

Using Marriott Bonvoy points in a hotel

At the top end, you are getting ($500 = £388) 0.31p per Bonvoy point.

I tend to value a Bonvoy point at 0.5p.  There is also a floor valuation, in my mind, of 0.42p, because 60,000 Bonvoy points = 25,000 airline miles which (if you assume a 1p per mile valuation) are worth £250.

You can’t use Bonvoy points for room rates – only for food and drink.  Of course, it gives you another option – you might have been planning to use points for a free room and pay for incidentals, but this route lets you pay for your room and not pay for your food and drink.

It is not great value, however.  Save your points for free rooms or use them for airline miles.

Using Marriott Bonvoy points in the hotel

Using Radisson Rewards points in the hotel

Radisson Rewards allows you to redeem your points for food and drink, spa treatments or upgrades whilst in the hotel.  The price is set individually by each hotel, however.   It is not known for being great value but you might get lucky.

My target valuation when using your points for a free room is 0.33p, so you should compare that to what the hotel is offering.

Details of ‘Express Rewards’ are on the Radisson Rewards website here.

Using Radisson Rewards points in the hotel

Using Hilton Honors points in the hotel

Hilton Honors does NOT allow you to use your points to pay for ‘in-hotel’ benefits.

You CAN use points to part-pay your room bill (just your room rate, no incidentals which are charged during your stay) when booking a flexible rate.  This is done during the booking process using ‘Points And Money’.

The value you get varies.  A £191 room at Hilton Paddington next week was giving me 0.28p per point.  This is decent value because standard room redemptions were still available, which improves the value you are offered.

Moving up to a Deluxe Room – which is not available as a standard redemption – I was offered a lower 0.25p.  This is more in line with what I expect to see with ‘Points & Money’.  It’s not dreadful but you can do a lot better.

If a hotel is offering flexible rates which include dinner, this option would allow you to use points to pay or part-pay for your meal by booking it as part of your rate.

Using Hilton points in the hotel

Using Accor Live Limitless points in the hotel

We haven’t looked at ALL – Accor Live Limitless (ex Le Club AccorHotels) because this is a fully revenue based programme.  Your points are worth 2 Eurocents each when redeeming for hotel rooms.

The new ALL programme, launched last month, is meant to allow you to receive the same 2 Eurocents per point when paying for incidentals at check-out.  There is very little information so far, either on the Accor website or anecdotally, about how this works.

Conclusion

World of Hyatt has set a new standard for ‘in hotel’ redemptions with its new pricing.  No other chain offers as much value – compared to what you would expect when redeeming for a room – when using your points for incidentals.

Elsewhere, you should expect to lose at least 33% of the value of your points if you choose to spend them this way.  You may, of course, find this a price worth paying in return for having the freedom to spend your points without availability restrictions.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Are any other the Hyatts in Dubai recommended? (Seen the HFP review but it looks bland)

    • Park Hyatt was always decent and has gained a “beach” since I last stayed. I reviewed two – Hyatt Place (budget) and the new Hyatt Regency near the airport which opened this year. For a holiday I would go for Park Hyatt.

  2. What about Melia? Thought I read before you could use points for food spend?

  3. I have tried to cash in for a prepaid IHG Mastercard with some of my points but I cannot overcome the fact it says a UK address cannot be vaildated.. I have tried various addresses and they all come out the same.. Has anybody actually successfully obtained one of these with shipping to the UK? Any advice appreciated please..

  4. O/T
    I need 3 more Hilton Stays to Maintain Gold for next year. There is 3 separate Hilton brands nearby me for around £50 per night. I’m thinking about doing 3 mattress runs, however if I check in 31st and out 1st is that a 2019 stay or 2020 stay?

    • Wont the nights roll over anyway ?
      Then u have till March 31st to keep current status and hit the required stay?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Only the extra nights over silver will roll over.

        There are dedicated threads on flyertalk for these new year scenarios but my gut feeling is it’s the day that you check out that matters. Tbh rather than spend £150 on mattress runs why not get Amex Platinum for a few months in the new year?

    • Lady London says:

      And in case you’re thinking about doing all on same night then only 1 or 2 might be credited due common rule restrictions about max number of rooms credited same night.

    • RussellH says:

      Last time I tayed these dates I got two lots of bonus points – one for he promotion that ended on 31/12 and the other for the promotion that started on 1/1.
      Not sure that it was supposed to work that way, as I also had booked cash+points, but got points for at least the full cash price.

  5. It does sound generous for those with a Hyatt points earning credit card. Perhaps when we come out of the EU we may hear something positive, hopefully alongside a return of the AA and Emirates cards. I just can’t give Hyatt money…

    • Shoestring says:

      the interchange fees are probably the last rules likely to change! wasn’t it the UK that proposed them in the first places?

      plenty of other rules to change first that supposedly made us feel such a vassal state, such as taking the vote away from prison lifers – that one really keeps me awake at night

    • The UK government wanted the cuts on interchange fees, why would leaving the EU change their minds?

      • I don’t know and frankly I don’t care. It’s not my job. For 2020 I just want a Hyatt earning card, all the airline cards back with generous bonuses, amex Hilton card with automatic Diamond status, 15 free qualifying nights on the Marriot card, the dissolution of the Marriott SPG merger, and finally, never again having to read the words ‘starting from your second stay’ on a promotion.

        Now how they do it I don’t care but if they could have it all sorted by 31st Jan I’d be a happy bunny!

        • Shoestring says:

          Cinderella & balls springs to mind 🙂

        • Lady London says:

          Go to America then.

        • Whoa, so many have bolted the doors to opportunities not yet known.

          I take it if (or should I say when) new products arrive I will be the only one grabbing them with both hands, the only one watching my Award Wallet groaning under the weight of new bonuses, points and hotels. Ho hum I will try and manage

          😉

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Put simply. We won’t.

  6. O/t: flew BA on Friday and was quite impressed at interactions with check in staff. Avios ticket to Abu Dhabi (though my ultimate destination was Dubai). Noticed before checking in at the airport that Abu Dhabi flight was 1 hour delayed so asked if I could jump on the dubai A350 leaving in an hour. Amazingly 5 minutes later, my boarding pass to Dubai was printed! Single traveller, with bags, no status. Anyone else had experiences like this?

    • Well I have seen signs at in London saying if your early they can check you into earlier flights, makes sense as gives them more time to sell the later tickets

      • That’s good to know, very useful !

      • Those signs aren’t there all the time.

        They only make an appearance when it helps BA out of a problem – such as irrops or over booking – when it helps them to move passengers onto earlier flights.

        Dont rely on this happening every day of the week

  7. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I know it’s got a very limited footprint in Europe, but Shangri-la Golden Circle works well for me – 10% rebate to spend on F&B or ~15% for Jade (with Amex Platinum) and no minimum redemption.

  8. Shoestring says:

    O/T I’m definitely not a Ryanair hater (or lover) – but – I know there are a lot of people claiming to hate them – you have to admire them for what they have achieved as a business https://mirror2.ryanair.com/nl/jsp/m.jsp

    flying them again in Sept after quite a gap so will be keen to see any differences

  9. Nick asked,
    I have tried to cash in for a prepaid IHG Mastercard with some of my points but I cannot overcome the fact it says a UK address cannot be vaildated.. I have tried various addresses and they all come out the same.. Has anybody actually successfully obtained one of these with shipping to the UK? Any advice appreciated please..
    I have plenty to cash in too.

    • Let me know if you can get it to work please? I have emailed but they are not being overly helpful with a solution!!

  10. Jurys Inn offer food and drink for points:

    Breakfast: 1,000 points
    House Wine 2,000
    £25 food 4,000
    £10 Bar/restaurant 1,800
    £20 Bar/restaurant 3,600

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