Simple answer is points are worth more (about double) when used towards travel.
For example, a search shows the Hyatt Place in Seattle going for $230/night or 12,000 points/night. In terms of travel redemption value, you’re getting 1.9 cents per point, which is about 2x compared cashing out at 1.0 cents per point. Different flights and hotels lead to a range of valuations, even up to 10x per point. A typical/average valuation is 2.0 cents/point.
Another way to look at this is that you could have cashed out the 12,000 points and got $120, which is your opportunity cost to pay for a $230 room. When done right, your real cost is zero from earning points through purchases you would have already made.
Below is a points calculator to estimate the number of points you can earn.