Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
Yesterday I stayed on my first Hyatt Cash and Points rate. As you may know, Hyatt Cash and Points rates just started last week . I didn’t expect to be able to take advantage of this new option from Hyatt this quickly, but we had to make a slight change in our travel plans and return to the United States from the Bahamas a day early (no, we didn’t get kicked out of the Bahamas). This meant that we had a night at a hotel to secure in Miami. I wasn’t looking to burn a bunch of points or spend a lot of cash, but I also didn’t want to stay at a true airport hotel as we were going to be spending a better part of the day in Miami.
Prices were pretty high at the places we were interested in staying, so we looked at the Hyatt cash and points option and were able to secure a reservation just a couple of days ahead of time at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables. The cash rate for our night was I believe about $225+. The points price was 12,000 as a Category 3 hotel, and the cash and points price was $75 + 6,000 points. Cash and points was the clear winner for many reasons, not the least of which was that the stay would help toward re-qualifying for Diamond status for next year.
Here was how the experience went with our first cash and points stay.
Booking Cash and Points:
To book cash and points stays (or even to check availability), you have to call Hyatt Gold Passport directly. They seem to be able to view availability very quickly, and like I mentioned, our date was available just a couple of days out.
Using a Diamond Confirmed Suite Upgrade:
If you happen to be a Hyatt Diamond member, you can utilize a confirmed suite upgrade on a cash and points stay, which is absolutely huge. Truly, this is a game changer for confirmed suite upgrades and makes them much more valuable than when you could only use them on cash reservations. When I called to book the cash and points rate with the suite upgrade, the agent gave me the option of three different types of suites and was able to view the availability and book it for me immediately without having to call the hotel. In my experience, this is a very recent change as suite upgrades used to require a call to the hotel.
The Stay Itself:
Our stay was good and will be reviewed separately, but I will mention here that the suite we had confirmed when booking our cash and points rate with the Diamond confirmed upgrade was accurately reflected on our reservation when we checked in. All of our elite perks applied as they normally would on the cash and points rate. The only interesting thing of note was at check-out.
Taxes and Fees on Cash and Points Reservations:
When we checked out, we were told that the total would be about $159 for our cash and points rate that cost $75 + 6,000 points. I questioned the amount and was told the difference between $75 and $159 was just taxes and fees. I pressed and said that doesn’t sound like the right amount of taxes on $75, and eventually was told that she wasn’t sure exactly what cash and points even was. In fact, none of the check-in agents helping us at that time had heard of cash and points. However, they were very willing to help, and eventually were able to post the (I assume) correct charge of $75 + $9.75 in taxes. The taxes were applied to the $75 amount, and not the normal selling price of the room. That amount was charged directly by the hotel, and the points portion had been deducted by Gold Passport when we made the reservation.
Note that cash and points awards are subject to taxes and resort fees, unlike pure award bookings. That wasn’t a big deal at this property, but it could be at resort properties where taxes and daily resort fees can be a big expense.
I hope/expect the stay credit to post without incident, but I’ll update if that doesn’t happen for whatever reason. All in all I am very pleased with our first cash and points booking. We didn’t have to spend very many points or very much cash, but got all the same perks on our stay as if we had paid for it all with cash. For a family, especially one with Hyatt Diamond status, this was pretty great.
I look forward to many more Hyatt cash and points stays in the future. Have you made any cash and points booking yet? If so, how did it go?