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Since we are in full summer travel mode, I have been booking and adjusting many Hyatt reservations in order to maximize points and save money. Since Hyatt is one of my hotel programs of choice, I have a good bit of experience booking awards and paid nights, but even still there are things I have to remember and force myself to do. None of these are really new tricks or tips, but I wanted to run through a quick reminder list in case your brain needs a refresher just like mine does from time to time.
- Check the 20% off “My Elite Rate” by logging into your Hyatt account (if you are a Platinum or Diamond member), but don’t select any other codes or discounts when searching or it won’t come up. For example, if you want to see if the My Elite Rate is available, you can’t search for the AAA rate at the same time or it won’t display. The My Elite Rate can be the best available rate when it is available, but I have found it available somewhat less frequently right now in the summer than it was when it was first introduced in the winter. Note that cash back you can earn by first going through TopCashBack isn’t paying out very reliably when using this rate. I’ve heard anecdotally that Ebates may be having better luck paying out, but I can’t say for sure from experience quite yet (though I just did a test reservation today).
- Remember to call and check cash + points reservations over the phone at 1-800 228 3360. Cash + points reservations can be a good value in some situations (especially if you need the elite stay credit or plan to use a Diamond Suite Upgrade), but they can only be booked over the phone via calling Hyatt Gold Passport. That is a bummer for online oriented folks like myself, but make yourself do it if you want to try and find that rate. I’m having decent luck booking that rate, but on peak days don’t expect it to be available since it is not guaranteed.
- Keep checking back for lower rates. This isn’t unique to Hyatt of course, but the old advice of make a refundable/changeable hotel reservation and keep checking back can not be repeated enough. For example, we plan to try out the new Hyatt Times Square New York for a night this summer. When we booked originally a long time ago the My Elite Rate was about $240 for the night. Now it is $160 for the night, so that’s an easy $80 right back in our pockets for very minimal work. If you don’t want to stalk your reservations into eternity, then at least start checking about two weeks before the reservation. That can be a time when rates really start to drop if the hotel isn’t selling for the dates like it had hoped. The same holds true if the My Elite Rate and/or Cash + Points reservations weren’t available when you first checked.
- Get 5% back via a statement credit by paying for your Hyatt stays with a card like the Starwood Preferred Guest Business card that has the Amex OPEN benefits. I outlined why this is the best card to pay for many Hyatt stays before, and that still holds true for Hyatt stays in the United States at participating properties within the Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, and Hyatt brands (not Hyatt Place or Hyatt House. If you don’t yet have the Amex SPG Biz card note that it has a temporarily increased sign-up bonus to 30,000 points through the end of the month. Time to get on it if you want that bonus!
Are there any other tips/tricks you use when booking Hyatt stays?