Things To Remember When Booking Hyatt Stays

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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.
Cash + points reservation + Diamond suite upgrade = this

Cash + points reservation + Diamond suite upgrade = this

  • 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!
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Cash + points at Park Hyatt Maldives

Are there any other tips/tricks you use when booking Hyatt stays?

 

Comments

  1. You an get the 5% OPEN rebate at Hyatt House or Hyatt Place by buying Hyatt Gift Cards if you’re willing to put out the money.

  2. So the “elite rate” rate can fluctuate too? I had no idea. Thanks for the tip. I just booked a week using my elite rate at Hyatt Regency Waikiki and another week using cash and points at Andaz Maui.

    Off topic – Do you know if you are diamond, do they waive the resort fee at Hyatt Regency Waikiki?

  3. Glenn, good point and yes!
    Ang, yeah it’s tied to the Daily Rate, so if it drops/increases the Elite Rate will as well. I doubt they waive the resort fee as standard practice there for Diamonds (unless you are on a pure points reservation). They may discount it slightly, but I don’t have experience with that particular property.

  4. Just came back from the Grand Hyatt Kauai and the best deal I found was booking it through Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts. You get the same rate published on Hyatt web site but all the FHR benefits (room upgrade, breakfast for 2, $100 credit and check out at 4PM). Also, depending on the dates of your stay you can get the deal where you stay 5 nights and pay 4 when booking trough Amex FHR. BTW, Hyatt Kauai let me use the $100 Amex credit towards their $25 daily resort fee. In my opinion, Amex FHR is the best way to book high end properties for longer stays (most of their great deals are for stays of 3 or more nights) and the benefits you get are outstanding. Also, you have to have an Amex. Platinum card to have access to FHR but you can use any Amex card to pay for your stay. Thus, you can still use the Amex SPG business card to get the 5% back on Hyatt stays.

    • Thanks for the tips Santastico! If you book Amex FHR for Hyatt, do your stays count towards elite status? Do the stays count towards the diamond challenge? I’m assuming yes for elite status and no for the diamond challenge?

      • Not sure how it works for Diamond challenge but I was told that booking through Amex FHR counts as a regular stay so you get the stay towards elite level. Amex FHR is not considered like Expedia or Travelocity but they only add their benefits to the stay. I did not get the Hyatt points posted yet since I literally just arrived home from my stay there but I also stayed at the St Regis in Kauai early last week (also booked through Amex FHR) and all points and bonus are already posted to my SPG account.

  5. Thanks MP! =) I will stalk it for price drops then. That sucks about the resort fee. It adds up =( I read somewhere if you join goldpassport you get 50% off the resort fee, not sure if it applies to Hyatt Regency Waikiki either or if that’s even true. I guess we’ll see!

    • BTW, unless you want to stick with Hyatt for all your stays in Hawaii I highly recommend the Trump Hotel in Waikiki. I spent 3 nights there two weeks ago with my family and it was probably the most amazing hotel experience I’ve had in many many years.

      • Thanks Santastico! I am doing the diamond challenge so I am planning to do all my stays at Hyatt. I would totally consider other hotels and do Amex FHR if it weren’t for this though. Maybe next time, but good to know the stays count towards elite status!

  6. Don’t forget to book different reservations for a consecutive stay if prices for each night of a long stay is different or there is a free night offer.

    Examples#1: 4 nights at Hyatt Time Square charged $216/nt if booked in one reservation. $216/nt for 1st 3 nights, $160 for 4th night so I split the reservation.

    Example #2: Andaz Maui for time I’m staying was $509/nt or 4th night free at $559/nt. For a 5 night stay, I booked 4 nights ($559/nt x 3 nights= $419/nt) and the 5th night at $509 (or points since it hits my threshold for using points). You can do the same for other Hyatts that often use Freetime like 3rd night free at PH DC that increases the nightly prices in these offers.

  7. Does the Andaz Maui not qualify? I am just hoping it’s too new of a property that it didnt make the list. Since you stayed there just seeing if you tried or not.

    • Any issues re posting elite night credits for those ‘pay x nites, get x nites free’? I did have issues & received conflicting info from CS re whether those ‘free’ nites count for elite credit. They did go ahead & credit them as per always great hyatt customer service, but was told that those nites do not normally count. Anyone else?

  8. My gf has the Amex Plat, but can we book the FHR reservation under my name so my hyatt account will receive the stay credit?

  9. I’ve had trouble using my free category 1-4 award night (the yearly one from having the Hyatt credit card) when searching for Hyatt Place hotels. For some reason, the two places where I tried to use these (Oahu and Chicago) have both come up with messages that say something like “either this hotel is not yet accepting reservations or no standard rooms are available.” In both cases, the hotels were open and standard rooms were available for my dates. I had to call Gold Passport to book the room, which was no trouble, just annoying that I couldn’t book it online.

  10. I’ve had good luck booking Points+Cash stays via twitter DM. Guess the only barrier is you need Hyatt to follow you too.

  11. Sorry, several questions and I hope you or someone on this board can answer these with your experience.
    I have diamond status currently with status challenge
    I have plenty of ultimate rewards to transfer.

    1. I need to book 3 nights for my parents with no status. If I book from my account but I am not staying what is the best way? Considering Paris Hyatt regency etoile or Park Hyatt Louvre.
    A. Book using cash and points and use my suite upgrade?
    B. Book with points and request/hope they get my diamond benefit, specifically breakfast.
    2. Do suites automatically get access to lounge w/o status?
    3. Do suites automatically get breakfast if there is no lounge.
    4. My wife has 2 free night certificates with cc application. I will be staying with her on a different reservation from above. What is the best way to use those certificates and get my diamond benefits
    5. If I book 2 rooms from my account (4 adults and 2 kids), do all 6 get breakfast or only those in my room?
    6. Finally any idea as which one is better in Tokyo? Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt or brand new Andaz

    Thanks

  12. @Sam
    1. There is not a PH Louvre, only PH in Paris is the Vendome and it’s very lovely. Adding one of your parents onto the room reservation via telephone is the only way. The first property you stated does not get good reviews. The second property has a great location.
    2. No
    3. Tied to 2, no.
    4. Get yourself added to the reservation as per #1, and on check in be sure to show your Diamond card. I would also contact the property beforehand and let them be aware of the situation since it can affect the upgrade process before arrival.
    5. Property by property basis. T&C state only for registered guests in the room that you are staying in. Definite ymmv here.
    6. Locations play a large role and whether you want a lounge for example. All have their pros and cons, my choice would be the Park.

    • Thanks
      Another question.
      How soon one will get the credit card 2 free nights deposited?
      Few days after $1000 spend or few days after spend + statement close?
      I am considering applying today if there is a way to get nights deposited before my 7/10/14 stay.
      Thanks

      • My free nights posted about 3 days after I completed the $1,000 spend….in other words, I got the 2 free night before my statement closed. Have fun in Paris! We are using our 2 free nights at the PH Tokyo.

      • @Sam – free nights and stay credits ($20K/$40K) post on a different date than regular credit card spend. They seem to post a couple of days after the spend is achieved, rather than statement cut.

        Although I must say that 7/10 is awfully close to app, receive card, spend, few days to clear, etc. Consider too that free nights come out of a different pool of inventory than points/points+cash. Not easy to check unless you have nights to use already, or call up GHP.

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