Getting $700 From Hyatt Anniversary Award Night

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One of the major miles and points fueled trips we take most years is a family ski trip. Thanks to peak season hotel and airfare prices, lift tickets, gear, and lessons, ski trips are just expensive no matter what (here are tips to save as much as possible). However, airline miles and hotel points can bring them back into the realm of doable on a reasonable budget.

Cannot wait to ski with her in a few months!

Cannot wait to ski with her in a few months!

Because of the seasonality and high demand nature of ski trips, I plan many of them at least one ski season in advance, sometimes two. Usually what this means is I secure the hotel portion of the trip on points as far in advance as possible since hotel award nights are subject to standard room availability. The further in advance you plan, generally the better odds you have of that standard room being available on points. You can usually change those hotel award reservations until 30-60 days in advance during ski season, so booking way in advance usually isn’t too stressful since I can back out without penalty until much closer to the travel date.

 

Another perk for super advance planning is that some programs (such as one that rhymes with rarwood) that have higher “peak season” points rates sometimes don’t have those higher points prices loaded when you are booking close to 18 months out, so you you can even save points by planning way ahead in some situations…

Anyway, I had one of our winter 2017 ski trips pencilled in at the Westin Snowmass that is located right on the mountain. Then, Hyatt announced that they would be moving the Hyatt Centric Park City property up from a Category 4 to a Category 5 property for all new reservations made on or after August 1, 2016. This property is a flat out steal as a Category 4 and just 15,000 points per night during the busy ski season, so this move doesn’t surprise me in the least. However, it does represent our last opportunity to use the Hyatt Credit Card anniversary nights valid at Category 1 -4 properties at this resort.

Hyatt Anniversary Night.jpg

Since it has been a while since I skied in Utah anyway, this change in category was good motivation to bump this trip from Colorado to Utah and not only secure nights at just 15,000 Hyatt points per night, but also use my Hyatt credit card anniversary night. Not only will we not pay the room rate on nights we are using free night certificates or points, but we also won’t pay taxes or the resort fee. As an added bonus, flights into Salt Lake City from Houston are generally much more reasonable for winter weekends on miles or dollars than into Aspen or similar.

As you can see below, rates for many winter nights at the Hyatt Centric Park City are legitimately around $700 per night. This means that paying for one of the nights by using an anniversary night that you get for having the Hyatt Credit Card and paying its $75 annual fee is a steal! If you want to do the same, remember to do so before August 1, 2016 when the property moves to a Category 5 property.

Hyatt Centric Park City.jpg

 

The Hyatt Centric Park City in the winter is currently one of the very best properties to use your anniversary Category 1 -4 night certificates from an overall value and cost perspective. I will be sad to see it jump categories, but I’m thrilled to have locked it in for next ski season before that happens!

Hyatt Centric Park City

Hyatt Centric Park City

As for our trip to the Westin Snowmass, we have simply bumped it forward a year to ski season 2018…and it actually cost fewer points for the long weekend we picked in 2018 than it would have cost us in 2017!

Anyone else squeezing in a redemption at the Hyatt Centric Park City hotel before it changes categories on August 1st?

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Comments

  1. you are not getting $700. You are getting 15000 hyatt points as both come from the same inventory. Considering Hyatt points can be easily had for about 1.7 cents during sales, you get about $200 from the free night certificate (it is less flexible than just having points.) No? 🙂

    • Both are true…the 15,000 points are getting you a $700 room…the cert is saving you 15,000 points. Heck of a deal no matter how you slice it!

  2. We are headed there for Thanksgiving whether there is snow or not. It was our only shot at skiing this year since we have plans for the other school holidays. When earning points there, you can get a 2 bedroom unit, which I like. Hotel rooms are hard at ski destinations for families of 5. So I’m using the 4th night free on my Citi Prestige Card to save some dough. I also booked during a sale, so I saved $100 per night anyway. Rates are decent at Thanksgiving, so I hope they have snow. If not, it will still be a great Thanksgiving in the mountains!

    • As a Utahn, I would not advise you waste the money. The chance of ski conditions then would be quite apocalyptic. You are slightly too early. I am quite familiar with the ski industry having grown up in it. Park City at that time of year would be quite boring IMO. Good Luck!

  3. This is a great perk from a $75 card but I find it hard to manage since it is only 1 night and to a limited category of hotels. My point here is that you usually don’t go to this location to stay just 1 night so you end up paying a very expensive price for the others which still brings the average down. I bring that up because there has been several discussions about the changes on Citi Prestige. Don’t get me wrong, what Citi did with this card was disgusting and a clear example of bait and switch marketing ploy by launching a card with perks that were clearly not sustainable and after several people got the card they removed several of the perks. However, I see the 4th night benefit very similar to what you just showed with the Hyatt card. I just got $800 credited to my Citi Prestige card as part of the 4th night free benefit by booking 4 nights of hotel with them. In sum, a $800/night stay came down to $600/night with the 4th night free benefit. That for me is a fantastic deal which is similar to getting a 1 night free from the Hyatt card with the advantage of not having a limit on which hotel you can use it.

    • Correct in that you wouldn’t go to most of these places for one night. I would recommend surrounding it with other award nights if possible unless you find yourself needing one night somewhere that would be a good redemption. 😉

  4. Awhile back, I booked a weekend during Sundance. The lift lines are surprisingly short since most visitors are at the movies then. Not a surprise to see this move up to a cat 5 given the price during peak season. I just wish they would release P+C availability so a DSU could be used to spread out in one of the larger rooms. Not complaining though – still a great deal.

  5. I just booked a trip for my husband, his friend, my son and his girlfriend for the week after Christmas. I don’t ski so I do not go with him when he goes but I love booking their trips (with miles and points of course) and always enjoy seeing the beautiful pictures. That looks like a gorgeous resort and a place that I would love to stay one day. I have tried to talk my husband into staying there or at one of the nice Hyatt resorts when he goes skiing (he goes to Utah one or two times per year to ski ) but he likes to ski at Brighton or Snow Basin when he goes. He is just as happy staying somewhere else in SLC and driving to the lift. This stay they are staying in a Homewood Suites.

  6. You are really being fooled if you think you are “getting $700”.

    1. No one actually pays that rate. And a hotel can list a room for whatever price they want – if they listed it at $10,000 and you use a free night credit, are you “getting $10,000”? Keep in mind it costs the hotel around $20 to turnover a room!
    2. You will be paying through the roof for every add-on at that hotel, and no one stays just 1 night
    3. You could stay at a nearby hotel for around $200/night

    Realistically the free night is probably worth $100 after factoring in the annual fee

    • Wow,

      1) People do actually pay the rack rate. Very often in fact. It is a high demand property for weekend in the winter.
      2) Did you not read the article? She is using points to stay for more than one night. Also a great deal at 15,000 points a night.
      3) A simple search will show that all the luxury hotels in the area are about $400-700 a night during a weekend in the winter. Sure, you can find places for $200, but you are definitely not getting the same experience.

      If you are going to read the blog for travel advice, don’t just be internet troll in the comments when she pointed out a legit good deal

    • Hey! Don’t question the blogger math!

      The rationale behind the “getting $700” in this post is ridiculous. I think you might even be high with your estimate of $100 after accounting for the annual fee, but it does at least breakeven which is better than most of the other cards bloggers try to stuff down our throats…

      • I’d love to know how else to book nights at an on mountain resort like this for $100-ish. Please write that post and send me the link! 😉

    • Cogswell, I’m not sure what you mean when you say nobody pays that rate. They really do. In fact, one of my nights that currently doesn’t have award availability on points/certs and we are booked on a high rate for that night. I hope we don’t end up really having to spend that if a standard room opens up for that night, but not everyone is staying on points. Hotels really do sell nights for those amounts – especially when they are on mountains during ski season.

      • I’m surprised I have to explain this…

        1. Promotion Code, Automobile Association,
        Senior & AARP, Government Employee, Corporate Rates, many, many more
        2. Book through discount site
        3. If paying cash you *earn* points for the stay, earn credit card spending, earn points if going through a shopping portal
        4. They always have promotions ex. 25% off, or earn points bonus, etc…

        Factor in all of these and your actual cost is very far under $700… but that’s not an exciting of a headline! 🙂

        • For the dates I need there are no discounts – not even AAA if you can believe it, the discount sites are listing the same price as Hyatt, yes I will earn points, and I hope they have a promo, but those have been far from guaranteed with Hyatt in the last year. So far all I get for sure are some points earned which will not be worth enough to really move the needle. That isn’t super unique with ski weekends at these sort of properties sadly. The price really is the price during peak weekends unless you get insanely lucky sadly.

    • Cogswell,

      1. False, as people do pay that rate

      2. False, people stay just one night

      3. Irrelevant

      Your statements are factually inaccurate and therefore damage your credibility.

  7. Yup, I booked this property for 6 nights for next February during my kids winter break from school. I booked last January, as that is when availability first became available. I booked using points, and I booked 1 night at a time for 15k points each night. When I received my anniversary night in May, I called Hyatt to change one of the nights from points to the anniversary night, which they did without a problem.

    I have kids in school, so we always book well in advance, those are popular times to travel. Booking well in advance works for me. When I combine the 6 free hotel nights with the 4 flights booked on points with Delta, then I have a much more affordable ski vacation for a family of 4!

  8. I go to Cat 4 Hyatt if you are a San Diego local is the Hyatt Regency in Mission Bay.

    Great for people with young kids since the water slides are a blast. Mission Bay and Belmont Park are a short ride away and if you are so inclined, jump on over to Sea World.

    Thanks for the write-up. Might think about this hotel for next winter.

  9. @Cogswell, @Scott. HA! Not getting $700!?… you aren’t being handed $700, no, but you are getting that in value. There are government rates, but while there are many (self included).. most people are not government employees. AAA, AARP are typically pathetic discounts if discounted at all (often no rate difference but breakfast included). And discount sites? Really? Pull up a discount site rate for winter at this Hyatt, good luck.
    Just like when I flew LH F a few months ago… no, not being handed $11k (I.E, if I had the choice between cash and First class, I’d take the cash) …but I am getting 11k in value. I mean, based on your hypothesis of being worth only $100 or less, why waste any of your time keeping track of points/credit cards… why not just pay cash for everything and skip on the loyalty programs altogether?

    For my cert, usually I booked HR SFO Embarcadero (Cat 5 though as of Aug 1st)… typically those rooms ran $200- $500 depending on time of year. In all honesty, hard to find any room at any Hyatt in CA for $75 or less, even with government rate (Fiancee is State, I’m Federal)

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