Maximizing Discover rewards: Hyatt

This is the second post in a series in which I will analyze options for maximizing Discover card rewards.  With Discover cash back rewards, card holders have the option of redeeming for partner gift certificates rather than cash.  Upon first glance, these certificates appear to be great deals, but when we look closer we find that some are not as good as they appear.

Yesterday, I wrote about car rental certificates (see “Maximizing Discover rewards: car rentals“).  In that post I showed that Discover’s car rental certificates are only useful for car rentals costing between $40 and $80.  Today, we’ll take a look at Hyatt certificates.

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Hyatt: $100 gift card for $40

Sounds great right?  Unfortunately, it gets much less interesting once you look at the key terms:

  • This Certificate is valid for a total of $100 off a consecutive two-night stay at participating Hyatt Hotels or Resorts listed on this Certificate.
  • Certificate is not valid when quoted or paid room rate falls below $120 per night at most participating Hyatt Hotel or $180 per night at participating Hyatt Resorts and the following hotels: Grand Hyatt Atlanta, Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, Hyatt Regency Fisherman’s Wharf, Hyatt Regency Harborside, Grand Hyatt New York, Hyatt Regency San Diego, Grand Hyatt San Francisco, Hyatt Regency San Francisco and Grand Hyatt Washington.
  • Certificate is not valid at Park Hyatt Hotels or Hyatt International locations.
  • This Certificate is not valid in conjunction with other promotional or discount programs, Gold Passport or other frequent flyer awards or certificates, group travel, tour packages, government rates or other special rate programs.
  • A maximum of two (2) Certificates may be used on stays of four (4) or more consecutive nights for a total of $200 off the room portion of the stay.
  • Blackout periods may be in effect during certain seasonal periods, special events or citywide conventions.
  • Gold Passport members will receive points for the applicable room charges actually paid.

Analysis

Is this a good deal?  Since the certificate can only be used on a two night or longer stay, and room rates must be at least $120 per night, we can calculate the maximum savings possible:

  • Room rate: $120 x 2 nights = $240
  • Certificate savings: $100 – $40 = $60
  • Savings as % of room rate: $60 / $240 = 25%

As the room rate increases from $120 per night, the % savings you get from this certificate will get progressively worse.  For example, since the minimum rate for some Hyatt stays is $180 per night, let’s look at savings at that rate:

  • Room rate: $180 x 2 nights = $360
  • Certificate savings: $100 – $40 = $60
  • Savings as % of room rate: $60 / $360 = 16.7%

 

With these certificates, you can get up to 25% off, but more likely your savings will be much less.  Note that you cannot apply any other promotions or discounts to your room rate.  So, your actual savings vs. taking advantage of a promotion, discount, or group code will be even lower.  You might even pay more in total for using this certificate than by using other discounts! 

Bottom Line

The Hyatt discount certificates provided by Discover are riddled with limitations, blackout dates, etc.  In my opinion, the chance of actually saving money when using them is very low.  Personally, I’d take $40 cash instead of one of these “$100 certificates” any day.

If you’re interested, take a look at these alternate options for saving money at Hyatt hotels:

Also keep in mind that when staying at Hyatt properties in the US, you can get 5% back by paying with an American Express small business card (thanks to OPEN Savings).

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. I have used these certs with no problem in conjunction with discount promo/corporate codes.

    The min room rate is not enforced either …at least in my case.

    You get points for the paid rate before the $100 off applied..its considered a type of payment like a gift card.

    Yes it has limitations but can be lucrative for the occasional $50-$70 rates…

  2. It might be worth getting a certificate anyone on the off chance you can use it. But I agree I don’t like terms that forbid combining with other discounts even if that isn’t enforced regularly. I regularly use Costco and AAA discounts for the ability to get a refundable rate more than the 10% discount, so it might be worth the gamble.

  3. I actually thought of calling the Grand Hyatt in Tampa for FTU and ask them to raise my rate from $119 to $120 so I could apply the certificate, but the terms also say it’s $180 at “participating” resorts and the following….(with that one not being on the list), but then couldn’t find anywhere what the “participating resorts” were and calling the hotel and asking some clerk wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere, so in the end I let it go and took the cash back. These certificates are close to being completely useless.

  4. they must be taking lessons from Office Depot with those coupons they have that you cant use on pretty much everything in the store, except toilet paper, and pencils.

  5. Update: now the Hyatt offer is $45 cashback gets you $50 at Hyatt, but is more flexible:

    Use of a Hyatt Gift Card (Card) constitutes acceptance of terms. Card may be applied to eligible purchase at participating Hyatt hotels in the U.S., Canada and Caribbean. Card is issued in U.S. Dollars. When redeeming card at hotels using a different currency, value of card will be converted into local currency for that redemption. Card carries no value until activated. Card is not returnable, refundable or redeemable for cash, except where required by law. Lost, stolen or damaged cards will not be canceled or replaced without card number and proof of purchase. Card does not expire. Card not valid for casino, advanced purchases, deposits, crew rates, or payments for meetings, catering, and group functions. Card also not valid for negotiated rates, including volume, group, contracted, and any other rates that have been previously negotiated and agreed to in writing (whether paid by a group or on an individual basis). Card and these terms are governed by the State of Maryland, USA without regard to choice of law provisions. Hyatt and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2013 Hyatt Fulfillment of Maryland, Inc. For balance inquiries or customer service, call 866-784-0540.

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