A few days ago I wrote about my $1,000 Hyatt gift card that was empty when I tried to use it (and how the same happened to my replacement gift card). I asked readers about their experiences with Hyatt gift cards and was surprised by how many people reported the same thing. Almost everyone who commented or emailed said that they too found their Hyatt gift cards cleaned out.
One of my gift cards had been used at various properties in Hawaii. I had imagined a resort-hopping thief vacationing there for free.
It seems obvious in retrospect, but it took a comment by Biggie F for me to realize that it’s unlikely that the gift card thieves are really using the gift cards themselves. Most likely, they found a way to steal or generate valid Hyatt gift card codes and they resell those codes to “innocent Hyatt hotel-goers (Ourselves!).” They may sell the gift cards through online resellers, Raise, eBay, Craigslist, etc.
I wouldn’t be too surprised to learn that a reader of this blog had bought a $1,000 Hyatt gift card at a discount from a reseller, and then took a nice vacation in Hawaii using the gift card that was originally mine. If it was you, don’t feel bad – I got my money back – and hopefully you got a great discounted vacation. I just hope that the actual thieves get caught!