Huge Discounts On Hyatt Stays

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I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about how to get 5% cash back on US Hyatt stays by using an American Express Small Business OPEN Card. That’s because payment with these cards qualifies for the OPEN Savings program, which earns you 5% cash back in addition to the points you’d usually earn. For example, if you pay for your domestic Hyatt stay with Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (affiliate link) you’d earn 5% cash back plus one Starpoint (which I value at 2.2 cents each) per dollar spent at domestic Hyatts, for a total of 7.2% back.

It seems this may be stackable with another awesome offer. As I also wrote about several weeks ago, Milepoint is selling a premium membership for $49.95, and one of the perks is being able to purchase Hyatt gift cards at 10% off.


You can purchase up to $5,000 in gift cards per Milepoint premium membership, and there’s a $6 cost for shipping regardless of how many gift cards you purchase.


Per a post by Gary, it does seem like Hyatt gift card purchases qualify for the OPEN Savings program.

Let’s crunch the numbers on purchasing $5,000 worth of gift cards. You’d pay a $49.95 fee for the Milepoint premium membership (and that’s assuming you don’t value any of the other benefits) and a $6 fee to have the gift certificates mailed to you, for a total of $5,055.95.

But you’d get $500 cash back (through Milepoint), $225 cash back (5% cash back on $4,500 after the Milepoint discount through OPEN Savings), plus $110 worth of Starpoints (which I value 5,000 Starpoints at). That’s already 16.5% cash back.

On top of that as a Diamond member I earn five Gold Passport points per dollar spent at Hyatt, plus a 30% bonus, for a total of 6.5 Gold Passport points per dollar spent when actually making hotel stays. I value those at 1.6 cents each, so that’s another 10.4% return on Hyatt spend.

So not factoring any promotions, that’s already 27% of “value” back on Hyatt stays. The only major restriction is that gift cards can only be used at Hyatts in the US, Canada, and Caribbean.

As someone that’s considering moving to hotels full time, this offer is extremely tempting.

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  1. Lucky, stupid question, but I’ve never used a Hyatt gift card to pay for a stay. I take it you’d still earn points for the stay if you paid with a Hyatt gift card? Thanks.

  2. another stupid question, can you use the gift cards to pay for the hotel online at the time you reserve it?

  3. I understand you used $5,000 as the max discount, but want to confirm its just the $6 that you would hitting the additional savings. For example, I could get $1,000 worth and it would really be a fraction of the $6 I would be getting less of a discount, correct?

  4. right, so you could have used $1000 as an example or $500 as an example and the net savings would not materially change since it’s really the $6 that comes into play. might not be realistic for a typical person to buy $5,000 worth, but $500 would be more realistic and would not materially change the discount.

  5. So these gift cards are not usable on any rates that are paid in advance at time of booking online, then? How about over the phone?

  6. @ Al — Right, the major differences for the purposes of this is exactly is the $50 Milepoint premium membership fee. That’s a much smaller percentage of the savings on a $5,000 gift card than $500 gift card, for example.

  7. @ Ken Y. — Correct, they can only be used to settle the bill at the hotel. So if you book a pre-paid rate I don’t believe they can technically be applied to the room rate.

  8. So what’s the expiry date on these gift cards? Do they give money back when you don’t spend the full amount on the card?

  9. I seem to remember negotiating once to switch credit cards at the hotel on a pre-paid rate.

    So it may be possible to switch to a GC but definitely YMMV.

  10. The problem with the prepaid rate and these cards is that most of the time the hotel has charged your card before you arrive at the hotel. Ditto for a BRG, which often becomes a pre-paid rate. Even so, I’m considering going big for this one as well.

  11. How does the 10% refund work with Hyatt? Do they give you a refund code that you apply on the website? Has anyone tried to use it with Gift Checks? I would definitely buy $5,000 of gift checks but the gift cards are worthless.

  12. @ Nathan — There’s a “promotional code” field when you purchase gift cards, so my guess is that the discount is applied there.

  13. Is this a one time coupon for up to $5000 or can you make multiple purchases at different times up to $5000?

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