I just realized I redeemed 98,000 Hyatt points at less than once cent each. I’m an IDIOT!!!

I’d like to think I’m pretty damn good at maximizing miles and points. At least I liked to think so till yesterday. Last night I published the introduction to my trip report, in which I posted about how I booked my stays at the Hyatt Regency Nice and Grand Hyatt Cannes. As I outlined in that post I redeemed points — 18,000 and 22,000 points per night, respectively. Compared to the revenue rates, that was a great value, given that both hotels were going for over 350EUR per night.

Then last night I got a tweet from a reader, as follows:



You ever have one of those moments where you literally slap yourself in the face out of frustration? Yeah, I had one of those. I’ve posted in the past about Hyatt’s stay certificates, and what a phenomenal value they can be. Basically Hyatt will sell you certificates each valid for one free night. There are different category certificates each valid at different types of hotels. So obviously the highest category certificate is valid at more properties than the lowest category certificates.

So I looked up in which categories the Hyatt Regency Nice and Grand Hyatt Cannes are in:


The Hyatt Regency Nice is a “Choice” level property, while the Grand Hyatt Cannes is a “Premier” level property. How much could I have purchased those certificates for?


So we spent three nights at the Hyatt Regency Nice, which accepts “Choice” level certificates. Those retail for $152.22 each, so rather than redeeming 54,000 points I could have spent $456.66.

Meanwhile we spent two nights at the Grand Hyatt Cannes, which accepts “Premier” level certificates. Those retail for $188.89 each, so rather than redeeming 44,000 points I could have spent $377.78.

So all-in-all, redeeming 98,000 Gold Passport points for $834.44 isn’t my proudest moment.

At the very least, please, please, please learn from my mistakes. By the way, both of these are phenomenal properties, and the fact that they’re in the “Choice” and “Premier” level is borderline ridiculous, given that they often retail for $500+ per night.

To make my life a bit easier, does anyone have one of these that I could borrow?

Filed Under: Hotels, Hyatt
  1. Maaaan, I am sorry. You do not deserve a slapping machine Ben. For the ocean of information you possess, this is the price of a missing drop I say. Good luck next time.

  2. Ben,

    Unslap yourself. Tried several dates in August just now with the Premier code at the Cannes property, and no availability using the travel cert, but plenty using points. Didn’t hit every date possible of course, but obviously availability isn’t guaranteed for the travel cert.

  3. Interesting info. Do they ship or mail hard copies of all certificates, or is there a way to buy them online and just have the instantly emailed?

  4. How tight is the inventory control on using these certificates? If the capacity control is too tight, they aren’t worth much.

    By any chance do they earn stay credits when consumed at the property? They are kind of revenue…

  5. I seemed to have made the same mistake just a couple weeks after you, Ben. I never really think I travel certs when looking into high end foreign properties… But guess this is a lesson learned!

  6. If you find availability with Certs, can’t you just cancel the Hyatt points nights and have them redeposited if you are outside of the cancellation window?

  7. @ gavinmac — They have to ship them so I guess I should feel slightly less horrible since I planned this last minute… but still.

  8. @ Susan — As janyyc notes, you don’t get stay credits, but then again you also don’t get them on points.

  9. Hi,
    Great post – never considered this option. How can you tell if there is availability before purchasing certs? I have 2 reward nights booked at Park Hyatt Chicgo in Sept for bday wknd. I would opt for cert if avail – only $260/nt w certificates.

  10. @ Carl — Well it’s not “no blackout dates” like with points, but generally I still find availability to be rather good. Depends on the specific property, though. In the post linked above I outline how to search for availability.

  11. Well those two hotels seem surprisingly low for cert use. Any other amazing bargains? I notice you can’t even use them at any price at the Park Hyatt Vendome.

  12. It’s interesting that the category of a hotel for stay certificates can be very different from its award category… I just noticed that a category 3 property is “classic”. That’s only $109, almost insane!

    Never thought you could leverage stay certificates this way… Thanks guys!!!

  13. And now this deal will die. Got three of my family members into Nice for three separate vacations. They were talking about doing it again next year. Onto the next deal

  14. @ Al — Not that I know of, unfortunately. I suppose someone may be given them as a gift and try to resell them on Ebay, but that’s about the only way they’d end up for resale as far as I know.

  15. @ Al — Slightly. In January of this year they slightly adjusted the prices, but it wasn’t a big difference.

  16. @ Kevin F — It doesn’t look like they’ve been added to the program yet. I doubt they will be since they’re not Hyatts but rather “affiliate” properties.

  17. Well, Hyatt Certificate participating properties now says Palais de la Méditeranée does not accept stay cert anymore, so are most Park Hyatt (I checked for SYD and TYO).

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