Hyatt occasionally offers customers the chance to buy gift cards with a 10% discount. This is most common toward the end of the year, but mid-year promotions do happen. If you’re already taking advantage of the easy Diamond status match or buying Gold Passport points at a substantial discount, then saving money on gift cards is just another way to maximize the value of your Hyatt stays in 2016.
At first glance, a 10% discount on gift cards doesn’t sound too impressive. Most hotels that accept gift cards are in North America, which excludes many of the best international locations. However, I have verified that this discount can also be applied to physical “gift checks.” These paper certificates can be applied at almost all Hyatt hotels, including those that don’t accept gift cards.
Hyatt has previously stated that it plans to upgrade its systems so that all hotels can accept gift cards. Until then, I prefer to buy gift checks for maximum flexibility. But you can’t retain partial value on gift checks like you can with gift cards. I usually buy smaller denominations and then pay the balance in cash. Be sure to check which hotels accept each form of payment.
There is also a narrow window remaining to save more than 10% by purchasing these gift cards or gift checks with an American Express business card that participates in the OPEN savings plan. Hyatt will be leaving OPEN in 2016. Until then, you will continue to receive a 5% statement credit when you purchase gift cards or gift checks using cards such as the American Express Business Platinum Card or the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card. This is in addition to whatever points you may earn from the transaction, e.g., Starpoints or Membership Rewards.
Keep in mind the 5% statement credit is for the final transaction price. So if you buy a $100 gift check and save 10%, you’re really only paying $90 (plus shipping and handling). You’ll get a 5% credit for the $90, or $4.50.
Still, it’s a great deal, and a limited time left to take advantage of it.