Several Hyatt brands — including Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, and Hyatt Regency — currently belong to the American Express OPEN Savings program, which provides for a 5% statement credit when you use an Amex OPEN business card to pay for your stay. These include the business versions of the Platinum Card and the Gold Rewards Card but also — amusingly — the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card.
Unfortunately, Hyatt will be leaving Amex OPEN Savings at the end of this year. (HT Chasing the Points)
That meant you could use a Starwood-branded credit card to pay for a Hyatt stay and save 5%.
To take this trick one step further, it’s also possible to buy generic Hyatt gift cards from the corporate office with an Amex OPEN card and receive the statement credit. So you could buy gift cards at a discount and use them at brands, such as Hyatt Place, that don’t normally participate in Amex OPEN savings.
Okay, pretty good. What else?
Well, there have been many opportunities to buy Hyatt gift cards with an instant 10% discount if you attend Frequent Traveler University, purchased a promotional upgrade from MilePoint (now InsideFlyer), or took advantage of other promotions on FlyerTalk.
All this means a $1,000 Hyatt gift card only costs $900, plus you got a $45 statement credit and 900 Starpoints worth about $22.50 (at 2.5 cents each). Total savings are about 17% when you stay at nearly every Hyatt using a variety of gift cards or gift checks, and you still get Hyatt benefits and points. (Not all hotels accept gift cards. See the Hyatt website for information on types of gift cards/gift checks and participating properties.)
Because Hyatt is leaving the OPEN Savings partnership at the end of this year, you’re running out of time to take advantage of these stacked discounts. But until then, you can still buy gift cards for future use. I recommend this as long as you can support the cash outlay. Some properties are a little confused about how to use them (I’m looking at you, Park Hyatt Siem Reap), but it’s always worked for me in the end.