Saturday, July 18, 2015

Hyatt Anniversary Staycation

My parents are the lame type that always hug and kiss each other (and me) in public. I'm pretty sure I'm going to find that embarrassing as I get older, but I'll put up with it for now.

Later this month, the love birds will have their wedding anniversary, so my father is looking for ways to make it special.

However, we're not looking to travel like we did last year (Italy & Greece), so my father decided to enjoy our hometown New York City as if they were visitors (and have my grandmother come in to babysit me for 24 hours).

Since we were burning through our beloved Starwood points pretty quickly, we decided to save our SPG points and burn some Hyatt points instead. Fortunately, we had a friend who had both (a) Hyatt top tier Diamond status and (b) the Hyatt Visa Credit card that offered 20% rebate for points bookings through July 31st.

We were fortunate enough to have already visited the Park Hyatt New York a few months ago as well as the Andaz Wall Street a few years ago. So for this time, we decided on the Andaz 5th Avenue right by Bryant Park.

Clearly, it's a bit odd to stay at a hotel in your own city (especially if it's just 10 minutes away by taxi), but my parents think it's better to do a fun staycation locally rather than spend time/money traveling to most cities in the United States. I mean, with all due respect to Atlanta, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Denver...they're no Manhattan.

It also helps justify getting a hotel in your own city when you have a stash of Hyatt Gold Passport points, or Chase Ultimate Reward points in this case. My parents were able to save $339 for the room ($293 base rate + $46 taxes) by using our Chase UR points.

Our friend has to book the hotel using 25,000 Hyatt points, but will then get a 20% rebate (or 5,000 points) because of the special promotion mentioned above.

Since she made the reservation, my parents will get to enjoy top tier elite status benefits, including room upgrade, late checkout and free breakfast.

But how to pay our friend back for the net 20,000 Hyatt points she redeemed?

Well Hyatt Gold Passport is a very generous loyalty program, because it allows any member to freely transfer points to any other member. By comparison, Starwood only allows free transfers only to members with the same household address. Hilton allows transfers but charges $25 cash for every 10,000 points transferred.

For Hyatt, you just need to fill out this form and email it into Hyatt with the signatures of both the donor and recipient parties.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!

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