How to Save Over 10% on Hyatt Hotels in the US, Canada & the Caribbean!

Hyatt has announced a new promotion in which you can use promo code GPGIFT14 to save 10% on the purchase of physical Hyatt gift cards. The only requirement to use the promotion code is to be a member of Hyatt’s rewards program, Gold Passport, which is free to join (click here to signup if you haven’t already).

Use Promo Code GPGIFT14

Use Promo Code GPGIFT14

Here are the quick and easy ways to maximize this deal:

  • First off, please be aware of which hotels accept Hyatt gift cards for payment. Almost all Hyatt Hotels in the USA, Canada and the Caribbean accept them but certainly not all of them. Please check the full list of participating properties here and only purchase the gift card if you plan on visiting one of these resorts. I will be returning to the Andaz Maui in April next year (which is noted as a participating property) so this promotion helps me save 10% on all my incidental costs (meals, drinks, activities). Do not buy these gift cards for Hyatts located abroad – they won’t work!
  • There is a $6 dollar shipping fee per order and each order is capped at $10,000. I doubt this will be an issue for anyone but try to just make one order to save on multiple $6 shipping fees.
  • Gift cards never expire. I would purchase these gift cards now based on your expected spending on future Hyatt stays in the next year or so to save 10%.In the event your plans change, there is only minimal risk as these gift cards do not expire so you can always use them in the future on a Hyatt stay or dinner at a Hyatt restaurant (see next bullet point)
  • You do not have to be a guest at the hotel to redeem gift cards. I interpret this as a way to eat at a Hyatt restaurant and you should be able to pay with a Hyatt gift card to save 10% on your meal. Anyone down for 10% off dinner at Morimoto Maui at the Andaz Maui or Wall & Water in NYC?

I noted in the title you can save over 10% on this promotion, which is true if you have an American Express Business Card that is affiliated with OPEN savings program. Hyatt is a member of the OPEN savings and if you pay for Hyatt stays with an eligible Amex Business card (Amex Business Platinum, Business Gold and Business Starwood), you can save an extra 5% off!

Now it is listed that only certain brands of Hyatt hotels qualify for this additional 5% off – it excludes the lower end Hyatt House, Hyatt Place and Hyatt Residences but Hyatt has confirmed on Flyertalk that buying physical gifts will trigger the 5% additional discount via the Amex OPEN Program! This is a great workaround to get the Amex OPEN 5% discount at non-participating hotels that don’t work with Amex OPEN. Stacking that 5% discount with the 10% discount leads to a 15% discount on Hyatt hotels in the US, Canada and the Caribbean!

I certainly plan on buying a sizeable balance of Hyatt Gift cards to take almost 15% off my stay at the Andaz Maui next year. I am staying on a Points & Cash reward so my co-pay is $150 a night but with this promotion, is reduced to essentially $127.50 plus I’ll get 10% off every time I eat, drink or buy anything at the Andaz. That’s pretty hard to beat!

 

 

AMAZING DEAL ALERT: Roundtrip flights from the US to Australia, India, Africa & the Middle East for $251 to $700 Roundtrip!!

Update: Now Dead.

The Flight Deal just discovered an amazing mistake fare that most US cities are pricing Roundtrip travel to Australia, India, the Middle East & more for only $251 to $700!!!

It works from most major US cities for flights on Etihad. This is without a doubt a systemwide glitch at Etihad so this will get pulled any minute.

I’m about to board a flight so for the latest info and working city paris PLEASE go to this site for details and how to book!

The Flight Deal Link

The End of One of the Best Travel Hacks: Amazon Payments

Tonight is a sad night in the travel hacking universe as one of the best and most reliable methods for free miles is coming to an end. Using Amazon Payments for person to person payments is shutting down effective October 13th per Amazon’s annual notice. You can still get in two more transactions, one in September and one more in early October. After October 13th, Amazon Payments will continue solely as a way to checkout on websites that accept Amazon for payment.

Every month Amazon Payments would let you send $1,000 to another person via your credit card for no fee. Then that person would simply pay you back via check or other means. If you had a circle of 3 or more people, then it would go A -> B -> C -> A and everyone would be paid in full and also 1,000 miles/points richer each month.

Amazon Payments has been going strong for 4 years now and it was only a matter of time before Amazon pulled the plug as Amazon was eating the credit card fee on every $1,000 transaction. It was a good run Amazon Payments, thank you for the memories.

RIP

RIP

Surprising Your Spouse with the Gift of Travel When You Are a Travel Hacker

Update: We went to Bali and Phuket. Click those links for more details on how she found out, a little more about the trip etc.

I have a confession to make: It’s really hard to impress my wife with the gift of travel. No, it’s not because she is demanding and only wants first class travel or 5 star luxury hotels (trust me Holiday Inns are just fine for her) but rather with all the traveling we do, traveling together is almost too commonplace in our lives. Seriously, at any given time we have 3-5 trips booked in advance and we have traveled every month this year with the exception of January and February. In all those cases, we always discuss together where we want to go or if I see a limited time offer, either with miles/points or a great cash price, we will quickly figure out when we want to go to take advantage of that limited time deal.

Our one year anniversary is coming up later this month and I really wanted to do something special for it. I wanted it to top all the other traveling we have done in the past year, which is quite a tall task to do when you look at where we have traveled since October 2013:

  • Moorea & Bora Bora
  • Maui
  • Alaskan Cruise
  • Paris
  • Puerto Rico and other small weekend getaways
Bora Bora

Bora Bora

The one similarity with all those trips above is Andrea knew when the trip was coming, where we were going and what we were doing there.  I know almost no matter what country or destination I chose for our one year anniversary, it was going to be hard to top that list above (seriously how do you top a honeymoon in Bora Bora and a second one in Maui?!?!?)

So what did I do? I booked our one year anniversary trip for later this month and Andrea has no idea where we are going. I wanted to avoid the idea of “travel fatigue” and keep the excitement fresh so I booked a 10 day trip to 2 countries and Andrea is in the dark on our activities, hotels, time in each country, etc. I’m pretty sure she never even heard of one of the places we are going.

To be fair (and to keep the excitement building for the trip), I have given her a few clues along the way. Here are the clues and facts I have given her thus far. Some of them are purposely too vague.

  • There is a total of 21 flying hours (yes 21 hours in a plane) plus a 3 hour layover to reach our first destination from New York.
  • We are flying 10,168 miles to reach our first destination.
  • She knows the layover is in Seoul because I couldn’t resist showing her a picture of her seat for the flight from NY to Seoul which is a first class suite on Asiana (see below).
  • With that hint, she asked if this trip was somewhere in Asia which I confirmed for her that it is.
  • I was able to hire a private driver and tour guide for 10 hours for about $68 USD. Things in this country are cheap.
  • The second destination, which is in another country, is only 1,640 miles away but requires a connection in the capital of this country.
  • There may or may not be elephants involved.
Our seats for NY to Seoul

Our seats for NY to Seoul

Can you guess where we are going? I won’t confirm or deny your answers in the comments for obvious reasons but let’s see who can figure out where we are going!

She will only find out the first destination when we get to the airport and gets her boarding pass for that flight. I think with her not knowing the details of anything going on, she will be even more excited for this trip then normal.  Hopefully, this is how you can still surprise your spouse with the gift of travel when you are a travel hacker 🙂

 

Point & Center: 50k United Credit Card Still Available, New IHG Promo and No More Cashback on Amex Gift Cards

Let’s take a quick look at the some of the big things going on in the points & miles world this week.

1) New IHG Promotion And Why You Should Care – Every quarter or so, most hotel chains release a new promotion which generally range from sucky to OK but the recently announced “Into The Nights” by IHG has potential to be one of the best hotel promotions in recent memory. The offer is slightly different for each member but generally others have indicated that 2-3 nights stayed at IHG hotels from now to December 31st could result in 2 Free nights anywhere in the world with IHG. The obvious hack here is to stay at two really cheap hotels and redeem them at high end hotels.

My Offer

My Offer

The above is my offer for the promo. I only need to complete 4 of the 5 offers for 2 Free Nights anywhere. Looking closely at it, if I can simply stay at 2 different Holiday Inns, I can complete this promo by staying only 2 nights. Holiday Inns are everywhere and can be cheap, so if I could find 2 Holiday Inns at $100/night, I could get 2 Free Nights certificates for $100 each and then I could redeem them at InterContinental Hotels that range from $300-$700 a night! Check out this post from Travel Summary for more analysis.

2) American Express Gift Cards No Longer Eligible for Cash Back via Shopping Portals – I haven’t written about this yet on the blog but a popular way to meet the minimum spending requirement on a credit card to unlock a large signup bonus is to purchase American Express Gift Cards via shopping portals. You would actually earn a small profit while meeting the spend requirement but recently all the portals stopped paying any cashback for these gift cards.

In the past, if a portal paid 2% back you would earn $20 cashback but pay $12.90 in fees for a $1,000 Amex gift card. Then you simply use that card to pay for your normal expenses (or liquidate it if you are more advanced) going forward. In a pinch, if I had no other way to meet the minimum spend on a card, I would consider still buying a gift card but I’d hold off until the portals start paying again for the gift cards.

3) 50,000 Mile Chase United Explore Credit Card is Still Available – The popular 50,000 mile signup bonus offer expired on September 2nd online but there are reports you can still signup for it…if you visit an airport. It seems in some of the United hubs, they are still promoting the 50k United Credit card offer in the terminals. Most of the time any credit card you see promoted in an airport is typically inferior but its nice to see one time where that isn’t the case. (H/T Milecards)