Adventures in Claiming Retroactive Non-Stay Hyatt Gold Passport Points Part 1: Grand Hyatt Tokyo

October 23rd, 2015

Although I pride myself on being fairly proficient in the Hyatt Gold Passport Terms and Conditions, it wasn’t until a recent meal at the Park Hyatt Tokyo New York Grill that I realized that people can earn Hyatt Gold Passport points at restaurants even when they’re not staying at them. From the T&C:

3. Five Hyatt Gold Passport points will be awarded for each whole U.S. dollar or U.S. dollar equivalent, paid by a member for Eligible Non-Stay Charges. “Eligible Non-Stay Charges” vary on a hotel-by-hotel basis, but generally include spa and salon services, spa and salon retail items, one (1) day spa membership and food and beverage expenditures (except at outlets not operated by the hotel).

It was only by virtue of paying with my Hyatt Credit Card that that the staff noticed the membership number on it and used it to apply the credit, which showed up in my account almost immediately.

This only resulted in about 200 additional points but, after going over the past year’s worth of credit card statements, I realized that I had patronized Hyatt bars and restaurants without staying about a dozen times without receiving anything. That seemed like a decent chunk of points that I was leaving on the table, so I went back to research the T&C to see if it was possible to retroactively claim the credit.

You already know by the fact that I’m writing this that it is, but here’s the relevant text that proves it:

5. In the event a member does not provide their Hyatt Gold Passport membership number at the time Eligible Non-Stay Charges are incurred, the member must contact the hotel’s outlet directly to request retroactive point issuance. Retroactive point issuance credit timeframes vary hotel-by-hotel. Retroactive credit for which a receipt can be provided will only be awarded on Eligible Non-Stay Charges by the shorter of: 1 year from outlet visit, or the date on which the outlet began participation in the benefit (varies hotel-by-hotel). Eligible Non-Stay Charges prior to a member’s enrollment in Hyatt Gold Passport will not be eligible for retroactive credit.

It seemed like I was good to go…but first, I had to figure out what made a Non-Stay Charge “Eligible”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as cut and clear as I had thought it would be:

1. Hyatt Gold Passport members may earn Hyatt Gold Passport points for Eligible Non-Stay Charges (defined below) at participating outlets at Hyatt-branded hotels even when such charges are not affiliated with a stay at such hotel. Outlet participation is limited and this benefit may not be available at all hotels. Please ask outlet associates for participation eligibility.

To figure out whether or not a particular hotel participates in this program, see this handy link for the full breakdown. If you expand the Japan section, you will note that, while the Hyatt Regency Naha and Hyatt Regency Fukuoka are conspicuous by their absence, all of the Tokyo Hyatt hotels offer restaurant non-stay credit (and all but the Hyatt Regency Tokyo offer non-stay credit on spa visits)

Now I was finally able to start contacting each individual hotel for back credit. I started with the simplest and easiest, a single meal at the Oak Door Bar at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo (the Oak Door Burger was solid, but I have to say that I prefer the Andaz Tokyo burgers at BeBu) Armed with the knowledge of the date, location, and expenditure of the meal from my credit card statement, I fired off a quick e-mail to the mail address on the Grand Hyatt Tokyo website requesting retroactive credit.

Less than a day later, I received a very nice response from a representative of the restaurant apologizing to me for the oversight, and notifying me of the immediate deposit of points from the expenditure into my account, backdated to the original date of purchase. With the 30% Diamond bonus, this amounted to a whopping 92 additional points!

The only embedded image you're getting this time. Fear the almighty wall of text!

The only embedded image you’re getting this time. Fear the almighty wall of text!

Quick and painless, the way it should be! But, unfortunately, not the way that it always is.

In Part 2, we will begin our exploration into what could go wrong, as I break down my experience claiming retroactive non-stay credit with the Park Hyatt Tokyo!

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Dinner at Caffe for under $20 (before 5pm)

December 18th, 2014

Dinner at Caffe, the casual restaurant in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Tokyo, can run upwards of 6000 yen.  But if you get there during tea time, which runs from 2:30 to 5:00pm, you can order a special pizza set for 1900 yen (2257 yen with service and sales tax)

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a seat with a nice view of the holiday lights:

Not as nice as the view these people have.

Not as nice as the view these people have.

Although the pizza is listed as “pizza of the day”, I had a choice between Margarita and Three Cheese pizza.  I chose the former.

The course comes with a garden salad and a choice of drink.  In addition to coffee and soft drinks, red and white wine are also available.  I decided to try the white wine.

If you think you’re going to get drunk without heading up to Eau de Vie, think again.  The quantity is not terribly generous.

A little stingy.  But I'm not one to whine about it.

A little stingy. But I’m not one to whine about it.

To make up for this, you are served a very special wine that is not available from the drink menu:

This is Caffe's freshest wine.  I'm pretty sure it's made with actual grapes!

This is Caffe’s freshest wine. I’m pretty sure it’s made with actual grapes!

The salad is pretty such the same as the salad I’ve made for myself dozens of times in the Regency Club Lounge:

Although those experienced with the Regency Club will not that this salad has onions.

Although those experienced with the Regency Club will not that this salad has onions.

The pizza arrived about 10 minutes after placing my order, just after finishing my salad (though long after finishing my wine):

See fork and knife for an approximation of scale.

See fork and knife for an approximation of scale.

The taste was somewhere in the broad expanse between a frozen pizza and something you would get from an actual pizzeria.  But with some Tabasco sauce, this was perfectly acceptable, and for me was filling enough to pass for an actual dinner.

As you can tell from my tone, this wasn’t the greatest meal I’ve had.  But at under $20 with today’s exchange rate, it may be a reasonable option for those on a one night stay looking to cut costs without leaving the hotel.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a Hyatt Regency Tokyo Point Card, this meal will net you 110 points.  Order this early dinner 228 times, and you will be upgraded to Premium Card status!

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Inside…Hyatt Regency Tokyo Eau de Vie

June 23rd, 2014

As I mentioned yesterday, I received a bunch of coupons with my new Hyatt Regency Tokyo Point Card.  The two best coupons were the 1000 points with any purchase Birthday Coupon, and the half off drinks between 16:00-20:00 at the Eau de Vie bar.  I wanted to see if it was possible to use both at the same time, and I had never seen this bar before anyway, so that’s all the excuse I needed to drop in and pay a visit tonight.

Can't get a straight shot of the entrance because the railing overlooking the atrium is too close.

Can’t get a straight shot of the entrance because the railing overlooking the atrium is too close.

The sign out front tells us that this place was established in 1980.  It does feel like it is possible that this is one of the few things that has remained unchanged about this hotel since the Century Hyatt Tokyo first opened.

Also: the bathtubs of the unrenovated rooms.  But I digress...

Also: the bathtubs of the unrenovated rooms. But I digress…

Google Translate tells me that “Eau de Vie” is French for Brandy. It seems an appropriate name for a hotel that has a lounge named Lounge and a Pastry Shop named Pastry Shop.  Come to think of it, any name besides Bar comes off as a bit too subtle for the Hyatt Regency Tokyo…but they make up for it by beating you over the head with that fact that this is a hardcore, old-school, straight-up BAR, right down to the quiet jazz mood music.

It's too dark inside to take pictures.  But that's never stopped me before.

It’s too dark inside to take pictures. But that’s never stopped me before.

There are tables to be had, but in a place like this, the bar counter is the place to be.  An ample supply of all sorts of expensive liquors awaits.

Not the kind of place I feel comfortable ordering a strawberry daiquiri.

Not the kind of place I feel comfortable ordering a strawberry daiquiri.

I know very little about liquor, so when the menu comes I just point to whatever the special happens to be.  If you’re expecting something wild and exotic like the Timeless Passion Cocktail, then you are obviously new to the Hyatt Regency Tokyo.  It is a timeless classic, the Classic Mojito.

But it's made with fine Cuban rum!  That's pretty exotic!

But it’s made with fine Cuban rum! That’s pretty exotic!

Google also tells us that “traditionally, a mojito is a cocktail that consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice, sparkling water, and mint. The original Cuban recipe uses spearmint or yerba buena, a mint variety very popular on the island.”  I did not catch whether the bartender was using sugar cane juice, but everything else checked out, so I don’t doubt that this was the real deal.

He was not stingy with the spearmint.  Nor with the ice.

He was not stingy with the spearmint. Nor with the ice.

Again, I’m the wrong person to be giving out drink reviews, but it sure seemed like a high quality Mojito to me.  Minty, with a nice bite from the rum and the lime.  I had an enjoyable time nursing this and the bar nuts for around 20 minutes.

But I came to use the coupons, and now was the time to put them to the test.  When the check arrived, I handed over the birthday coupon, the half off happy hour coupon, the Hyatt Regency Tokyo Point Card, and my Hyatt credit card.  The staff took them all without a word, and a minute later I had my receipt for the 1010 yen drink, and 1050 points on my Hyatt Regency Tokyo point card!

Point total is updated in real time on the card!

Point total is updated in real time on the card!

I am now over 4% of the way to the 25000 points needed to upgrade to the Hyatt Regency Tokyo Premium Card!  Someday, free parking will be mine.

And on top of all that, I received another coupon for 50% off drinks.

Extremely overpriced drinks become only moderately overpriced!

Extremely overpriced drinks become only moderately overpriced!

It’s good for parties of up to 10 people.  I don’t think that I’m going to stop in for a drink again before the coupon expires on August 31st.  If any of you would like it, leave a comment and I’ll think of a way of getting it out to you.

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