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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Discounted Hyatt Points Plus Points + Cash Rates Equals Potential Tokyo Hyatt Hotel Savings

November 11th, 2014

Through December 10th, 2014, Hyatt is offering a 30% bonus on the purchase of 5000 or more Hyatt Gold Passport points.

In most cases, purchasing points for all but a small top-off needed to acquire an award is a bad deal, for two reasons:

  1. It’s usually cheaper to just pay for the room than to buy enough points to pay for it.
  2. Award stays (using just points) do not count towards receiving points, or receiving stay credit for obtaining or maintaining higher status levels like Platinum or Diamond.

However, the current bonus does a lot to make purchasing points for a stay feasible, and the Points + Cash option at Hyatt hotels seals the deal.

Started just this year, Points + Cash rates allow you to use points to receive a deeply discounted room rate (the exact amount of points and cash required varies depending on the Award Category Level of the hotel).  Because it is a paid rate, you also receive points for the stay, and a stay credit.  And, like a regular rewards stay, it is a fully refundable rate.

The best part about Points + Cash rate is that it is a flat rate, regardless of time of year it is used.  So the more high demand/high cost time period it is, the more potential value you can receive from this offer.

Let’s look at how Points + Cash stacks up against the Tokyo Hyatt hotels.  I will choose a three night stay for two adults, during an arbitrary high demand period:  March 27-30, 2015.

First, the Hyatt Regency Tokyo.  This hotel is Award Category 3, so according to the Points + Cash chart, the rate requires $75 USD and 6,000 points per night.  For our three night stay, that is $225 and 18,000 points.

With the 30% discount, we can purchase 18,200 points for $336.  Adding to our $225 gives us a total of $561.  Dividing that by three nights gives us a Discount Purchased Points + Cash (I’ll call it “DPP+C”) rate of $187/night.

As of today, the lowest Hyatt Regency Tokyo refundable rate for those nights is $212.

Score one for PP+C!

Score one for PP+C!

DPP+C gives us a little over 10% savings…and shows that we shouldn’t even bother with this if we must purchase points at the regular price.

Next is the Andaz Tokyo.  This hotel is Award Category 6, doubling the nightly P+C cost to $150 USD and 12,000 points a night, or $450 + 36,000 points for all three nights.

With the 30% discount, we can purchase 36,400 points for $672.  Adding to our $450 gives us a total of $1122.  Dividing that by three nights gives us a DPP+C rate of $374/night.

This just barely beats out the best Andaz Tokyo refundable rate of $397, and if you’re willing to accept a prepaid, no-refundable rate, is worse than the Advance Purchase rate price of $338.

Given the time and effort required, we'll call it a push.

Given the time and effort required, we’ll call it a push.

Grand Hyatt Tokyo is also an Award Category 6 hotel, so the DPP+C rate is also $374/night.  Here we do much better than the Hyatt Daily Rate of $432…an over 15% savings!  It even beats out the inferior Advance Purchase rate.

DPP+C wins the rubber match.

DPP+C wins the rubber match in convincing fashion!

Sadly, I’m not even going to look up Park Hyatt Tokyo.  First of all, the P+C rate can only be used for base room, for which none are currently available for March 27th-30th.  Second, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is an Award Category 7 hotel, which requires 15,000 points and a whopping $300 USD/night.  Buying enough points to cover the 45,000 required for three nights will cost $840, which adds to $900 cash fee for a grand total of $1740, giving us a per night rate of $580.  And if you have to settle for $580/night for a base room at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, then you’re just not trying hard enough.

But, outside of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, I think that I have shown that purchasing discounted points for a Points + Cash rate at a Tokyo Hyatt hotel can be beneficial.  And, in the case of the Hyatt Regency Tokyo and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, the DPP+C rate can be significantly beneficial.

Unfortunately, the Points + Cash rate cannot be booked online;  you must call Hyatt Gold Passport to book it.  And, unlike a straight points reservation, inventory may not be available for a Points + Cash reservation even if it is available for the Hyatt Daily Rate.  But, if you’re willing to put in a few minutes of time on the phone, the resulting savings may be well worth your effort.

Bonus Content: Like the Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Andaz Tokyo, the Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa is also an Award Category 6 hotel, so DDP+C rate remains $374/night.  And like the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, DDP+C would give you a savings of over %15 off the Hyatt Daily Rate.

Whether it's actually worth $374 a night is open to debate...

Whether the Hyatt Regency Hakone is actually worth $374 a night is open to debate…

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American Express Buy 3 Get 4 Rate

November 7th, 2014

American Express is running a promotion with Hyatt for a special rate that allows you to book a four night stay for the price of three from December 1st, 2014 through March 31st, 2015. A lot of times these “special rates” are actually marked up significantly from the regular rate, the end result being not much in the way of actual savings. But this rate appears to be tracking the Hyatt Daily Rate, which means that you actually can save up to 25% on your stay.

(EDIT: Unfortunately, the Park Hyatt Tokyo has opted out of this promotion.)

When searching for availability, be sure to use the “Special Offer Code” AX701, as in the following example for February dates at the Andaz Tokyo:

Click on the SPECIAL RATES to open the code entry window.

Click on the SPECIAL RATES link to open the code entry window.

If there is availability for all four nights, the “Amex Buy 3 Get 4″ rate will show up, with the Average Daily Rate being the value of the Hyatt Daily Rate (or Andaz Rate for Andaz hotels) with the last night’s rate fare waved.  In this example, it is three nights at 42000 yen and one night at zero yen, for an average rate of 31500 per night.

Up to 25% savings for stays of exactly four nights.

Up to 25% savings for stays of exactly four nights.

The only limitation of this rate is the requirement of an American Express credit card for payment.  Cancellation policy is the same as the Andaz Rate (or Hyatt Daily Rate at other hotels), for a rate much cheaper than the more restrictive Advance Purchase rate.

If staying eight nights, break your stay into two four nights stays for two free nights.

If staying eight nights, break your stay into two four nights stays for two free nights.

As always, it is best to book fully refundable fares and check periodically for better offers.  This is a good deal, but we should always be on the lookout for more!

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Tokyo Hyatt Fact Sheets

June 24th, 2014

On the front page of every Hyatt hotel website, there is a link to a very useful resource that few people take advantage of: the hotel Fact Sheet.

Buried in plain sight between Parking and Hotel Features.

Buried in plain sight between Parking and Hotel Features.

The Fact Sheet is a PDF file that offers a wealth of information on the hotel that fits on a single piece of paper.

A little too small to read here though, so click this to bring up the full file.

A bit small to read here though, so click this to bring up the full file.

If you’re wondering which Tokyo Hyatt hotel is right for you, printing these all out and comparing them side by side is not a bad little way of quickly comparing and contrasting the hotels to determine what is best for your situation.

To save you some time, here are direct links to the fact sheets of all Tokyo and Hakone Hyatt hotels:

Hyatt Regency Tokyo

Grand Hyatt Tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills

Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa

Give them a look over and see what you think!

 

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Lowest Price for Tokyo Hyatt Stays and Corresponding Point Redemption Values for the Next 12 Months

June 21st, 2014

If you have the flexibility to determine exactly when you can make your stay at a Tokyo Hyatt hotel, you may be interested in which specific time periods offer the best value for a stay.

I have gone through all of the rates at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Tokyo, and the Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa to to determine the best value for hotel stays based on three criteria:

  1. Best regular rate
  2. Best regular rate w/free cancellation
  3. Best elite rate (including My Elite Rate for Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum and Diamond members)

Based on these values, I have also determined the base value of Hyatt Gold Passport at these hotels.  In other words, this is the minimum value that you will receive for redeeming your points at each particular hotel.

All results are based on the tax and fee inclusive rate for single night stays based on double occupancy and availability as of June 19th, 2014.  It is intended as a ballpark reference, and is not representative of realtime conditions.  To check on current availability and different variations of these searches, please utilize the Tokyo Hyatt Power Search and the Tokyo Hyatt Date Range Search tools.

The results by hotel are as follows:

Park Hyatt Tokyo

  1. Best Regular Rate: 47080 yen/night
    Dates Available: August 25th, September 1st-2nd, September 7th, January 18th, May 6th, May 7th
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.57 yen (30,000 points per night redemption)
  2. Best Regular Rate with Free Cancellation: 55318 yen/night
    Dates Available: August 25th, September 1st-2nd, September 7th, January 18th, May 6th, May 7th
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.84 yen (30,000 points per night redemption)
  3. Best Elite Rate: 44334 yen/night
    Dates Available: August 25th, September 1st-2nd, September 7th
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.48 yen (30,000 points per night redemption)

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills

  1. Best Regular Rate: 47996 yen/night
    Dates Available: January 4th – 8th
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.92 yen (25,000 points per night redemption)
  2. Best Regular Rate with Free Cancellation: 47996 yen/night
    Dates Available: January 4th – 8th
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.92 yen (25,000 points per night redemption)
  3. Best Elite Rate: 47996 yen/night (Currently no My Elite Rate cheaper than the cheapest Best Regular Rate w/Free Cancellation)
    Dates Available: January 4th – 8th
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.92 yen (25,000 points per night redemption)

Grand Hyatt Tokyo

  1. Best Regular Rate: 47080 yen/night
    Dates Available: June 22nd-23rd
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.82 yen (25,000 points per night redemption)
  2. Best Regular Rate with Free Cancellation: 55318 yen/night
    Dates Available: June 22nd-23rd
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.82 yen (25,000 points per night redemption)
  3. Best Elite Rate: 44334 yen/night
    Dates Available: June 22nd-23rd
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.46 yen (25,000 points per night redemption)

Hyatt Regency Tokyo

  1. Best Regular Rate: 20121 yen/night
    Dates Available: December 22nd, December 25th-26th, January 4th-9th, May 1st-2nd, May 8th-9th, May 15th-16th, May 22nd-23rd, May 29th-30th, June 5th-6th, June 12th-13th
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.68 yen (12,000 points per night redemption)
  2. Best Regular Rate with Free Cancellation: 24160 yen/night
    Dates Available: December 22nd, December 25th-26th, January 4th-9th, May 1st-2nd, May 8th-9th, May 15th-16th, May 22nd-23rd, May 29th-30th, June 5th-6th, June 12th-13th
    Approximate Value Per Point: 2.01 yen (12,000 points per night redemption)
  3. Best Elite Rate: 16096 yen/night
    Dates Available: December 22nd, December 25th-26th
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.62 yen (12,000 points per night redemption)

Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa

  1. Best Regular Rate: 36900 yen/night
    Dates Available: Many Dates
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.48 yen (25,000 points per night redemption)
  2. Best Regular Rate with Free Cancellation: 36900 yen/night
    Dates Available: Many Dates
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.48 yen (25,000 points per night redemption)
  3. Best Elite Rate: 29580 yen/night
    Dates Available: Many Dates Throughout 2014
    Approximate Value Per Point: 1.18 yen (25,000 points per night redemption)

As expected, Hyatt Regency Tokyo provides the best value in terms of money and overall point redemption value, though a Platinum or Diamond will see better value this year using their points for a stay at Andaz Tokyo (especially when staying with three adults, as Andaz Tokyo is the only hotel to not charge an additional fee for a third adult on an award stay)

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