Megan is planning her bachelorette party in Austin this summer and asked for my help researching a place for her and her bridesmaids to stay. Without me there, my elite benefits with various chains were useless. (I offered to tag along and confer said benefits when I heard there was a lingerie party, but my generosity was rebuffed.)
Instead, I suggested Megan and her friends purchase Weekend Stay Certificates from Hyatt to save them money and still secure a free breakfast.
For comparison: the lowest available rate on Hyatt.com for the Hyatt Regency Austin was $205.97 including tax. Weekend Stay Certificates at the Select tier are sold for $298 for two nights and cover any taxes (three nights are $447). Add $6 shipping and it’s $304. For Megan’s two-night stay, the per-night cost of a Select certificate would be $152 instead of almost $206, a savings of $54 per night.
Prestige certificates are also available for $418 for two nights or $627 for three nights and can be used at a wider array of properties. Weekend Stay Certificates at either level can only be used for two or three consecutive nights on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
Keep in mind that these prepaid certificates require special availability that is capacity controlled. Before you book them, call Hyatt Reservations (1-888-591-1234) to confirm availability. Even if something comes up and you can’t book, at least the certificates don’t expire. They also do not earn points or credit toward elite status, but they do earn a 5% statement credit through OPEN Savings® when purchased with an American Express business card — I recommend using the SPG Business Amex.
Many of our trips are for short weekend visits, and I realize now that I should have given them greater thought before. Well, maybe not. As a person who qualifies for Diamond status on stays, not points, short trips are the perfect excuse to book an eligible rate even if it costs a little more. I usually find refundable rates so I can cancel if necessary. And my elite benefits already give me breakfast plus the opportunity to confirm an upgrade in a suite.
But for those of who you don’t have Diamond status, or when rates are particularly high, I think these certificates are an excellent value. Diamond members can still use them to pay for part of a longer stay and book at least one “normal” night in order to get stay credit. If you don’t think you can reach Diamond status but do want some perks, get Platinum status and a free night each year with the Hyatt Visa card.
The Terms & Conditions I found online are horribly out-of-date and still refer to Hyatt Summerfield Suites, not their new name: “Hyatt House.” (And only to say they don’t work there; Hyatt’s discount properties are cheap enough and include free breakfast already.) Again, before buying you should check the list of participating hotels and call to confirm availability.