How to Pay for a Night at the Park Hyatt and Get Almost All Your Money Back

TravelWhimsy and I recently spent our Easter weekend in Washington, DC for the 100th Anniversary of Cherry Blossom. For most of our cross-country weekend vacation runs, we’d use the $50 Country Inn & Suites certificates or Choice points we scored in last year’s Daily Getaways for hotel stays ($30-50/night).

For this trip (not our first time in DC), we decided to book and pay for one night at the Park Hyatt Washington DC, which normally goes for $400+/night. After the 14.5% tax, our hotel bill came in at $227.85; all the benefits we received for booking through American Express FHR (Fine Hotels & Resorts) made this stay practically free. I am going to talk about how you can do this, too, even if you don’t have the American Express Platinum card required for an FHR booking (I’ve cancelled my card already).

American Express FHR or other luxury hotel booking services usually offer the same rates as the hotel’s best available online refundable rates. The base rate I got in November 2011 was $199. When booked with American Express FHR, we received:

  1. $100 food & beverage credit (tax & gratuity included);
  2. Complimentary breakfast buffet for two (tax & gratuity included, a $60 value);
  3. Complimentary room upgrade (we were upgraded to a Hypo-Allergenic Respire suite);
  4. Late check-out at 4pm.

Park Hyatt Washington DC also offers complimentary bike rentals, which we took advantage of and saved us $70 for a rental period of 4 hours. In addition, use of the well-equipped business center, fitness center, pool/Jacuzzi is complimentary. The hotel even offers a complimentary BMW sedan service on weekdays (we did not get a chance to use it). Wifi is free for elite members, but you can get platinum status just for having the Hyatt Visa Card. I was able to pay for the stay with my Hyatt card (even though I booked with my American Express Platinum card), which enabled me to earn a total of over 1,800 Hyatt points (at least a $27 value) for the one-night stay.

   

   

Now, let’s walk through an example of how you can book a night at the Park Hyatt Washington DC, without having an American Express Platinum card. You only need to have any Visa Signature card or any Chase card (the Chase Luxury Hotel Collection is supposed to be for premium card holders only, but I tested it with my fee-free Chase Freedom card and had no problem accessing the site).

Let’s say you are looking for a room for Saturday night during Memorial Day weekend. The official Hyatt site is showing the best daily rate of $249 ($285.10 after taxes).

 

Option 1: Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Access the website here to search for the hotel we want.

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

You can get the same rate of $249 for the date you prefer.

If you click on the “see details & book” button, you will see the property-specific benefits – you get only a $25 food credit, but you instead get complimentary valet parking (which could be valuable for Washington, DC, or any other metropolitan areas).

Option 2: Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

You can access the website here.

A search for the Park Hyatt Washington DC will take you to the following page.

If you check availability, you will be asked to enter the first six digits of your Chase card number.

Following the steps will lead you to the list of available hotels, and the Park Hyatt Washington DC lists the following room options (add-to-cart prices include taxes) and guest privileges.

As you can see, the Chase benefits include a $75 food credit but no valet parking. Both the Visa Signature and Chase options give you a $75 value (instead of the American Express FHR $100 food credit). When your vacation needs call for a luxury hotel stay at the likes of the Park Hyatt Washington DC, this might give you the best bang for your buck!

By the way, the Park Hyatt Washington DC is a Hyatt top-category-6 hotel, which requires 22,000 Hyatt points for a free night. I conservatively value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents/point (Hyatt points can be purchased at 2.4 cents/point), so if I am in need of such a hotel night, anything under $330 is worth considering. Feel free to try your luck buying Hyatt points in the upcoming Daily Getaways promotion.

Let me know what you think! I respond to all comments.

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  • Jen T

    This is very interesting.  I didn’t realize that you would still earn base hotel points on stays booked through these type of websites.  

    • Hi Jen, thanks for your comment! Yes, generally speaking, a refundable rate booked through Amex, Visa, or Chase would still qualify for hotel points (you are charged directly by the hotels instead of the booking sites). Non-refundable bookings made through third-party sites, such as Hotwire, Priceline, Travelocity, etc., generally don’t earn points (those sites serve as wholesalers/consolidators to help hotels fill rooms).

  • Mahanley

    Really great post! I did not know about these 2 websites–much thanks!!

    • Hi Mahenley, thanks for your comment. Glad you found it helpful!

  • Jen

    This is the most helpful post regarding hotels for those of us who don’t have the amex platinum card. I would have never known about Chase Luxury Hotel Collection. Thank so much!

    • Jen, thank you for your kind comment. I hope to share all aspects of our own experiences with our readers. Have a nice weekend!

  • Whateverasha

    I just read your interview and was impressed at how humble you are and just signed for your blogs
    Thanks,
    Asha

    • Asha, thank you very much for your kind comment! Welcome to the TravelByPoints family!

  • Gav

    I conservatively value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents/point (Hyatt points can be purchased at 2.4 cents/point), so if I am in need of such a hotel night, anything under $330 is worth considering——

    What do you mean by that? Do you mean over $330?

    • Gav, a top category Hyatt hotel (category 6) costs 22,000 Hyatt points. If you value your Hyatt points at 1.5 cents/point, then that redemption equals $330 in value. If you have already decided to book a stay at a luxury Hyatt property, then that method of valuation could be used to help you decide whether you should pay or redeem points for your stay. Hope that makes sense.

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  • Make sure that you value the benefits provided, as these are typically *not* the lowest rates; also, for the Chase rate, rates do not include all taxes, such as the 14.5% hotel tax–that is additional. For example, when I did a May date check on the Park Hyatt DC, the Chase rate was over $260 more than the TravelSort rate. So even with the $75 F&B benefit, and assuming $40 value for continental breakfast for 2, that would be $145 more. It’s also nice to explore the city and eat at more than just the hotel restaurant.

    • Thanks, Hilary, for chiming in. I am sure our savvy readers will look for alternatives if they don’t find an attractive rate. In general, Amex/Chase/Visa all offer the lowest refundable rate available on Hyatt’s own website. The 14.5% tax was also included in my post – $199 –> $227.85, $249 –>$285.10.

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